By Jennifer Higgins
It’s easy to get lost in the whirlwind of new and improved pet care products, services and equipment when deciding what is hot and what’s not in the pet care industry. However, there is something important and necessary they all have in common: safety. If a product, service or piece of equipment is not safe to be used for/on a pet, it stands very little chance of making it to the stores or grooming salons.
Beware of Bites
When it comes to keeping humans safe around dogs, keeping dogs safe from consuming foreign objects or challenging their impulse control these days, one of the most oft used safety tools is the muzzle. However, muzzles often get a bad rap. For some, negative reviews may be hard to explain away. For others, though, the proof is in the pudding, and the stigma can quickly be erased.
One such muzzle is the Baskerville Ultra Muzzle by The Company of Animals.
“Unlike traditional muzzles, the Baskerville Ultra is uniquely designed to allow dogs to eat, drink, pant and play while wearing their muzzle,” said Bianca Rossi, head of Marketing, Americas.
One of the most innovative features of the Baskerville Ultra Muzzle is that it “can be molded to match each dog’s unique profile,” according to Rossi. “Made from durable yet malleable TPR, it can be submerged in hot water and shaped to provide optimal comfort and fit for your dog’s face and nose.
“We encourage our [retail] partners to allow customers to try our muzzles on their dogs while they shop, and we even provide a free training guide inside every package of our Baskerville Ultra Muzzles,” Rossi continued. “As with most training routines, the more you positively reward your dog for wearing the muzzle, the more they will want to use it.”
Essentially, instead of using the muzzle only for vet and grooming visits, pet parents should make wearing the muzzle a positive experience for their dog, having them wear it during random points throughout the day or week and pairing the muzzle, as it is worn, with lots of yummy treats.
No Joke, Don’t Choke!
Though it may seem that many safety products are geared toward animal restraint to keep humans safe, these products also exist to keep pets safe. Groomers Helper created the “NO CHOKE” Control/Slip lead for exactly this purpose: to keep pets safe during the grooming process.
“The Groomers Helper ‘NO-CHOKE’ Control/Slip Lead prevents the ‘choking’ of pets by using the same proven principals of the patented Groomers Helper Grooming Loop, with an emergency quick release buckle incorporated as an added safety feature,” said Ed Berger, CEO of Groomers Helper.
Berger reminds buyers that “Groomers Helpers’ company mission is to provide a safer and more efficient salon environment for both pets and groomers. The “NO-CHOKE” Control/Slip Lead fits perfectly into their ‘Do No Harm’ philosophy while upgrading a critical every-day-use item for most grooming operations.”
Need a Lift?
Those who consider grooming an art might agree that a groomer’s table is akin to a potter’s wheel or a painter’s easel. One of the differences here, though, is that a potter or painter is performing their craft on or with an inanimate object, whereas a groomer is working on something alive—something that moves on its own and can easily become injured. Therefore, it is very important that grooming tables are put to the safety test.
PetLift is safety-minded when it comes to developing and improving its grooming tubs and tables.
“Petlift has always made the safety and convenience of the groomer our top priority,” said Nate Ditchfield, general manager of PetLift. “Our Aquaquest tubs include a telescoping ramp and sliding door that can be operated/used with one hand, allowing the groomer to always have their other hand free.
“PetLift’s Masterlift hydraulic and electric table are outfitted with pinch guards, foot plates and features that prevent possible injuries for the groomer and their clients… and all of our stainless-steel products are made with rounded cove molding, polished edges and are meticulously crafted to ensure safety,” he added.
In July 2018, PetLift introduced its new drying table (also stainless steel) that is designed specifically to ensure safe drying for both groomer and dog.
For older pets, or those not so sure-footed atop a grooming table, there are pads and cushions that can be added for better footing and overall comfort.
PawMat, owned and operated by Chanel Hardin, manufactures such a product. Currently in production are anti-fatigue, anti-slip mats for pet service professionals and the canines they serve.
“PawMats provide a safe, non-slip surface that is both comfortable and functional,” Hardin said.
PawMats help to stop dogs from slipping in tubs, on tables or in kennels, preventing injuries to legs and backs. Both PVC- and latex-free, PawMats are bacteria resistant, so there is no need for harsh chemicals. They are non-toxic and safe for pets, are easily sanitized with soap and water, and are eco-friendly as well as biodegradable. Furthermore, PawMats are versatile because they can be used just about anywhere.
Pet nails can be a challenge to maintain and present one of the more obvious areas where injuries can occur. The Zen Clipper nail clipper can reduce the potential for injury during nail management with its user-friendly and smart design.
“Zen Clipper is designed entirely around the idea that prior to its introduction, there was no nail trimming tool that prevented the user from clipping too much of the nail and injuring the quick (blood supply),” said Joseph Ek, Zen Clipper’s operations manager. “Zen Clipper is the only nail clipper with a conical blade that physically stops the nail from going too deep into the cutting area.”
The pet owner uses the sizing card to determine which size Zen Clipper best fits their pet. Even after measures have been taken to prevent injuries and/or other health issues, accidents and missteps can still happen. For these times, there are products that can promote quick healing or minimize the damage.
Steve Rosenfeld, from F.C. Sturtevant Company and representing Sturtevant’s Veterinary Remedies, describes Columbia’s Canine Antiseptic Powder as an “effective multipurpose antiseptic powder specially formulated to promote the healing of damaged tissue. Its broad spectrum, non-irritating formula kills harmful bacteria and creates a dry, clean surface enabling healing to take place.”
Rosenfeld also reports that the canine formula powder “is a safe alternative to products that contain dangerous chemicals.” All Sturtevant products, including this powder, also use natural ingredients and do not contain any steroids or antibiotics.