Groom Team England takes Gold at the World Team Dog Grooming Championships

The bi annual World Team Dog Grooming Championships were held on September 25th 2022 in Kortrijk Belgium. Following the postponement of the 2019 event and delays due to the pandemic this is the first championships since 2017.  The event was attended by 16 countries from as far as Brazil and Canada and is organised and hosted by the European Grooming Association.  

Groom Team England has attended every event since 2007 with a highest previous placing of 3rd in 2009. A team of 6 including Captain and reserve attended the event, sponsored by Simpsons Grooming Supplies and uniforms supplied by Artero. They travelled via ferry and car with their dogs to compete at the main event in the grooming calendar supported by Groom Team committee members and English groomers.

The competition is split into 4 categories of different grooming styling and techniques and was judged by an international panel of 6 judges .Points are awarded for each groom by 3 judges and then accumulated to ascertain the highest score resulting in placing for six teams.

The team members are:
Captain:  Denise Westbrook
Cheryl Howard representing Pure Breed Scissor with a Kerry Blue Terrier called Gin
Amy Manser representing Spaniel & Setter with an American Cocker Spaniel called Larry
Costin Stoica representing Hand Strip with a Wire Fox Terrier called Lord
Kirsty Young representing Poodle with a Standard Poodle called Ginny
Reserve:  Julie Lalou Simpson

The six placings were:
1st England
2nd Italy
3rd USA
4th Greece
5th Spain
6th Switzerland

Groom Team England is a non-profit organisation funded by sponsorship, founded in 2007 and run by a committee headed by Joanne Angus


An innovation in cat healthcare and grooming recognised.

Wrapsio, a scratch-resistant swaddling blanket that helps keep cats calm for grooming and giving treatments, is announced as a finalist in this year's PetQuip awards.

This revolutionary product, made from a unique soft fabric, is not only comforting for the cat but also provides outstanding levels of protection to the handler from paws and claws.

The awarding organisation PetQuip is a well-respected international trade association with a judging panel comprising expert retailers and independent specialists with vast experience. The accolades (to be announced in September) give businesses excellent opportunities to promote their new product developments and successes.

A strong advocate for fear-free animal handling and vet nurse, Miranda Luck, created Wrapsio Cat Wraps to improve cat welfare whilst preventing injuries to their handler.

Miranda said: "We are thrilled to find out we are a finalist. Having Wrapsio recognised as such a valuable and safe aid for grooming cats is a real boost. A gentle alternative to scruffing and muzzling, we already know many professional cat groomers won't work without one".

Industry expert, Christine Anderton of Absolutely Animals, who took part in the initial trials of Wrapsio, said: "We have tried out the Wrapsio and found it fantastic! It's worked really well with scratching cats, and it's given us much more confidence."

Miranda added 'Wrapsio are a small but determined team and to have become a finalist in the PetQuip '22 awards is not only exciting but truly rewarding. We are passionate about providing solutions to help with humane cat handling and are delighted that Wrapsio is being acknowledged in this way”.

What to do if a dog collapses

Rachel Bean is a qualified veterinary nurse with over 25 years of experience. This month in her column, she gives us some information on what to do when a dog collapses in your grooming salon.

Every pet professional should, at the very least, have a Qualified Pet First Aider. So much can go wrong, and even basic skills won't do in some situations. A recognised qualification such as the iPET Network OFQUAL Level 3 is essential.

The qualification is continually updated as best practice changes and new information becomes available, it has been running for four and a half years.

When these situations occur they can induce panic, and unless someone is there that knows what to do, there is a very real chance that the situation is not dealt with calmly and correctly, potentially making the situation worse.

If your dog is injured and bleeding, it is important to keep them quiet and calm. Many people might panic and make the situation worse, causing the injured dog to lash out.

When we send our dogs to visit a professional groomer, we are putting our trust in the staff that work there, we expect them to know what to do.

If a dog has collapsed in the salon, slowly lift the dog on to a large towel or a blanket and make sure it’s strong enough to hold the full weight of the dog.

First, check vital signs. Is the dog breathing? Has the dog got a heartbeat? Has the dog got a pulse? Do you know how and where to check these?

If the dog has no vital signs you may have to start with CPR straight away. Do you know how to do CPR correctly?

Call the vet. You should have vet's details close at hand and at all times.

Ask another staff member to call the owner and inform them of what has happened and that you are on the way to the vet.

Carry the dog carefully to your vehicle and place on the back seat or boot area if suitable. If a staff member is available, they could help and come with you to continue CPR or monitor the dog's condition.

Imagine this scenario - are you prepared, are your staff prepared. Have you done rehearsals in your place of work?

Nothing can take the place of doing a first aid course, and that is why I am proud to be an ambassador for the national Safe Pets and People Campaign, which is calling for mandatory first aid qualifications for all UK pet professionals.

To find out more about taking a first aid course visit

To find out more about Safe Pets and People and sign the petition go to

Harlem Doggie Day Spa

Brian Taylor, better known as ‘The Dog Father of Harlem’, is the owner and operator of Harlem Doggie Day Spa. We sit down with him to talk about his shop, how they’ve developed the business and how the they’ve grown over the years.

Harlem Doggie Day Spa is home to a hot, new take on being creative whilst bringing a top-tier grooming service to your clients. Being no stranger to the wide world of social media, Brian has learned the ins and outs of how to grow a successful business using Instagram to attract new clients, showing the “behind the scenes”.

Brian is also incredibly popular on TikTok (@Dogfatherofharlem), with over 100,000 followers to demonstrate the scale of how much his business has grown over the years.

Alongside the ever-growing business, Brian also has taken on the role of running his own non-profit known as the Pup Relief Tour, which takes groomers across the country to offer free grooming services to people in need. 

In regards to the actual dog groomers, Harlem Doggie Day Spa, Brian tells us a little about the business: “HDDS is dedicated to providing the finest cage-free boarding, daycare and grooming facility in Harlem, NYC. We also now offer mobile grooming service in NYC.”

Starting in 2010 with a vision to create a one of a kind grooming facility, the business grew over time when clients began requesting care for their pets for the day or whilst they were away on holiday. “By learning and catering to each dog’s personality and needs, we developed trust with our customers, by providing an enriched environment with your best friend.” Brian adds.

Brian also comments on how their social media pages have helped contribute to the success of the business. Their clients use the socials to check out their funny videos, transformational grooming videos, pet updates and business policies.

“We use the platform to rally our clients and followers whenever we have social or community causes we need their support with,” Brian adds, “We ask every new client to follow us because we may post their pup as a feature content. We do daily Instagram stories, and post informational content for pet parents.”

According to Brian, the best way to grow a business is by tapping into the client base and creating content for your clients to enjoy. This is because he sees that people love sharable information, especially “snack-sized” content!

It’s no secret that social media is a massive part of growing any business in 2022, however there are still so many small tactics and ways to ensure that you’re utilising it to its full potential. Brian sees that these methods can be considered highly important, and stands by the fact that it is one of the cornerstones of any growing business.

“I think that a ‘hidden gem’ is being consistent with content. You should have fun with it. Content should be fun and it adds value to your profession. People like content that shows you’re passionate and have knowledge and expertise in your business.

“I love the TikTok platform because of the live feature that helps groomers build their brands. They can groom pups in front of prospective clients. Those viewers then go on and follow them on other platforms.” Brian adds.

Brian works with multiple brands, ranging through clipper companies, shears, shampoo and even online booking services. Working alongside these, paid deals are created for social media content, and Brian is able to use this to boost his business: “The most important thing when working with brands is outlining the terms and making sure it’s mutually beneficial for you and your company.

“I think working with Andis for the Pup Relief Tour was very important to my brand and my cause during the 2020 pandemic. They gave us $20k worth of clippers and did their best to support our cause."

Brian thinks that groomers will have a huge impact on 2022 because there is a large amount of “pet parents” looking for trustworthy groomers.

“I think every business owner should really take time to spend creating content and adding value while they grow their business,” Brian continues, “Those loyal clients will follow you as you develop. They love the journey and you could inspire some to open their own business one day.”

Brian’s business has grown exponentially over the years. The proof is in the pudding, if you invest your time in to the right avenues, in this case creativity on social media, you will inevitably see nothing but positive growth for your grooming salon.

Follow @harlemdoggiedayspa and @Dogfatherofharlem on Instagram and search Pup Relief Tour on GoFundMe.


Sally Hart, a groomer who started their career in South Africa, tells us all about South African pet grooming and how it differs from UK grooming.

Hi Sally, can you please introduce yourself to our readers?

I started my grooming career in South Africa a little while ago. Perhaps, more accurately, 29 years ago. We have owned our present salon, Tailwaggers Dog Grooming in Kent, since 2006. Grooming is my passion, and I love sharing my knowledge, not only giving seminars, but also through my newer venture, Up Your Groom, offering 1-1 training days and workshops.

What can you tell me about grooming in South Africa?

Back then, grooming was still a relatively small industry, without the understanding of why it was so important for our pets. Our equipment was minimal and fairly hard to obtain, due to the expense of it having to be imported from either Europe or the US.

What key differences have you noticed between grooming in South Africa and grooming in the UK?

I know just how fortunate us groomers in the UK are. It is still easy for us to have the latest products and equipment, whilst not a lot seems to have changed in South Africa. They can source the products, but the expense of importing means the prices are hugely elevated. This would not be such an issue if the grooming industry in South Africa had advanced like it has with us. Sadly, pet grooming is still largely considered a “luxury” by many South African pet owners, with visits once or twice a year.

What are some key factors that you think UK groomers can learn from South Africa-based groomers?

Groomers in South Africa have learnt to groom and accommodate clients’ requests and expectations without relying on the latest and most modern time saving devices. I think the skill they have, to give out neat and stylish grooms, shows that in some cases, we in the UK rely a lot on this equipment and sometimes forget to focus on the basic and fundamental techniques of grooming.

Are there any general thoughts you’d like to share with our readers?

I love the education side of our grooming industry and I think we can all learn so much from each other. It’s important to share our knowledge, experience and expertise with each other, both locally and around the world.

Search @upyourgroom on social media.

Unfamiliar felines

Many dog groomers hold off adding cats to their business offering, because of their aggressive reputation. However, cats really aren't all that bad, and with the right training, there are plenty of steps you can take to calm an anxious cat, and give them the care that they deserve.

Sarah Mackay and Fern Gresty - The iPET Network

The iPET Network launched the UK's first cat grooming qualifications last year, and we have found that many first time cat groomers are understandably a little nervous.

That is why we have put together our definitive guide to becoming a cat groomer, which offers advice and support to new groomers, and existing dog groomers who are thinking of branching out. 

The guide can be found by going to

Below you will also find some wonderful advice from Katie Gwilt, a Tutor for Four Paws Groom School in Cheshire. Four Paws Groom School is one of many iPET Network approved training providers and Katie explains how she takes the pain out of grooming the cats she cares for.

Katie Gwilt

Claws and teeth can be very sharp and many cats aren’t afraid to use them as a warning signal. They growl and hiss when annoyed or anxious which can come across as aggressive.

You can split seemingly aggressive cats into three types: Defensive, Reactive and aggressive.

When cats get that surge of adrenaline they go into fight, flight or freeze mode. Many cats will appear aggressive when in reality they are scared and protecting themselves.

When a stranger comes into the home to groom them or they are taken to a salon they can become stressed very quickly.

Many cats associate the cat carrier with going to the vets and a lot of cats don’t travel well in cars, so often by the time they arrive at the salon they are already in such a heightened state that they immediately lash out in fear or anxiety.

The best thing to do if the cat is showing signs of defending itself is to see if you can spend some time letting the cat get used to your presence and the new environment.

There are calming sprays available and pheromone diffusers such as Feliway you can plug in to try and create a more calming environment.

I ask clients to bring a towel or blanket that has their cat's home smell on it so you can give the cat a chance to hide if they don’t like being exposed on a grooming table.

Assess your handling techniques and brush up on the best and safest ways to handle cats that are species specific (scruffing is not correct handling).

Reactive cats are those that suddenly attack when you go near a sensitive area. This may be a vulnerable area such as the tummy or an area that is in pain.

This could be due to mats/knots/pelts or joint pain etc. Older or sick cats are often reactive when you reach an area they don’t want you to touch because it causes hurt or discomfort. Cats are very good at letting you know as soon as you hit a no-go area.

With reactive cats, again think carefully about the handling techniques you are using. Older cats often have stiff back legs so thinking about where their weight is placed when working around them is vital.

Consider they may not be able to sit or lie in certain positions, so working around the cat is essential rather than trying to make them work to your specific routine.

Grooming cats on your lap is to be considered, or at floor level, so they aren’t at any risk of injury if they fall/jump off the table. 

You can support their weight better using your flexible body. Consider making sure the grooming surface isn’t slippery either if the cat's limbs are sore or weak.

Genuinely aggressive cats are actually few and far between. I have groomed thousands of cats and I have only turned three down due to their level of aggression towards me.

These three have all come over to me and tried to attack me before I even started working with them. This is in sharp contrast to those who swipe, hiss, growl etc because they are afraid or I have touched a painful or sensitive spot. 

I use towels a lot to protect myself and the cats I work with.

Placing it loosely over the shoulders stops the cat from being able to turn and reach me if they do become anxious, defensive or reactive.

Making sure I know any medical conditions before starting a groom is essential so I know which areas to be more gentle with. Observing the cat and how they move and position themselves will also give you a lot of clues about how they may react. Sometimes having the guardian present can help the groom go smoother for more anxious cats, but if the guardian is very anxious too then be careful as this can heighten the cat's anxiety.

If the cat becomes too stressed, stop the grooming and take a break. Sometimes you can split the groom over two sessions, or request the guardian speak to their vet about a prescription for gabapentin (a mild sedative which can help calm the cat prior to grooming).

If it isn’t safe for the cat to continue (or you) then stop immediately. Welfare for all concerned must always come before aesthetics.

Visit and


Simon Brooks, Business Development Manager at Techtron, gives us a rundown of the importance of working with good shampoo brands within your business, as well as focusing on natural options.

There are a few things that should hold a great importance when you’re operating your grooming business. From the interior, to types of electronics used, there is a lot to think about. Something with a surprisingly large impact is the type of shampoo that you use within your salon.

Techtron is a contract manufacturer of liquid pet grooming and care products, manufacturing award-winning products for some of the leading brands in the sector. With over 30 years’ experience, Techtron knows a thing or two about product development.

With this in mind, we knew that Techtron would be a fantastic company to discuss the importance of shampoo within a grooming salon. Simon Brooks, Business Development Manager at Techtron, tells us a little about the business: “We manufacture white label pet grooming products, including a range of high-quality, natural shampoos. In the simplest of forms, we have a fantastic range of grooming products that you can put your logo on and sell to your customers.”

Brands like Techtron are there to provide you, the pet groomer, with benefits to apply to your business. Simon explains what this could entail: “With natural, ‘off the shelf’ products available, groomers can easily brand our products as their own, offering their customers high-demand options.

“The usual route for groomers to release their own products would involve initial start-up costs for product development coupled with high minimum order quantities. At Techtron, we have removed this barrier by offering a range of products that have already been developed and tested. This allows us to offer our service with no set up costs and realistic minimum order quantities. Working with us also lets you to tap into our technical expertise. If you’re looking to release a product that isn’t in our range, we are open to working on developing new products with you.”

This, combined with a little creativity from yourself as a groomer, can hold amazing benefits for your business - from presenting your own brand on social media, to being able to retail a more personalised experience to your clients.

The next step is research. What do you want your brand to stand for? Companies like Techtron, believe that a more natural take on branding can benefit your business.

We have seen the demand for products that are based on natural surfactants increase over the past few years and have taken this into consideration when developing our ‘off the shelf’ range,” Simon adds, “Our products are SLES/SLS free. No parabens, no phosphates, not tested on animals and no animal-derived ingredients, meeting the increased demand for natural ingredients-based products.”

A brand that works closely with their raw material suppliers ensures that the best ingredients are used for your furry clients. This can keep customers happy and will leave them wanting to visit you again.

Not only does focusing on natural shampoos hold a high standard of grooming for pets, it also leaves you feeling a lot more environmentally responsible than what you’d find with alternatives. This, combined with an amazing outcome that you wouldn’t be able to achieve by using less eco-friendly brands, makes the decision painfully obvious for pet groomers.

Simon elaborates a little more on his eco-friendly thoughts: “We enjoy the environmental and health factors, as well as offering our customers a wider audience reach through on-pack claims and producing a product that is both current and marketable.

“We have found that consumers, especially the younger generation, are more informed about the benefits of moving to natural-based pet products. You can see within the human hair care and cosmetic industry that there are now so many major brands focusing on natural ingredients within their products. This has set a benchmark for pet parents to make similar purchasing decisions for their furry companions.”

It can seem like a difficult task to ensure that your business is moving towards a healthier position for both your clients and the environment, but any small step in the right direction is a good place to start in our opinion! Even starting as small as an own-branded, environmentally friendly bottle of shampoo, your clients will love that you care and your marketability will certainly grow.

Follow @techtrongroomingproducts on Instagram an visit

Pet grooming in Kharkiv, Ukraine

An interview with groomer Irina Savenkov on the effects of the war in Ukraine. By Yuliya Strizhkina and Simba tsar Zverei.

Today I talk to the owner of Bichon Frise FCI kennel, a groomer with 16 years of experience and multiple award-winner, Irina Savenkova-Pashchenko.

How did the war start for you and what happened?

First weeks were a state of chaos and panic. We did not know if we should run away from the city, the country or wait.

Just in case, I started packing things at home and in the salon. Of course, there were no calls for work. After about four weeks, there came a call with a question if it was possible to wash a dog, because in many parts of the city there was no water, light and heating. People with animals had to hide for a long time, mainly in basements filled with fleas, dampness and dust. No one could have imagined such a thing. It was a nightmare.

“My profession is the health of animals, so I had no moral right to leave them.”

You and your family stayed in Kharkiv, although as a groomer you could find a job almost anywhere in the world. Why?

I found out that in our city with a population of roughly 1.5 million people. Out of the number of experienced groomers, not counting those who have just completed their training, there were around five or six people left.

Therefore, thank God that we, the remaining groomers, are scattered throughout the city, and we can refer clients to each other.

I realised that I could not leave those who remained in the city and that people from my micro district, which is quite large, would simply be abandoned. My profession is the health of animals, so I had no moral right to leave them.

What has the war changed in your work?

It limited opportunities. There are things that we can't get now. The bulk of the dogs come in with tangled fur. Previously, to solve this problem, we used professional tools, costing ₴700-800 each, enough for two or three dogs. Now, this has become impossible. Therefore, in such a situation, we use human Gliss Kur, but it is important to wash it off, otherwise it can ruin the coat.

Has the customer base changed, and if so, how?

Yes, it has changed a lot. For example, a woman comes with a Yorkie. I recognise the dog, but I see the woman for the first time. It turned out that the animal was left to her, under what conditions I do not know, but it is clear that the person has absolutely no idea how to care of him. I gave her a full consultation: how to properly feed, process, care of - everything that a person who remains instead of the owner should know.

How has the demand for services changed during wartime?

A very short haircut is the top service now. People understand that animals suffer from tangles, and due to the fact that they cannot provide normal care, they ask to cut everything as short as possible, leaving only a beautiful head and tail. They also dress pets in clothes, so the dogs do not freeze.

What help is needed and how can it be given?

Help is needed in many ways. Food for cats, dogs, rodents and guinea pigs are in dire need of feed.

There is a need for antiseptics. This is due to the fact that half of the veterinary clinics are closed. People cannot vaccinate their pets on time and treat them properly. In terms of grooming, we would be very grateful for: shampoos, conditioners and more blades. Everything is running out.

But, under all these difficult circumstances, we hold on and do not give up. We hope everything will be fine soon. And, thanks to the help and support of all the people who worry about us and pray for us, we are alive and trying to help others.

Contacts for those who can help pets and groomers of Kharkov and other affected regions of Ukraine: - (World Dog Press Association (WDPA) or (WDPA member)

Photos provided by Irina Savenkova-Pashenko

BSAVA Announces its 65th President

Alison Speakman has been appointed as the 65th President of the British Small Animal Veterinary Association (BSAVA), taking over from the outgoing President, Sheldon Middleton.

Alison has been an active member of the BSAVA since graduating from the University of Glasgow Veterinary School in 1991. She works in small animal practice and has completed a residency in feline medicine at Liverpool University’s School of Veterinary Science, as well as a PhD in canine Bordetella bronchiseptica. She has also spent two years working in industry. 

Sheldon Middleton handed the President’s baton to Alison Speakman at the BSAVA’s AGM on the 18th of May. 

Sheldon’s year-long tenure was marked by a calm and level-headed approach, providing stable leadership despite the ongoing challenges of the pandemic, Brexit, and industry-wide skills shortages – a perfect storm that continues to put pressure on the veterinary community. Sheldon stays on to support the BSAVA as Senior Vice President.

Commenting on her appointment, Alison Speakman says: “There’s no doubt that Sheldon is a hard act to follow but I’m delighted that he continues to support the organisation and I look forward to building upon his achievements of the last 12 months.

“I’ve been a passionate member of the BSAVA throughout my career and a volunteer for almost as long. As a working vet, I know first-hand the value of being part of a professional community: the importance of shared values, educational opportunities, and support shouldn’t be underestimated. We must remain focussed on the day-to-day challenges veterinary teams face, respond appropriately and at pace, and continue to explore new and effective ways to support our members.”

With that in mind, Alison’s three priorities for the year ahead are to:

• Deliver ever-more innovative material across the BSAVA’s Education, Congress, and Publications arms.

• Develop a wider digital offering so that BSAVA materials are widely available and easily accessible.

• Highlight the importance of mental health, stress management, and wellbeing, and develop resources and member benefits to help ensure the safety and happiness of people within the veterinary profession.

“I am enormously proud to be a member of a profession that requires and excels in such a broad set of skills: intellect, knowledge, practical dexterity, compassion, and resilience under pressure – all of which are tested on a daily basis!” finishes Alison Speakman. “There is no other profession like it and to be President of an association which represents such people is overwhelming.”

With currently around 11,500 active members, the BSAVA is run by volunteers from its membership along with dedicated staff at its headquarters. It drives excellence in veterinary practice to improve the health and welfare of small animals and enables the community of small animal veterinary professionals to develop their knowledge and skills through leading-edge education, scientific research and collaboration.

To find out more about the BSAVA membership, structure, and purpose, please visit the BSAVA website at