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Pet Groomers and Pesticide Products

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Products intended or used to kill or control fleas, ticks, and other pests on pets are considered pesticides under the New York State Environmental Conservation Law (ECL) and their sale and use is regulated by the Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC). Pesticides commonly used on pets may include: shampoos, dips, topical treatments, and collars. However, products such as these which do NOT claim to kill or control fleas, ticks, and other pests on pets, are NOT pesticides, unless they are applied with the intention to control pests.

Visit the National Pesticide Information Center (link leaves DEC webpage) website to find further information about using pesticides on pets, and pesticide poisoning in pets.

Any product that is considered a pesticide may only be sold or used in New York if it is registered by both the United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the DEC. There is one exception to this registration requirement; pesticides known as "minimum risk" are exempt from EPA and DEC registration. More information regarding minimum risk pesticides can be found in the section below.

Federal and state laws specify that all pesticides MUST be used in accordance with the directions on the product's label. These directions may specify the use of personal protection equipment, use on the correct animal and correct size of animal, and how to dispose of any waste generated from the pesticide application. The use of a pesticide in violation of the label requirements would be considered a violation of the ECL and could subject you or your business to an enforcement action by the DEC.

How to Determine if a Product is a Pesticide and if it is Registered with the DEC

If a product claims to control pests on pets, it is a pesticide. All registered pesticides have an EPA registration number on the product label, which is abbreviated on the label as "EPA Reg. No" and followed by the specific number for the product. Using the EPA registration number and/or the product name, the user may verify the registration status of the product by using the NYS Pesticide Administration Database (NYSPAD). Doing so, will help ensure your business is in compliance by using a DEC-registered pesticide.

Minimum risk pesticides are exempt from registration and will NOT have an EPA registration number. You will not be able to find these products in NYSPAD. It is the responsibility of the user to verify that the pesticide product they wish to use is compliant with EPA's minimum risk criteria, which can be found on the EPA webpage (link leaves DEC webpage). If you are unsure whether a product meets EPA's minimum risk criteria, you may contact DEC's Pesticide Product Registration Section at 518-402-8768 or ppr@dec.ny.gov.

Pet Grooming Pesticide Applicator Certification & Business Registration

The application of pesticides, including minimum risk pesticides, as part of a pet grooming business is considered the commercial application of pesticides. Products applied commercially in New York State, require pesticide applicator certification issued by the DEC. Currently, the DEC is working to develop a program to address and clarify the certification requirements for pet groomers, including: eligibility, prior experience, training, exams, etc. Visit the Pesticide Applicator/Technician Guidance webpage for more information on pesticide applicator certification.

In addition, certified pesticide applicators providing these services as part of a business are required to register their business with the DEC. The DEC is also considering options for pet groomers to apply for a business registration. Visit the Business/Agency Pesticide Information webpage for more information on business registration.

Following the requirements associated with pesticide labels, pesticide registration, pesticide certification, and business registration, will ensure that when pesticides are used on pets, only legal pesticide products are used, they are used properly, and they result in less exposure to both humans and animals.

In December 2015, the DEC mailed out a letter (PDF) (198 KB) to over 400 pet grooming businesses located in New York State, which addressed most of the above referenced information regarding the pet grooming industry.

If you have any questions regarding the use of pesticides by pet groomers, please contact the Pesticide Compliance and Lab Services Section at 518-402-8727 or by email at pesticidecompliance@dec.ny.gov

Mobile Grooming Facilities

The direct discharge of the wastewater generated from pet grooming mobile units or stationary facilities to the ground (i.e. grass, asphalt) or surface waters is not allowed. The groomer must contact the local publically owned treatment works (POTWs) or local Department of Health to determine their requirements for wastewater discharge.