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With pets becoming more and more like family members, the number of services available to our furry friends have increased quite significantly. Services may include grooming, day care, pet sitters, trainers, walkers, breeders and alternative/holistic medicine.

However, it may surprise many U.S. pet owners that there are little to no governing bodies overseeing the industry, Honest Paws officials said in a survey report finding. Pet owners want that changed.

In fact, out of 400 U.S. adults, a “significant majority” believe not only that governing bodies should be in place but that pet service providers should also be required to hold licenses in order to operate their businesses, according to Honest Paws, which makes cannabidiol (CBD) pet products. Specifically, 89.75 percent of those surveyed believe there should be governing bodies that regulate pet care industries, such as grooming, day care and training to ensure quality and safety. About 84.75 percent believe that pet service providers (groomers, trainers and pet sitters) should be required to hold certain licenses/credentials in order to be in business.

What a majority of pet owners might not know is that many industry organizations recognize these concerns from pet owners and offer credentials in some of these industries.

For example, the World Pet Association (WPA) recently launched its WPA Pet Grooming Credential, which will be awarded to professionals who pass proctored, core competency exams.

“This credential—which resembles the core competencies measured for cosmetologists—will allow pet stylists to signal to their commitment, knowledge, experience and dedication to education. Pet owners can rest easy knowing their furriest family members will be treated compassionately,” Khris Berry, director of grooming services at WPA, said in September when officials announced the program.

Pet Sitters International (PSI) also has a certification exam. PSI’s CPPS-Certified Professional Pet Sitter Exam requires that candidates demonstrate the knowledge and skills necessary to “succeed and prosper” as professional pet sitters, according to officials.

“Now, more than ever before, we believe the pet-owning public needs an easily identifiable way to determine the most qualified, knowledgeable professional pet-sitting options—and professional pet sitters need a way to demonstrate their qualifications so they can stand out in the sea of qualified and unqualified options in the ever-growing pet-care services industry,” officials said on PSI’s website.

PetSmart has taken note as well. As part of its new brand platform called Anything for Pets, the big-box retailer is highlighting what it does for pets, including ensuring academy-trained pet stylists have more than 800 hours of hands-on grooming instruction along with annual safety certifications.

“Anything for Pets is more than a new tagline or marketing campaign,” Will Smith, vice president and chief marketing officer at PetSmart, said in early June when the campaign was announced. “For us, it’s a way of life and the fabric of our company, inspired by the associates who continue to go above and beyond to serve our customers and their pets. They are living proof that at PetSmart, we’ll do anything for pets.”

Pet service providers might want to take a cue from PetSmart and consider publicizing their certifications. A little promotion can go a long way in ensuring consumer confidence.


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