If you want to become a professional dog groomer, a reputable grooming course will help you gain the skills and experience you need to enter the career with talent and confidence. But dog grooming school can cost a pretty penny, especially if you choose to take an in-class program.
Online dog grooming courses are typically more affordable and flexible, but do come with some additional costs that you should consider, such as extra costs for equipment and supplies. These are things you’ll need to purchase when you start your grooming business anyway, but be sure you know exactly what you’re getting into before you enroll in any program!
Included with your QC Dog Grooming Course
Clippers & Attachment Combs
Dog grooming clippers with attachment combs are a must for any dog grooming student or professional. A good set of clippers will last you for years, so it’s one piece of equipment where it’s worth investing.
Some online dog grooming schools like QC will provide you with a good set of clippers and combs as part of your dog grooming starter kit. If your program doesn’t provide these essential tools, be prepared to spend around $150 to $300 to buy your own.
Groomers use scissors (or shears) every day. You want good, solid, razor sharp shears. For most grooming courses you’ll need a straight blade, a curved blade, and a trimming blade. Stainless steel blades are usually okay for beginners, but professional groomers often opt for the more expensive, but more durable, Japanese steel blades.
If scissors aren’t included in your school’s dog grooming kit, they’ll cost you anywhere from $150 to $450 depending on the quality. Luckily, QC’s dog grooming course comes with scissors so you’re ready to go!
Everyday Grooming Tools
You’ll need an assortment of brushes, combs, and toenail clippers to complete your dog grooming studies. At a minimum, you’ll need the following:
- Hard and soft slicker brushes
- An undercoat rake
- A greyhound comb
- Dematting tools
- Small AND Large toenail clippers are a must!
Individually these tools can cost anywhere from $10 to $20 a piece. However you can sometimes find kits online that include all these tools at a discount. These items and more are also included in your QC dog grooming course tuition.
Not Included With your QC Dog Grooming Course
Grooming Table, Arm & Loop
As a professional groomer you’ll need access to a grooming table with a non-slip surface, along with a secure grooming arm and a grooming loop. Typically these won’t be provided when you sign up for a class. A regular-sized metal grooming table with arm will cost you between $100 and $200 online.
However, you can probably find used tables/arms on Facebook Marketplace or Kijiji, for example. So shop around! Just be sure you test out the equipment to make sure it’s still in good shape.
If you want to use a table you already have at home, you’ll want to make sure to line it with a non-slip surface. It should have an edge where a grooming arm can be attached, and finally be sure that it’s sturdy enough to accommodate the weight of the dogs you’ll be working on. A good grooming table should be able to support at least 100lbs, but it’s ideal to go for a larger and sturdier table if you ever intend on grooming large or giant dogs.
Note: Some local pet stores might have self-grooming stations you can use. These are sometimes fully equipped with grooming tables, arms and loops and can be lifesavers for part-time grooming students!
Bathing Supplies: Shampoos & Conditioners
You’ll need supplies for bathing the dogs in your care. Dogs have different needs, so it’s a good idea to have a few different types of dog shampoos, conditioners, and finishing sprays available. At the very least, you should have a “normal” dog shampoo (which should be suitable for most dogs) and a hypo-allergenic dog shampoo that should cover the rest. If you want to get fancier, you can get shampoos for different coat types and colors, different skin conditions, etc.
Pro tip: Stay away from products that contain oatmeal. While this is a soothing shampoo for some itchy dogs and is normally the shampoo-of-choice for many dog owners, it can also wreak havoc if the dog’s itchiness is caused by a yeast infection!
When just starting out, you can use your own hair dryer on dogs as long as it has a “cool” setting. Never, ever, use a dryer that blows hot or warm air on a dog. This can cause them a lot of discomfort at best, and can cause severe burns at worst!
That said, a good quality pet hair dryer isn’t too expensive – most will cost you between $80 and $120 – and makes the process much easier since they’re much more powerful. Dogs typically don’t like the hair dryer part, so a more powerful machine makes the unpleasantness end much more quickly.
Dog grooming school doesn’t have to break the bank. It’s perfectly reasonable to expect to get certified for under two thousand dollars of tuition and supplies. You just have to be wise with your money when choosing a dog grooming school and purchasing the extra materials you need to complete your studies!
Which items in your dog grooming kit are you most excited to shop for? Let us know in the comments!