PetAge_Cover_NOV14
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Preventing Common Grooming Accidents

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It’s time to take a bite out of a largely preventable professional industry problem.

“I recently attended a trade show where an owner of a grooming school suffered a dog bite to her face that required 52 stitches,” Chuck Simons, inventor of Groomers Helper, the world’s most used pet safety and positioning system, said. “Accident? Yes. Unpredictable? Yes. Preventable? Absolutely.”

Simons and his wife, Beth, own and operate The Pet Salon in Margate, N.J., and he has been studying groomer safety for over 30 years. He has extensive knowledge about the challenges that working with moving animals and sharp instruments entails.

“I believe that safety in the grooming shop starts with the proper handling of client’s pets,” he said. “How many experienced groomers have been bitten by dogs that they thought were not biters?  Dogs that had been groomed in their shops since puppies, pets that they felt were not capable of aggressive behavior, animals that they felt they had created a bond with?

“Therein lies the first rule of grooming safely.  The pet should always be hooked up to a pet safety and positioning system.  This was the impetus behind inventing the Groomers Helper, the pet safety belt of the grooming industry.”

The Groomers Helper is a tool that inspires groomers to tell Simons, “I cannot groom without it.”

So How Does It Work?

“To maximize the safest grooming experience, every dog should be restricted to their smallest footprint,” he explained. “By using a pet safety and positioning system, you prevent getting bitten by the dog you least expect to bite you when you least expect it to happen. Just like auto accidents, most of them you just don’t see coming.”

Securing the Pet

Keeping pets safely restrained not only prevents bites to groomers, but keeps the pet secure while they are on the grooming table by minimizing falling accidents as well as restricting unpredictable movements, which can cause pets to be injured by grooming tools.

The tool does more than keep animals and humans safe; it allows groomers to increase their productivity.

“The Groomers Helper is not just for bad dogs,” Simons said. “Groomers can groom two to three more good dogs per day just by using this system.”

The time saved when pets are prevented from sitting, spinning, wiggling and dropping their heads really adds up.

“I find the tool can be absolutely invaluable,” Mary Oquendo, one of 11 certified master Pet Tech instructors worldwide, said. “There are dogs I cannot groom without it.”

Simons has strong feelings about protecting pet stylists from injury. He travels to grooming industry trade shows across the world, and has befriended thousands of groomers in his work as an industry educator.

He wants to keep those friends safe as they go about their daily work.

“A recent study showed that an average cost of a dog bite-related hospital stay was $18,200, approximately 50 percent higher than the average injury-related hospital stay,” he said. “And to make matters worse, a bite can cause a groomer to miss weeks of work or even prevent them from continuing in their profession.”

Bob Thompson, principal, Governor Insurance Agency, Inc. is an expert when it comes to insuring pet related businesses.  He shares Simons’ concern for groomers.

“Every claim of injury to a groomer or pet that has come across my desk could have been prevented by using a Groomers Helper,” Thompson said.

According to Simons, 35,000 Groomers Helpers have been sold, and both Petco and PetSmart have installed the system on every grooming table in every salon across the country.

“Over 100 million grooms have been performed without a report of injury to pet or groomer using my system,” he said.

Simons believes that using the Groomers Helper allows even novice stylists to feel more confident.

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