Matted dogs and neglected coats

Dog Groomers “outrage” at RSPCA comments over BBC’s Pooch Perfect dyed dogs, while ignoring fundamental issues dog groomers face on a daily basis.

Matted dogs and neglected coats
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  • RSPCA and BVA makes comments about BBC’s Pooch perfect TV show sends a “worrying message” to the British public fearing they are “objectifying dogs and treating them as fashion accessories.”
  • Groomers believe severely matted dogs as being the “UKs biggest undervalued issue” when it comes to pet care.
  • Dog Groomers call for the RSPCA to do their job in reducing the amount of neglect caused by UK dog owners.
  • Creative grooming expert says “Qualified groomers should be given the same professional respect as vets and we should be working together to reduce neglected coats on the nations pets.
  • The Dog Grooming profession demand the RSPCA stop wasting time worrying about dye being used safely and responsibly and turn their attention to the neglect groomers see daily in their salons.

GROOMERS OUTRAGED but not surprised by recent comments made by the RSPCA and BVA regarding BBC and Seven productions show Pooch Perfect and their use of dog hair dye.

Groomers find it hypocritical that the RSPCA and BVA have challenged something that has been done safely and responsibly by a trained professional when they can not address the bigger issue being witnessed by tens of thousands of groomers across the UK on a daily basis.

Severely matted dogs!

The RSPCA, constrained by the animal welfare act, are prevented from taking action if the owner has taken “necessary steps” – going to a groomer- in ensuring that their pet is acceptably taken care of. Even if the owner only brings their dog ONCE per year.

Jamie Taylor, a dog groomer from the UK said:

So apparently if the owners have “gone to the groomer, therefore taking steps towards the welfare of the dog” – what about that 6 months that it’s not been free from pain and discomfort?!

Jamie Taylor, Pet Groomer, UK

Groomers social media comments have been rife with criticism of the welfare charity over their misplaced beliefs in what denotes cruelty.

Groomer Anna Pollard wrote,

I would much rather see a well maintained dog in a creative style than matted dogs that have clearly been neglected through lack of coat maintenance/knowledge at home. Give me a 6 weekly dog with blue ears over a once a year desperation call before Christmas

Anna Pollard, Dog Groomer, UK

Anna’s comments were echoed across the grooming industry with a comment of frustration from Laura Harper stating,

“It’s so sad for the dogs that come in once or twice a year for a shave down as they are matted. But nothing is done and we can’t do anything”

Laura Harper, Dog Groomer, UK

The issue for groomers is that we find it frustrating when the RSPCA makes a comment on pet safe dog dye, whilst ignoring the huge issue we have when it comes to the widespread, repeated neglect some dog owners place upon their pets.
A daily occurrence for dog groomers is being faced with an owner who neglects to brush their dogs coat. And although to the general public this may not seem like a huge problem, a matted coat causes a whole host of problems for both the dog and their groomer.

Now, as pet groomers, we are not addressing owners who bring their dogs to us in a bad way once or twice. We can understand that some people need educating by the groomer and the vast majority of owners take on the advice given by their pet professional. We are referring to the owners who REPEATEDLY allow their animals to fall into a serious state of neglect over and over again. Purely and simply because they know they can.

The public don’t fully realise the risk of neglecting a dogs coat.

Joanne Angus, Author of the groomers textbook “What every professional groomer should know” states “Unfortunately a lot of owners don’t understand that just because they have a dog that is a ‘non shedding breed’ does not mean they don’t have to take care of their coats”

Joanne continues, “As a groomer, it’s so upsetting to see, we entered this profession because we love animals. It’s a huge problem we see constantly on social media, and the groomer gets the blame for shaving off a neglected coat. Dogs need regular grooming”

There are a whole host of issues a dog and groomer can face when it comes to a coat that has been neglected.

Joanne explains, “Severely matted coats have more risk of the skin being nicked by the clipper. Groomers can uncover injuries and skin issues, lumps, and even parasites that have been hidden by an unkempt coat.”

Severe ear matting
Whippet Media: Severe Ear matting

Ear haematoma’s are another serious problem groomers face. When the matting becomes bad on the tips of the ears it can cut off the blood supply, when the matts are clipped away the blood rushes back to the ear and can cause blood vessels to burst and bleed out.

This sort of injury doesn’t just happen to the ear, in the worst case scenarios a dog can lose a leg if the coat is wrapped tight enough and the blood supply is cut off for long enough.

“We have had ENOUGH”

Qualified Dog Groomers are a specifically educated authority on caring for all coat types and their upkeep.

Senior vice president of the BVA Daniella Dos Santos said, in a statement to the Mail Online,

“We advise consulting your vet if you have any questions regarding pet grooming.”

Daniella Dos Santos, Snr. Vice President or British Veterinary Association

As an industry we would challenge this statement as it is wholly inappropriate. Whilst we respect the veterinary profession they lack the relevant experience and qualification to effectively advise pet owners on how best to maintain a dogs coat.

Qualified dog groomers are a specifically educated authority on caring for all coat types and their upkeep. It would, in contrast, be hugely inappropriate for a dog groomer to give medical advice to a worried pet owner and the same respect should be given to a professional pet groomer.

Stuart Simons, Director of The Groomers Spotlight and one of the only groomers in the UK to hold the prestigious NAPCG qualification (National association for professional creative groomers) stated,

It shouldn’t be a “vet vs groomer’ battle. Groomers and Vets alike should both be qualified and respected in their own right.

Stuart Simons, NAPCG

As a profession groomers strive to do the best that we can. We are constantly investing in further education and understanding how to do our jobs safely with the dogs welfare being placed in the highest of regards.

Stuart Simons continues “There is a place for creative grooming in our industry whether people like it or not, it’s up to us, as professionals to do it safely and responsibly and encourage others to do the same thing”

We need to work together.

We believe the RSPCA and the BVA should refrain from making public statements about creative grooming without the full understanding and appreciation for the level of daily neglect groomers are a privy to.

We believe this can be achieved by having closer communication with all professional bodies involved. By respecting each others roles in the pet care industry and having more resources being directed towards owners and breeders to educate them on the realities of dealing with high maintenance coats.

A dog should have fresh water, shelter and food, and under the 5 freedoms the dog should also be free from pain and discomfort. So why isn’t more emphasis being placed on the last part?

The RSPCA and BVA find it acceptable to call out groomers for working on healthy, well maintained coats, but, fail to recognise the thousands of dogs within the UK being allowed, by law, to suffer repeated neglect through lack of coat maintenance.

But as long as they are getting the bare minimum thats OK, right?

We have contacted the RSPCA for a comment and are awaiting their response.

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