Does Safe Pet Grooming Exist?

Still on the topic of pet groomers, today I ask another question. Is the pet grooming profession regulated? 

Since many of you regularly use this service, hopefully you read last week’s blog introducing the topic of pet groomers. It deals with training and certification and why a good skills set is of the utmost importance.

Now today, the focus is on risk and dangers, mistakes and mistreatment and, of course, licensing and regulations.

If the pet grooming profession were regulated, fewer pets would suffer mistreatment at the hands of pet groomers who work unchecked
If the pet grooming profession were regulated, fewer pets would suffer mistreatment


The Stark Reality

So, let’s take a deeper look into this profession. In actual fact, it doesn’t take much to call yourself a pet groomer and start charging clients for grooming services. Anyone can do that. 

You don’t even need to take a course. What’s more, you can study online and not get any practical experience. That is, no real life training at all before actually coming into physical contact with a dog or a cat. The bottom line is that many pet groomers work unchecked.

I find this absolutely mind blowing. In fact, I’m dismayed that there are little or no regulations in place to protect pet parents and their pets from potentially harmful situations. And, I’m talking about scenarios where a pet can actually lose its life because of negligence.


It’s hard to believe that an individual can obtain a pet grooming license without being certified. And what’s more, without having acquired any formal pet grooming skills whatsoever.

While most states in the USA call for pet groomers to be licensed, others do not. Most licensing requirements apply to operating practices at grooming facilities and may also include employees working at that location. In addition, some groomers need to have a domestic animal pest management license if they provide flea baths. 

So, if we look at this across the country, it would not be accurate to say that the pet grooming profession is regulated.

Not All Pets Enjoy Going To The Beauty Salon

Some pets will refuse to cooperate with grooming staff and actually put up physical resistance. This is unacceptable and should never be allowed to happen. On the other hand, even the gentlest and most experienced groomer can make a mistake. Also, their fur client could move unexpected, resulting in just a tiny nick. However, when a pet is belligerent, something far worse can happen quite easily.

Pet Peeve – This Really Happened

I was staying at a client’s home providing 24/7 care for several pets. This particular incident involved a mix breed dog, with a double coat, short stubby tail, and a nervous disposition. I noticed that he had a cut on the tip of his tail. I immediately reported this to my client who told me that his dog had gone to a new pet salon and that it had taken three members of staff to control him. 

To this day I am shocked that the groomers had insisted on providing the clipping service. In the first place, they knew how distressed the dog was. And second, they hadn’t notified their human client of the nicking incident. Was the owner, or manager, of the business present at the time? Who exactly was in charge? It certainly looks like a case of the pet groomers working unchecked.

In my opinion, this attitude is fraudulent and unethical. So, what do my readers think about this? I’d really like to hear from you. 

The Human Element, The Risks

This is not an attempt to scare you. It’s just a wake up call and a reminder of a devastating act of negligence. Yet it happens far too often at brick and mortar groomers all over the country. Dogs have died and continue to die because of this. Hyperthermia. 

Hyperthermia occurs when the body absorbs more heat than it can dissipate. It affects brain function, damages internal organs and can rapidly cause unconsciousness, coma and death.

This medical emergency occurs when staff do not operate drying cages correctly and leave them running unattended. An example of another likely situation is when they leave a pet outdoors to dry in sunny and humid conditions.

Unfortunately, these tragedies are more frequent than you may think and, sadly, have happened to several clients of mine.

To Sum Up

Please do your homework and be cautious. Check out as thoroughly as possible the reputation of any grooming facility you contemplate using. Better safe than sorry.

Together, let’s keep our precious pets healthy, happy and safe!  

NOTE: Rather than post a disturbing video showing pet groomers mistreating dogs and cats, I decided to publish this photo. We must not tolerate animal abuse of any kind and we need to hold accountable those who commit such acts.

If you think you’re up to taking on part or all of your pet’s grooming routine yourself, this will be a great help:


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