Dog grooming has incurred a challenged reputation recently, but many dedicated new businesses are thriving in spite of a cautious public. In a recent story from Kamloops, BC, one young professionally-trained groomer opened her new business in the same facility where a previous grooming salon had been shut down over a lawsuit against the owner. The previous groomer had been charged with two counts of causing unnecessary pain or suffering to an animal. Realising that many would-be customers would perhaps mistake her business for the former one, the new groomer knew she would need to win the trust of wary pet owners. (1)
What Makes Dog Grooming A Risky Business
Unfortunately, grooming accidents and death happen more often than people imagine. The pet grooming profession is unlicensed, which means that anyone can hang up their sign and call themselves a groomer – even without the proper training or certification. With so many incidents of malpractice, groomers who back their professionalism with specialty insurance can win the trust of their clients.
But even the best groomers in the industry are dealing with some level of risk, because every dog is different. Each one brings their own individual temperaments, health conditions, grooming requirements, and history (both good and bad) with previous groomers. It takes time for a pooch to become accustomed to his or her groomer and get into a routine.
A good groomer is an extremely patient professional, who will focus on making sure their furry client is as comfortable as possible. But even then, there is always the risk of a mishap occurring despite the groomer’s best efforts.
Professionalism Can Make All The Difference
The most common reason a pet groomer will get sued is for cuts and injuries to the dog. This includes not just cuts from scissors but also injuries from hair dryers, especially cage dryers, and muzzles.
Although groomers are not required to be licenced, there are a few ways to determine whether a grooming salon is professional and reputable.
● Check to see whether the groomer is a graduate of a training program and a member of any trade organizations (e.g. the National Dog Groomers Association)
● Check their level of experience working with animals. Groomers with many years of experience will be more confident in their skills, will know their limitations, and should be more comfortable with animal behaviour than those who have less experience. In addition, any reputable grooming salon should have at least one veteran groomer on staff.
● Check references from past clients.
● Ask if any animals have been injured or died in the salon’s care. Also check the business’ online reviews to see if any incidents have been reported there. (2)
Professional Liability for Dog Groomers
Specialized insurance is an important step for groomers who wish to assure pet owners that safety, professionalism, and accountability are of the utmost importance in their industry.
South Western Group is engaged in the dog grooming industry and committed to creating the right coverage for this unique market.
We make it easy to get a customized, cost-effective SWG insurance policy that does a complete job of covering grooming businesses with combined E&O and CGL.
Visit our website for more information.
Content is current as of the date of broadcast and is subject to change without notice.