Dog groomers are awesome. They keep our buddies looking neat and clean. And more importantly, they transform our dear pets from cute to adorable! If you are a dog lover, it wouldn’t be surprising if dog grooming would be something you’d want to pursue–perhaps in the near future?
Whether you would like to do the dog grooming yourself or you’d prefer to set up a business and take a few dog groomers under your wing, this is something you can really do full-time.
There are, of course, a few things to keep in mind if you’re going to get into the business of grooming dogs. The thought of spending a whole day interacting with and taking care of man’s best friends can be exciting, but one should not forget that the daily tasks of a dog groomer can also be physically demanding. Not only that–one should also be very alert as dogs, just like us, can have different personalities and temperaments. As such, there are certain safety measures to be considered–for the sake of the pet groomer and our dear pets.
Always keep in mind that these tips are for the safety of both pet groomer and dog.
- Observe the proper way of taking the pet from its owner. The owner should put their pet down on the floor instead of handing the dog over to you because this puts you in the bite range and makes you susceptible to separation anxiety-based aggression. You can then pick up the pet with one arm under the belly and then gently pull on their leash and hold their head away from you.
- If the pet is going to be kept in the kennel, make sure that collars and leads are removed.
- If the pets are not going to be kept in the kennel, they should always be restrained–especially when they are going to be bathed, transferred from the tub to the grooming table, or when they are placed on the grooming table. Having them on a crosstie or a groomer’s loop. This will help avoid accidents caused by slippery floors or even playful or nervous dogs jumping off tables.
- Never be too comfortable and always remember that a bite is possible. So, make sure that you are outside of the bite range whether you are grooming them, bathing them, or simply moving them from one place to another.
- Know your customers. They may all seem so cute and cuddly, but you don’t know for sure if that new customer of yours has a tendency to be aggressive. Things like fear, phobias, and anxiety can cause a dog to be quite aggressive, so it’s best to ask their owners about any tendencies or known triggers right at the start.
- Be aware of any changes in the dog’s behavior. If they came in quiet and wagging their tail and then all of a sudden starts to bark excessively and with their tail tucked, there’s probably something wrong. Other signs that a dog is feeling distressed or threatened are excessive panting, pacing, freezing of movement, ears pinned back, crouching, hair standing on their back, growling or showing their teeth, avoiding eye contact, yawning, lip licking, and wild eyes looking all around. Pretty much the dog version of what happens to a person who is anxious or feels threatened.
- Know how to reduce fear and anxiety when the dog is being groomed. Conduct the grooming in several short sessions, especially for young dogs and those that have a history of being mistreated. Always be very attentive and pay attention to the dog’s behavior even while you are focusing on the grooming. Stop grooming as soon as you notice any sign that might indicate fear or anxiety. Never be forceful even when, or especially when the dog growls. Remember that the growl is a very important sign of fear. And in most cases, this is the last sign just before a dog bites. So, when you sense fear or anxiety, give them a break. Even offer them a treat to let them know that you don’t mean any harm.
- Never leave the dogs unattended. Be it on the grooming table or just outside the kennel, make sure that dogs are restrained whenever they are not inside the kennel. And if you are going to groom them, prepare all the tools you need ahead of time and make sure that your tools are close by once you start grooming session.
- Stay focused while grooming. This means that you are not to answer your phone, read nor send any messages. Even having an unnecessary chat with a colleague should be avoided. The goal is for you to stay focused on the grooming while also being very attentive to make sure the dog is calm and relaxed.
- Be extra careful with the pet’s eyes. Use tearless shampoo around the face to avoid a burning sensation in the dog’s eyes. Treating its eyes with lubricating drops will also help.
- Always keep the electric dryer settings on low to avoid frightening the pet or burning its skin.
- Introduce the dogs to clippers slowly and cautiously. You don’t want to startle them, so be gentle and move steadily. Talk to the dog in a calm manner to let it know that you know what you’re doing and that you’re still there. Usually, it’s your calm voice that soothes them. Once they’re comfortable, go ahead and start clipping away from their faces.
- Wear the proper attire for grooming.
Wet and slippery floors can be dangerous and might cause you to slip or fall; this can cause injury to your pet and yourself. So, make sure you wear closed-toe shoes with non-slip soles.
Wearing a mask while clipping your pet’s hair prevents you from breathing in hair and dandruff.
Wear bite-proof gloves, long pants, and arm coverings to protect yourself from bites and scratches. The dog you’re grooming may be the most adorable in the world, but you’ll never know when something might come up and it feels so threatened that it starts to be aggressive. It’s always better to be prepared.
It is also worth mentioning that keeping the facility clean will help prevent diseases from spreading. Use cleaners that are designed to kill germs and bacteria from urine and feces. Dispose of trash regularly and properly. Pet grooming can be very fun and fulfilling. To stay away from accidents and untoward incidents, it is best to always keep these very important safety tips for the benefit of the dog groomers and pets alike. There’s no harm in aiming for a pleasant pet grooming experience 100% of the time!
Need help in making sure your pet-related business is covered for any liabilities mentioned above? Or maybe you would like to have your current policy audited for such coverages. Contact us and we will make sure you get a free insurance audit.