Record your bite experiences - register is open to members and non-members.
GROOMERS BITE REGISTER - British Isles Grooming Association
Dog and Cat bites - Just part of the job?
Bites sustained by groomers are rarely recorded or even publicised outside of the grooming community, yet injuries can lead to periods of absence from work or even cause groomers to leave the industry.
BIGA has created the British Isles register of dog and cat bites occurring within pet grooming businesses. You don’t have to be a member of BIGA (although we’d love to have you on board). If you have been bitten whilst working, please record your information on the form.
The register will be open for future occurrences and the collated data will tell us the extent of the issue. We will be able to see if there are certain breeds, or ages, or health conditions that make pets more likely to bite. We can note warning signs and steps to be taken when those signs are exhibited. We will even be able to cross-check the register to see if an animal has shown previous signs of aggression, given the appropriate level of detail. This will be helpful in cases of litigation.
Should customers disclose if their pet has bitten before?
This leads nicely to the matter of customer disclosure. Ideally, customers will tell their groomers if their pet has a tendency to bite but part of the initial assessment, when a customer drops off their pet, should be to obtain signed confirmation from owners stating that their dog does not have previous issues around aggression. Should the worst happen, this can then be used if any recompense is sought through the courts.
Are you sufficiently insured?
Bite injuries can lead to periods of absence from work and have even caused groomers to leave the industry. It is important to make sure you have Income Protection cover should you need to take time off work and also the right level of cover any injuries to staff, customers and the public. Cliverton Insurance offer Personal Accident policies which are additional to basic cover.
Do you know your legal obligations and liabilities?
Did you know that, once a customer has handed their pet into the care of the groomer, the groomer is considered to be legally responsible for any harm the pet causes, including bites to the groomer, their staff and the public? Although it is unlikely that any criminal cases would proceed, it is possible that a civil case could be raised against the groomer.
Did the owner owe the groomer a duty of care? Yes, they knew the groomer would be working at close proximity to their pet. Were they in breach? If the groomer specifically asked whether the pet was aggressive and the customer’s answer was not truthful, then it could be said that damage was foreseeable. Please note: It is unlikely that the owner’s insurance would cover any injury if someone other than the owner is looking after the dog.
If a member of staff or customer is bitten, Section 3 of the Dangerous Dogs Act could apply to the groomer as, strictly, they are liable due to being in charge. Negligence might be proved if the dog was not on a lead.
The UK is getting more litigious. No matter how cautious groomers are, complaints might be made so a groomer could face being sued or upsetting a customer who could enter adverse comments on social media - reputational damage can devastate a business.
BIGA HAS CREATED THE GROOMERS BITE REGISTER TO SUPPORT GROOMERS
Help us to help you – record your bites.
By sharing our experiences we can learn from, and support, each other within our community.
Dog Bite Register:
Cat Bite Register:
Open to all: members and non-members
If you are interested in sponsoring this register, please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org