It feels good to make pets look good, even if you do inhale fur a little too often… Clients can see just how much you care about treating their animals with love and respect. But don’t forget – your health and safety are worth caring for, too. There are several risks and challenges to being a dog groomer, whether you work in a busy pet salon, small dog grooming studio, or mobile grooming van.
(If you haven’t heard about the danger of particulate matter yet, just keep reading… you’ll never look at #wetdogwednesday the same way.)
Follow these tips to protect yourself on the job and create a safe, healthy workspace worth coming back to:
Hearing Health for Dog Groomers
Even the calmest, smallest dog grooming businesses are full of noise. The constant noise from barking dogs, tub sprayers, force dryers, and clippers all add up. In fact, excessive noise has been identified as one of the biggest hazards for professional pet groomers.
It’s tempting to tune out daily noise and ignore the risks. Declines typically happen slowly, and you may not even realize that pet grooming has disrupted your hearing until it’s too late. Hearing loss is permanent, and emerging research suggests that it may increase the risk of dementia later in life.
Small changes and protective hearing habits make a big difference, so start today!
Pet Groomer Hearing Safety Tips
1. Audiologists consider anything over 85 decibels to be dangerously loud, especially with prolonged exposure. Upgrade your force and finishing dryers with quieter models, like:
Ultra-Quiet SmartCare Anionic Finishing Dryer (58 decibels)
Quiet Air Blaster Hurricane Dual Motor Force Dryer (78 decibels)
2. Turn down the intensity or put the dryer on standby mode to keep your pet salon quiet, whenever possible. Luckily, Shernbao USA pet dryers are quieter than most competitors, and they’re all designed with variable speed dials.
3. Wear hearing protection, like earplugs, earmuffs, or noise cancelling headphones. Many creative groomers prefer tactical earmuffs that were originally designed for shooting ranges.
Respiratory Pet Grooming Hazards
Particulate matter is less noticeable than noise, but it’s just as common in pet grooming salons. High moisture, contaminants, and stagnancy all combine to create a dangerous scenario – most commonly found in grooming vans and bathing rooms.
Flecks of pet hair, dander, skin cells, dirt, debris, and feces get trapped in humid air near grooming tubs and drying tables. These tiny particles hang suspended in the air until they blow away, dry out, or are sucked down into your lungs.
Even if you don’t know about particulate matter, you’ve likely heard of ‘Groomer’s Lung.’ Similar to ‘Smoker’s Lung,’ this condition can cause fatigue, chest tightness, cough, shortness of breath, and wheezing.
Dog Groomer Lung Health Tips
1. Wear a dust mask or well-fitted respirator to filter out harmful particles in the air and protect your lungs. Shernbao USA offers KN95 masks (non-medical) to help pet groomers breathe freely and feel more comfortable.
2. Ventilation and airflow also make a huge difference. If you’re working in a confined, small mobile grooming van, you might consider adding two roof hatches with fine mesh filters and fans – one that pushes fresh air in from the outside and another that pulls contaminated air away from your grooming table. Open doors and windows are a simple way to prevent air stagnation, too.
3. The high cost is prohibitive for many small pet grooming businesses, but you may still want to consider investing in an air filtration system.
Commercial-grade dehumidifiers are commonly used to control mold and mildew during water cleanup and restoration work, but new versions are also being released for pet groomers. Is your pet bathing room as moist, humid, and dangerous as the air in a flooded basement? Check the filter to find out.
Dog Groomer Spine Safety
Pet grooming is hard work, but it doesn’t have to be backbreaking. Lifting and lowering large breeds can put a lot of strain on your body, especially if it’s a common part of your workday.
The average golden retriever weighs 65 pounds – well over the 50-pound benchmark for high-risk lifts! (And that’s nothing compared to a great dane or komondor.)
How to Safely Lift a Heavy Dog
Trainers and physical therapists will advise you to maintain good posture, hold the weight close to your body, and avoid twisting or bending. When in doubt, ask a coworker for help. But how can you protect your back while holding a wiggly, overactive pet? And what if you’re alone while grooming a large dog that is too heavy to lift?
Electric tubs and grooming tables are specially designed to protect your back and support good posture. Any amount of stooping and bending can put unbalanced stress on your spine, even without a heavy pet in your arms. Instead, it’s best to set up a dynamic workstation that adjusts to the perfect height.
Ergonomic tables and tubs give you the flexibility to match your height and the size of each dog. The position of your pet grooming table will probably change during each appointment, so it’s important that the electronic foot controls are easy to access and adjust while you work.
Choose the Best Dog Grooming Tables
How tall should your dog grooming table be? It depends! The more flexibility you can get, the better.
The FT-808 Super Low, Low Electric Grooming Table is one of the lowest models on the market, reaching down to 8.5 inches off the floor. When fully compressed, the table is practically sitting on the ground, so pets of all sizes, ages, and mobility levels can step on by themselves.
Water-resistant foot pedals control a smooth lifting mechanism, and it’s incredibly quiet. At full height, the X-shaped electric grooming table feels super stable and stands 40 inches tall. The professional-grade pet grooming table also has an exceptional load capacity, holding to 265 pounds so that you don’t have to.
Invest in Yourself First
Taking care of yourself is the first step to an Insta-worthy groom. Feel more comfortable in your workspace and greet clients with a smile; breathe easier and take fewer sick days; maintain your focus and deliver better services; take pride in your work and prevent burnout. There are so many reasons to upgrade your pet grooming salon equipment and add safety measures into everyday routines.
Whether you’re a pet groomer or salon owner, we encourage you to take care of your health and wellbeing – you deserve it, and Shernbao USA has the gear to help you do it.