Salon Management

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.


Shoe Bottoms can spread hair and more

Something strange happened to me today at work and I wanted to share it with you because it’s something that might affect all of you at some point in time.



One of my groomers was wearing a pair of sneakers that were brand-new, and I noticed that they were collecting hair on the bottom so bad that it was tracking through the entire shop when he would walk from one room to the other. Apparently he had worn them a couple of times this week and I just hadn’t noticed. In fact now a comment that the AG Department inspector made when he came to inspect makes a lot of sense to me; “There is hair everywhere in the shop!”

It turns out they had felt built into the bottom of them. Yes, they had a rubber soul like you would expect but there was felt in the middle of the footpad and even on the heel.


I’m not some experience with issues from before because my daughter has bought some flat shoes at Payless before that had them, so I know how much hair they collect as she used to work the front desk for me. What I didn’t realize until today is how dangerous they can be!

My groomer was sliding everywhere. He would clean off the bottom of the shoes take two steps and have the bottoms covered again. He actually said  “I think I’m going to break my neck in these!” So I decided that a blog entry on what to look for in the soles of the shoe before buying it was a really good idea.

What I learned actually makes me very glad I am doing this article. Not only are they slippery and dangerous to walk in, they are actually banned in several states on fishing boots and water waders. Who would’ve ever thought that that felt on the bottom of the shoes would be a health hazard?


Felt bottom shoes have become popular with fishermen because they help grip better on slippery surfaces when they are wet. The problem is the felt never seems to dry out completely and it can transfer bacteria and fungi from one location to another. That is dangerous to the environment because it transfers illnesses that are isolated in one area to other areas where they are not present.

Since 2008 felt soled boots have been prohibited in New Zealand and various states in the United States are following suit: Maryland, Vermont, Alaska, Maine and Montana to name a few.

This got me thinking, which is a dangerous thing sometimes. In a grooming shop or a vet clinic this can be HIGHLY problematic because you could be tracking and parvo, distemper, or other illness that a dog or cat has and carry it from one part of your shop or clinic to another, possibly infecting other animals.

This is actually one of the hazards I never saw coming and had no idea was going to exist!

So what should you look for in choosing a pair of shoes to work in?

  • Rubber soles that are easily cleaned
  • 100_0881

  • slip resistant soles are always a good idea
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  • low-profile soles with little decoration
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  • shallow ripples or small nubs tend to work much better than deeper ones that can grab hair 100_0887

  • surfaces that can be disinfected easily
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  • really good support

I have actually had sneakers that before that I purchased two groom in that I couldn’t groom in because they were very, very flexible and the grooves in the bottom were very deep. Very deep grooves will trap just as much hair as felt will. If the bottom of the shoe is to smooth it will also slide across the top of the hair rather than grip the floor. So look for something with a little bit of traction on the bottom that’s not very high profile.

If you work at a vet clinic is extremely important that you be able to disinfect your shoes by either stepping in a bleach solution or spraying it with some type of disinfectant before you leave, and often times before you go into another room. One of the clinics I serviced had a parvo  room and every time you went in and every time you went out you bleached your shoes. If nothing else you going to be spraying disinfectant on the bottoms and they need to be sturdy enough to handle it.

Even in a grooming shop it’s not a bad idea to disinfect your shoes before leaving and even when coming into the building. If you are around animal waste as in a boarding Kennel it can be critical to disinfect your shoes. Cheap shoes won’t stand up to disinfecting well so make sure you spend some money and get a good pair.

It’s just good sanitation to make sure your shoes are clean and cleanable! So it’s not just about safety it’s about health as well. Shoes with felt on the bottom cannot be sanitized and therefore have no place in the grooming shop or vet clinic in my opinion.

So next time you’re shopping for shoes don’t just look at the bottom price look at the bottom of the shoe! It may very well save you from injury and the lives of the dogs (or fish) you come into contact with may well be at risk if you don’t.

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