This information may come as a shock to the public, and may even upset some in the industry that I am writing about this, but people should be aware that there are very little regulations that are necessary to follow in the Pet Service Industry. The only regulations fall under by laws and regulations set in place by municipalities, ALL pet owners have to obey. This includes, groomers, daycares, boarding facilities, walkers, rescues, humane societies and breeders. (Veterinary Services do have their own board, to regulate their members and services that are provided by clinics.) One can have a single pet dog, for 10 years, and say they have 10 years experience, or purchase a set of clippers and call themselves a groomer. Even groomers trained by a professional, can not call themselves certified or licensed, as there is no such thing. There are master groomers, who are highly educated and experienced, they have a master groomer instructor certification. There are some groups that allow those in the industry to pay a fee, to become a certified member, but this does not guarantee that these members are properly trained, or are a certified groomer/handler/kennel hand. (There is NO certification for this) They have simply paid their membership fee to that group. The CKC (Canadian Kennel Club) also has a membership for breeders, but they do not inspect or follow up on these breeders. Once the membership is purchased, they are a CKC member, and can breed and treat the dogs however they choose, as long as no one complains, and have documentation to prove their complaints. There are steps being taken to start some regulation in the industry, but many do not wish for this to happen, as it will ruin their business, as they are not qualified or are operating out of an improper facility. These business should not be operating, as they do not have the proper training necessary or are operating illegally. **Besides having little to no experience working with any other dogs, than their pet, their insurance is different from that of a groomer/daycare or breeder or pet insurance. Business must operate with additional insurance, that have broader coverage than homeowners insurance. When pets are involved, there are additional insurances necessary, to cover the animals from possible injury or illness while in your care. Breeders or pet insurance covers the individual animal for injury or disease. If something is to happen to your fur baby while visiting these business, they will NOT be covered by the care giver's home insurance. It will be necessary to sue the business, or home owner providing illegal care, to receive any sort of compensation, if they do not handle the situation.
Please be cautious when using these services for your fur baby. Be sure that the business is legal, is permitted in its location and carries the proper insurance. That those taking care of your fur baby have actual training, not just experience with their own pets. Ask questions and see how knowledgeable they actually are. Many home business operate illegally. There are some,where the people are trained and educated, but choose to run the business from home to lessen expenses, but are in a location that does not permit it. They are either not permitted by the city or town, because the by laws do not allow a business to operate there, or they do not obey the animal control laws. Any dog facility that operates in a home, must not have more dogs present at once, than any house hold is permitted. A dog boarding facility needs to be on a particular sized lot, and in a particular zone, to ensure there is a sound barrier for the neighbours. Many are ignorant to these regulations and business requirements, as they don't even realize they exist. Far too often it is after an incident takes place that a business owner becomes aware. This is too late when dealing with someones loved one. Those who do not have the training and experience are putting you dog in danger, without realizing it. They maybe good people who love your dog, but in all reality, they love your money more. If they truly loved your dog and were professional, they would ensure that your dog is safe, follow all laws, and have some actual training. Those who think they have experience, often miss many dangerous possibilities, because they do not have the education or any experience other than with their own pets. PLEASE make sure that your pet care professional is just that, A PROFESSIONAL. Not just someone who likes animals, but someone who has gotten education and training, has spent some time in the industry, and has taken all precautions to ensure that your dog is not just cared for, but cared for safely, in the proper environment, by someone who has knowledge & experience. Not by a newbie to the industry or by someone who thinks they know what they are doing because they owned a dog.
Before I became the desk jockey at Temple of the Dog, I was Tattooing. This industry too, is unregulated. With my artistic background, it would have been very easy for me to order equipment online, and try to learn on my own. I chose to be professionally trained so that I could do it properly and not scar someone for life or make them ill. Although there is more regulation in Tattooing, as Health Canada is involved, they are not concerned with the work you produce, but your knowledge in sterilization and health. There are many things that can go wrong if a tattooist is not properly trained. Even with proper training, there are many unpredictable things that could happen due to how the client handles the procedure. This is the same when handling dogs.
Besides, both Mike and I, being raised in the dog show, farming and rescue world, we insisted on being properly trained by professionals, follow all regulations, are properly insured and have first aid training. We felt that although we had extensive experience with dogs, we wanted to be sure we knew everything possible. If it was legal to operate out of our home, why would we go to the expense of operating a shop? We would have lower expenses, be able to write a lot of our home off, and make improvements to our home with business loans. Operating a proper business in a commercial location, allows us to follow regulations and ensure that your pet is safe and properly cared for. To be professionals in the industry. We would not want to leave our dog with someone claiming to be experienced and knowledgeable, when in fact, they are not. We don't expect that you to do that either.
** edited October 24, 2017