PERFORM FREQUENT SAFETY AND WELLNESS CHECKS
The key to keeping a safe grooming business is to perform daily safety checks. Safety
should always be at the top of your list—not something you look over at the end of each
week. With pets in and out of your shop, you need to make sure each client is going to have
a healthful and happy experience.
To ensure pet safety throughout your shop and prevent a mishap from occurring, you
(or your colleagues) should check for the following:
• Ensure grooming stations are being cleaned and vaccummed between each pet.
• Make sure pets are never left unattended—on tables or in tubs.
• Pets should be properly restrained and handled (no tight leads, no pets on tables without
a lead and no pets tied to tables, and check that the table arm is being used properly).
• In the bathing areas, cleanliness must be maintained, and water shouldn’t pool on
DON’T FORGET EQUIPMENT CHECKS
No matter what business you’re in, frequently used equipment can easily become worn
out, outdated or unsafe. In the grooming industry, it’s your job to maintain the safety of the
equipment that is used daily on your clients’ pets. This includes:
• Keeping up with the maintenance of clippers. Clippers are a crucial tool and need to be
kept clean and safe, from changing blade drives and oiling gears to servicing/repairing
them if needed. At our Puff & Fluff locations, we make sure our clippers are sharpened at
least once quarterly. ;;
• All other products, tools and equipment used in the performance of the work must be
maintained in good working condition and used in a safe, professional manner.
• Grooming and drying tables should be safe, sturdy and in good operating condition. A
wobbly leg can lead to a potentially dangerous situation—don’t let it get to that point.
• Grooming arms, by which the pet is restrained, should always be pet-friendly and secure. ;;;;;
KEEP UP WITH YOUR KENNELS
When you perform frequent equipment checks, your clients’ pets will always be in good
hands. Whether you set a daily alarm, mark them on your calendar or use another method,
don’t let safety checks slip through the cracks. Also, know when it’s time to replace or
upgrade equipment—no customer wants to see their precious pet being groomed with rusty
clippers or in grimy-looking sinks.
All kennels must be cleaned between each dog. This is a huge priority at Puff & Fluff, and it
should be for your business, too. Dogs can spread germs to each other just as humans can. To
avoid that, all kennels and kennel trays should be cleaned daily. Always keep an eye on pets
that are in the kennels—some can get rather anxious, and it’s your job to make them feel safe.
BE SURE TO HANDLE WITH CARE
Handling pets safely is one of the most important elements of grooming. Here are some
crucial tips to keep in mind:
• Continuous, gentle and secure restraint should be on your mind at all times, especially
when a pet is on the grooming table. The grooming arm should have a loop with a quick
release in case you need to disconnect the pet quickly. The loop should hang straight
when the pet is being restrained but should not be tight.
• Remember to always remain calm during the grooming process. Pets can certainly pick
up on our emotions, and they’ll know if you’re nervous or anxious. Use simple, common
and direct pet commands such as, sit, stay, no and OK.
• Did you know dogs have a pressure point in the center of their forehead, in between the
eyes? By applying light pressure to this point with a slight front-to-back movement, you
can release their “happy hormones,” which can help to keep them calm.
There are many factors that go into keeping a safe grooming shop. Here are some final tips
to keep in mind:
• There should be a nonslip surface on the floor by each tub for groomers as well as a
nonslip mat in each tub for the pets. ;
• The water temperature should be set at an appropriate level for all pets.
• Fresh cleaning products and equipment should be made readily available to all personnel.
• If you give water to a pet, be sure to use a clean bowl, and do not leave the bowl in the
kennel with the pet.
From one groomer to another, I know how challenging this business can be, but it’s
equally rewarding. By maintaining a safe environment for your pets and colleagues, your
grooming business will surely earn the trust it deserves.
Liz Illg is the owner of Puff & Fluff Grooming and Pet Sitting, which
has four locations in the Phoenix area. She received her bachelor’s in
business from Arizona State University and her master’s in education
from Northern Arizona University. Her education and passion for animals
turned her college pet-sitting days into full-time business ownership.
Illg has hosted events and raffles to benefit local pet rescues by
partnering with other pet businesses in the community. She has also
been featured on several local media outlets to share her love and
knowledge about caring for pets.
In Safe Hands
Salon safety should be top of mind for
professional pet groomers.
BY LIZ ILLG
As a professional groomer, your goal is always to make your clients’ pets feel and look good; however, keeping pets safe in the process should be a top priority. While some pets don’t mind a nice
haircut and shampoo, others will do everything they can to get away.
Scrambling with Fido mid-cut with scissors in hand can put professional
groomers in a tricky situation. Below are helpful safety tips that I’ve picked
up along the way in my grooming business, Puff & Fluff Grooming & Pet
Sitting, which has four locations in the Phoenix area. T O
Keeping pets safe in a professional
grooming salon should be the top
priority for groomers.