Dog Grooming Business Legislation: what you need to know.

May 15, 2024

Being on top of the latest business legislation is necessary in any industry, but is dog grooming regulated in the UK? Looking after animals comes with a number of responsibilities from both an expectation from clients and a more legal standpoint, caring for an animal.

When setting up a dog grooming business there are a number of important laws and regulations that are worth being aware of to ensure you’re following best practices and doing things by the book, should you need to make an insurance claim or account for specific activities.

UK Laws for Dog Groomers

Poodle cut dog grooming style

Animal Welfare Legislation

The Animal Welfare Act in England and Wales ensures the welfare of animals under human care or supervision. As a dog groomer, you’ll be responsible for the well-being of the animals in your care. Negligence or cruelty can lead to criminal prosecution. Taking steps to minimize risks, such as using equipment correctly and ensuring the safety of the animals during grooming seems obvious.

5 Welfare Needs


Ensuring protection from pain, injury, suffering, and disease. If an animal becomes ill or injured, it should receive appropriate treatment.


Allowing animals to behave naturally for their species. This includes activities like playing, running, digging, jumping, and flying.


Housing animals with or apart from other animals as appropriate for their species. For sociable species like rabbits or guinea pigs, companionship with their own kind is crucial. Solitary species like hamsters may need to be housed alone.


Providing a suitable diet, including feeding appropriately for the pet’s life stage and preventing obesity or malnourishment. Access to fresh, clean water is also essential.


Ensuring a suitable environment, which includes the right type of home with comfortable resting places, hiding spots, space for exercise, and exploration.

Regulations for dog groomers

When starting a dog grooming business, it’s essential to be aware of various regulations and legislation to ensure compliance with legal requirements and maintain high standards of animal care and safety. Here are some key areas of legislation you should consider:

Business Registration

You’ll likely need to register your business with the appropriate local government authorities and obtain any necessary business licenses or permits to operate legally in your area.

Local Regulations

Check local laws to ensure your business location is viable for commercial purposes and allows for pet grooming services.

Health and Safety Regulations

Dog groomers must comply with health and safety regulations to ensure the safety of both animals and humans in their premises. This includes maintaining a clean and hygienic environment, proper handling of grooming equipment and chemicals, and implementing measures to prevent accidents and injuries.

Handling and Restraint

 Understand proper handling and restraint techniques for grooming animals to prevent injuries and ensure their safety and well-being. This may involve following guidelines set by veterinary associations or animal welfare organisations.

Grooming Product Safety

Use grooming products that are safe for animals and comply with relevant regulations, such as restrictions on toxic ingredients or allergens.

Employee Regulations

If you hire employees, be aware of employment laws and regulations related to wages, working hours, employee rights, and workplace safety.

Record-Keeping and Documentation

Maintain accurate records of grooming services provided, client information, veterinary records, and any incidents or accidents that occur during grooming sessions.

Continuing Education and Training

Stay informed about industry best practices, new grooming techniques, and developments in animal care by participating in continuing education programs and training courses.

Customer Contracts and Consent

It’s advisable for dog groomers to have clear terms and conditions outlined in customer contracts, including details of the grooming services provided, pricing, cancellation policies, and liability disclaimers. Obtaining written consent from pet owners before grooming their dogs is also recommended.

Regulations Running a Grooming Business from Home

In the UK, you can run a dog grooming business from home if you have sufficient space and a safe environment. There are no specific licenses for pet grooming establishments, but you should be aware of relevant legislations, especially since you’ll be working with animals.

Regulations Running a Mobile Grooming Business

Transporting dogs for a dog grooming business typically involves adhering to certain rules and regulations to ensure the safety and well-being of the animals, as well as compliance with relevant laws. Here are some considerations regarding the transportation of dogs for grooming:

Vehicle Safety

The vehicle used for transporting dogs should be safe, clean, and properly equipped to accommodate the animals. This may include securing crates or harnesses to prevent dogs from moving around excessively during transit, ensuring adequate ventilation and temperature control, and having appropriate restraints in place to prevent escape.

Dog Kennel Boarding Licensing

If you operate a commercial dog grooming business, you may need a license for dog kennel boarding activities. Consider whether your activity falls under the definition of a business (e.g., making a profit or earning commissions/fees).

What is GDPR in dog grooming?

GDPR (General Data Protection Regulation) is a significant legal framework that impacts businesses, including dog grooming services, within the European Union (EU) and the United Kingdom. Here’s what you need to know:


GDPR aims to harmonise data protection laws across EU member states.

It ensures that personal data held by any organisation is processed securely and transparently.

Key Points:

Data Collection: When collecting personal data (such as customer information), ensure it is used only for its intended purpose.

  • Storage and Deletion: Safely delete data when it is no longer necessary.
  • Transparency: Be transparent about how you use and store data.
  • Processing Context: GDPR applies to organisations with EU establishments where personal data is processed in the context of their activities.

Dog Grooming and GDPR

As a dog groomer, you handle client information, including details about pets and appointments.

Ensure compliance by:

Informing clients about the data you collect and how it’s used.

Safeguarding online data with passwords.

Managing customer records responsibly.

Using secure scheduling software and payment platforms.

Not sharing customer data for marketing purposes.

Get Dog Grooming Insurance with Protectivity

Protectivity provides comprehensive, affordable dog grooming insurance for professionals just like you, whether you’re just starting out or have years of experience. Our policies encompass Public Liability that covers injuries or property damage; Care, Custody and Control cover of up to £100,000 in case a dog gets ill or injured, and up to £30,000 of specialist cover for your equipment.

With our insurance, available through flexible payment plans, you can groom dogs with confidence that an accidental error won’t hit you in the pocket.

Find out more on our dog grooming policy here.

Bee Ingram

Content Writer for Protectivity Insurance

This blog has been created as general information and should not be taken as advice. Make sure you have the correct level of insurance for your requirements and always review policy documentation.