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AKC S.A.F.E. Grooming Program

AKC S.A.F.E. Grooming Program

dog being groomed

The American Kennel Club believes that grooming safety should be a top priority and is a genuine concern. We also recognize the importance of proper grooming for the health, well-being and overall comfort of dogs. As a result, the AKC has specifically designed its AKC S.A.F.E (Safety, Assurance, Fundamentals, Education) Grooming Program to support the grooming industry’s self-regulation effort through education. Show your commitment to your clients and community by setting the standard in groom safety.  


The AKC Safety in the Salon course is the central component of the program. This comprehensive, three-part class is taught by Susan Divine Sholar, founder of the International College of Pet Careers, to provide vital information on safety measures and protocols within the grooming facility. Sholar has been grooming dogs and cats for more than forty years, including fifteen years as a grooming instructor. Like many groomers, Susan turned a “hobby” into her life’s work.

Course Topics:

  • Covers best practices focusing on pet care, health and safety
  • Learn groomer and salon safety protocols and how to handle special cases
  • Become informed about pet and zoonotic diseases, accident avoidance and sanitation
  • Understand the best techniques to ensure pet safety while in groomer/salon care

You can take the AKC Safety in the Salon course online via Canine College, AKC’s educational portal. It is also available as an in-person class at groom expos and industry trade shows around the country.


Grooming professionals who successfully complete the AKC Safety in the Salon course and pass the associated test are eligible to become AKC S.A.F.E. Groomers and Salons.   At the center of the AKC S.A.F.E Grooming program is the Groomer/Salon Oath. Groomers and salon owners certify to follow the oath, which showcases their commitment to holding pet safety in the highest regard. Participants must submit an application demonstrating their grooming experience and pledge to safety. AKC S.A.F.E. Groomers and Salons receive a frameable certificate to display in their business, a complimentary one-year AKC GroomerFinder profile listing, and other valuable marketing materials from the AKC. Contact AKC Groomer Education at to learn more.


AKC GroomerFinder, our online listing platform, is the quick and easy way for dog owners to find groomers and grooming salons in their area. With more than 1.4 million people visiting the site each month, your business will reach dog owners at the exact moment they are looking for dog care providers.

GroomerFinder Features:

  • Advertise all the grooming services you provide
  • Detail your grooming experience and training
  • Upload unlimited photos/videos to showcase your work
  • Create a personalized URL for social media promotion

AKC S.A.F.E. Groomers and Salons also receive exclusive AKC GroomerFinder benefits. In addition to a free groomer or salon profile listing, your profile listing will receive priority ranking in the search results and include an AKC S.A.F.E. Groomer/Salon badge to showcase this distinction to potential clients.


Take the AKC Safety in the Salon course today. You can also contact AKC Groomer Education at for more information about the AKC S.A.F.E. Grooming Program and how to submit an application once you pass the course.