Summer Safety Tips For Mobile Pet Stylists

By admin, 08 Jun 2015

Summer Safety Tips For Mobile Pet Stylists

Heatstroke Awareness Day – June 13th

The days are long. The sun is high in the sky. Welcome June! It is time for mobile groomers to think about the summer months ahead. Both groomers and their charges need to stay cool, calm, collected, and safe as they go through the grooming process together.

Mobile groomers spend their days outdoors and “indoors,” so it’s wise to take precautions against the summer heat. It’s a good idea to pay attention to the temperature and the Temperature-Humidity Index. The term Temperature-Humidity Index indicates the degree of discomfort caused by temperature and humidity in warm weather.

Heat has an effect on both humans and animals. Heat related illnesses such as heat stroke and heat exhaustion occur in all mammals, but can be prevented by taking adequate precautions. Pets most at risk in our profession include puppies and kittens up to six months of age, geriatric, over weight, and pets that are ill or on certain medications. Brachycephalic pets, such as bulldogs and pugs, are also sensitive to high temperatures. Even normal activity for these pets can be harmful. This is why it is critical to take the comfort of your grooming environment into consideration.

It’s a given that every van or trailer must have adequate air conditioning. It must be properly maintained because hair and dander can clog the filter. Cleaning the filter allows your air conditioner to run efficiently and helps you avoid costly repairs or replacement. It is important to make sure the coils are clean and there is enough refrigerant, or the cooling capacity might not be up to par.

To keep cool in hot weather, groomers run air conditioners in the salon and cab on high, leaving the divider door open for maximum effectiveness. Some clip a fan next to the air conditioner to help distribute the cooled air and/or crack a window in the cab to reduce heat build-up. Having two ceiling vents can be helpful in the circulation of air. When it’s humid, one vent can pull in fresh air; the other pushing out moist air.

Parking in the shade can help keep temperatures down. Groomers hang towels over the windows or make heat-blocking curtains. Window covers, sunshades, heat blocking window film, dashboard covers, and tinted windows are other options to beat the rays of the sun. Turn the lights off in the van or trailer when you wash and dry. Wear lightweight clothing. Drink plenty of fluids. If the pet appears thirsty, offer him/her water. Keep a thermometer in the van to monitor the temperature. If you live in a desert state like Arizona, consider starting your workday early so you can finish before it gets hotter. Always be conscious of hot driveways and sidewalks as delicate paw pads can burn walking the dog back and forth to the house.

Should a pet becomes ill in your care, know the signs of heat stroke:

  1. Restlessness
  2. Panting
  3. Increased respiratory rate
  4. Increased heart rate
  5. Excessive salivation
  6. Vomiting
  7. Diarrhea

If you suspect heat stroke rush the pet to the veterinarian immediately. Lower his/her temperature by placing cool, wet towels over the back of the neck, under the forelimbs, and in the groin area. Do not use cold water or ice. If possible, increase air movement around him/her with a fan. Do not try to force-feed cold water; he/she may choke.

The summer is a great time of year to be a mobile pet stylist. Birds are singing, the trees are green, and the flowers are blooming. Just be aware as soon as the temperature rises, heat stroke can happen in this climate. As long as you take precautions you can lower the risk of heat related health issues for both you and your fury friends.

Keep your van or trailer in tip-top shape, monitor all the pets you see, and know what to do in case of an emergency. Common sense is key. This is my tenth mobile summer so I have had plenty of experience keeping cool in hot weather. Enjoy your shorts and sleeveless smocks. Before you know it the leaves will be falling.

Copyright 2015 by Ellen Ehrlich


recent Posts