In the hands of a stranger

It can happen and it does, dogs die when left in the hands of a stranger.  This is not a blog to scare you but to let you know what can happen.  Like anything in life, before you do it; research, research.  I'm talking about groomers and doggie daycare/boarding facilities.  The fact is that dogs have died while in the care of these facilities.  First let me say that I know lots of great groomers and daycare and obviously this is not about them.  After surfing the net for just a short time this morning I found many sad stories of dogs dying at both.

I met Kera, a bouncy and full of life boxer girl when she was just 4 months old.  Not long into our first training session I discovered that Kiara was not the first dog in this home.  No, Kiara was the second boxer for this family as the first had died at the groomers.  The dog had been left at the vets to be groomed, she had died at the age of 6 months old in a cage due to heat exposure.  A boxer left in a cage with a cage dryer on too high for too long which is a common cause of death at grooming shops.    So many things done wrong and the result was the death of the dog.  So sad and careless.

Being that I have poodles and a huge group of poodle friends I hear about lots of groomer stories.  It is hard to find a good groomer, much like finding a good doctor or hairstylist for yourself.  But the difference is that we leave our dogs in the hands of these people and hope for the best.  Are they kind, do they like dogs, are they experienced?  There are people in the field who would have to answer no to all of these questions and that groomer or daycare might just be yours. No, it is not easy to find a good groomer or daycare; one that you can put complete faith in.  Pretty much anyone can put out their grooming or daycare sign and get to it.

Doggie daycare is popping up everywhere, for many it seems to be an easy way to make a quick buck.  If you have some space, presto a dog care facility.  Grooming is a bit tougher to get started into as there is more equipment needed and specialty this and that.  How can you know, I mean really know where your dog is safe?  Reviews, recommendations, experience (length of time in operation) and a visual.  That's right, have a good look around and if anything just doesn't seem right, leave.

That goes both for grooming facilities and daycare/boarding facilities.  There should be lots of friendly people there, watch how they interact with your dog.  Do they have training, do they have "official" certificates out where people can see them?  Can you hang around for a bit or is it a drop your dog at the door and leave sort of place?  Research, research, research.  It doesn't take long to find out what people think of a place and a facilities safety history.

Both industries are plagued with deaths and injuries that you can find on the internet.  Dog owners who left their dog happy and healthy and returned to an injured or dead dog.  It is simply a dog owners worst nightmare come true when this happens.  Unfortunately not a lot can be done when this does happen so it is up to us, dog owners to make sure that we are leaving our dogs in the best place possible.

If you ever get that second thought feeling about a place, please listen to it. All of this goes for veterinarians as well.  I almost cut Tilley's life short by not listening to that inner warning voice.