Customer Service

Stop the Heated Dryer Madness!

I get emails from people around the country quite often about their pets who have been injured, and I always try to assist them in whatever way I can. Sometimes it is a simple accident, like a quicked nail, or a small irritation and I can calm them down and help them feel like it was really not a big deal and they are happy when they fully understand the problem. 

Then there are the rare exceptions, thank goodness, that contact me because of a major, horrific accident, like I detailed in Chloe’s story .

One such person is Bailey’s mom.

I have reprinted her first email to me with her permission and her name withheld. She did give me approval to list her area of Canada. I was shocked to say the least and wanted to share this with all of you and maybe help educate someone in the dangers of heated dryers and in what to do if you suspect a burn. Bailey, below, was burned at the grooming shop by a heated cage dryer 2 weeks ago. She is still dealing with major medical complications. Here is her Mom's email. 

 Oh My Debi,

 I just was fwd'ed your story about poor Chloe's story at the groomer.  We have just experienced almost the same incident here in Prince George, BC , Canada.

 Our dog Bailey, a coc-a-poo, went to the groomers on Aug 24, 2010 when I picked her up at 2:15, the groomer told me that there was a little incident and that she got a small burn....when I looked at her stomach, the whole belly area and the inside of her legs were black and purple. The groomer stated that the dog had a poop in the kennel and as such was sitting at the front of the kennel, obviously too close to the dryer and got burned. The groomer stated that she was in the kennel for about 15 minutes and was alerted to her situation when Bailey was panting really hard. 

 When I picked her up, I noticed that her burn was already oozing in a couple of places, and luckily I proceeded directly to our vet, where she was put on antibiotics and a few days later on pain medication as well. She has not had to be hospitalized up to this point, but we as a family are providing a lot of care for her and really having to work at making sure she is fed and hydrated, as her drive to eat and drink is not there.

 I am attaching a few pictures. Do you know if there are Canadian journals, magazines etc that I can get in touch with to share my story so the word gets out there? Here in BC there does not seem to be any regulations around grooming facilities. I just do not want this to happen to another dog. The groomer that we dealt with refuses to look at the pictures, we have offered a few times and she has declined. She is not wanting to take responsibility and learn from this unfortunate incident. We are very, very upset with the situation and how the groomer is handling it.


(name removed)

Prince George, BC Canada

 I find it absolutely repugnant that a groomer who KNEW the dog was injured failed to seek medical attention for that dog. I really find it horrible that the dryer industry continuously ignores the problem and continues to make dryer that get hot enough to cause this damage. Follow up emails have stated the groomer will not look at the photos and admits no fault in the case. 

Remember the quote from above that reads: "The groomer stated that the dog had a poop in the kennel and as such was sitting at the front of the kennel, obviously too close to the dryer and got burned. The groomer stated that she was in the kennel for about 15 minutes and was alerted to her situation when Bailey was panting really hard". If the dog was indeed left with feces in the kennel it was not acceptable. If you have a dog have an accident clean it up! If the dog was indeed in the kennel for only 15 minutes then that dryer must have been extremely close and extremely HOT to do that kind of damage. 

If this happens in your shop, you are obligated to seek medical attention and to pay medical bills regarding the situation. PERIOD. If you are using heated dryers hanging on kennels, you need to be extremely careful in how hot they are, how long you leave them in place and what type of cage bottoms you have. I have said it before and it bears repeating. NEVER use them on metal pans!  Never use them in covered or solid sided cages, and never use them on high. Those things help make them safer. They are not, however, safe 100% in any case. there are several articles in this blog that discuss how to use them safely.

 Here are the pictures I have so far.



the picture above was taken immediately after she got home, and immediately after seeing the vet.

Immediatley after vet visit


Bailey 3

Bailey 6

In my opinion, this groomer is negligent and should be dealt with accordingly, if for no other reason that she failed to seek immediate medical attention for a condition that was noticeable at pick up. 

I feel the dryer companies are negligent in that they continue to make dryers capable of this type of injury despite numerous burns occuring every year.

We have to do something to stop this madness! Banning cage dryers is not an option nor do I think it is a good idea, but I do think that dryers with safety switches, mandatory ten minute timers, and heat regulators that prevent them from putting out that much heat in the first place are all valid ideas that the industry has so far ignored. 

How many more dogs have to suffer like Chloe and Bailey before this stops? Please do your part and make sure that IF you are using a heated cage dryer make sure you understand how it works and be safe about it! In my opinion, a cage dryer should have no heating element. I know not everyone agrees with me, but there is truly no reason for using a heated dryer on a dog in a cage. This is one of the things lacking in our industry. Safety controls on the manufacture of our equipment! Add to that we lack EDUCATION on how to use the equipment safely and correctly.

Until groomers start accepting responsibility for accidents and using equipment safely and in a way that makes sense, these types of accidents will continue to happen. Sadly there is no way to explain to a parent or a pet that is injured or one that has died as a result of groomer negligence, that nothing is being done to stop it from happening again. I am doing everything I can to spread the word. PLEASE spread the word yourself to everyone you know.


Comfort in crates


I am lucky that I sew. That means I can make things that no one sells or that are cost prohibitive to buy. One of those things I make for my shop is memory foam crate pads. They keep the dogs comfortable and happy, and happy dogs are quiet dogs. 

You can buy crate pads pre-made, but they are pricey! By making them myself I can get exactly the size I need so that they fit my crates perfectly! 

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I figured out a few years ago that I can use a mattress pad and make waterproof covers for them, followed with pillowcase type covers and have comfy beds for my guests. You can use new ones or if you are replacing one (they wear out after a year or so usually) then use the old one to make dog beds with.

I started making them just for home, out of a mattress pad we were replacing since it had sort of come to an end of its usefulness in my bed. It wasn't supporting my body any longer but it did great for the dogs and that was a way of reusing an item rather than disposing of it in the landfill. 

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I use en electric knife to cut the foam if its more than 2 inches thick, and a rotary cutter if its less than that. I measure the size I want, mark it with a sharpie and cut to size.

Then I take the waterproof fabric (I get mine on Ebay) and lay it out on my table. Place the foam pad on top of it and cut a piece of fabric the size of the pad plus the depth. With a 4 inch thick pad you would want the width plus 4 inches. You need two of these pieces of fabric. I put a zipper in the shortest end and then sew the two pieces together. You can always make a slipcover like a pillowcase sham if you like, but I prefer zippers. If you cannot find waterproof fabric you can also use shower curtains. Those are a little  heavier and more noisy but they work great.


The covers that go over this fabric are either flannel or fleece. I use fleece blankets as well sometimes to make covers out of. You can make them the same way as the waterproof cover using a zipper or you can cut one piece of fabric about 6-8 inches longer, and make a "pocket" to keep the pillow inside. You do that by folding the end down and then sewing the sides, hemming the edge if needed.


We change the top covers between each dog and if an "accident" occurs the waterpoof pad makes it easy to clean up. They can be sprayed and wiped off with regular spray cleaners or they can washed and hung to dry. The foam RARELY needs washing. It does not wash well in the washing machine if its more than about an inch thick, but if a leak happens and the pad gets wet you can always put it in the tub, work some soapy water into it and wring it out really well, lay on top of cage to dry. 

I am a stickler and want the covers to all match so I have two complete  sets of covers that fit my cage banks and play pens out in the front room. I have two or three "extras" in case of accidents. I do holiday themed ones as well just to be fancy. 

The older dogs get the thicker, cushier beds. They seem to enjoy the pads and usually sleep most of the time they are here. 

I have several beds like these at my house as well. My dogs love them!