After first trying your hand in various office positions, going from desk job to desk job, you may have found that you didn’t actually enjoy them. Perhaps you felt rushed into taking up a dull career when you were younger because you just wanted to make a quick buck and didn’t have the time to find out what you truly loved doing. But if there’s any benefit to living in 2017, it’s that you have the freedom to switch careers decades into adulthood and still find success.

Please don’t try to get into dog grooming just because you think it looks easy—spoiler alert: it’s not! You’d be surprised just how mentally and physically demanding this job is. But if you’re a stead-fast animal lover who is obsessed with these adorable canines and want to find out if starting a second career in grooming is right for you, keep reading!

1.   It’s hands-on!

Weather’s got you down? What’s a better way to pick up your mood than a dog’s ever-present sunny disposition? This high-contact occupation is not for the faint of heart—groomers have to pick up a dog 4 times during the grooming appointment. You won’t always encounter easy-to-work-with dogs, but when you do, it has the potential to make your whole day brighter.

Interacting with a number of fun, loving animals on the daily can give you some of the most satisfying careers out there in the job market. Think about it—have you ever had one-on-one interactions with an excited puppy where you haven’t walked away smiling? You’ll always be learning from these furry companions. No two dogs are the same, and you can develop some trusting relationships between yourself, the dog, and their owner.

Learn to be a professional dog groomer in pet salon

2.   Good profit margins

A career in dog grooming is relatively easy to get into. You aren’t required to attend a college for many years or get a formal degree in order to start. In fact, a lot of regions don’t require any education at all to enter into the dog grooming industry. While a lot of groomers learn their skills in apprenticing for an established professional, getting a certificate can be well worth the money.

As such, you won’t have to pay back a hefty student loan and you can even save money on overhead costs if you start off in mobile grooming before investing in a salon. Since start-up costs can be kept relatively low depending on the type of clients you choose to work with, you can turn a profit in no time!

3.   Unrestricted flexibility

You are allowed to be choosey if you are your own boss! Want to work only with cocker spaniels? Sure, why not? See an opportunity to do a stint in the dog show industry? Go for it! You’re your own boss and that means you get a lot more flexibility than other careers. On top of choosing your own clients, you can choose how much you wish to charge for your services, and the hours you wish to work. These are all assets if you’re juggling a part-time job or you have kids you’ve got to take care of. This kind of flexibility can extend even to your working environment.

While many groomers work in full-fledged dog grooming salons, some dogs who desperately need grooming may not be comfortable entering a foreign salon for a groomer to work on them. As such, many groomers expand to have mobile dog grooming salons once they find success in their brick-and-mortar salons.

Flexible career in dog grooming

4.   Creativity

Grooming can be quite technical, but it doesn’t mean that there isn’t room for any fun. Nobody is expecting you to be continuously innovative and avant-garde with your grooming skills, but this isn’t a field for those who enjoy strictly doing services that are procedure-driven. Not to say that following safe practices—especially when it comes to sanitation—are optional, but there will be times when a client will come and ask you to do a creative dye job on their pet.

We’ve all seen some hideous grooming disasters, but there’s nothing wrong with bringing in some flair to the grooming table. Sometimes it can be as easy as applying a cute top knot on a Maltese! Creative dog grooming can be one of the most bizarre branches of grooming, but as long as you’re doing it safely and are concerned with the dog’s needs first and foremost (before diving into that super-funky design their owner wants), you’ll be all right!

5.   It’s rewarding

If you like a job that’s physically demanding and dislike working in a boring environment where every day is the same, you’d probably enjoy dog grooming. One of the most obvious rewards is getting to see the owners’ beaming faces when they see their freshly groomed pup after a long-awaited appointment. But the truly rewarding part is knowing that you’ve improved a canine’s health.

You’re often the first person to notice if a dog has a skin condition or if its matted hairs are causing it pain. You can provide it with instant relief in some cases, bringing a cheery grin right to its faces – or you’ll be able to redirect them to a vet before anything gets worse.

Not all dogs are able to secure grooming services, though. If you want to give back to the community, there’s no better way than volunteering your grooming skills at an animal shelter! You’d be amazed at how fast groomed dogs are able to find a good home after a coat trim and a nice bath!

A lot of owners are starting to bring their dogs in for regular grooming appointments—the demand is going up, and there simply aren’t enough groomers to meet the demand! In an industry where professionals aren’t disposable, you’ll always find work.

Thinking about taking a dog grooming course? Consider doing it online! Check out our Dog Grooming course sample to see how you’ll complete practical assignments!

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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!