You probably had some training for pet first-aid when you first started your career— from your apprenticeship with a professional groomer or a grooming course. Unfortunately, you may not have had comprehensive training that covered all aspects of dealing with dogs. And if you did? There are too many different dog breeds with different needs for you to practice all your theoretical knowledge. The only thing you can do to stay sharp is to refresh your skills on a regular basis!
Grooming salons aren’t rare these days. Are the competing grooming businesses in your area giving you a run for your money? We’re not going to resort to defamation tactics, so why not focus on improving yourself, your career, and business outlook? Have you tried taking a first aid course for dog groomers? It sounds silly to link career growth with doggie CPR, but we bet we can convince you to look into a first aid course by the end of this post. Ready? Let’s jump right in!
1. Improve your career prospects
There’s nobody in the world who would argue against extra skills on your resume giving you a career boost. If you’ve been in the dog grooming business for a while, you may hit a plateau and need to find ways to rejuvenate your career. And even if you haven’t, you should always look for opportunities to continually self-improve. Grooming salons are popping up at every corner, and keeping your business afloat against the tsunami of new competitors won’t be easy.
Securing a leg up over your competition is best accomplished by achieving more qualifications than the guy down the street. It’s not just about picking up extra skills either—if you’re taking a first aid course, you’ll walk away with an extra certification to hang up on your salon walls! This piece of paper proves that you have the best set of hands to take care of your clients’ pups.
2. Ease your mind
If a client’s dog is seriously injured while in your care, you will know that you absolutely had the necessary beginner’s knowledge and tried your best while securing the attention of a vet. In some cases, no matter what you do, you probably won’t be able to stop their pain, but you can reduce their suffering. If you act fast enough, you could even save a life.
If word gets out that an accident happened on your grooming table, an opportunity for a career boost may be available if you acted ethically and responsibly. Accidents can’t be avoided, but simply being confident that you have the skills to handle everything that comes your way is something you can acquire!
3. Reassure your clients
While it’s absolutely important for you to be capable and calm during an emergency situation, it is even more important to soothe any anxieties and panic present in both dogs and their owners. With proper first aid training, you’ll maintain a clear head and prioritize everything that needs to be done in order to ensure the dog’s needs are met first.
Consider all the different tools and products that you use during a grooming appointment. Scissors can nick a dog’s skin or shampoo can cause unexpected allergic reactions—you can’t possibly anticipate when something will go wrong. By having first aid training under your belt, you can reassure your clients that you have the knowledge and practical know-how to prevent accidents and to treat injuries if they occur.
4. Provide clients with excellent service
While your primary job is to groom your canine clients, you’ll also have to inspect the physical health of the dogs before you start the grooming process. Nobody is going to expect you to have extensive medical knowledge, but you will be seeing your client’s dogs more often than the vet! Catching any diseases or disorders in their early stages and pointing them to preventative care is, while not necessary as a groomer, incredibly welcome!
Some groomers may not be able to tell the difference between a serious injury and a minor one. For example, a cut on the ears will bleed a lot but it’s only considered a minor wound because these are vascular areas. To be able to identify what type of wound it is, the severity of it, and how to immediately treat it can save dog owners from serious grief and even a more expensive trip to the vet!
5. Teach other groomers
Besides the direct on-the-job benefits of having first aid training, you’ll also be able to use your skills to better other groomers. If you’re expanding your business and hire employees who may not have had first aid training, you can use your expertise to give them basic training. It’s not the same as completing a professional course, but you’ll be able to assure all clients that your employees are held to the same standards as you.
Looking beyond your immediate grooming salon, you may be interested in educating other groomers in your local area. Teaching seminars and spreading awareness about the importance of first aid at conferences will not only help you network, but you’ll also know that you’re acting for the safety of dogs everywhere.
How else can first aid benefit your grooming business? Let us know in a comment!
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!
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