Your grooming services are vital for pets, keeping them clean and allowing you to ensure they are healthy. As their regular pet groomer, you are the one that often ensures their wellbeing is maintained by warning pet owners of any unusual changes or conditions. The importance of Vaccinations cannot be overlooked.
As a pet groomer, you are legally required to check the vaccination records of the pets coming to you for care. Knowing that the pets you groom have an up-to-date vaccination record ensures that your pet grooming business remains risk-free from disease transmission between pets. It also ensures that you and your staff are safe from disease transmission since you come into such close contact with the pets as you groom them.
Why do vaccines matter?
Vaccinations prepare the immune systems of pets to fight infections and other disease-causing agents in the future. Every US state has a list of mandatory vaccinations for pets, while vets also recommend a few other vaccines that are beneficial to pets. Rabies vaccinations are required for domesticated animals in all states, but the frequency of these changes. In most states, animals can be exempted if medically necessary.
Currently, nearly all states in the US require pet owners to provide their pet groomers with proof of the vaccines administered. Pet groomers must maintain proof of rabies vaccinations for the pets they groom.
Every pet grooming salon must keep a copy of the medical record, veterinarian statement, or vaccination certificate that proves the vaccination for up to a year. If you cannot present the proof of the vaccination record when demanded, your pet grooming business is liable for a fine.
If you are punished for the offense, you are potentially harming your salon’s reputation, so always demand proof of vaccines for every pet.
Reasons for pet vaccinations
- Many pet illnesses are prevented by vaccines.
- Vaccinations help avoid costly treatments for preventable diseases.
- Diseases that can be passed between animals, especially in the places they frequent, are prevented by vaccinations.
- Vaccinations prevent animals from passing diseases on to humans.
- Unvaccinated pets can be infected by diseases prevalent in wildlife. These include rabies and distemper.
- Certain vaccinations of household pets are compulsory because of state or local ordinances.
There are many reasons why people prefer to administer only mandatory vaccines. These include vaccine costs, medical issues, etc. As a pet groomer, you play an important role in helping educate pet owners on how vaccines prevent the spread of unwanted diseases and viruses, especially in areas where many pets meet, including your salon and the play park.
What side effects do vaccines have?
Mild side effects after the vaccine are common in pets. These usually start within a few hours of the vaccination. Pets showing significant discomfort or if the side effects last for longer than 48 hours, a veterinarian must be contacted. Common side effects include:
- Discomfort and swelling at the site of the vaccination
- Mild fever
- Reduced appetite and decreased activity
- Sneezing, mild coughing, runny nose, and other respiratory signs may occur 2-5 days after a pet receives an intranasal vaccine
Some side effects are less common and more serious. Allergic reactions may occur within minutes, and up to a few hours after vaccination. These reactions can be life-threatening to pets and must be treated as medical emergencies. Signs to look for include:
- Vomiting or diarrhea that persists
- An Itchy skin that develops bumps
- Any swelling of the muzzle, face, neck, or eyes
- Severe coughing
- Difficulty with breathing
- If a small, firm swelling develops under the skin of the vaccination, it should start to recede within a couple of weeks. If it persists for long or appears to be getting bigger, the pet must be taken to a veterinarian.
As a pet groomer, you are more likely to notice some of these vaccine side effects. Inform your customer in case they haven’t noticed. Also, tell them to always notify their veterinarian if their pet has had prior reactions to vaccines or medications.
Advise your customers not to bring pets in too soon after their vaccinations. The tenderness from the jab can make pets quite grumpy. Pets should feel better about 2 days after their vaccine, allowing them the time to recover. This also ensures they are fully covered before they visit the grooming salon.
Completing vaccine series
Incomplete vaccinations mean that a pet’s protection is not complete. Like with humans, some of the pet vaccines come in a series with repeat dosages. This ensures optimal protection for their immune systems.
As a pet groomer, you understand the importance of a completed vaccine series, something your clients may forget, so make sure to remind them to keep to their pet’s vaccination schedule, especially for their booster shots. To be effective, vaccination boosters are usually administered 2 to 4 weeks apart.
Which vaccinations are important before grooming dogs?
Your pet grooming salon is a place where pets congregate, these are the four very important vaccinations every dog should have according to American Humane.
These are the most important vaccines:
The deadly rabies virus is extremely dangerous for pets and humans alike, and this vaccine is required by most states. Because there is no cure for rabies, prevention is essential. The first rabies vaccine is usually administered to puppies at three months and repeated a year later.
The extremely deadly Parvovirus is becoming very common. It is spread by infected feces, and most dog owners only know their pet has the disease when the animal has bloody diarrhea. The parvovirus can kill in just two days, and it lingers for up to two years. Vaccination is the best way to protect dogs from exposure.
Bordetella, or kennel cough, causes inflammation in the upper respiratory system and spreads rapidly. Even though treatable, kennel cough causes uncomfortable coughing and makes dogs susceptible to other illnesses. The vaccine is given in two doses, the first at around 16 weeks, followed by a booster shot every two years.
Canine influenza, or dog flu, is transmitted from one dog to another when they are coughing, sneezing, or barking. Because the virus lingers for hours, it is easily transmittable in spaces like dog grooming salons. After exposure, the symptoms can take up to three weeks to develop, and these include a nasty cough, fever, lethargy, and decreased appetite.
Which vaccines are important for cats before grooming?
As a pet groomer, you provide important cat grooming services for cat lovers. Cat owners often struggle with brushing their cats, helping to prevent dangerous blockages from hairballs. It is also very difficult for them to cut their cat’s nails or offer the ear care their cat deserves. Not all cat vaccines are essential, but some are recommended by vets to ensure they live a longer and healthier life, including the vaccines for chlamydia, Bordetella, and feline leukemia.
The most essential vaccines for cats are:
Feline Viral Rhinotracheitis, Calicivirus and Panleukopenia (FVRCP)
Also known as the “distemper” shot, the FVRCP is a combined vaccine that protects against three diseases: feline viral rhinotracheitis, calicivirus, and panleukopenia (feline distemper). This is given at 8 weeks, with a booster at 12 weeks. At one year, the cat gets another booster, after which it gets a booster vaccination every 3 years.
The rabies virus is fatal to cats, just like it is for other mammals, including humans. Cats are required to have rabies vaccinations by law in most states but should only get their first vaccine at 16 weeks. Thereafter, the first booster is 12 months later, with follow-ups every 3 years.
What is the right age to accept pets for their first grooming?
Cats and dogs have different levels of grooming tolerance. With cats, the sooner they get used to grooming, the more stress-free the procedure. Encourage cat and dog owners to start bringing their pets for grooming from about 3 months and up.
This is the ideal age because the pets are fully weaned and have had enough vaccines to fully cover them against contagious diseases.
By 16 weeks, pets have completed their initial vaccinations, ensuring they are fully protected against rabies and other viruses. From this stage, you can groom them, but are required to keep proof of their vaccinations on your grooming salon database.
Maintaining a database of vaccination proof
Preventative pet care is important, and pet vaccinations are one of the most important ways to ensure healthy pets. As a pet grooming salon, you need to keep track of the pet vaccinations of your customer’s pets to present if asked, but also as a service for your customers. This database allows you to remind them of any upcoming vaccinations, so they don’t forget.
Groomsoft recently updated its range of vaccination features to make it easier for you to keep track of pet vaccinations. The system allows you to keep an up-to-date record of each customer for all vaccines, not just the proof of the rabies vaccine required by most states.
The greatest feature of the system is the reminder alerts it sends to your customers via email, text messages, or both. Customer notifications can easily be set for the day the vaccine expires, 30 days before expiration, or both.
Vaccination expiration reminders are an important part of your pet grooming business. It is easy for your customers to upload the documents from their veterinarian through the link that comes with their reminder. Once the new vaccination dates are approved by you, the system updates the new expiration dates into the customer’s profile. With one click of a button, you can save the newly added information.
Groomsoft is the complete software for your pet grooming business, helping you with every aspect of its smooth running. See how to track, alert, and remind customers about vaccination requirements here: https://www.groomsoft.com/features/vaccination-reminders/