Many pet owners are not comfortable grooming their own pets. In fact, many pets are not comfortable letting their owners groom them! Pets need to be groomed regularly for hygiene reasons, and failure to do so can cause health problems for your pet. This doesn’t mean that all cats and dogs need to be taken to the groomer. This makes it knowing about Dog Grooming Without Vaccinations extremely important. Some pets are lower maintenance than others (so they can be tackled without access to heavy duty professional grooming kits), but all dogs need to be brushed, bathed, have their ears cleaned, and their nails trimmed regularly. If your pet allows you to do these things yourself and you are comfortable doing them, great.
For those pets that need the special attention of a groomer, there are several factors to consider when choosing a groomer. One of the most frequently brought up topics is regarding groomers and vaccinations. There are a few primary vaccinations that all dogs receive if under the care of a veterinarian. These vaccinations are explained a bit below:
Rabies: A virus that affects both dogs, cats, and humans. Rabies vaccinations are mandatory is ALL STATES because it is extremely dangerous and has a 100% fatality rate due to the lack of a cure for the disease. Rabies vaccinations are usually given when the pet is 3-4 months old and then again at one year old. After that, maintenance vaccinations must be given every 1-3 year
Distemper: A virus that affects dogs particularly young dogs. Distemper is just like rabies in that it has no known cure. The first shot of distemper is given when the pup is around six weeks old. At least three more doses are given between six and 16 weeks, and another series is administered one year after the first series is completed. After the first round, a booster shot is given every three years. This vaccination is part of the 5-in-1 bundle that is explained below.
Parvovirus: A potentially fatal virus that attacks the heart muscles of dogs and cats and ultimately, leads to heart problems. There is no cure for this virus either. Parvovirus shots are usually administered along with 4 other vaccinations as a kind of bundle that has come to be known as the 5-in-1. Young animals ages six to 16 weeks of age receive this 5-in-1 bundle, and a booster is given when they reach one year of age. From there on a booster is administered every 3 years.
Bordatella: A virus that causes inflammation of the respiratory system and turns into what is commonly known as kennel cough. Kennel cough is treatable, but it is also VERY contagious which is why vaccination is necessary. Many doggy daycares, activity centers, pet-friendly bars, etc. will not allow your dog in without proof of this vaccination. Two doses are given to dogs under 16 weeks of age unless they are adults in which case, they are usually given one intranasal treatment. After that, yearly or semi-annual doses are required.
Leptospirosis: Is an infection caused by bacteria and is most prevalent in areas that have moist climates. Lepto is included in the 5-in-1 bundle mentioned above which is also referred to as the DHLPP. It is typically given at least once a year for dogs in high-risk areas.
Lyme Disease: Is a disease transmitted by ticks. There is no cure for Lyme disease though it can be “controlled” with an intense medication regiment. The first dose is administered at around 9 weeks of age and then another around four weeks after the first dose. An annual booster is required to maintain the vaccination.
*Please note, the other vaccinations included in the 5-in-1 bundle are for Hepatitis and Parainfluenza (dog flu).
Is it Safe to Use a Dog Groomer that Doesn’t Require Shots?
For the most part, it is not safe to use a groomer that doesn’t require shots. Ultimately this is because it is the law in all states that pets have at least a rabies vaccination before being groomed, and if your groomer ignores this law, they may be ignoring other rules and regulations as well. It is possible that your pet could pass something on to other pets at the groomers or that your pet could come home with a disease, virus, or infection. Also, since dogs can transmit rabies to humans through dog bites, though it is a rare occurrence, it is imperative that all dogs be vaccinated for rabies before being groomed.
How to Find a Dog Groomer that Doesn’t Require Shots
This is very difficult these days. Some states allow it, but ultimately you will not find a reputable groomer that does not require at least some vaccinations in addition to the rabies vaccination. In some states, the groomer can incur a fine if they do not have up-to-date vaccination records. Unfortunately, this means that if the groomer is caught once, they will more than likely be on the radar of inspectors for at least the next few years.
However, it is possible to find ways around vaccinations when it comes to getting your pet groomed. The first one is the mobile groomer. Mobile groomers will come to your house and groom your pet. This method negates all state laws and regulations because the pet is on your private property. Though some mobile groomers may still require proof of rabies vaccinations, there are some that do not require proof of any vaccinations.
You can also try offering to sign a waiver when you set up a grooming appointment. You can type one up and bring it with you to the groomer thus eliminating the liability of the groomer should any viruses or diseases spread. Many groomers, however, will not accept these waivers and they do have a right to refuse service to whomever they wish.
Can a Dog be Groomed without Shot Records / Papers?
PetSmart Grooming Vaccination Requirements
PetSmart requires that all pets be current on their rabies vaccinations. You must also wait at least 48 hours after getting your pet vaccinated to being them to PetSmart for any services to be sure that your pet isn’t still sore or having an allergic reaction from the vaccine. Individual cities and states have additional requirements such as Iowa or New York City.