Professional dog groomers are dedicated to keeping our furry friends happy and healthy. While it goes without saying that groomers are dog lovers, there is much more involved in the role of a dog groomer, such as patience, physical stamina, and excellent interpersonal skills.
It’s time to learn the education, job duties, salary, and much more about becoming a professional groomer!
If you’re interested in finding out more about a career in dog grooming, check out QC Pet Studies’ Dog Grooming Course!
How to become a professional dog groomer
As a career, dog grooming is growing rapidly around the world – after all, people love their pets! This means that there are more and more educational options for aspiring groomers.
While the dog grooming industry is largely unregulated (meaning that there is no legal requirement for dog groomers to be certified) there are huge advantages to completing proper training.
A grooming certification shows clients that you have formal education under your belt, plus the ability to follow through on commitments and manage deadlines.
However you decide to get into the field, be sure to complete credible training. You want your clients to know just how hard you worked to take good care of their pets. Whether you go the in-class route or signup for an online dog grooming course, be sure to study hard!
Groomers must have a combination of experience and knowledge to take proper care of their furry clients. Cleaning ears and nails, as well as trimming fur, ensures cleanliness and helps the groomer understand each dog’s general state of health. Brushing, bathing and drying dogs also falls under the umbrella of a dog groomer’s responsibilities, so having a strong knowledge of best grooming practices is critical for a proper groom.
Safety is paramount in the groomer’s salon, so a working knowledge of first aid is extremely important in case of any accidents or injuries (which can happen in the blink of an eye!). Working closely with dogs, you’ll be able to pick up on any potential illnesses or other health concerns and can voice them to the dog’s owner, which makes your role incredibly valuable!
A professional dog groomer’s salary depends on experience, skill level, location, as well as the amount of dogs groomed per day. In general, groomers can expect to earn between $25,000 and $45,000 (USD) per year.
If your work is done in a salon, you’ll enjoy a stable salary. Alternatively, freelance dog groomers can set their own rates and hours, but their salary will be less steady. Having a professional dog grooming certification will eventually boost your salary higher as you get more on-the-job experience.
Dog grooming career paths
Below are some sample career paths for aspiring dog groomers:
Large-scale pet stores:
Bathing and drying dogs at a pet store chain is a great option for groomers who are new to the industry – there are no setup costs, and you can gain some hands-on experience! However, this role can be very hectic – you’ll be on a tight schedule and won’t have the opportunity to build relationships with clients.
As you become more comfortable in your knowledge and experience, bringing your dog grooming skills to a clinic is a great idea! Dog groomers working in clinics are a popular choice for busy dog owners, and you’ll have the excellent opportunity to work with vet technicians and even veterinarians themselves – think of the knowledge you’ll gain! This role can be stressful, of course, due to anxious animals, but it is a highly rewarding step in your grooming career.
With a few years of knowledge and experience under your belt, you can set up a dog grooming salon in your home, provide mobile grooming services, or groom your furry friends in the comfort of their home.
Before starting your own business, you want to make sure you have a steady client base and a good deal of experience. There are many details that need to be managed, including planning and organizing finances, figuring out the right grooming space, marketing your services, and much more.
Teaching and training:
After years of experience in the different fields of dog grooming (business ownership, freelance grooming, etc.) you’ll be an expert groomer. Allowing others to benefit from your experience is a fantastic way to boost your dog grooming salary and gain new skills. Teaching can help you grow both professionally and personally!
Depending on what type of grooming services you provide, your working conditions will vary. If you groom out of your own salon, you’ll work on many different dogs each day. You’ll need to communicate with clients to build relationships and trust. Plus, you need to develop physical stamina and strength to keep dogs in place as you groom!
Professional dog groomers employed by small businesses or pet stores will need to keep a positive, patient attitude with the many dogs they meet. Every furry client will be different!
As a groomer, you’ll work with some interesting clients, and it’s important to know which techniques work with certain pets – this comes with experience!
With so many pet owners out there, professional dog groomers are always in demand. Your role may differ from that of a vet, but you both share the role of keeping pets happy and healthy, and pet owners will want to visit you regularly.
Building trust with your clients will ensure they refer you to other dog owners, so take the time to get to know everyone you work with and you’ll find your schedule filling up in no time!
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!