PetSmart to Make New Improvements to Grooming Experience Based on Review Board Recommendations

January 31, 2019

PHOENIX, AZ – Jan. 31, 2019 – PetSmart, North America’s leading pet specialty retailer, will implement enhancements to its groomer training curriculum based on the recommendations of an independent Review Board. PetSmart proactively appointed the board in May 2018 to review all aspects of the company’s pet grooming and training safety standards, and provide an unbiased report of the board’s findings, including potential areas of improvement.

PetSmart will begin implementing the Review Board’s recommendations this year, including grooming enhancements such as more breed-specific training, behavioral training, and environmental changes to reduce distractions for pets in grooming salons. PetSmart will also implement a more extensive pre-check-in process for all pets.

Pet parents can learn more by reading the Review Board’s formal letter of recommendations.

The Review Board, comprised of eight leading veterinarians, accomplished master groomers, recognized industry experts and pet behaviorists, was formed as part of PetSmart’s comprehensive action plan to enhance the grooming safety and experience for all pets and promote the highest standards across the industry.

“PetSmart will continue to work to provide the best experience for pets and earn the trust of pet parents every day,” said J.K. Symancyk, PetSmart president and CEO. “Through the Review Board study and the enhancement of our procedures, we are raising the bar for our own industry-leading grooming standards and hope it will do the same for the industry overall.”

Over a three-month period, the Review Board members spent more than 60 hours each analyzing all printed, online and video-based procedures and training materials, conducting multiple in-person visits to PetSmart salons, observing PetSmart’s Salon Pet Stylist Academy to review classroom-style training, and attending the company’s Annual Pet Safety Re-Certification meeting for all Services associates.

Overall, the Board found PetSmart’s grooming curriculum, ongoing safety training and procedures to be thorough, noting that the combination of online, classroom and hands-on training to be effective in preparing trainees to groom pets safely.

“We appreciate the Review Board’s dedication and comprehensive review of our curriculum and safety standards over these past several months,” said Gregg Scanlon, senior vice president of Store Operations and Services for PetSmart. “We have a responsibility to uphold the highest standards in the industry and provide both pets and their parents with the best experience every time they choose PetSmart’s grooming services. We will continue to look for opportunities to make this experience even better each and every day.”

Along with the appointment of an independent Review Board, PetSmart’s comprehensive action plan has led to enhancements including the ongoing installation of cameras in all grooming salons across PetSmart’s 1,650 North American locations, and nationwide Salon Open House events where pet parents can meet groomers, tour grooming facilities and ask questions.

These initiatives build on PetSmart’s broader commitment to lead the industry on safety and quality standards. PetSmart was a charter member of the Professional Pet Groomers & Stylists Alliance (PPGSA) initiative in 2015 to develop industry standards, and in 2018, PetSmart was the first specialty retailer to announce its support for pet groomer licensing in New Jersey.


About PetSmart®

PetSmart LLC is the largest specialty pet retailer of services and solutions for the lifetime needs of pets. At PetSmart, we love pets, and we believe pets make us better people. Every day with every connection, PetSmart’s passionate associates help bring pet parents closer to their pets so they, together, can live more fulfilled lives. This vision impacts everything we do for our customers, the way we support our associates and how we give back to our communities. PetSmart employs approximately 56,000 associates and operates more than 1,650 pet stores in the United States, Canada and Puerto Rico, as well as more than 200 in-store PetSmart PetsHotel® dog and cat boarding facilities. The retailer provides a broad range of competitively priced pet food and products, as well as services such as dog training, pet grooming, pet boarding, PetSmart Doggie Day Camp™ and pet adoption. PetSmart, PetSmart Charities® and PetSmart Charities® of Canada work with more than 3,500 animal welfare organizations to bring adoptable pets into stores so they have the best chance possible of finding a forever home. Through this in-store adoption program and other signature events, PetSmart has facilitated more than 8 million adoptions, more than any other brick-and-mortar organization. In May 2017, PetSmart acquired, a leading online retailer of pet food and products in the U.S., which operates as an independent subsidiary.

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PetSmart LLC Erin Gray, 623-587-2177
Senior Corporate Communications Manager