Pet Grooming Workplace Hazards on Female Reproductive Health
Pet grooming practitioners groom in many different locations and business environments such as: commercial grooming shops, pet shops, kennels, veterinarian clinics, mobile grooming vehicles, and in home pet grooming businesses. Pet grooming creates and presents different hazards.

Caution: Pet grooming services provided from a pet groomers home is not recommended by GROOMOLOGIST® and pet grooming practitioners educated in the health and safety risk of commercial pet grooming.
Many factors can affect a woman's reproductive health and her ability to produce healthy children. We know that the health of an unborn child can suffer if a woman fails to eat right, smokes, or drinks alcohol during pregnancy. However, little is known about the pet grooming occupational effects on reproductive health such as infertility, miscarriage, and birth defects. We do know that some grooming workplace hazards can affect a woman's reproductive health, her ability to become pregnant, or the health of her unborn children.
We won't attempt to provide all concerns and information below but offer the following questions as a foundation for the need to research reproductive health hazards present in the pet grooming environment for women engaged in the professional practice of pet grooming.
What occupational reproductive hazards exist for female pet grooming practitioners?
What reproductive problems might be caused by workplace exposures?
How are pet grooming practitioners and their babies exposed?
What can the family pet be contaminated with, that may expose pet grooming practitioners?
How can  pet care practitioner exposures be prevented in a commercial grooming facilities?
Table 1. General Information
KNOWN - Disease Causing  agents that are reproductive hazards for women
Observed Effect
Potentially Exposed Workers
Preventative Measures
Cytomegalo- virus
Birth defects, low birth weight, developmental disorders
Health care workers, workers in contact with infants and children
Good hygienic practices such as hand washing
Hepatitis B virus
Low birth weight
Health and Grooming Care Workers exposed to Human & Animal Blood & Body Fluids
Human immuno-deficiency
virus (HIV)
Low birth weight, childhood
Health care  workers
Practice universal precautions
parvovirus B19
Health care workers, workers in contact with infants and children
Good hygienic practices such as hand washing
Rubella (German measles)
Birth defects, low birth weight
Health care  workers, workers  in contact with  infants and  children
Vaccination before pregnancy if no prior
zoster virus (chicken pox)
Birth defects, low birth weight
Health care workers, workers in contact with infants and children
Vaccination before pregnancy if no prior immunity
Table 2. Chemical and Physical agents that can present reproductive hazards for
Women in the pet grooming profession.
Strenuous physical labor
Pet grooming can be a strenuous occupation involving lifting, and standing.
Animal Waste Fluids
Infected animals may carry hazardous diseases, parasites in their feces and fluids.
Exposure to parasites, carriers of diseases
Exposure to sanitizing & cleaning solutions, medicated shampoos
Pesticides, Fungicides, Herbicides
Table 3. Two examples of Reproductive Zoononic Disease Hazards for Female
Pet Grooming Practitioners
Observed Effect
Potentially Exposed Workers
Preventative Measures
Miscarriage, birth defects,
Child developmental disorders
Animal care workers,
Pet grooming practitioners, Veterinarians, Techs, etc
Exposure tests before pregnancy.
Good hygiene sanitation practices.
Hepatitis B virus
Low birth weight
Pet Grooming & Animal Care Workers exposed to Animal Blood & Body Fluids
An Increased Health Hazard for Female -
Employers are responsible for training and protecting their workers. Workers are responsible for learning about the hazards in their workplace, using personal protective equipment, and following proper work practices. Since little data has been collected or known about reproductive hazards in the pet grooming field, workers should take the following steps to ensure their own safety:
Consult and Inform Doctor or Pediatrician before pregnancy about occupation hazards.
Store chemicals in labeled and sealed containers when they are not in use.
Wash hands after contact with hazardous substances before eating, drinking, or smoking.
Avoid skin absorption contact with chemicals.
If chemicals contact the skin, follow the directions for found in the Material Safety Data Sheet (MSDS). Employers are required to have copies of MSDSs for all products and materials used in their workplaces and have them readily available for workers.
Review all MSDSs to become familiar with any reproductive hazards used in your workplace. If you are concerned about reproductive hazards in the workplace, consult your doctor or health care provider.
Participate in all safety and health education, training, and monitoring programs offered by your employer.
Learn about proper work practices and engineering controls (such as improved ventilation).
Use personal protective equipment (gloves, respirators, and personal protective clothing) to reduce exposures to workplace hazards.
Follow your employer's safety and health work practices, procedures and policies to prevent exposures to reproductive hazards.
Prevent home contamination with the following steps:
- Change out of contaminated work clothing before going home.
- Store street clothes in a separate area of the workplace to prevent contamination.
- Wash work-clothing separately from other laundry (at work if possible).
- Avoid bringing contaminated work clothing or other objects home. If  work clothes must be brought home, transport them in a sealed plastic bag.
- Relocate an established "in home" pet grooming practice and business to a better location.
Pet grooming facilities in the 21st century provide grooming services to dogs of many different lifestyles. Dogs that have contact exposures to many  products in different environments. Dogs are more than companion animals offering security and comfort to pet owners. Some  dogs owned as pets that are groomed by pet grooming practitioners also work as ranches and farm hands, others serve as, search and rescue animals, others serve as members of  local law enforcement, and still others are honorable veterans of our nations military. Some are exposed to environmental hazards that  require special precautions during handling grooming and hygiene tasks.
Even some less active family dogs are likely to come in to contact with environmental agents in a families back yard. Lawn treatment products, and wild animal and domestic cats leave  hazardous waste products behind. All increase commercial pet grooming practitioners exposures to heath and reproductive hazards daily.
Grooming pets can no longer be thought of as just a beauty enhancement process, but a science study needed to protect the health of the practitioner as well as the pet and family. Commercial handling, grooming and hygiene care of dogs, challenges pet grooming practitioners to become better educated about these hazards; occupational hazards previously overlooked as occupational health risks.
GROOMOLOGIST® of YUPPIE PUPPY STUDIOS sm - continue to educate its employees and pet owners about the Art, Science, Health and Safety ofprofessional pet grooming, through its GROOMOLOGY® educational classes and pet grooming and hygiene care services.
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Updated Jan 2016