When Accidents Happen

Grooming Matters

By Daryl Conner

An obviously upset groomer recently contacted me via social media.  She had accidentally nicked a dog while grooming.  I have had similar experiences on more than one occasion during the past 30 years, and could well empathize with her.  I vividly remember the first time a dog I was grooming required medical care.  I worked for a veterinarian at the time, and as I was beating myself up about the accident, he looked at me calmly and said, “Groomers work with sharp tools on moving targets. Frankly, I’m surprised there are not more injuries than there are.”  Those words resonated with me. They made me feel better and I have never forgotten them.  Of course we are and should be very careful as we work, but the plain and simple fact of the matter is – accidents happen.

If you are a groomer reading this, and have never had the unfortunate experience of injuring a pet, congratulations!  But don’t feel too superior, because a “moving target” may fall victim to your sharp tools at any time.  If you have caused an irritation, abrasion or nick, then you well know that sick-to-the-stomach feeling that goes along with the experience.  That feeling? It is horrible.  But it means that you have a conscience and that you care about the animals in your charge. So feel it – be glad you are a good human – and know that in time it will ease up. Take the opportunity to review what caused the problem. Were you using an inappropriate tool for the job at hand?  Could you have done something differently to prevent the problem?  If so, make a note and learn from the experience.

So, what is the best way to proceed if an animal is injured while in your care?  Here are some guidelines:

Keep accurate records

In the event that an animal is injured, you will want to have an up to date phone number so you can reach the pet owner.  People sometimes change their numbers, so make a policy of asking every six months to one year if the contact information you have is accurate.  Or you can simply ask, each time they drop the pet off, “What is the best number to reach you today?” and jot it down. It is also good to have the name and number of their pet’s veterinarian on file.

Have a good first aid kit within reach

And know how to use it.  Pet Tech offers a wonderful course on animal first aid, and the Red Cross offers one as well.

Minor mishaps

Let’s say you are trying to scoop a mat out from under the dog’s front leg and your clipper nips that little pesky flap of skin that is tucked up there.  The pet barely notices, there is little blood, but there is a slice to the skin.  This is not life threatening, but does require medical treatment.  You need to decide if you are going to transport the pet or wait for the owner to do so.  It’s time to make that difficult phone call.

Watch your language

The words you choose and the tone you use are important.  Be professional, be calm, and be matter-of-fact.  If your voice is shaking because you are upset, hum a little before you call, this will relax your vocal cords.  Your conversation may go something like this, “Hi Mrs. Brown, this is Trina calling from Puppy Cuts.  Bonkers is fine but he did get a little nick under his leg where he was very matted. I’d feel better if he saw his vet.  Would you like to take him or would you prefer I do it?”  At some point you will want to apologize for the accident. Your apology should be heartfelt, but again, keep it professional.  Something like, “Thankfully, accidents are rare, but it always upsets me when they happen. I am very sorry it happened to Bonkers.”

Have a plan in place

When a more serious emergency happens, now is not the time to try to figure out a course of action.  Think ahead and write down the steps to take if you need to act.  A piece of paper with numbers for local veterinarians and a simple pre-planned outline is all you need. Put some thought into how you would like to proceed. Will you call the closest veterinarian or the pets own veterinarian?  If you work alone, write a legible note that you can affix to the door in case you need to leave your shop to take an animal for care.  It should have a simple explanation such as, “Due to an animal emergency, I have had to leave the building.
Please call me at: _________ for more information.” and include your cell phone number.  Keeping all of this in your first aid kit will help you remember where it is.

Now for the tricky part.  Who pays for that veterinary bill?

Grooming educator Debi Hilley says, “I have a rule. You have to return the dog in as good or better condition that you received it in. An accident may not have been your fault, but because the pet was in your care it was your responsibility.”  Let’s look at a couple of examples.  A young, untrained dog becomes agitated during the bath.  It flails and flips, snapping uncontrollably at the person bathing it and in general having a tantrum.  Due to its behavior, it injures its leg, and ends the groom with a limp.  The dog’s own behavior caused the injury, but since it was in your care, paying the veterinary bill is a show of good will.  A more obvious example is if you are scissoring along the edge of a Scottie’s ear and it flings its head when it hears a bug, just as you close the scissors.  A nick requiring a veterinary visit and a little glue ensues.  You were controlling the dog, and the scissors, it seems logical that you would pay the bill.

Now, what if you are a business owner and a groomer that you employ is responsible for an injury? It is illegal for you to withhold money from their pay to take care of the bill.  If they repeatedly injure dogs, cost you money, and perhaps damage the reputation of your business – it might be time to find a new groomer.

What about charging for the grooming?

If the injury is minor (e.g. a scrape, a nick that does not require medical care, or brush/clipper irritation) should you expect the owner to pay for the grooming?  This should be judged on a case by case basis, but if the groom was completed and the animal is basically fine, then in most cases I would expect the owner to compensate the groomer for the work done.  On the other hand, if you think the person is going to throw an epic fit and start an internet hate campaign, if you can mollify them with a free groom – that would make good business sense.  These are things to think about before you need to so you have an idea how you would like to proceed.

Release Forms

Many groomers have customers sign a release form when they first bring a pet in for grooming.  This can be a good way to establish expectations and open up communication.  However, it is a mistake for groomers to assume that if a customer has signed a release that they will be protected from a law suit.  Attorney David Knoll (Texas) said, “In general, enforceability of a release form can vary greatly from state to state, so I would recommend using a local lawyer to draft one. While having a client sign a release might discourage the client from suing if the pet suffers an injury, if the release does not provide an adequate description of the risks involved, the client could argue that she did not assume the risk because the risks weren’t clearly explained to her.”  He recommends that groomers can do further research on this topic by looking up “enforceability of releases” on the internet. You could also consider having a discussion with your insurance agent about release forms to see if they can offer advice.  Insurance companies have lawyers on staff and could be an excellent source of information.

The Best Policy 

We have all heard the old saying, “honesty is the best policy.”  If a pet is injured while you are grooming it, tell the owner.  Don’t let them go home and discover the dogs paw pad was snipped with scissors when the dog cavorts through the house bleeding on the antique oriental carpet. The discussions can be difficult, but it is important to have them.  Tell the truth and don’t place blame – act like the professional you are.  “Mr. Wiggles kicked his little foot when I was trimming the hair there and the edge of the scissor damaged his pad. It bled a little, but I applied first aid and he seems perfectly fine now.”  Show the customer what the injury looks like so they see that all is well.  Then if the dog goes home and causes further damage to the paw by running or licking, the customer knows just what the site looked like when they picked the dog up.  Taking pictures for your records can be a very good idea as well.  Make a note in the file about the incident and what was said to the owner so if there is problem down the road, you will be able to remember what was said and done.  Most pet owners are rational people who can deal with incidents in a mature way.  Of course, there are those that can’t, but that is a topic for an entirely different article.

None of us like it, but accidents happen. Be as careful as you can be but be prepared in case an emergency happens. Because being a prepared groomer matters.


  1. linda says:

    I took my two dogs to a groomer I had not used before. I said three time please do not shave my dogs anywhere. Upon picking them up I found they were shaved between their eyes down to their nose, the whole butt area under their tails and the whole belly section. That evening one dog kept licking the back paw. The next day she could not use that paw within 2 more days she developed a high fever and could not use the front paw on the same side of the body. I took the dog to the vet who said she had an infection but didn’t know how the dog got it. I believe something happened during grooming. I asked the groomer to reimburse me for the grooming of the dogs and pay the vet bill. She refused both. What can I do?

    • FREEDOM OF SPEECH! says:

      OMG REALLY Lady?!?! I “AM” a Professional Dog Groomer! And it’s People “LIKE YOU”, that MAKE “GOOD” Groomers “LIKE ME”, “NOT” even WANT to Groom ANYMORE! THE Groomer “DIDN’T” DO ANYTHING “WRONG”, to YOUR “OVER” Spoiled BRAT DOG’S!!!! GET OVER IT ALREADY, AND GET A LIFE AND, STOP HARASSING GROOMERS!!!!

      • Bonnie says:

        In response to this Groomer…You should use yout Grooming name so the owners of dogs…don’t go to you…Then you don’t have to worry about it…

      • - says:

        You need to think about what you say Mr”freedom of speech”, she had said she specially asked them not to cut in specific places they should have listened to her cause that’s what she was paying for, it’s in the GROOMERS fault that they did not do as they were being paid for and not informing her about the dogs paw, it’s not just a coincidence that the dog had been ‘hurt’ on the same day she took her dog to the groomers and if you don’t like your job then quit. And oh she’s harassing groomers but what are you doing huh? If you’re going to speak your mind then actually think about what is it your saying don’t talk about of your a**

      • Karen says:

        To speak to a client this way is atrocious! Something could have happened and it could be something that maybe you did but didn’t know you did it, but by your nasty attitude sounds more like you are trying to cover something up. First, if the client says to the groomer don’t shave my dog ANYWHERE, then don’t shave the dog anywhere. I get this request a lot and I don’t shave. And if you do shave and the dog is not used to being shave the skin could end up with clipper burn or a rash! Did you even think that you might have nicked the paw when you were trying to shave the pad (especially if using a #30). Maybe the pet had a grass allergy that caused allergic redness in the paw and it was easily irritated. How dare you get nasty with a client like this. Our clients are the ones who pay us and enable us to pay our bills. It is very easy to accidentally nick a paw or the ear flap if you have a dog moving around on the table. All it takes is one interruption or a sharp noise for a dog to flip is head around while you are trying to cut around the flap of the ear. Tell the person what happened and apologize for what happened. If he/she needs vet help offer to pay something toward the vet bill or pay the full vet bill. Just think if an accident happened to your pet, I am sure you would understand this can happen with a moving target and sharp scissors in your hands, but you would also be angered by the tone of the voice (you Mr. Freedom or another groomer) and the denial you are hearing about the pet. What a way to deal with a client!! Grow up!

      • Ron Walker says:

        Based on your obnoxious response you are clearly not a professional. She made a simple inquiry and you lash out with name calling and all caps. Childish is the word I would use, not professional

      • SUSAN L BINGHAM says:

        She said 3 times do not if groomer had only listened it could have all been avoided the groomer is working for the dogs owner this is a living breathing doggie we are talking about she’s not grooming a stuffed animal the poor baby got infection how would you like it if you went for a pedicure and some one cut the bottom of your foot and it got so infected you git a fever and couldn’t walk on it would you think the person who caused it when you told them don’t use the cutter use the file 3 times and they cut you what if this happened to you

      • XANDREWX says:

        How many Clients have you lost while you were Grooming peoples dog? How many bad reviews do you have in yelp if you have one? Do you know anything about customer service? Do you know the law when it comes to Dog Groomer Insurance? Do you even know how to run a business? Obviously you do not, by the way your talking and capitalizing every word in the sentence. Honestly, yes you have right to your Freedom of Speech, but it comes with a price. You will always have someone that disagrees and if you cant handle that, you need to go back to the kitchen.

      • Char says:

        Oh my. I hope you are not a groomer or a pet owner!

    • Patricia says:

      That’s too bad and hope ur dogs foot(paw)is better..I had the same experience and the groomer knew she did damage to my dogs both back feet and she told me she forgot to tell me and had to take small dog to the vet,And now she wont pay the vet bill as she said she didn’t do it,,I smell a law suit

    • Chrismnc says:

      As a groomer, everyone knows there are many situations that we have to shave dogs and shave them tight. Either this customer was uninformed or is now are neglecting to admit, but I’m assuming this dog was extremely matted.

    • ANN says:

      Small claims court. Look it up. Maybe a lawyer would help too, and get paid through whatever the groomer was sued for, so maybe it would cost you nothing.

  2. g says:

    My dog walked into the groomer. At some point something happened. She would not stand up.at all. I went to pick her up and she was flat on the floor. the groomer waited till I showed to get her to tell me they would have to carry her out to the waiting room. Went to the directy to the vet. The vet said something happened to make her not stand up. They thought some type of trauma happened to her back. She stayed at the vet for a few days wouldn’t walk at all. It was very apparent she was in serious pain. Medication xray bloodwork. Came back negative. Went to see the owner of the groomers hoping he would help pay the vet bill. He claimes nobody saw anything and they did nothing wrong. He said no he wasn’t responsible to pay anthing. Unreal. Any advice,?

    • FREEDOM OF SPEECH! says:

      THE Owner OR THE Groomer, are “NOT” Responsible HERE! IF YOUR Vet “CAN’T” Say for 100%, that THE Grooming Parlor IS at Fault, then there’s absolutely “NOTHING”, that YOU CAN DO!

    • ANN says:

      Find out of any cameras were used in the grooming facility. Maybe what happened got recorded. I personally would stay and wait during grooming. Because I have seen groomers who are rough with dogs. Its’ upsetting. All you can do is refuse to drop off your pet, and be there during the grooming. Don’t be afraid to speak up or ask questions, or end the grooming session if you don’t like what you observe.

  3. Jmackie says:

    Omg! The nerve of the owner! You should first call ur local newstation. Then attack him online. After ur story is on the news and in newspapers, sue him in small claims. Good luck. Don’t let them get away with this abuse. Good luck

    • Rob Calk says:


      I was surprised that your suggestion, concerning the pets “supposed” injury at the groomer, was to “attack them online”?

      Seriously!?!? How old are you?

    • james says:

      that is ridiculous, the dog was probably a nervous wreck going into the groomers and reacted in a certain way. Some dogs just love being groomed and others dont, even the best dogs that love being groomed can have a off day and go bananas at the regular groomers. I’ve seen this first hand. to think it was the groomers fault is a stupid statement to make. stop being so dramatic and stupid about your pet, you obviously dont know your pet very well. And to think the vet returned with negative results. its possible the dog may have tried to jump off the grooming table and banged its self and if that was the case you should have been made aware of it. dog groomers are working with live unpredictable animals working with sharp tools. think twice before coming to silly conclusions.

      • ANN says:

        Hey James….You sound like an overly defensive pet groomer or salon manager. That probably explains your attitude.

        I have personally witnessed groomers being rough with dogs. It wasn’t even my dog, but in one instance I was so mad I got up from my seat {I could see in to the groomer’s from inside a pet store} and started knocking on the window of the grooming salon to warn the groomer to ease up on the dog. And then I spoke with the manager.

    • james says:

      your an idiot

  4. Fred Preston says:

    I took my dog in for a grooming and the next morning her back legs had become paralyzed. What can I do? We took her to the vet and they are doing the best they can. But there seems to be no improvement.

    • FREEDOM OF SPEECH! says:

      There’s “NOTHING” that YOU can do! IF this WAS something that Happened, while “AT” the Groomers, then it “Would” of NOT been “ABLE” to Stand, when YOU got there to pick the Dog UP! There “ARE” A LOT of thing’s, that “CAN”, Cause that to Happen! That have “NOT ONE THING” to do WITH being Groomed!

      • Physical Therapist says:

        Freedom of Speech
        Just because the dog was able to stand at the groomer’s does not mean the injury did not occur there. An injury to the disc or spine (like a fall from the grooming table) often gets worse the next day due to swelling around the nerves (which would cause the paralysis).
        To the owner of the pet, I am so sorry for you and your pet. I hope your pup gets better!!

      • Lane says:

        You appear overly aggressive and mean toward those who have had a pet injured. Guilty conscious or just a dickweed?

      • Responsible says:

        You’re an obvious nutcase. I hope you get therapy for your obvious and outward problem.

  5. Christine says:

    I took my puppy to the vet for the first time today. While being groomed, she was cut and needed stitches. She’s in pain. What should I do?

  6. Stenson says:

    My brother’s dog just went to the groomer–Came back with her eye tightly shut–It’s the weekend — Damn groomer’s place is closed–They need to be really careful when they shave on dog’s faces–since they are “Trained” as dog groomers.. It IS the groomer’s fault to cause the dog this problem —
    Who knows what actually goes on behind closed doors–it really is worrysome — You just hope these groomers are dedicated and honest——and take responsibility for their actions—– I really hope his dog is ok—you wouldn’t want your eye /cornea abrased!! Hurts like hell AND can cause blindness sometimes–

    • Ann says:

      I had a similar experience with my groomer, but could not prove she caused the cut on my dog’s eye. I spent several hundred dollars at the vet to include medication. This last time the groomer showed me a small abrasion on my dog. She said, she may have hit a small bump with her brush, but treated it with an antibiotic ointment.

      A friend told me she had stopped using the groomer because she was unhappy with her services. While I am not always happy with her techniques, she does try and follow my directions. I am not certain if I will continue using her services.

    • Karen says:

      When you say trained groomers you need to look at their training and who trained them. Certificates don’t always mean anything. You go through a program and you get a Certificate. Same thing in other types of careers. Groomers need to mentor with another more experienced groomer. How are groomers trained and where? Even if they went to school they still have years to learn well how to handle animals and learn how to scissor appropriately, and learn dog behaviors. I don’t have a certificate but I was an apprentice when I was 17 years old and taught by a woman who a groomer herself, bred min pins and manchester terriers, showed her dogs, and made sure we went to various shows to see how grooming changes over a period of time so that we always had the knowledge that was needed. We used to butt heads all the time and one day I asked her why she took me back one time when I quit. She told me “you are a natural and will be one of the best.” I settled down after she told me that and I learned to do some awesome scissoring. I always wished that they would license dog groomers. I would not be afraid of taking the various tests needed such as confirmation, the veins and arteries, the various parts of the dog, the actual grooming process, etc. This is what we were taught. But as long as there are Petsmarts and Petcos out there, there will be no true certifications or licensing. And I have seen many dogs from both establishments that have not been combed through properly and then we get to do the dematting, patterns are set wrong, etc. I had one young girl I asked who told her to shave down the top of a schnauzers face and she told me this is what she was taught and this was the proper schnauzer clip. I finally pulled out the book and showed her what the schnauzer face should look like and then she was speechless. So you see at many of these places it is the “blind leading the blind.”

    • TK says:

      I am a professional groomer. I am very passionate with what i do! Did the groomer tell him about the eye or did he notice it?
      First of all they have to tell you if they have nicked, cut, or even cut their nails to short!
      This to me sounds like the groomer was just not paying attention. Grooming is a lot harder than it looks, but with that being said I have had some very awful dogs. If i feel they are going to get injured,especially around their face and eyes, I personally call their owners and explain the situation and inform them that for the pets safety I will not be using my scissors or clippers around their face or body . Groomers need to put pet safety and comfort-ability before vanity!

  7. injured says:

    I took my dog to the groomer. I got a call from the groomer who explained that while my dog was in the tub my pet sustained an injury and one of the nails/foot was damaged and I would need to take my dog to the vet. It was bleeding and my dog was limping so the groomer put on a bandage. I asked if I should bring the vet bill on the next business day and the groomer stated it would not be covered and that this injury could have happened any time (while walking on the sidewalk for example)… it just happened to happen while the dog was getting groomed. I was sick to my stomach and have not slept.

  8. Anonymous says:

    My dog recently went to a groomer who nicked his ear while grooming him, before they even handed my dog over the women who did it was noticeably upset and said that there had been an accident that was superficial but it looked worse than it was .. when i told them i wanted to see him they brought him out with what looked to be a chunk taken from his ear that was stuck together with a mixture of blood and some sort of off the shelf congealment to stop it bleeding .. it had been looked over by a vet who also agreed that it was superficial however that is not the point .. my dog in the eyes of the law is disgustingly looked at as simply my ‘property’ and not a living creature .. i am not so naive to believe that accidents don’t happen but following this incident everything was handled completely wrong and i seriously do not agree with the way both my dog and myself were treated in such a bypass way! as for you MR/MRS FREEDOM OF SPEECH it is people like you that make me sick! how dare you speak to somebody like that, pets are not just animals or property but they become members of family regardless of what you as as a human may think and to speak to someone asking for advice on what to do next with such disregard and sheer rudeness quite frankly makes me hope do NEVER groom again as if you hold your job in as such disregard as you do people just asking for a bit of advice then quite frankly in my eyes you are far from competent in what you do and should look for something you are more suited to that does not involve humans, animals or any other living creature!

  9. Bobo says:

    A week before my partner and I were due to go overseas for our first ever non-work-related holiday, our kitties went to get a groomed and our 17-month-old cat was cut. They said they had him checked out by their vet and that he would be fine. A few days later the wound was not looking great – I took him to our regular vet, who was horrified and said the wound was deep and nasty and that it would need stitches. Thankfully, the groomers covered the bill for this.

    Three days later we left for our holiday, leaving my younger brother to cat-sit for us. A week later the stitches were removed, and all seemed fine.

    Another three days later, our little boy went into heart failure and nearly lost his life. He managed to pull through ($5000 later) after 4-5 days in an oxygen text. He surprised the emergency clinic staff, as they said he wasn’t likely to survive. We were told this was separate to the grooming incident and that he probably just had heart disease. We were told he had a 50% chance of living another 12 months … he was also put on 5 different medications, almost all of which were to be taken twice daily for the rest of his life.

    Thankfully, we sought a second opinion with a specialist, and now, finally, almost three months later we have a better idea of what happened. He was most likely born with a malformed/displaced valve in his heart. Apparently this usually resolves itself in kittens. The specialist thinks it was likely resolving itself when the accident happened. The stress and trauma of the accident made his heart work harder and with the obstruction of the displaced valve made his heart swell and one of the walls became abnormally thick from all the working out it was doing. And then somehow, heart failure was the result.

    NOW he has gained back the 700g he lost in hospital, his heart is almost completely back to normal, his heart murmur (which only appeared when he had the heart failure) has mostly faded. We are in the middle of weaning him off his heart disease/failure meds, as the specialist says that has proven to be an incorrect diagnosis. In about a week, he will be on just one type of medication (half a tablet twice a day), and in roughly 6 months we can look at tapering that off as well, and he will be able to look forward to a long and happy (medication-free) life!

    We have decided not to chase the groomers for any compensation, though I have let them know in an email what happened. I’m curious to know though if anyone thinks that they should have contributed or covered all the vet bills from emergency? The specialist says there is no doubt that the grooming incident set off a chain of events that lead to the little guy’s near death.

    In any case, we are just relieved he seems set to make a full recovery! We almost can’t believe our good fortune!

    He was likely

  10. Mary says:

    I took my pet to the groomer this weekend. While being groomed she was cut and taken to the hospital for some stitches. Since, then my poor pet has been in so much pain and not eaten. I’m so upset on what happen but not only the groomers have not bother in calling to see how she is doing. What can I do about their wrong doing?

  11. Jan says:

    My dog comes back from the groomer with sores on the ends of his ears which later turn to large scabs. This has happened for the 3rd and last time. I am afraid to ask how this happens. Has anyone else had this happen to their dog?

    • Cortney says:

      I have seen a small number of dogs that will shake their heads hard, over and over, after having their head or ears shaved, or having the ear hair plucked-and it forces so much blood to the tips of the ears that they swell and then bleed-especially if they keep doing the shaking after the blood begins pooling. Its called aural hematoma. Ive seen it mostly in old english sheepdogs and schnauzers, but it can happen to any flappy eared breed.
      Some also scratch at the irritated ears that causes them to bleed.
      Certainly if it is both ears, I would suspect this to be the case.

    • Tsuzuki says:

      “Jan” with sores on the ears…

      I’ve had this happen in specific situations to dogs I’ve groomed. 90% of the time if I have to shave the ends of a dog’s ears off because of heavy matting everything is just fine. However, I do occasionally get a dog who’s ear flaps are more sensitive to the clipper and peeling off heavy matting with a shaver causes a form of razor burn. In the ears in particular, the dog can start shaking their head excessively- basically beating the ear leathers over their heads until blood vessels break inside. Its unfortunate and unpredictable in a dog you havn’t seen before and entirely impossible to avoid if the ears are extremely matted.

      Even if your dogs ears are not extremely matted, maybe talk to your groomer about it and see if they can avoid shaving the ears all the way to the tips. Also, if its applicable- don’t wait until your dogs ears become solid matts or this will just keep happening. If you have a breed whose ears are not hairy I really can’t say what is happening.

  12. Shirley Parsons says:

    I took my dog to a groomer in July the 16th / 2016 and told her that she would be fine!! Little did I know! The groomer called almost 2 hours later to tell me she had nipped her lip and she was bleeding!! I immediately went to get my dog who was in the kennel where he had her!! I saw blood dropping in the kennel from one side of her mouth! Took her and brought her to my vehicle only to notice there was blood all over my clothes and the dog was bleeding a lot!! I started up the car to head home and when I looked over at my dog her teeth were coming out and her tongue was gone to one side! I panicked and knew she was in trouble! Took her to emergency vet only to discovery her jaw was broken in 2 places and she needed surgery right away! I was shocked and even more shocked when the grooomer denied having anything to do with it!! Just finished in small claims court and have a date for trial on March 23!! Disguised

  13. Victoria says:

    Before you talk nasty about groomers put yourself in their shoes. It’s rare someone will hurt your pet intentionally. Accidents happen everyday. Sharp tools and jumping dogs are not a good mix. Most groomers are passionate about grooming because they love animals. If an accident happens it doesn’t mean they are untrained it means something happened such as the dog is thrashing around or possibly biting. Believe it or not let’s don’t like having mats brushed out it hurts and cuts off blood circulation. You should brush your animals and be kinder and reasonable. There’s no way all of you being rude have never made a mistake. We are all human beings and if you don’t like groomers or facilities that take care of your pets please do it yourself and you will see it’s no walk in the park. And trust me groomers do feel terrible for accidents and they feel terrible for the way you treat them. It’s not an easy job, for anyone… but we continue to work with pets because we are passionate about animals. Your negative attitude towards others will not make your life’s better just make you look silly and unkowlegable.

    • XANDREWX says:

      You would be surprised of how many groomers out there are not passionate and wants the money. I’ve seen this when I working at a Grooming Salon and left for that reason. I’ve seen and heard Groomers neglecting the dog whining and abused it physically because it wont sit still through a groom. If the groomer cant handle the dog during the groom, the groomer should tell the dog owner that they cant cut it.

  14. ANN says:

    FYI ….I’m a different “Ann” than the Ann who posted here in 2016. Just saying –

  15. Tsuzuki says:

    I’d like to address “Freedom of Speech’s” comment and the reactions to it.

    First, I feel for FOS because that is the thing every groomer falsely accused of hurting a dog they did not hurt feels in their head regardless of is they actually say it. I would say that seemed like an honest vent.

    According to the story, it sounds like the dogs received what I (a 21 year grooming veteran) do to almost every dog that comes in- a sanitary cut. Now, I have other reasons to disagree with people who want me to demat private parts and peri-anal areas, but that is entirely an aesthetic issue and has nothing whatsoever to do with a paw. Just because B follows A does not mean A caused B. This groomer was right to refuse to pay the bill because they were simply not responsible for this dog.
    Being accused of things that happen to dogs outside of grooming visits and having angry blaming customers pointing fingers at you and telling you there is something wrong with you if you don’t own up is an unfortunate side effect of pet grooming. It is hurtful, and it only fulfills some need within an aggrieved owner to be angry at someone.
    To the pet owners- As a dog owner, lover and professional it hurts my heart when bad things happen to anybodies beloved pets. And I can understand the need to just “know” someone should be at fault sometimes. However, if a pet groomer truly has no idea what happened to the dog it is probably not their fault. Personally, I know it would be difficult even if I am 100% at fault for a dog’s injury for them to successfully sue me in my state because they have to prove negligence and direct connection to the injury. However, if I did it, or the animal was injured in my shop it is my policy to pay the bill.
    On the other hand, I’ve had people accuse me of their dog’s deaths, which happened weeks after the grooming, on an animal that is aged and in poor grooming condition, weeks and even months after the visit, for such vague things as “general infection.” While I empathize with your pain I am not going to essentially plead guilty for killing a dog I had absolutely no hand in hurting simply because something happened in some proximity to an appointment with me.
    This puts me in a bad situation of having to say no to an irate owner hell bent on placing blame on anyone they think they can. As I said, its hurtful for all involved but I feel it is neither appropriate nor positive for me to “pay” for it just to make the customer feel vindication.

    Just my 2 cents.

  16. Kelly says:

    I took my dog to the groomers, when we exited the shop, his neck came right out of his collar* they never adjusted the collar for the new cut). Ive been going there for 20yrs. Had another Pet that they groomed. Anyway, My Dog ran out into the street and got hit. So far I’ve paid $2,000 . Still waiting on the results to see if he’s bleeding internally. His pelvis is fractured that’s a whole nother bill. Is my Groomer liable for not correctly putting my pets collar on??

    • XANDREWX says:

      Once you hand over your dog to the Groomer, it is their responsibility. But once they give you the dog back, it becomes your responsibility. If that makes sense to you. Just because the Groomer did not put the collar in right ,does not mean you cant double check what they did. So to answer your question, it was your responsibility to double check. It is like picking up your kid from school and totally forgot to put on their seat belt, assuming they did already did it.

  17. XANDREWX says:

    If a customer asks for a specific cut, than it should be given that specific cut. Thank about it! If you went to Salon Parlor and asked to have a trim and they ended up shaving your hair, how would you take it? (Especially if your a female) Second, once you hand over your dog to the dog groomers, boarding, or etc… the dog becomes their responsibility. Which includes getting hurt while grooming. That is why there is Pet Grooming Insurances. If the dog was fidgety or super nervous, it is the Groomers job to call the Owner that they are not able to continue the service, instead of forcing the groom. In this case, the fact that Linda did not get what she asked for and the dog was hurt during process is totally the Groomers Fault. Unless Linda reacted in a certain way that was not professional, there should be no reason why she cant be re-compensated.

  18. Kenneth Mcgill says:

    My bichon was groomed on Tuesday 19th I noticed under her eyes near the nose both sides looked a little red as if cut to close, 2 days on noticed she had red on her fur on top of head she has been scratching 1 side that was shaved to the point it’s blood on her fur it’s not massive about the size of a ten pence. Should I take her to vets my 1st dog so all new to me.

    • ANNE says:

      I’d talk to the manager of that place and also offer to sue them in small claims court if they refuse to pay any Vet bills, if there were any.

      Leave feedback online too, you can warn other pet owners about that place. I’ve seen too many careless and even rough groomers through windows at pet stores / Vets and I don;t even use groomers. If it were my pet, I’d stay if I could,and watch the grooming take place as well. At a new facility that is.

  19. Claire says:

    My poodle went to the groomer for a body clip/nail trim before Christmas. The groomer missed one of her dew claws which resulted in the nail growing over an inch long. We never noticed it because her fur is dense and black and the nail is also black. A few days ago the nail broke at the nail bed resulting in a $500 vet bill for sedation/nail removal/antibiotics. Is it ridiculous for me to hold my groomer responsible for failing to check over all her nails before returning her to me?

    • ANNE says:

      Claire – Sorry to hear that. Obviously a groomer who was in to speed and not quality of service. No excuse for that. Your poor dog,and all the stress that you went through.


  20. Suzette says:

    I groomed my Bedlington myself for the first time. The first one struggled a bit but all was fine. The second one, younger wasn’t too bad until I did her ears and I managed to nick them a couple of times. I am sitting here berating myself for not being more careful and almost put off from trying again! There was a fair bit of blood but I know that anywhere on the face/ears bleeds a lot so I took a tissue and squeezed the bleeding place and it has stopped but her fur is a bit bloody in the area. Just wondering how long before I try to wash the blood off. 24 hours?

    Seeing that even professsionals sometimes nick their dogs I feel a bit better now but my poor. Baby has red on two ears. I hate myself.

  21. Jackieb says:

    If you are not a groomer then please dont make judgement calls. As a groomer for over 10 years i have ran into a number of things. In a typical groom considering thw condition of the coat the sanitary area will be shaved. This makes it easier for the dog to use the bathroom without getting it stuck to them. Dogs have feelings and i wouldnt want my poop sticking to me. In this case the client asked not to shave her dog and in a groomers head that means the haircut. When owners are specific as to not shave the sani then thats when we dont. Most responsible owners know this. Also the paw pads have to be shave bcuz this is the safest way to clean the hair without injury. Their are 10 danger zones on a dog and a groomer is only allowed to use certain blades to get it done. Safety is the main thing we practice and to make sure your animal is stress free during the process. I love each and every one of my clients but things do happen. Always remember to brush your dog and get theor nails clipped regularly. This will prevent matting and the chance your dog has to be shaved. We cant brush through a matted to the skin dog the safest way is to shave.

  22. Peta says:

    Our dear little dog went to the groomers for a tidy up and next thing I get a call saying she was at the vet because they had cut the end of her tongue off. All bills paid etc but can I just say how very traumatic this was for all concerned. I realise that dogs move and lick unexpectedly but surely there are measures that should be taken to prevent tongue injury when trimming the face? We all feel sick at the thought of having her groomed again but she is a maltese shih tzu and needs regular grooming. Any advice?

  23. Sarah says:

    I’m really sorry this happened to you and your dog. Unfortunately accidents do happen, and tongues can be quite a tricky one. As a groomer I can tell you that there are measurements put into place but dogs toungues can be surprisingly strong, slippery and fast. If you’re wanting your dog groomed again perhaps look for another groomer if you don’t trust this one, if it’s been a while make sure to brush your dog so that the groom is as stress free next time it gets groomed.

    Wishing your dog a good health and a speedy recovery.


  24. Lorrie says:

    We had our Golden groomed on May 12th. When we dropped her off she was fine and happy go lucky. When we came back for her (one and half hours later), her right front leg was badly swollen and she would not put weight on it. The Groomer asked if she had done something to her leg. He acknowledged she was fine when we dropped her off. I immediately took her to our Vet…..I later asked the groomer again, are you sure that something did not happen there…he fessed up and said she “wiped out” in the tub, Vet did x-rays, no leg fracture, initial conclusion ligament strain. 9 weeks later still lame, in pain and x-rays again showing bone fragments, referral to an orthopedic specialist. Diagnosis, ligaments in the right ankle are torn away from the bone resulting from injury. No ligament repairs can be done, rather full fusion…..That is a 7K procedure. I don’t feel I should be responsible for full costs because the injury happened in the groomers care. She was whole and uninjured when we brought her in. I’m not whining just saying, my dog will now have a permanent alteration in her gait and not to say the pain she has been in….I think our groomer should share the cost of this surgery.

  25. Shawna says:

    I am trying to start a new business and nicked a flank on a Shitzu mix. The dog did not bleed one drop. I know this cause I pinched the cut with a paper towel immediately after it happened. I live in a rural area so word of mouth is huge for any new business. I told the lady before she left and she did not even look at her dog prior to leaving. She is now posting on her private facebook page pictures of a wound supposedly inflicted by me. She admitted to me while she was here that she has a money who is constantly pulling at the dog’s hide. She has already cost me one customer. How do I battle this bad publicity and save my business? Anyone that knows me knows that I would never hurt an animal on purpose. I DID NOT even try to hide it from her.

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