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I took my shitzui to pet smart a month ago, we asked them to get rid of his not so matted hair, they said that it will have to be shaved off to one inch, So I said no problem, I went back and he got totally shaved, he was in total shock and distress, above all he was biting and licking his left leg, when I picked him up he was crying and his body was in the form of the letter C. I took him home and found that he was totally uncomfortable and I called them to find out if he fell or if they did anything to him?

They obviously said NO,and claimed that it's stress on his appearance, well week after week he was getting worse with shivers and wobbles, it's obvious that there is something worse going on and I took him to the vet, she asked me if Fluffy fell, I said not to my knowledge and I told her about the way this all started, she said that Fluffy is not well at all, his wobble became paralysis in both hind legs and he had a bluish, purple spine, to make a long story very short, because I cannot continue, I had to put my baby down, he was only 4 years old, the most beautiful dog with such a huge loving joy that he brought into our lives, full of energy and tenderness. Petsmart is a place that should have their washing area open glass to see what is going on and monitored by camera's, we cannot see what is going on back there and they will not allow anyone to go in there either. We should have a policy to protect our family member or members, but before I go there, I will surely let everyone know that, I will never ever go there again. I am better off to go for a course in dog grooming and doing it myself, rather than pay this heartbreaking price.

I miss him so much that it hurts every second to see my best friend and baby gone. Shame on you Petsmart, shame on you.

Product or Service Mentioned: Petsmart Grooming Service.

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I am so sorry for your loss. I had a shih yzu myself named Peanut butter, and after we changed her food to the brand Nutro because she had a corn allergy, after being on the food for only 4 months, we started to notice changes in her behavior, like she was having accidents in the house, which she never had before, she stopped playing with her toys, she stopped eating her food, and then, the big one, she started having petite mal seizures.

We took her to the vet's office and her white count was sky high, and several of her systems were affected. We found out that the FDA were conducting an investigation into that company due to complaints from consumers about their dogs having seizures and dying. I don't blame any store because there wasn't a recall on the food. I do blame the FDA however for knowing that this problem is going on, killing so many people's beloved pets, and not pulling the food off the shelves, just leaving it there so it could kill more pets.

So, I am so very sorry for your loss. I will pray for you and Fluffy.

I hope that you can at least be at peace knowing that he is not in any pain, although I know that is often of little comfort to us when we so wish our loved ones were here with us. I know that he's here with you in your heart.

Whitby, Ontario, Canada #996988

You shouldn't blame your dogs paralysis and death on PetSmart... I see your upset and you don't really care who you blame, you just want to point the blame to make yourself feel better clearly.

Getting a haircut didn't kill your dog... And they would have told you and offered to pay veterinary bills if they were responsible for any such mistake. You have zero evidence that PetSmart groomers were the cause.

How would you like it is someone blamed you of a loved ones death wherever you work? Its not nice!


Poor little thing. That is so incredibly sad...


A dangerous place is KC S PETS in Ajax,Kingston rd.Stay away.Recalled food on shelves,owner very proud not to loose on sales!!!,manager dishonest to the core,groomers without license.The place is filthy...and dogs are washed with cold waters..sad,very sad


Customers trust and believe what the professional is telling them...that is why they do not perform these tasks themselves. I would put my money on the original poster being 100% honest about her reaction to what the groomer was telling her.

Dogs have a high thresh-hold for pain and I have heard Petsmart groomers lie to cover up their actions due to fear of being fired or just inability to admit failure. Lots of dogs and cats are injured in their care facilities on a regular daily basis and it is covered up or for lack of a better word "shut-up".

DO NOT BE FOOLED!!! However, do form your own opinion...good luck!!!!!

to Anonymous Boston, Massachusetts, United States #941208

Yes i agree the petsmart groomets are uncabaplel of doing a good job no enough experience and disonest i never take my Pet there again !! N


This chick sounds like a wacko.


my daughter use to work at petsmart in the washing station at the back where nobody can see you. see quit the job. the mistakes are coming from the front not the back.


I took my St.Bernard to Petsmart grooming. She came back with nothing done that I had told them to do...Shedding badly STILL,I specifically requested when I dropped her off that a shedding rake be used, due to her being a longhaired/rough coated Saint, AND that the hair between her toes also be trimmed back, as rough coat Saints have a tendency to get "iceballs" between the pads of their toes in snowy weather.

I also asked that her whiskers be trimmed back as well, since that IS THEE proper way to groom them! Got her back, and tah dah! she looked like ***. I thanked them by never using their facility anymore, and I also told them that WHY is it that the breeders and the folks that show them seem to be the only ones that know how to groom them!

DUH!! Never again!

to anon Oshawa, Ontario, Canada #669349

They are pet groomers, not show groomers, also if you happened to book with a bather, they don't do hair trimming, they are not trained for it.


Wow...I'd like to clarify a couple things right now that the owner doesn't seem to understand. Those symptoms - bruised spine, shivering, paralysis - are all indicative of a ruptured intervertebral disc.

Disc disease is VERY common in shih tzus. Basically what happens is that when a disc ruptures, it puts pressure on the spinal cord, causing pain and/or paralysis. A ruptured disc can occur randomly, after trauma (such as a fall), or after something as mild as jumping off the couch. A disc will rupture when it's outer casing becomes thin, which happens a lot in shih tzus.

Her dog most likely had this underlying disease that somehow manifested after the grooming appointment.

It would have happened eventually, so to blame the groomer would be unfair. The paralysis can often be reversed with surgery, but that's expensive and a lot of owners elect to euthanize.


How dare you blame a groomer for failing to seek medical attention for your dog over weeks and weeks that he was in obvious pain. Its a good thing that people don't believe everything that is on the internet, my dog has been going to petsmart for years and the ladies there love him and care for him as if he were their own dog.

At least they groom in front of windows where customers can watch instead of in a backroom somewhere, where who knows what is being done.

You should provide some type of proof instead of just accusing someone of paralizing your dog. Oh yeah and its spelled shih tzu not shitzui!!!!!


If this were true wouldn't you have sued Petsmart and got money if you could prove it? SHAME ON YOU for blaming a groomer that probably had nothing to do with it, I know I wouldn't have waited that long to get my dog looked at if it couldn't walk!!!!! SHAME ON YOU NEGLECTFUL DOG OWNER


So sorry about Fluffy, he is now in heaven, and he is playing with my dog Bailey there...


Not to mention.. one of the main complaints by groomers is that it takes forever for them to be able to do a dog solo.



You must be in a horrible district. I was a cashier for 3 years and never witnessed anything of the sort. Now I've been in another department another 2 years and still never see anything even close to such behavior go on. They are monitored constantly at our store by management as well as routine drop ins by our district manager. The only time any other associate is asked to go help in the salon is to answer the phones in the case of a lone groomer when another groomer is on lunch. I am one of the few that can do this because you actually have to complete salon safety certification beforehand. They won't leave one groomer in the salon alone because you can't make sure the dogs are safe if you're answering calls. They have to constantly keep their hands on the dog when they are on the table.

Our store has sent animals home due to stress or serious illness before the groom ever started. It's part of HOP to notice when things may be a problem, and not only are they concerned about the animals welfare.. but even if they were as cold and cruel as you say.. no one is going to risk handling an animal with medical problems when people like to yell ABUSE and sue at the drop of a hat. I feel sorry for you for living in such an area that you have obvious local and regional neglect in the care of animals.. if in fact it even happened that way.


Jessica, if what you are saying is true, then you need to report your store to corporate. I worked for PetSmart for eight years, and I can tell you that everything that dog lover said is true.

There are many, many policies and procedures in place to prevent pet illness, distress, or worse. There is a minimum of two weeks of training, both book and hands on, before you are allowed to even clip a dogs nails on your own, and you must go to the grooming school for weeks followed by 100 supervised grooms with your salon manager before you can groom on your own. No associate is even allowed beyond the lobby unless they have passed the pet safety certification course and exam 100%. Jessica, if what you say is true reporting your concerns through the care line is the best way to remedy this, because what you described is not what PetSmart is about.

What happened to fluffy is sad. However, PetSmart would have paid for an immediate vet visit if you suspected something was wrong. Even if you had to take fluffy to the vet and go through corporate, they would have paid that bill even if the salon associate on the phone said they wouldn't.

For every bad experience in a salon, and there will be some regardless of the company, there are thousands of great experiences. I'm sorry Fluffy had to suffer and I sincerely wish you and your future pets the best of health and long and happy life.


Dog Lover, all the rules you've listed are completely inaccurate! I worked as a cashier for 9 months at PetSmart right in front of the grooming salon.

The store groomers are the furthest thing from "trained professionals". They are trained for one day and are then told to immediately begin grooming. They learn through trial and error. I wouldn't be surprised if this dog was accidentally hurt by someone with little to no experience.

I was even asked to assist the groomers when they were behind schedule and because I was not properly trained, I refused. However it wasn't uncommon for cashiers, floor associates, even store stockers to be asked to help out in the grooming salon, without being trained. Also, dogs are never sent home due to stress. By doing this, the groomer would be forfeiting their commission.

Instead, the groomer will tie the dog down ever more securely or even have someone hold them down.

There are no safety precautions or measures taken to ensure a dogs safety! If you're looking for a safe and trustworthy place to have your dog groomed, please look elsewhere!


Also i would like to add, when you take your dog into petsmart you sign a relase form saying that they are not responsible for any illness that occurs during the groom if it is unrelated. Nothing could have caused the dog to be sick, not even stress.The worst that a grooming salon could do is accidently cut a dogs wart off and cause bleeding, or accidently cut a dog who moves during a groom and at that point it is to be sent to a vet immediately and the pet parent notified.

the groom would have been stopped right away and all managers contacted. If the dog had shown these signs while being groomed, they would have had to take immediate action and send your dog to a vet themseleves its petsmart policy and its on the release form that is to be signed before ANY groom.


im sorry but it is not petsmarts fault for your loss. I am so very sorry to hear about your poor dog however, petsmart has many rules and policies to protect dogs.

They are not even allowed to groom dogs that are too nervous, they are to be sent home because it is "unsafe". they look for TWO signs of stress. If the dog so much as pees, they will turn the dog down due to stress. It is very normal for dogs to become stressed while grooming because they have to be tied down and shaved.

dogs do need to be groomed for thier own health and saftey, so they do not develop matting and hot spots on thier skin. Petsmart have trained professionals and have to go through many tests and many months of training in order to even become a groomer. they have many rules that people do not know about such as; every dog must have water, ever kennel must be cleaned after each use, eye rinse is to be used before and after bath to avoid infection. If eye wash touches a dog it is to be thrown in the garbage.

dogs can only be tied to the floor and never left on a table or to a kennel. no dog is to be left alone at all. there are certain breeds that cannot be kennel dried, due to breathing problems (shih tzus, bull dogs, poodles, chihuaua and many more) dogs over ten years old are not to be kennel dried and usually take a second person to groom becasue of bad legs. dogs can only be muzzled for a MAX of 20 mins, so even if the dog tries to *** you the whole time, you cannot muzzle it.

each dog has to have rabbies and is not to come NEAR any other dog in the salon. Fluff dryers are to be used on the dogs face NEVER a velocity dryer.

If the dog has a wound, it cannot be groomed. if dogs ears are too matted they cannot shave them because it can cause hemotoma (bleeding of the ears do to the release of pressure ) There are many precautions and measures taken for the saftey of petsmart dogs that is not known about, so I think you should talk to the salon rather than reading ONE womans story.

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