Although it sounds like a blast, puppy pampering is no walk in the park! Dog grooming of any kind takes patience, as well as a certain knack for dealing with animals and their owners. Creative groomers also need a healthy appreciation for the latest in dog grooming styles!
But as challenging as it is, professional dog grooming is also a very rewarding career. Proper grooming plays a huge role in the health and well-being of our pets. Do you adore every four legged friend that you see? Or do you hate dog fur and constantly find yourself reaching for a lint roller brush? One part customer service and one part a passion for pets, find out if you really are well suited for the professional dog grooming industry after all.
1. You don’t like animals
The number one job requirement: you must like dogs. After all, you can learn technique, but how can you learn to love the little creature you are about to groom? Dog grooming is a bizarre career choice for people who dislike dogs—or, even worse, people who are afraid of them! You can look at your job in terms of sales, but most dog owners want to work with a groomer who truly cares about their pet
Some people become a dog groomer because it gives them the chance to be close to their favorite species in the world. Others do it because they want to combine their entrepreneurial spirit and creativity with their love of keeping man’s best friend happy and healthy. While it can extremely lucrative, professional dog grooming takes patience and a real passion for getting dogs nice and clean. Did we mention that you get hang out with animals all day?
2. You don’t like people
We have to break it to you: becoming a professional pet groomer means you’ll also be working closely with humans. Just like a human haircut, the grooming process involves a consultation before you go anywhere near your clippers. And sometimes clients can get very vocal about what they want done with their precious animal companion.
In fact, you may find interacting with your human customers more challenging than working with those of the canine variety. You’ll learn to coordinate and juggle multiple drop-off and pick-up times when you first offer your dog grooming services. So be prepared to assess a dog and find a balance between what he needs and what his owner wants very quickly. The good thing is that more than anything, most clients just want their pet clean and comfortable. Happy dog, happy owner!
3. You’re squeamish
Accidents happen, especially when you are trying to groom a moving, squirming live animal. Sometimes there will be the occasional nick, which means you have to be okay with the sight of blood. Most times, a nick is just a scratch. But you still need to be able to think quickly on your feet and have a plan in place for handling an injured animal. Pet first aid is an important skillset for professional pet groomers.
There are also accidents of another sort to consider. Since animals are unpredictable, be prepared to deal with strange smells, loud noises, and urine and fecal matter. Yes, an accident may even happen right AFTER you have worked so hard to make Fido spic and span. The savvy groomer will handle accidents with patience and compassion. A true champion of the professional pet grooming industry!
4. You get stressed easily
Working with dogs is a lot of responsibility, especially when your work involves clippers and scissors. Your clients entrust you with the health and safety of an important member of their family. Yes, you will have a work-space, but many factors will change on a daily basis. You may be working under a tight deadline, you may have to spend an extra hour gently cutting off some particularly challenging mats, or you might have to deal with an unreasonable client (or two).
However, no two grooming sessions are the same! If the smallest change in plans sends you into meltdown mode, dog grooming may not be the best career option for you. Plus, animals are very sensitive to mood and emotion. Losing your cool is NOT an option for dog groomers. Both the safety of your client’s dog and the quality of your customer service depend upon your ability stay calm under pressure and manage stress appropriately.
5. You don’t like to learn
Becoming a professional dog groomer takes discipline and a passion for pet care. In addition to learning the basics of dog grooming, you’ll have to stay up-to-date on the latest trends in the dog grooming industry. Each breed comes with its own specific method of grooming. Using the wrong grooming technique can actually cause more harm than good to a pet.
But after training, you’ll get to work with four-legged friends all day! In fact, you’ll be working so closely with a pet that you may be able to pick up on health conditions that a vet might miss. You’ll also learn on a lot on the job. The more you dogs you work on, the more experience you’ll build. And soon showing off your handiwork while you reunite a happy dog with a thrilled client will become the best part of your day!