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Vet Recommends Not Using Groomers That Use Cage Dryers Unless They Will Hand Dry

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  • Vet Recommends Not Using Groomers That Use Cage Dryers Unless They Will Hand Dry

    Dear Dr. Lisa,

    I get my doodle groomed religiously and I have always used the same groomer at (a large specialty pet retailer). I have to admit I am so scared now with all I have been reading about all the dogs that have died at (these stores) across the country. What do you make of this ? Should I change groomers ?

    Concerned Mommy

    Dear Concerned Mommy,

    Many people have asked me this question since the news released the story about poor Scruffles. I am sure the retail chain is taking a hard look at their policies and procedures to remedy this situation.

    Let’s talk about grooming in general. Groomers have a tough job for several reasons:


    They work alone with an animal on a table

    Many dogs don’t like to be washed, have their ears cleaned, nails trimmed, anal glands expressed, or be dried with a blower.

    It’s a physical and frustrating job. Imagine eight hours plus of grooming.

    I think with any groomer you choose to work with you should ask some questions and do some research.


    Look at the reviews — are people and pets happy with the groomer ?

    Is the groomer open to you watching him work with your pet ... through a window, from a distance, etc. Many pets do better without their parents around but in general they shouldn’t be opposed to you watching a few minutes of the process

    Do they hand dry or use a cage dryer? Cage dryers are very unsafe. I would highly recommend not using a groomer who cage dries or you should request that your pet get hand dried. You may pay more money for this but it is worth the few extra bucks.

    Can you pick your pet up within a few hours of the drop-off? I would recommend a groomer who handles your pet promptly so that the pet has less stress and interaction with other pets.

    The other thing I think all owners should know is that most groomers are exceptional at handling pets. Groomers should educate owners that their groom is pet dependent, meaning that if the pet is upset or having problems (increased respiratory effort, difficulty standing, etc.), the groomer should be able to stop the groom. Many groomers are pressured to get the job done because they are paid to do so. I can’t imagine forcing anyone through a one- to three-hour procedure they are uncomfortable with.

    Work with a groomer who knows your pet’s limitations. If the groom is a positive experience, then the pet will look forward to being groomed. Groomers should educate owners that if the pet becomes too stressed, the groom should end and commence on another day. Likewise, if a groomer needs to finish the groom on a separate day for the pet’s safety, owners need to be thankful for such an astute and compassionate groomer.


    If your doodle enjoys being groomed and has a good relationship with the groomer you are currently using I would recommend staying with that groomer if he hand dries the pet.

    Thank you for asking such a relevant question. I’m sure it will help many people who have the same concerns.

    Dr. Lisa Aumiller has been practicing veterinary medicine for 16 years. Her practice, HousePaws Mobile Veterinary Service, includes dogs and cats with special interests including pocket pets.
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