When it comes to starting your dog grooming business, it’s all about location. Choose an area populated by dog owners, dog-friendly parks and beaches. This will give you the best chance at finding new clients!
California is a top choice for grooming businesses, but which city is best?
Don’t worry – we’ve put together a guide to the best areas in this sunny state that will keep your studio buzzing with clients while you enjoy a great work-life balance!
Where to Work in California
Location: San Francisco
Perks: Dog-friendly restaurants and gyms, dog meetup groups.
Median household income: $78,378
In active, outdoorsy San Francisco, dogs are given the royal treatment! This sunny city boasts 27 dog parks, and there are ample dog-friendly restaurants where owners can lounge on patios with their furry friends. San Francisco’s famous trolley cars are also open to dogs, and they are also welcome on ferries.
Becoming a dog groomer in San Francisco will allow your business to thrive – with the amount of dogs that live in this city, you’re likely to be run off your feet with grooming duties!
The median household income is higher than average, and San Francisco is well-known for being an expensive city. Because of this, dog owners are likely to spend what they need to in order to keep their pooches happy and healthy, which means higher salary potential for groomers!
Perks: Dog friendly restaurants, bars, and beaches.
Median Household Income: $62,460
As a dog groomer, you want to be in a city that values its four-legged citizens. Carmel-by-the-Sea, the number one dog-friendly town in America, is an ideal location for professional groomers. Not only is this lovely Californian city home to many dog owners, it provides amenities like water bowls, treats, and biodegradable bags, and encourages dogs to enjoy life with their owners.
With a median income of $62,460, this area is one in which families live comfortably. Dog owners will seek out qualified groomers to maintain their pal’s health. You can get creative with your pricing and packaging in Carmel-by-the-Sea – your clients will likely have more than one dog, and already take an active interest in dog-related activities.
Offering a discount for clients with multiple dogs, or setting up a client referral program, would be competitive add-ons for your dog grooming business in this city!
Location: Los Angeles
Perks: Dog-friendly parks, trails, and beaches.
Median Household Income: $55,909
Ah…Los Angeles. This sprawling metropolis may be known as the home of Hollywood, but its dogs enjoy celebrity status as well! Besides offering dozens of dog parks, Los Angeles is also full of beautiful hiking trails and jogging paths that don’t require dogs to be on a leash. How’s that for freedom?
Professional dog groomers are a dime a dozen in glitzy L.A, so you’ll have some strong competition if you decide to start your grooming business here. Set yourself apart by being creative – hold special events in your salon to bring in clients and their furry friends, and hold regular contests that keep everyone engaged!
Location: San Diego
Perks: Dog-friendly hotels, shops, restaurants and beaches
Median Household Income: $63,000
About 500 miles down the coast from San Francisco lies San Diego. This city may be famous for sunny weather and gorgeous beaches, but did you know that it’s also the dog surfing capital of the world? It actually holds a dog surfing competition every year!
As a professional dog groomer in San Diego, you can reap the benefits of the warm climate with a healthy work-life balance (due to the city’s laid-back attitude!). Like San Francisco, San Diego is an expensive city to live in and visit, so your clients will likely be white-collared professionals who will pay what’s needed to care for their pets.
Location: Belmont Shore
Perks: Dog parades and contests, parks, stores, and restaurants
Median Household Income: $52,944
A neighborhood in the Long Beach area, Belmont Shore is a dog’s paradise (which means it’s a fantastic location for groomers!). Second Street is famous for its pet-friendly boutiques, dog grooming salons, and a restaurant called Pawbar that hosts dog parties! For a dog groomer starting their own business, Second Street on Belmont Shore would be an excellent area to check out.
Because this is a highly competitive area for dog groomers, with an abundance of available professionals in a short radius, you’ll need to set yourself apart. Having a proper dog grooming certification will show clients that you are fully qualified and able to care for their dog in the best way possible.
A Dog Groomer’s Salary in California
In terms of the dog grooming salary you can expect in this sunny state, a realistic range is between $25,000 and $45,000 (USD) per year. This will be higher in cities such as Carmel-by-the-Sea and San Francisco, which have a higher median income and more dog lovers!
With experience and a growing client list, you’ll be able to work your way up to a higher grooming salary. As a freelance dog groomer, you can set your own prices and have the potential to work with more (or less) clients. In a salon, you’ll enjoy fixed rates and solid hours. You can also get a glimpse of what it’s like to run a salon!
Starting your dog grooming career in one of these Californian cities is an excellent way to increase your skills and advance your career as a dog groomer! You’ll also be able to relax on the beach in your spare time – what could be better than that?
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We’re myth-busting today!
You have options when starting your dog grooming business!
Casey Bechard of Off The Leash Pet Grooming is a QC Pet Studies graduate. Read all about her favorite breeds and pet haircuts as a certified groomer!