The music world recently lost Eddie Money and Ric Ocasek, two artists who didn’t truly receive the respect they deserved. With a blue-collar attitude, Money had a voice that was made for classic rock anthems, turning “Baby Hold On,” “Take Me Home Tonight” and “Two Tickets to Paradise” into hits in the 1970s and ’80s. With his black hair and lanky, nerdy appearance, Ocasek was a brilliant writer and vocalist who turned The Cars into an international phenomenon, thanks to such songs as “Shake It Up,” “My Best Friend’s Girl” and “You Might Think,” which display a sound that’s difficult to label. Although Ocasek and The Cars were inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2018, Money was never even nominated.
In a vaguely similar way, groomers—although acknowledged to be a vital part of the pet industry—are underrated members who deserve recognition for the work they do. While attending SuperZoo in August and Groom Expo last month, I continued to be fascinated by the level of artistry on display during the grooming competitions, from the intricate designs to the great attention to detail. Additional observations and discussions led me to realize that groomers are overlooked professionals who provide services that benefit a pet’s health and appearance. When pet owners drop off an animal, that’s when the groomer’s job of caring for the pet’s paws, coat and teeth takes place, acting as a sort of first alert to an animal’s potential health issue.
Many groomers at SuperZoo and Groom Expo expressed how the occupation is tough on them, both physically and mentally. The wear on the body from lifting, bending and holding themselves in awkward positions that can cause discomfort and often injury. Adding to the pressure are the extreme stress of a busy schedule and the responsibility of caring for a customer’s beloved pet.
Thankfully, today’s tools and equipment provide groomers with ergonomic equipment (shears, brushes and clippers), anti-fatigue mats and electric or hydraulic tables and tubs that can preserve a groomer’s health.
If you’re looking for strategies to help make a career in the pet industry be one that is rewarding, Pet Age’s Management section is a must-read. This month’s columns cover a wide range of topics, from the value of stocking pet-related products for humans to the need of creating a training manual for new employees.
This issue is packed with more than 30 new products that have recently hit the market, as well as profiles on Fidobiotics, the award-winning supplement company, and Peter Atkins, founder of the much-anticipated SquarePet line of dog food. And there’s plenty more informative content, including our special report on e-commerce and the role it can play for brick-and-mortar retailers. There’s not a moment to lose, so please jump in and enjoy!
Glenn A. Polyn