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By Contributed photo
BY BLAIR LOONEY Contributing columnist
Editor's note: Action Line is a weekly column from the Better Business Bureau answering consumers' questions and concerns about money and business issues.
Dear Action Line:
I am the proud owner of a loving puppy named Bo that I rescued. I recently went on vacation and left my dog at a local kennel. I asked the kennel to groom my dog before I got home. Since then, Bo stopped eating, drinking, didn't want to play and became very distant with me. This morning, I took Bo to my vet. Bo has a fever and developed large sores on his head, neck and back under his fur. I remembered that I had him groomed and my veterinarian told me to ask what kind of products the groomer had used on Bo.
I called the groomer and was told staff there used dog shampoo and then sprayed him with a women's brand of body spray. I asked twice if I was hearing correctly. Our veterinarian and his staff were very upset with the news that the groomer had used women's body spray on our dog -- who is still hooked up to an IV.
I have learned that it is not an uncommon practice for them to use human products, mainly fragrances, on animals. How do I stop this? I want to find a way to put an end to this so no other dog or family has to go through this and am searching for where to start. Any information or agencies that could be helpful are greatly appreciated.
Poor Bo, he deserves an extra puppy treat every day for the remainder of his dog years!
The very first thing you can do is to talk to the business owner of the grooming salon. Let them know what Bo has experienced and what you expect them to do. If you don't get the issue resolved, you can file a complaint with your BBB.
Hiring a pet groomer is just like hiring any other professional. You need to do your homework and not be afraid to ask questions. Just like any other purchase or service, price alone is not a reason to choose a groomer.
There is not yet a licensing program for pet groomers. So start with your veterinarian. Ask for recommendations and be specific about what your requirements are. After you get recommendations, call each one and ask for references and actually call those references. Ask how often they have used a particular groomer and what their experience has been. Other than being lonely for their humans, ask how the pet was when it came home. Meet with each pet sitter personally and introduce them to Bo -- after all, his opinion counts as well. Check out the company's Business Review at cencal.bbb.org. And don't forget to ask them what kind of products they use, especially the fragrance.
There are good groomers out there, you just need to do your homework. But good pet groomers are also in high demand, so act quickly to get the one you --and Bo --really like.
Blair Looney is president and CEO of the Better Business Bureau serving Central California. Send your consumer concerns, questions and problems to Action Line at the Better Business Bureau, 1601 H. St., Suite 101, Bakersfield, CA 93301 or firstname.lastname@example.org.