I am new to Missouri and looking for a groomer, I’d very much like to know if the state requires dog groomers to be graduates of an accredited school or to have state license to operate. Where I am from, neither is required but they have to meet state kennel requirements and be inspected/licensed if they board or retail pets of any kind. The basic grooming shops providing service only or services & retail (non-live) products can operate freely & it is up to the customer to determine if quality of service, cleanliness, & care are acceptable.
Would like to know what the Missouri Law is. I did look online under Missouri Dog Law but found nothing pertaining to Groomers. I have seen city business licenses inside a few that I’ve recently visited, but haven’t wanted to be rude by asking.
Visiting a few I have found them for the most part friendly, clean, seemingly good to the pets & two (who may be grandfathered in) mentioned being self taught years ago, without my asking. The quality of their work both seemed as good as what I saw from another 3 saying they’d gone to school.
I also visited a “school” for grooming. To my surprise it was not as clean or as safe as any of the shops I visited (pet food / hair all over the floor, cat box odor was awful, 5 dogs were on tables w/ nooses around their necks w/ out anyone standing near them to prevent injury from jumping off table, groomers were moving between animals using same tools w/ out sanitizing them. There were 3 dogs 10-14 lbs in a holding cage perhaps 20X20″ inquiring I was told they were there to spend the day with their owner – someone working there!).
I can’t see where having a paper saying you’d graduated from such a place would insure any kind of confidence. Their training in animal care / needs / safety & yes cruelty is sub-par in my opinion with such loose standards. I would not take my dog to be groomed there under any circumstances. I can’t see how it could have met any qualification standards as a “school” no matter how long it has been in business.
It made me wonder; what IS MISSOURI LAW ON GROOMING BUSINESSES / SCHOOLS? Again I emphasize all of the shops were far better in all respects. The work of one young woman hadn’t been at it long (went to school out of state she offered) was not as sharp and clean on scissoring the legs, her inexperience was obvious but I bet she will get there…as her attitude, TLC shown toward the animals and warm Missouri welcome made me want to support her efforts and have my little 4 legged babies look less than perfect for awhile….They are always perfect to me.
A protective Mom
Dear Protective Mom,
While a groomer should have a business license, the dog grooming industry itself is not licensed. Some groomers receive certification through one of the professional dog grooming organizations, but it certainly isn’t required. The organizations include the IPG (International Pet Groomers), NDGAA (National Dog Groomers Association of America) and ISCC (International Society of Canine Cosmetologists); there may be others. There is also a cat grooming organization that does certification, the NCGIA, National Cat Groomers Institute of America. All of these certifications require a number of written tests and practical tests, but may not necessarily make a groomer a ‘cut above the rest’ in comparison to other groomers. I think experience may count for more than any of those things.
However, to answer your question simply, none of these certifications are required to open a grooming business.
I think what you’ve been doing is a great idea. Going to the shops in advance to peek at how the operation looks and smells and how the animals are being handled makes a lot of sense. Going in unannounced is a perfect way to see how things “really” are in the shop. Just like a vet, boarding kennel or doggie daycare, those things should tell you something about whom you’re not only doing business, but entrusting a beloved family member.
In addition, if you bring your dog and get a gut feeling that something isn’t right or your dog is having an unusually negative reaction to being there, move on.
We have a great listing of groomers in Missouri if you’d like to check it out.