Choose wisely your dog groomer

Howard Baker - RN BSN

Courtesy of Howard Baker Hobo enjoys a spa day in Southern Comfort.

The frequency of animal deaths and injury while in the care of groomers is alarming. We all have read and heard stories of how an unsuspecting dog owner takes Fido to the groomer only to return to an injury or worse — death. How do you protect your pet and ease your mind when choosing a groomer? Buyer beware, it requires a due diligence when choosing a groomer for you and your pet. I will discuss ways you can set your mind at ease and protect your best friend when choosing a groomer while keeping them safe and pampered.

Most deaths at grooming salons are commonly related to heat exhaustion, heatstroke, or choking, and are usually a result of neglect. Heat related deaths usually occur while under dryers that either malfunction or are not monitored closely. Dogs dying of strangulation or choking usually occur because they were left unattended on grooming tables. Deaths and injuries are often exacerbated by groomers being unfamiliar with animal first-aid or basic cardiopulmonary resuscitation of the animals they are working with.

Often, injuries pets sustain while being groomed and are not reported. The numbers of pet injuries during grooming is staggering and are unfortunately common place. It’s important to realize there are many groomers and grooming facilities with stellar reputations with little or no injuries. When it comes to my pets I want the best possible care with people I know and trust. We use a mobile pet salon to groom our dogs and have for several years.

I sat down with Bee and Terry Graham owners of Southern Comfort Mobile Pet Salon to discuss how to prevent accidents and keeping your four-legged family members safe. The Grahams have more than thirty years experience in the pet grooming industry and their advice is to build relationships and trust with your groomer.

Accident Prevention Tips

1. Insist that your dog be hand or air-dried. Doing so will eliminate cage dryers that may overheat with your dog unable to escape.

2. Request references from other clients of the groomer you are considering. Check with the Better Business Bureau.

3. Choose a groomer who has graduated from an accredited program and are members of a trade organization.

4. Groomers with experience. New groomers may be skilled in grooming but, not mastered the art of animal behavior that often challenges even experienced groomers.

5. Be upfront with your groomer about any behavioral and or medical issues your pet may have.

6. Ask prospective groomer about their record of any injuries and how they handle injuries when they occur.

Remember, accidents happen and no one is perfect. The important question for me; if accidents happen does the person taking care of your pet know what to do and are they focused on their work. When possible, I recommend staying with your dog and keeping them in sight. From mobile groomers to big box stores there are good and bad it is buyer beware so ask questions, talk to people, and when possible observe how they handle pets in their care. Investing a little time on the front end will relieve a lot of stress and make for a more enjoyable spa day for both you and your pet.

Hobo is a rescue dog out to make a difference in animal rescue and education. Please follow Hobo on Facebook at Hobo the Wonder Dog or contact him at: [email protected]

Courtesy of Howard Baker Hobo enjoys a spa day in Southern Comfort. of Howard Baker Hobo enjoys a spa day in Southern Comfort.

Howard Baker


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