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Sloane Seguin

How Do I Find the RIGHT Dog Grooming School Near Me?

Dog grooming school near me article, July 16 2021, Feature Image

If you’re reading this article, it’s probably because you’ve decided to finally turn your dream of becoming a professional dog groomer into a reality. First of all, congratulations! You’ve just taken the most important step, so you should definitely be proud of yourself. But now you might be wondering: “Where should I get my certification training? How do I find the right dog grooming school near me?”

Here’s the good news: you’ve come to the right place! Today, that’s exactly what we’re here to discuss. So, find a comfy place to put your feet up. In less time than it’d take to watch one episode of your favorite show on Netflix, I’m going to tell you EVERYTHING you need to know in order to get your dream career started in the right direction!

The Importance of Dog Grooming School

In the world of professional dog grooming, you absolutely need to be a subject-matter expert. The only way to truly become a subject-matter expert is to get the necessary experience and credentials under their belt. Not only will dog grooming school give you this necessary skill-set; it’ll dramatically increase your chances of booking clients, since they’ll be better able to trust their precious dogs being left in your care.

Think of it this way: would you go get an operation performed on you by a guy whose medical “training” consisted solely of watching YouTube videos? Probably not.

(And if so, I definitely have some questions I need answered…)

The reality is, clients expect the same standard from the dog groomers they choose to pay and work with. After all, their dogs are more than just dogs – they’re beloved and valued members of the family. Thus, expectations will be high – and rightfully so. If a client ever has the choice between hiring a groomer with a professional certification, versus hiring a groomer without one, they will ALWAYS choose the person with training.

Trust me, your best bet for long-term success is to get a reputable certification.

Dog grooming school near me article, July 16 2021, in-post image

“So, How Can I Find the Right Dog Grooming School Near Me?”

Now that you understand why dog grooming school is so important, the next step is to decide which school you should be training with. Luckily, there are countless options at your disposal, both in terms of online and brick-and-mortar programs. But with so many choices, it can be easily to feel a little overwhelmed. With so much information available, how can you truly know which dog grooming school near you is the right fit?

Ultimately, it all boils down to you! What’s your preferred learning style/preferences? What are the goals you have for your career as a groomer?

Here are a few questions I recommend answering, in order to help you narrow down your educational needs:

  • Do you prefer to learn in a physical classroom? Or would you rather learn from the comfort of home?
  • How flexible is your schedule? Can you commit to set classroom hours every week? Or do you need more flexibility and would prefer to set your own study schedule?
  • What’s your budget for dog grooming school? Can you afford to pay the full tuition upfront, or would you benefit from a monthly payment plan?
  • What type of dog groomer do you want to be? For instance, do you want to work within an existing salon? Start your own business? Provide mobile services?
  • Is there a certain amount of time by which you’d prefer to graduate from dog grooming school and have your certification in hand?
  • Consider your short AND long-term career goals as a groomer. What would the dog grooming school’s training need to look like in order to help you achieve these goals?

By going through each question and answering them honestly, you’ll be able to make the first important decision: whether you want to attend a physical or an online dog grooming school.

In-Person Dog Grooming School

For some, brick-and-mortar schools are the only way to go. If you’re considering this route, all the power to you! If you put “dog grooming school near me” into any search engine, such as Google, you’ll be able to see which institutions are in or around your local area.

However, it’s important that you consider every aspect of this decision. One perk is that you’ll be surrounded by your peers, in addition to your instructor. Working alongside others – especially after a year and a half of isolation – is undoubtedly tempting. Moreover, some people prefer to abide by a strict, set schedule. If you thrive on routine, it’s easy to understand why in-person training would be so appealing to you.

That being said, there are also some downsides to consider as well. For starters, tuition for a brick-and-mortar school is typically much pricier than that of an online dog grooming school. A fair chunk of your money won’t be going towards you or your actual training. Rather, it’ll go towards helping the institution with overhead costs (i.e. building maintenance and staff salaries).

Secondly, you’ll need to complete your training at the same pace as everyone else. So, if you’d prefer to graduate in less than one year, but the course is exactly one year long, you’re basically out of luck. You’ll need to wait it out and stick to the pace of your peers.

Moreover, in-person schools offer a LOT less flexibility. For example, if you have an emergency and can’t make class that day? That’s unfortunate – but also too bad. What if you have a practical test schedule on the same day that your boss is asking you to come into work? Well, it’ll be on you to figure things out, compromise, and shift your schedule around.

In a nutshell, it’ll be your responsibility (and yours alone) to adjust to the school’s schedule – not the other way around.

What About an Online Dog Grooming School?

Depending on where you live, it can be tricky to find a high-quality dog grooming school near you. This is one of the major benefits of online schooling – you have a lot more options available to you, and all of them can be done entirely from the comfort of home!

If the COVID pandemic has taught us anything, it’s that we’re all capable of adapting our lives to the digital world. Distanced learning has been around – and a popular option – for years. But over the course of 2020 alone, it became the single most prominent form of education. We all quickly discovered that online learning offers the exact same high-quality education, but with a LOT more personalized, flexible, and comfortable experience.

No, you won’t be sitting in the same classroom as your peers or your instructor. This is a downside for some people. That being said, the right online dog grooming school will still provide many ways for you to connect and network with fellow students, graduates, tutors, etc. This way, the absence of physical interactions is barely noticed!

For example, QC Pet Studies is incredible active on social media, and many of our students and alumni have connected through there. Additionally, we also provide an Online Student Center that you have unlimited access to, even after you graduate. The latter has become especially popular, as the QC community is easily able to come together, ask questions, swap experiences, and give insightful industry advice.

Tuition, Pace, and Flexibility

Let’s revisit the 3 downsides we just looked at for brick-and-mortar dog grooming schools. The beauty of an online grooming school is that NONE of these apply!

Firstly, the cost of your training will be substantially cheaper with an online school. This is because there’s no physical campus to take care of or maintain. Furthermore, many online dog grooming schools – such as QC Pet Studies – will ensure to give you the most for your money. Practically everything you need will be included and provided to you within your course’s tuition fee. As a result, you won’t need to pay any additional costs for your course materials, a physical copy of your materials, your starter kit, shipping fees for those materials, etc.

Next, there’s the pace of online learning. With QC Pet Studies, for instance, our courses are 100% self-paced! From the day you enroll, you get 2 full years to completed your training. That said, you can use as little or as much of that time as you need. There are no deadlines for assignments, quizzes, or units. In fact, many of our graduates have found that by simply devoting 1-2 hours per week on their training, they were able to graduate and earn their internationally-recognized certification in less than 1 year.

I don’t know about you – but to me, this definitely sounds manageable for ANY schedule or lifestyle!

Lastly, online dog grooming school offers a level of flexibility you simply won’t be able to find anywhere else. Since there’s no pressure to travel to or attend in-person classes, you can complete all of your training from literally anywhere you want. Moreover, you can work on your studies at any time of the day.

Want to get some readings done in the middle of the night while in your jammies? You can do that! Feel like watching an instructional video while sitting in your car in-between errands? You can do that, too!

Hands-On Experience

And just because your training is online doesn’t mean you won’t still get all sorts of invaluable hands-on experience. QC’s Dog Grooming Course, for example, will have you performing real-life grooms on all sorts of dog breeds in every single unit!

Beautiful apricot pet labradoodle calmly going through hair cutting in grooming salon. Professional groomer carefully handle with dog.

So, What Are You Waiting For?

Now that you’re interested in exploring distance learning, it’s time to put on your detective hat and do some digging! My first recommendation would be to check out these 6 shady red flags to avoid when researching online dog grooming schools. Afterwards, feel free to check out this awesome review of QC Pet Studies by our very own graduate, April Costigan!

Got any questions or comments? Tell us in the comments below! And as always, thank you so much for reading. 🙂

Start your training with QC Pet Studies today and book your very first client in less than 1 year!

All About Groomers Lung

Groomers lung article, July 09 2021, Feature Image

If you’re reading this article, it’s because you either dream of becoming a dog groomer or you already are one. Either way, welcome! As a groomer, there’s a lot of valuable information you should acquire in order to do your job properly. One such thing you might have heard about (and want to better understand) is the dreaded “groomers lung”.

We won’t lie – this topic is a little dark. But it doesn’t need to be nearly as scary as the name sounds! Yes, groomers lung is a serious issue. If you want to work in this industry, it is something to be mindful of. However, so long as you know what it is and how to prevent it, you’re going to be fine, trust us!

What is Groomers Lung?

As a grooming professional, your job will often involve shaving, trimming, and cutting dogs’ hair. Moreover, you’ll be working with a lot of products, such as shampoos, conditioners, medicated treatments, etc. A lot of the time, debris winds up floating in the air around you. If you’re not careful, you can inhale it directly into your lungs… which is not good, especially over time.

In a nutshell, groomers lung is a chronic condition that can negatively impact the function of your lungs. It goes without saying that having any foreign object inside of your lungs is not exactly a good thing. Hair, dander, and chemical products are all things that definitely shouldn’t be ingested into our bodies. Not to mention that all of those sharp, tiny hairs can also cause inflammation and create scar tissue.

Groomers lung article, July 09 2021, in-post image

Can You Die from Groomers Lung?

Of course, having harmful debris in your lungs for a prolonged period of time can eventually become detrimental to your health. That being said, while groomers lung can be fatal in the most extreme cases, the chances of this happening to you are slim.

With that being said, symptoms can range from mild to severe and include:

  • Chronic coughing
  • Chest pain
  • Airway inflammation
  • Lung-related issues (i.e. pneumonia, bronchitis, etc.)
  • Difficulty breathing

While none of these symptoms sound pleasant, most are manageable and non-fatal. Of course, some of the others (such as lung-related issues and severe difficulty breathing) can admittedly spiral into grievous situations if left unmanaged.

Arguably the worst part of groomers lung is that once you get it, you’ll likely feel its affects for the rest of your life. Furthermore, there’s no known “cure”. This is why it’s important that you take preventative measures throughout your dog grooming career, in order to ensure it never comes to this!

How to Prevent It

Tip #1: Wear a face mask!

Thanks to the COVID pandemic, we’ve all gotten accustomed to wearing face masks as part of our day-to-day lives. Hopefully, in the near future, they won’t be necessary anymore… at least, in your regular life. When on the job, however, a face mask should be a staple part of your work attire!

No, you don’t need to wear it during the entire groom. But at the very least, make sure to wear one whenever you’re handling chemical products or tending to a dog’s hair. Having something to protect your mouth and nose will help reduce the amount of debris in the air from making its way into your lungs.

PRO TIP: Don’t use a face shield, as this will still leave enough space between your face and the shield for hair and debris to sneak its way in. Instead, wear a cloth mask that fits lightly and comfortably to the form of your face. This blog article by John Hopkins Medicine provides some excellent tips to help you buy the right face mask for your needs!

Female groomers with protective face masks brushing Pomeranian dog and Cavalier King Charles Spaniel at grooming salon.

Tip #2: Keep your work station sanitary!

Being clean and sanitary is already a must as a professional dog groomer. Of course, one reason is that it will help make a good impression with your clients. Another is that a clean station will make your job easier, since you’ll never have to scramble to find the tool you need. The most important reason, however, is that a clean space helps ensure the safety of both you and the dogs.

When it comes to preventing groomers lung, a tidy station will go a long way. After every groom, thoroughly and properly clean the area. This includes wiping down surfaces, as well as sweeping and vacuuming floors. Doing so will help reduce the amount of flyaway fur and dander lingering about. Oh, and don’t forget to wear that face mask we talked about while you do your cleaning!

Another smart idea is to invest in an air purifier for your grooming station. Last but not least, ensure that wherever you’re working is properly ventilated. The more you can get clean air circulating through the room, the better!

Tip #3: Be aware of what’s happening around you!

It can be all too easy to get lost in the grooming process and forget to pay attention to what’s happening all around you. But as you’re clipping little Fluffy’s coat, hair could be flying up around your face without you even noticing. This is why it’s important to properly see your surroundings while working on your client’s pooch.

Here are a few quick tips to help with this:

  • Wear darker clothing so you can more easily see flyaway hairs. White and/or brighter colors can mask dog hair, making it harder for you to gauge just how much shedding is actually going on.
  • Keep your work area bright. Never work in a dimly lit environment. Not only is this unsafe in general – you won’t be able to properly see all of the hair/dander/chemical debris in the air or on the surfaces around you.
  • If you run your own business, invest in cool colors for your countertops, grooming tables, etc. Just like with your clothing, cooler and/or darker tones throughout your grooming station will help you spot hair and debris with greater ease.

Tip #4: Educate your clients about at-home care!

If your client never bothers to brush their dog at home in-between appointments, that dog is going to shed a lot more fur whenever they’re in your care. As a result, there’ll be considerably more hair on your work surfaces, the floor, your clothes, and in the air.

As the subject-matter expert, you can help prevent this from happening! Take the time to chat with your client and learn more about the sort of at-home care they give their pup. If there’s room for improvement, gently and respectfully offer some suggestions to guide them in the right direction.

This will definitely help reduce the likelihood of groomers lung!

Dog groomer trimming dog's back paw

Tip #5: Get professional dog grooming training!

“Umm… How is professional training supposed to help prevent groomers lung?”

Just stick with me on this for a moment!

When you get trained in a professional certification course, one of the many things you’ll be taught is proper sanitization and safety measures. As a result, you’ll better understand how to clean your products, tools, and work station. This, in turn, will help prevent groomers lung by reducing the amount of fur and dander polluting your work environment (see Tip #2).

Of course, this is just one of many reasons why getting professional training is a smart career move! 😉 If you’d like to learn more about how proper training will make your career all the more successful, check out this blog article here.

What to Do if You Get Groomers Lung

By taking all of the preventative measures outlined in this article, your chances of getting groomers lung will be drastically reduced. However, in the event that you do still contract it, take assurance in knowing that you have options at your disposal.

A doctor will be able to formally diagnose you and offer possible treatments. Depending on the severity, you may be prescribed medications in order to combat the inflammation and reduce pain/discomfort. In more serious cases, immunotherapy may be recommended as well.

Note: If you’re a groomer and have been experiencing any of the symptoms discussed in this article, visit your doctor and have them take a look. It’s best to address this sort of issue sooner rather than later. 

Next up, learn about the safety hazards for dogs during a groom and how to prevent them! 

Increasing Your Groomer Salary Post-COVID: Dog Training

Dog training article, June 25 2021, Feature Image

Earlier this month, we took a look at why NOW is the perfect time to become a professional dog groomer. But if you’re here, reading this article, it’s because you’re especially motivated to succeed. Yes, you want to offer top quality grooming services to your clients – but clearly, you’re looking for other ways you can be the best of the best, too! With that in mind, we have two very simple words for you: dog training.

What is Dog Training?

The definition is pretty much in the name. According to The Balance Careers, it’s a field that “combines knowledge of animal behavior with practical teaching skills”. As part of your regular responsibilities, you’ll often focus on the following:

  • Various voice commands
  • Clicker training
  • Using appropriate and effective hand signals
  • Developing and executing rewards systems
  • Implementing different dog learning theories
  • Educating your clients on these theories, as well as how to successfully enforce them themselves
  • Etc.
Dog trainer working with two dogs during session, working on lie down command

The beauty about professional dog training is that the sky is the limit! Once you become a trained subject-matter expert, you’ll be qualified not only to train dogs yourself – you’ll know how to instruct others on how to properly train their own dogs as well. Plus, you can offer one-on-one training sessions, group sessions, or both.

Moreover, the kind of dog training you provide can be entirely dependent on you! If you’d prefer to teach clients how to give basic commands (and see results), that’s totally fine. On the other hand, if you’d like to delve even deeper into the craft and be able to assist with more complicated dog training, that’s also an option, too.

For example, many of your clients will likely wish to learn how to teach their dogs the following basics commands:

  • Sit
  • Stay
  • Down
  • Come
  • Leave it

However, you can also learn how to teach clients a myriad of other commands for their dogs, such as:

  • Watch me
  • Wait
  • Off
  • Up
  • Drop it
  • No
  • Heel
  • Go pee/poo, handle your business, etc.
  • Take it
  • Bedtime
  • Speak
  • Play dead
  • Quiet, no barking, etc.
  • Shake
  • High five
  • Release
  • Etc.

5 Key Skills Needed to Be a Dog Trainer

1. Must Love Dogs

This one’s kind of explanatory… I mean, why pursue a career that revolves entirely around dogs if you’re not even a dog lover in the first place? Not only will your job bring you little joy; your clients and their pups will always be able to tell. It’s hard to imagine anyone capable of a long-term, thriving career if it’s in a field they aren’t passionate about.

So, this is probably the most important place to start. If you don’t love dogs, you probably shouldn’t become a dog trainer.

2. Patience

As the saying goes, “It’s never too late to teach an old dog new tricks.” However, whether your client has a puppy or a senior pooch, new tricks often won’t be learned overnight. For this reason, dog training requires a lot of repetition – and even more patience.

If you’re prone to getting irritable when something doesn’t go your way quickly enough, this job won’t be a good fit for you. Dogs are experts at detecting people’s emotions, so if you’re feeling impatient, they’re going to pick up on it. The more frustrated you get, the less likely the training is to be successful. Thus, keeping a calm, cool head at all times is key!

Dog training outdoors

3. A Friendly Demeanor

Personally, we’re of the mindset that the best dog training comes from positive reinforcement. So long as it isn’t accidentally used to reinforce unwanted behavior, this method of training is extremely beneficial (not to mention, better for the dog’s overall welfare). Plus, studies have proven that it produces desirable results, especially when compared to negative reinforcement.

To be a truly successful dog trainer, the way you handle your clients’ dogs will make all the difference. So, maintain a friendly, welcoming demeanor at all times, and stray away from any kind of training method that encourages negative reinforcement. The more love, understanding, and comfortability you give a dog, the more eager it’ll be to master your commands and please you!

4. Clear Communication Skills

When you work as a dog groomer, most of your job will only involve you and your client’s pet. In the field of dog training, however, you’ll be working with both the dog and their owner. Since the entire basis of this profession is to teach your client how to train their dog, you’re going to need to know how to teach them. This means, knowing how to communicate things clearly, in a way they can grasp and understand.

If you’re unsure whether you’re capable of verbalizing what it is you’re trying to teach, start by practicing on a friend or family member. (Preferably, one who has a dog, but little to no formal dog training experience.) There will be less pressure than there’d be with a paying client. Plus, this way you can get honest feedback about where you’re clear vs. where you need to be clearer.

As a result, by the time you book paying clients, you’ll have the verbiage down pact and will be able to run your training sessions with ease!

5. An Understanding of Dog Behavior

As we discussed earlier, dog training is all about understanding canine behavior. Only then can you adapt to it as needed, so you can adjust your methods in a way that will best jive with what each individual dog requires. If you can’t read a dog based off its body language, you’re going to have a hard time teaching it anything.

Luckily, you’re a certified groomer! So long as you’ve gotten your education through a reputable certification course – such as the one offered by QC Pet Studies – then you’ve already been trained and are well-versed in dog behavior!

Multiple dogs outside for group training session

Why Dog Training Services Will Increase Your Income

Last year, Canada alone reported that the dog population across the country rose to a jaw-dropping 7.7 million. This same trend has been seen in the United States,. Here, the number of people adopting dogs has steadily rose over practically every single year since 2000. Between 2019 and 2020, the U.S. reported a dog population of 90 million!

Basically, this means that a lot of people have been adopting dogs – and this number will likely only appear to go up with each passing year.

What does this mean for YOU? Well, as a certified dog groomer, every single new dog owner in your area is a potential future client. But on top of this, these are also all people who may be looking for guidance on how to train their new pet! If your business were to offer both of these services, imagine the amount of bookings you could rake in!

Additional Reasons Why Dog Training Will Better Your Bottom Line

In addition to being able to cater your business to a wider range of clientele (hello, more bookings!), there are other reasons why offering dog training services can help you boost your income. Here are just a handful of them:

  • Because your business will now be a one-stop-shop for dog owners’ needs, your clients will be even more inclined to refer you to the people they know!
  • If you’re adding a new service to your business, it’s because you’ve gotten properly trained in that new area first. As such, you can now afford to increase ALL of your business rates – including those for your grooming services. After all, you’ve put time, effort, and money into your continued education. It’s added to your skill-set and refined your expertise as a whole. You deserve to get compensated for it accordingly!
  • Dog training and dog grooming can be extremely complementary services! Grooming your client’s dog and notice some unwanted behaviors? Casually mention to them that you offer training services, too. In a training session and see that your client’s dog could use a nail clipping, a trim, etc.? Why not mention at the end of the session that you could also book Fluffy in for a groom! You never know – what was initially one service sought from your business could easily become two!
  • Competition WHO? The more you can stand out from your local competitors, the easier it’ll be for you to curb the market. By providing clients with more high-quality services to choose from, you’ll quickly become a memorable name in their minds. As a result, they’ll be likelier to choose you over the other dog experts in your area.
Woman holding dog, dog licking her face

Getting Started

Now that you’ve decided to add dog training services to your grooming business, it’s time to get professionally trained! So, start looking around at the various options offered to you both online and in-person. Shadow an experienced trainer, start off by training your own dogs (or your family’s and friend’s), etc. Pair this with a legitimate education and you’ll be unstoppable!

Oh, and did a little birdy just casually mention that QC Pet Studies may or may not be launching a Dog Training Course in the future? 😉 Make sure to keep your eyes open and stay tuned for more information in late 2021/early 2022!

Before you begin your dog training journey, you first need to lay down the foundation of your craft. So, get educated and certified in professional dog grooming! Enroll with QC Pet Studies today and graduate in less than one year!

5 Ways to Market Your Dog Grooming Portfolio

Dog grooming portfolio blog article, May 28 2021, Feature Image

Your dog grooming portfolio can be the best in the world… But if no one actually looks at it, how useful is it truly? A big part of running your own grooming business is to market yourself. This means, by extension, marketing your portfolio, too.

After all, don’t you want people to see the amazing work you’ve done? A stunning portfolio that demonstrates a wide variety of skills can often be the very thing that turns a prospective client into a paying one!

If you’re brand-new to the world of dog grooming and just starting to get your business off the ground, don’t worry. We got you! Join us as we discuss 5 solid ways to successfully market your portfolio and attract a ton of customers!

Dog grooming portfolio blog in-post image

Developing Your Dog Grooming Portfolio

First thing’s first: you can’t market your dog grooming portfolio until you actually have a portfolio. So, logically, make sure you start with this step first. Look back on any and all photos that have been taken of your past work. From there, you can select the best ones and get the foundation of your portfolio started.

Don’t have any photos of past work you’ve done? Or maybe the ones you do have aren’t exactly the best quality?

Then take the time to focus on this. Groom your own pooches, see if any of your friends and family would like their dogs pampered, or post around online to check if anyone in your area would be interested in a complimentary grooming service. After every dog you groom, take some flattering photos that best shot off your skills!

(Just remember to get written permission from friends, family, and/or the people you’ve connected with online to use photos of their dog(s) in your portfolio.)

Here are a couple handy resources we recommend checking out, to guide you in the right direction when first developing your dog grooming portfolio:

Shiba Inu at desk with laptop

5 Ways to Market Your Dog Grooming Portfolio

1. Add your dog grooming portfolio to your business website!

If you truly want your dog grooming business to succeed, you’ll need to create a professional website. There’s a lot of valuable info you should include on your site, such as your contact info, available services, information about who you are, service rates, reviews, etc. Moreover, your website is the PERFECT place to showcase and market your portfolio!

Most often, prospective clients will use online search engines to search for dog groomers, especially if they’ve never booked with one before. Once they find your website, they’re going to expect to see examples of past work you’ve done. How else will they get a feel for your skill-set and know if you’re the right groomer for them?

Dog grooming is one of those careers where showing is arguably more important than telling. People need peace of mind that their dog will be in the right hands – and they won’t get this peace of mind through your promises alone. They want – even need – to see it for themselves first.

2. SEO is your best friend!

Search engine optimization (a.k.a. SEO) is critical for marketing both your dog grooming business and portfolio! If you’re unfamiliar with SEO, Google Analytics offers comprehensive – and free – online courses that can teach you a lot on the subject. MOZ also has this incredible 7-part Guide to SEO for Beginners, too.

In terms of SEO, your goal is to make sure that your dog grooming portfolio is searchable. Furthermore, you want your portfolio to rank HIGH on search platforms. This way, when people type in a high-ranking keyword on, let’s say, Google, your portfolio images will be the first to pop up in the results!

So, always ensure to use the right meta descriptions for your photos. And if you’re incorporating a portfolio image onto one of your website’s pages, within a blog article, or even on social media, remember to target the right keyword(s)!

Person's hands typing on laptop

3. Start a dog grooming blog and incorporate your portfolio images within it!

Speaking of blogs, another excellent way to market your dog grooming portfolio is to showcase your work within blog articles. So, why not start your very own blog and include it as part of your business website?

Creating regular, unique content is always a solid way to boost SEO. Every time you publish a new article, you’ll basically be attracting Google and crawler bots back to your site. Moreover, when you add your portfolio images in the articles and give them proper meta descriptions, you’re only increasing your chances of your content being seen.

Another option available to you is to guest write for other people’s dog grooming blogs. As part of your guest posts, you can potentially use your own portfolio images as the photos included within the article. Becoming a guest writer means that your business will be promoted by other websites and companies other than your own. Remember all that talk about SEO? This is another thing that’ll help boost it!

4. Share your dog grooming portfolio on social media!

Unique content shouldn’t only be shared on your blog and website, though. Social media is also a key tool at your disposal! And what better unique content to share than photos of dog grooming work you’ve done?

Do some research and pinpoint which platforms you’d like to maximize. I actually recommend securing your social media handles as soon as you’ve registered your business name, so that no one else can take it. From there, build your pages in a way that aligns with your brand and vision.

When it comes to social media, posting regularly is key! Apps such as Later and Hootsuite can help you schedule your posts in advance. Plus, platforms like Instagram can show you metrics that’ll help you better determine the optimal days/times you should be posting.

Here are few other tips to keep in mind when marketing your dog grooming portfolio on social media:

  • Engage with everyone who takes the time to leave a comment on your posts and/or message you privately.
  • Give credit wherever credit is due. E.g. if someone else took the photo, give them credit in your post as the image’s photographer. They’ll appreciate that!
  • It’s better to be safe than sorry. Always get your client’s permission (preferably in writing) before share a photo of their pet on your social media account(s).
  • If you have the budget for it, invest in marketing ads for your website and/or blog articles.
  • Don’t over post. If you spam your followers’ feeds with too many posts in a given day, it could put them off and potentially make them unfollow you.
  • A harmonious balance between evergreen content and topical content is the key for success.
  • Furthermore, all posts should accurately reflect your business’s brand.
  • As much as possible, always post 100% original content.
Happy golden retriever portrait

5. Make your dog grooming work shareable.

Public relations is all about maintaining a strong, favorable reputation for your business. Most of your business’s PR will be done through your groomer-client experiences, social media presence, and professional business website. But there are plenty of ways you can use public relations to market your dog grooming portfolio, too!

For example, you can make your work easily shareable. This way, others can easily share and promote your business (with your permission, of course) after they’ve discovered you. Here are a couple ways you can do this on your website:

  • Write up an engaging bio for yourself on the ‘About’ section of your site. This will help others know who you are and what you do. Moreover, they’ll be able to pull the right info from your bio when promoting you on their own platform.
  • Make sure the portfolio images included on your website are large (but not too large) in size. This way, people can download and share your photos without sacrificing their high quality. If you’re worried about people taking your photos without your knowledge or consent, include a blurb on your portfolio webpage that clearly states that proper credit and a link back to your website are required for anyone who wishes to share your work.

Do YOU have any additional tips to add to this list? Drop them in the comments below and tell us how you’ve successfully marketed your professional dog grooming portfolio!

Start your dog grooming career in less than one year by enrolling in QC Pet Studies’ online certification training today!

How Much Does Dog Grooming School Cost?

Dog grooming school cost article Feature Image, dog wearing graduation cap

So, you’ve decided to pursue your dream of working as a professional dog groomer. Congratulations! If you’re reading this article, it’s because you’re interested in starting your career on the best foot possible by getting properly trained and certified. Good call! Now the question is: will this training fit into your budget? How much does dog grooming school cost?

Well, that really depends on a few factors… So, let’s delve into them!

Cocker Spaniel getting groomed at salon

Picking the Right Dog Grooming School for YOU!

Before you enroll anywhere, it’s first important to decide which dog grooming school is truly the best match for you and your goals. So, ask yourself:

  • Do you want to pursue your training online or in-person?
  • Is it important for you to stay within a specific budget?
  • Do you already have your own grooming equipment or will you need equipment provided to you?
  • In how much time do you want to ideally graduate from your training and become certified?

Here are some helpful resources we strongly recommend reading over, to assist in finding the best dog grooming school for you:

How Much Does Dog Grooming School Cost?

In-Person Dog Grooming School

For some, in-person learning is the preferred option. If this is the case for you, all the power to you! Just be aware that brick and mortar schools, by rule of thumb, are typically more expensive than online schools. This is due to the fact that brick and mortars have additional overhead costs that get factored into your tuition, such as:

  • Building maintenance;
  • Providing equipment and/or food for students;
  • Maintaining onsite staff, etc.

If you wish to complete your dog grooming training in-person, the cost of your tuition will really depend on where it is you’d like to enroll. Since tuition varies from place to place, it’s difficult to narrow down an exact price point. However, here are 3 examples of brick and mortar dog grooming schools (and their tuition rates), as found during our research:

School #1

10-Week Training (Part 1) – Total Cost: Approx. $6,435
  • Tuition: $4600
  • Application Processing Fee: $200
  • Tool Kits: $1200 + HST
  • Dog Grooming Manual: $110 + HST
  • School Work Uniform: $50
  • Optional Fees (purchased as needed): $275
10-Week Training (Part 2) – Total Cost: Approx. $5,675
  • Tuition: $4600
  • Application Processing Fee: $200
  • Tool Kits: $600 + HST
  • Optional Fees (purchased as needed): $275

School #2

Six-Month Groom Tech (Level One) Training Program, Prerequisite for Dog Groomer Course – Total Cost: Approx. $1,960
  • Tuition: $900
  • Course Textbooks: 185
  • Toolkit: $875
10-Week Dog Grooming Course (Level 2) – Total Cost: Approx. $1,775
  • Tuition: $900
  • Toolkit: $875

School #3

500-Hour Dog Grooming Program – Total Cost: $12,300
  • Tuition: $10,800
  • Equipment and Books: $1,500

Online Dog Grooming School

If the COVID pandemic has taught us nothing else, it’s that online schooling is truly the way of the future. Not only does it provide a uniquely attractive level of flexibility; it’s a lot more budget-friendly, too. No, you may not get the same type of learning environment, wherein you’re surrounded by fellow peers, as you would in a brick and mortar school. However, the right online grooming school will still give you the exact same, high-quality level of textbook, video, and hands-on training!

As discussed earlier, there’s no “one size fits all” when it comes to the tuition of online dog grooming school. Again, the cost will vary from school to school. So, make sure you do your research, shop around, and see what your options are! The beauty of online schooling is that you have a LOT more choices at your disposal, since location won’t limit you.

Plus, you’ll find that there are plenty of schools that provide you with your very own equipment – sometimes, included as part of the course tuition (and not as a separate fee)!

Based on our research, here are 3 examples of online dog grooming schools and their current tuition rates:

School #1

  • Tuition: $614
  • Self-paced certification program
  • Does not provide grooming tools/equipment
  • Does not provide physical copy of course textbooks/videos

School #2

  • Tuition $1250 USD
  • Self-paced diploma program
  • Does not provide grooming tools/equipment
  • Only ships physical course materials (by request) within North America

School #3

  • Tuition ranges from $3,999 USD to $6,195 USD, depending on payment arrangement and/or available discounts
  • Self-paced certification course
  • Includes 37-piece grooming kit
  • Includes Pet CPR and First Aid Certification (good for 2 years)

How Much Does Dog Grooming School Cost: QC Pet Studies

Here’s a fun fact: when it comes to online dog grooming schools, QC Pet Studies continuously ranks as one of the top favorites internationally! With a strong A+ ranking from the Better Business Bureau, self-paced training, and certifications you can proudly carry with you throughout your professional career, QC is known for turning dreams into a reality!

In terms of bang for your buck, we’ve meticulously designed our online training programs to give YOU as many benefits as possible – while still going easy on your budget. What do we mean by this? Well, let’s take a closer look…

  • QC Pet Studies’ tuition for our internationally-recognized Dog Grooming Course is $1998 USD.
  • However, you have a couple different options for how you can pay it!
  • If you choose to pay in full, we’ll knock $400 OFF the total price.
  • If you choose to pay through our monthly payment plan, you’ll need only pay a deposit of $99 at the time of enrollment, followed by 14 monthly payments of $128.50.
  • Furthermore, we offer monthly promotional discounts that can get you this course for even cheaper! For instance, until May 28th, 2021, our tuition for this course is $100 off!
  • You’ll also be able to get TWO certification courses for the price of ONE! All students who enroll in the Dog Grooming Course automatically receive our First Aid for Groomers Course at no additional cost!
  • As part of your tuition, we’ll also mail you a physical copy of your course materials and a comprehensive starter grooming kit!

Want to learn more about QC Pet Studies? Check out these awesome resources:

Dog grooming school cost last in-post image, dog groomer making kissy face at Dalmatian

Now that you have a better idea of how much dog grooming school costs, it’s time to put your game plan into action! Start your professional training today and make 2021 the year YOU become a certified dog groomer!

QC Pet Studies Graduate Feature: Alesha Stanley

QC Pet Studies Graduate Feature, Alesha Stanley, Feature Image
QC Pet Studies graduate, Alesha Stanley

Name: Alesha Stanley

Location: Weyburn, Saskatchewan

QC Pet Studies Courses you’ve taken:

Your Instagram: @aleshas_grooms

Tell us a little bit about yourself!

I am 21 years old and have been working with dogs for over four years. I love sports and the outdoors. Also, I love to travel and go on adventures!

When did you first know that you wanted dog grooming to become more than just a hobby?

When I started working at Off the Leash. They’re a dog grooming salon/doggy daycare. I was hired to work in the daycare, but I quickly realized that I was interested in grooming!

What’s your favorite dog breed that you love to groom and why?

I love grooming Schnauzers! They are one of my favorite breeds in general, but they’re so fun to groom because they all have such different features.

Alesha Stanley Portfolio Image 1

You’re currently employed with Fido’s Place. How has your experience been so far working as a groomer within their salon?

It has been awesome! I love my job and all of the two-legged (and four-legged) customers!

Do you have any plans to open up your own dog grooming business one day?

Probably not, no. I live in a little town, so there probably wouldn’t be enough business.

Why did you decide to pursue your dog grooming training online, rather than in-person?

At the time, two of my coworkers has taken the online Dog Grooming Course with QC Pet Studies. They suggested it to me! It was also cheaper and I could do my training at my own pace.

Alesha Stanley Portfolio Image 2

Ultimately, why did you decide to enroll with QC Pet Studies? What made QC stand out when compared to other online dog grooming schools?

I only looked at one other school, which was a brick-and-mortar school in my hometown. However, it was very expensive! I chose QC Pet Studies because it was affordable. Plus, as I mentioned, I already knew people who had trained with QC.

You’ve also graduated from QC Pet Studies’ First Aid for Groomers Course. In your own experience, why is First Aid training critical for any professional groomer?

There are SO many things that can go wrong during a groom – many of which are beyond your control. It’s important to have some sort of First Aid training in order to keep calm and do the best thing for the dog in every situation.

What was your favorite assignment from QC Pet Studies’ Dog Grooming Course and why?

I loved the Schnauzer Terrier assignment! They are just such cool dogs and so much fun to groom.

Alesha Stanley Portfolio Image 3

What was the hardest grooming technique you’ve encountered in your career so far? Is there a particular technique or skill you’re leaning to master right now?

I find grooming giant breeds (such as Newfies) with compacted coats to be really hard. It’s so time-consuming and rough on your body! I’m still learning the most time-efficient way to groom heavy-coated breeds like that.

Do you have any advice for aspiring groomers who are struggling to find dogs to practice on for their QC Pet Studies assignments? Where should they be looking, and how should they assure the owners that they’re going to take proper care of their pet?

I would try to reach out to people online. Post in local pet groups on Facebook and ask if anyone would be willing to let you use their pet for your QC Pet Studies assignments. Afterwards, see if those people are willing to write you a reference letter. This way, you can provide that letter to other, potentially nervous owners and help ease their concerns.

How do you think that QC Pet Studies’ Dog Grooming Course has prepared you to work in the field?

Yes! One of the biggest things was that I found the tutor feedback is very useful. That being said, I do wish a more in-depth explanation was offered sometimes. For example, I struggled at first with mixed breed dogs. I felt there wasn’t as much information as I would have liked, in terms of average pet trims on mixed breeds. But beyond that, QC Pet Studies definitely got me going in the right direction, which has benefitted my career!

Alesha Stanley Portfolio Image 4

What’s on the horizon for you and your dog grooming career in 2021?

I plan on continuing my work at Fido’s Place and hopefully extending our clientele. Also, I hope to become quicker so I can groom more dogs!

Inspired by Alesha’s journey? Start your OWN and get certified in less than one year by enrolling with QC Pet Studies today!

How to Start a Dog Grooming Blog

Dog grooming blog article, Apr 23 2021, Feature Image

Want to add even more depth to your business and find new, creative ways to share your dog grooming expertise with the public? Start your very own blog and add it to your professional website!

Not sure where to begin? No problem! We’re going to show you exactly how to get the ball rolling and start your very own grooming blog!

Dog grooming blog article, Apr 23 2021, in-post image, Golden Retriever lying on owner while owner is on laptop

5 Steps for Building Your Dog Grooming Blog

Step 1: What’s your brand?

Before you build your blog, you’ll need to have a clear idea of the kind of vibe you want it to give off. Here are a few questions to ask yourself:

  • Do you have any favorite colors that you’d like to be your business’s aesthetic going forward?
  • Are there any aspects of your personality that you want to be associated with your brand?
  • Do you want your brand to target specific dog grooming niches? Etc.

Basically, when people think of your blog, how do you want them to perceive YOU? If your future readers were asked to describe what you, your blog, and your business are all about, what would you want to say?

When you figure out all of these questions, you’ll be developing the essence of your brand. Moreover, you’ll have a clearer understanding of how to achieve this brand.

Now, if you can’t think of a unique angle for your blog, that’s totally fine! Maybe your writing itself is what you’ll become known for. The beauty about having a blog is that it can be appreciated for a multitude of reasons. The point is: don’t hesitate to think outside the box!

If you do it well (and do it constantly), ANY brand can have an audience.

Fun fact: Despite what you might think, you don’t actually need millions of subscribers in order to make money off of your dog grooming blog. You can achieve these goals by becoming a micro-influencer – someone with several hundred to several thousand fans.

Brand identity on laptop

Step 2: What’s in a name?

You probably already know that it’s important to pick the right name for your dog grooming business. What you might not know is that it’s just as critical to select the perfect name for your blog. So, don’t start writing until you know what you want to call it!

After all, your blog’s name will be the reader’s very first impression of you. This is why it’s crucial to make that first impression count! A bad name can turn a potential follower away in seconds.

(Whoa… No pressure, right?)

Don’t let this intimidate you, though. While an important step, it doesn’t need to be nearly as difficult as it may sound.

While you absolutely need to give this step the proper time and consideration, it also doesn’t have to be as difficult as you’ll make it out to be. Luckily, there are tons of resources out there to help you create your blog name. For example, you can look up popular dog grooming keywords. You might wish to incorporate one of those keywords directly within your blog’s name.

Another idea is to get help from third party generators, like the Business Name Generator. If you’d prefer to stay away from name generator, you could always draw inspiration from the different trends of today’s generation. For instance, a lot of people tend to go bananas over witty puns and/or catchy alliterations!

Pro Tip: If you’ve already got a website for your dog grooming business, host your blog on that same site. This will help you with SEO! If you don’t already have a business website and want to start your blog from scratch, just make sure that whatever name you pick is available. If it is, jump on it right away and purchase it as a website domain name! But if the name isn’t available, you’ll need to go back to the drawing board.

dog on bed, watching owner type on laptop

Step 3: Building your dog grooming blog

One of the most popular blog platforms in the world – and the one that we use here at QC Pet Studies – is WordPress. This is what we personally recommend. There are tons of reasons to choose WordPress to host your dog grooming blog. But in our humble opinion, its most attractive features are that:

  • It’s free;
  • WordPress has tons of templates to choose from;
  • And it’s simple to customize. Thus, even a beginner will have no trouble getting set up!

Ultimately, though, the choice is yours. There may be a different free platform you’d prefer instead. The only way to find out is to research your options and decide which one speaks most to you. From there, you can start building your blog!

Step 4: Post/share original, quality content

Contrary to popular belief, you don’t need an expensive camera or the writing skills of an English major to create strong, engaging content for your readers. So long as your knowledge of the dog grooming industry always shines through, and your smart phone’s pictures aren’t the quality of a potato, you’ll be fine.

What’s really important are two factors:

Dog grooming article, Apr 23 2021, in-post image, dog doing a blep next to laptop on desk

1. You post blog articles frequently

No one likes being ghosted – and this applies even to your blog readers. A blogger isn’t all that useful if they only emerge once from their cave every other month, throw up an article, and then retreat back to the shadows. If you want to gain notoriety, you’ll have to stay relevant. This means posting regularly – even if you’re sleeping!

“Wait, what?”

That’s right; you heard me. First of all, many of your blog’s subscribers will be located in different time zones. If you only post content with your time zone in mind, you could be missing out on a lot of prime times for readers all around the world. Secondly, you also need to have your own life. You might want to take a vacation, or (understandably) not post outside of work hours.

But regular content is still a priority, whether you’re working or taking time off. So, sometimes this means you’ll need to strategize and plan ahead! This is a big reason why the best bloggers are masters of time-management. Whenever you have more time to spare, see if you can write multiple articles at once. Plenty of blogging platforms will then allow you to schedule your articles in advance.

“But what if the quality of my writing begins to suffer?” you may be wondering. “I don’t want to start prioritizing quantity over quality!”

Good point! Yes, posting blog content on a regular basis is part of any successful blogger’s job description. That being said, QUALITY is still more valuable. There might be times when your brain hits a creative wall and you can’t seem to write anything you’re happy with. We’ve all been there. In this case, the safest option is to not force it.

If you experience writer’s block, try going back through your blog archive. See if there are any articles you can edit, revamp, or repost. When you’re struggling to come up with a brand-new, organic idea, editing can sometimes feel like a far easier task. When it comes to running a blog, there is wiggle room. So long as you post as much evergreen material as you can (a.k.a. stuff that’ll stay relevant for a long time), you’ll be set up for success!

2. You share your blog content on social media

When it comes to marketing and distributing your blog content, social media will be your best friend! If you wanted to go one step further, you could even start a YouTube channel and vlog about your dog grooming knowledge, expertise, and industry experience.

The biggest bloggers tend to operate on different media platforms. This helps them promote their business to a much larger audience – and it can help YOU do the same! Social media (and the smart marketing decisions you make with it) will be your greatest tool for increasing your business’s exposure!

owner taking photo of Jack Russell Terrier on smart phone, to post on social media

Much like with your blog articles, there are apps you can use to schedule your social media content in bulk – and in advance. Moreover, these apps can also share everything for you. Here at QC Pet Studies, we use Later and Hootsuite. However, there are tons of options to choose from!

A strong social media presence shows your audience that you’re there and you care. Everyone loves an industry expert who’s passionate about what they do. Your successful journey can be what inspires other aspiring dog groomers to begin their own journeys!

That being said, there’s a fine line between staying relevant and shoving yourself too much into other people’s faces. Just remember to listen to that little voice inside of you. If it’s warning you that you might be posting too excessively or going over the top, heed its advice.

Step 5: Your dog grooming knowledge is power

Whether you’ve been dog grooming for years, or you’re just starting out, you’ll benefit from exploring different grooming schools and taking classes.

Now, you might be saying to yourself, “Why would I need training if I already know what I’m doing?”

Just because someone has a blog about dog grooming doesn’t mean they know everything about the craft. The people who think they know everything are usually the ones who don’t. You might as well call them Jon Snow and leave their page. But you? You’re a true professional, and true professionals understand that they’ll never know everything there is to know about their passion… But that will never stop them from trying to learn!

Online dog grooming schools like QC Pet Studies are the perfect solution! Let’s look at QC, as a quick example. On top of our comprehensive Dog Grooming Course, our programs also touch on other popular areas of grooming, such as First Aid for groomers and breed styling.

If you really want to be a successful groomer and stand out from the competition, you need to be humble enough to accept that there’ll always be things you can learn and ways you can improve. In fact, you might just discover that doing so will only continue to grow your blog!

Dog being groomed by owner at home

So, now that you’re basically an expert at getting a blog started, my question to you is: what are you waiting for? There’s a whole world of people waiting to hear your dog grooming expertise. Make today the day you start writing – and share your knowledge with the masses!

Complete your dog grooming certification training in less than one year by enrolling with QC Pet Studies!

QC Pet Studies Students and Grads in Action!

QC Pet Studies article, Apr 16 2021, Feature Image

Dream of becoming a professional dog groomer? QC Pet Studies can get you fully trained and certified while you gain hands-on experience and knowledge from the comfort of your own home!

Want proof that our comprehensive, self-paced programs will set you up for success in the grooming industry?

Just check out some of our student and graduate success stories below!

QC Pet Studies Student & Alumni Spotlights

Casey Bechard

Casey graduated from QC Pet Studies back in 2018. Since then, she’s worked her way up in the professional world and is now the Salon Manager at Off The Leash Pet Grooming. While Casey’s knowledge allows her to work with a wide variety of pooches, her specialty lies with curly-coated breeds.

Fun fact: Casey is also a bi-monthly contributor to QC’s blog, Sniffin’ Around! We invite you to check out her articles here.

A Glimpse Into Casey’s Portfolio

Images courtesy of Casey’s Instagram.

Melanie Roias

Melanie joined QC Pet Studies as an already-certified dog groomer. However, she was looking to advance her education and learn more about health and safety on the job. As such, she enrolled in QC’s First Aid for Groomers Course at the beginning of 2021 – and graduated within a month of submitting her first Unit!

As part of her promise to clients, Melanie guarantees “dog grooming services offered in a private, calm, one-on-one setting”. Her business, Bark and Bow Grooming, services customers in the Toronto and GTA areas.

A Glimpse Into Melanie’s Portfolio

Images courtesy of Melanie’s Instagram.

Alesha Stanley

Alesha began working with dogs in the year 2017 and, as she says, has “loved every minute of it”. After working at a boarding kennel/doggy daycare, she soon discovered that her real career interest was dog grooming.

Thus, Alesha became a QC Pet Studies student back in 2019. She first graduated from her First Aid for Groomers Course in June of that year. After that, she successfully became an International Dog Grooming Professional (IDGP) in April of 2020.

Since then, Alesha has found employment and success as a dog groomer for established salons. For the past year, she’s been working at Fido’s Place in Weyburn, Saskatchewan.

A Glimpse Into Alesha’s Portfolio

Images courtesy of Alesha’s Instagram.

Camille Torkornoo

Camille is a Poodle expert, through and through. That being said, her grooming skills go far beyond just this one breed! She first enrolled with QC Pet Studies back in 2019 and has been working her way through her programs ever since.

When she’s not busy acing her assignments, Camille also frequently competes in dog shows with her talented Poodle, Moriah. She is also the owner of Mount Zion Kennels, offering her clients in Eugene, Oregon, both grooming and breeding services.

Like Casey, Camille is also a regular guest writer for QC Pet Studies’ blog. You can check out her past articles here!

A Glimpse Into Camille’s Portfolio

Images courtesy of Camille’s Instagram.

Why YOU Should Enroll with QC Pet Studies

If your dream is to work with dogs every day and become a legitimate dog groomer, there’s no better school to train with than QC Pet Studies!

Here are just some of the reasons why QC’s online learning environment will benefit you:

  • QC’s courses are 100% self-paced and done from the comfort of your own home.
  • Get direct online access to your course materials, as well as a physical copy mailed right to your front door!
  • Don’t have your own dog grooming tools? No problem! Once you’ve enrolled in our Dog Grooming Course, we’ll send you a fantastic starter kit.
  • Tuition at QC Pet Studies is extremely affordable. You can choose to pay upfront or take advantage of our low monthly payment plan. As such, our course prices are achievable for most budgets.
  • You’ll get TWO courses for the price of ONE! As our gift to you, you’ll receive our First Aid for Groomers Course at no extra cost when you enroll in the Dog Grooming Course.
  • All QC Pet Studies tutors are legit industry experts with years of experience. Moreover, your tutor will provide you with thorough audio feedback after every unit!
  • Practical assignments will ensure that you get extensive hands-on training with a wide variety of different dog breeds.
  • Upon graduation, you’ll have an internationally-recognized certification to add to your resume and impress clients!

Become a certified dog groomer in less than a year by enrolling with QC Pet Studies today!

How Much Do Dog Groomers Make in the First Year?

How much do dog groomers make article, Mar 26 2021, Feature Image

So, you love dogs and have decided to become a professional groomer. Congrats! At this point, one of the things you might be wondering is how much you can expect to make in this profession. For instance, how much do dog groomers make in the first year?

We’ll be straight with you: there’s no direct answer to this question. Two groomers in the same city can make completely different incomes. The reality is, there are a number of various factors that can impact how much you make in the first year (and beyond).

What are some of these factors? Is there still a way to get an approximate idea of the kind of money you’ll make? Let’s take a look at all of this!

how much do dog groomers make article, Mar 26 2021, first in-post image, Pomeranian getting paws trimmed by groomer

The Dog Groomer Salary: A Breakdown

Obviously, for dog groomers, the health and safety of your clients’ pets should always be your top priority. But let’s be real: income is always going to be an important factor for any job. After all, we all have bills to pay, mouths to feed, and a roof to keep over our heads.

So, how much can you expect to make as a dog groomer?

Firstly, you’ll need to ask yourself: where do I want to want? For instance, would you prefer to work in an established salon or start up your very own? Do you want to be a freelance groomer and work out of your home (or vehicle), or travel directly to the clients?

Working in a Grooming Salon

In a retail pet grooming environment, there are different kinds of pay structures, depending on the establishment. In some salons, you’ll receive an hourly wage. Those same salons might offer yearly salaries for long-term, experienced groomers. In others, you’ll get commissions on top of an hourly wage. Then there are also salons who only pay by commission.

Having a set income is a big reason why working for an established salon is a popular route with beginner groomers. It’s a nice way to gain experience and get your foot in the door, while also being guaranteed a minimum number of hours and a regular paycheck.

In Canada, the average hourly wage for salon groomers as of January 23rd, 2021, was $14.94 CAD. As of March 22nd, 2021, the average hourly wage was $16.07 USD in the United States. The United Kingdom noted the average hourly wage of groomers to be £10.16 as of March 20th, 2021 – while New Zealand estimates that groomers make approx. $19.46 NZD at the start of their careers. Coming in with the highest average hourly wage on this list is Australia, with a base hourly rate of $22.14 AUD as of March 16th, 2021.

Working as a Freelance Groomer or Owning Your Own Salon

It’s a bit trickier to provide stats for these, because it all really depends on you. The more effort you put into your business, the better your chances will be of success. In turn, the better you’re income will be! If you do very little to get your business seen or obtain the proper educational background for your skill-set, you’ll probably make significantly less.

Running your own business can come with some overhead costs, though. Moreover, you’ll need to invest some money in order to get your business off the ground. Regardless of whether you’re operating out of your home, a vehicle, or at your client’s place, you’ll need to stock up on all the right equipment. Your grooming kit will need to be reliable and of good quality. Moreover, if you wish to start your own salon, there will be additional costs to consider for the place of business itself.

If you choose to start your own business, the first year will likely be the hardest. After all, in order to run a successful business, you need to spend money to make money. Your first year will be the time when you’re putting things into place, working out the kinks, establishing yourself, and slowly building up your clientele.

But if you’re passionate about what you do and know this is the career for you, don’t give up! Once you’ve gotten into the swing of things and your business has been running for a while, you’ll start seeing all of your investments returned to you!

How Much Do Dog Groomers Make in the First Year?: 3 Factors That’ll Impact Your Income

Professional Training/Certification

We’ve said it before and we’ll say it again: if a client had to choose between a groomer with no professional training and one with a reputable certification, they will ALWAYS go with the latter. Even though a certification isn’t mandatory for the job, not getting properly trained will severely cost you in the long run.

Having a legitimate certification to your name makes you trustworthy in the eyes of potential clients. As such, by having one, you’ll be drastically increasing your chances of getting more bookings. Furthermore, you’ll also be a stronger candidate to prospective employers.

Another nice thing about getting professionally trained and certified is that it allows you the chance to potentially increase your starting salary. If you’re a freelancer or run your own grooming business, do some research and find out what the going rate is for groomers in your area. Because you’ve put time, effort, and money into your education, you’ve earned the right to set your rates a little bit higher than other groomers in your area who don’t have the same level of training.

If you’re applying to be a groomer at an established business, you might also be able to negotiate a slightly higher hourly wage, since you’ll be coming into the business with proper training and a certification already under your belt.

puppy getting nails trimmed by dog groomer

Location

Location also plays a major role in how much dog groomers can make in their first year. Do you live in a small town or a large city? If you live in a smaller area, are you close enough to a larger location that travel would be easy?

For instance, the going rate will likely be higher in a big city – meaning that your rates or hourly wage will typically be more than what you’d make in a smaller town. That being said, there’ll be a lot more competition, too. You’ll need to work that much harder to make a name for yourself.

On the other hand, living in a small town could mean far less competitors. You could corner the market on dog grooming and quickly become known for being the best in town. However, a smaller population could also mean a smaller demand for your services. Thus, finding enough clients to fill a full-time schedule might be challenging at times.

Regardless of where you live, there will be advantages and disadvantages. However, the right business moves on your end can turn any living situation around in your favor! It’s just a matter of doing your research, being proactive, and creating opportunities for yourself!

dog on laptop

Marketing Strategies

As a Salon Employee

These days, you need to play a direct role in marketing yourself if you want your career to thrive. Now, if you work in an established salon, there won’t be as much work involved (since the business will likely have its own team responsible for marketing).

Of course, it’s still important to be your own best representation! If you work for an employer, how you conduct yourself on the job will go a long way. Always be professional, respectful, and pleasant with customers. More importantly, always handle their dogs with care and love. Start and finish their experience at the salon with a smile. This kind of excellent customer service will not only reflect well upon the salon; it’ll leave a lasting impression about YOU as the groomer.

As a Business Owner

If you’re running your own grooming business, marketing will be a HUGE necessity. Here are some critical things you should do to get yourself seen, attract clients, turn new customers into repeat clients, and better your bottom line:

  • Build a polished, professional business website;
  • Create social media pages and post unique content on them regularly;
  • As you gather positive reviews, showcase them on both your website and social media;
  • Buy ads on platforms like Google and Facebook to target your ideal audience(s);
  • Find additional ways to add unique content to your business, such as starting a blog or video series about dog grooming;
  • Create a client retention system (i.e. customer rewards program, referral program, etc.).

As you take the first step towards your dream career as a dog groomer, remember: with the right strategies, you can easily make a good wage. That being said, the most important thing for this kind of job should always be your passion for the craft.

So long as you truly love what you do, success and happiness will always find you.

We wish you the best of luck on your exciting journey! 💕

Become a certified dog groomer in less than a year by enrolling with QC Pet Studies today!

5 Career Mistakes That’ll Hurt Your Dog Groomer Salary

dog groomer salary blog article mar 12 2021 feature image

If you want to be a truly successful groomer, you’re going to need to know more than just how to groom a dog. Your technical skills could be the best in the world. But if your business skills are lacking, your dog groomer salary (and career in general) is guaranteed to suffer!

Here are 5 career mistakes that will – definitely, without a doubt – hurt your reputation and your income. Heed them carefully. This way, you can avoid making these mistakes in 2021!

5 Mistakes That’ll Hurt Your Dog Groomer Salary (and Career as a Whole)

1 – You think you don’t need professional training.

In a lot of places, professional training, certification, or licensing isn’t actually required to work as a dog groomer. To us, this is ludicrous. If you’re going to be working with a living, breathing creature, you absolutely need to know exactly what you’re doing!

Just because you can skip professional training doesn’t mean you should. Not by a long shot. In fact, by choosing the former, your career probably won’t be very successful. Not only do you risk making countless technical errors in your work – it’s going to be harder for you to gain clients’ trust.

Think of it this way: would YOU bring your dog to someone who’s never taken the time to learn the craft? Or would you only want to bring them to someone who you can be certain knows what they’re doing?

Opting out of proper training will severely limit the number of clients who’ll want to hire you. This won’t just hurt your dog groomer salary… it’ll hurt your reputation in general!

Because we know you WANT to succeed in this industry, we can’t stress this enough: get professional groomer training.

2 – You’ve limited your skill-set.

This could be due to a lack of training or an unwillingness to continue learning. Some groomers master the basics and then think they don’t need to further their education or learn anything more. The moment you adopt this mindset, you’re dooming yourself.

Yes, it’s great if you know how to brush and bathe a dog. It’s also awesome if you’re really good at clipping nails or performing a certain haircut. But what about other services? Ask yourself:

  • How many dog haircuts have you mastered?
  • Can you work with a wide variety of dog breeds – or just a select few?
  • Can you recognize and work with skin issues?
  • Do you know how to assist a severely matted dog?
  • Do you have any canine First Aid training?
  • What other advanced or specialty services do you currently offer?

The more versatile your skill-set, the better your career will be.

Remember: the best dog groomers out there are able to offer their clients a multitude of different services. More services mean more options for clients to choose from. As a result, this will mean more bookings, more return customers, and a better dog groomer salary.

aggressive dog

3 – You know nothing about dog behavior.

In a perfect world, every client’s dog would be happy to see you. They’d jump up effortlessly onto your grooming table and stand perfectly still throughout the whole appointment.

But we do not live in a perfect world.

Understanding dog behavior is a MAJOR component of being a groomer. After all, no two dogs will ever be exactly the same. While some will be sweet and well-behaved, others will be anxious and stressed out. Some might try at every turn to run away from you. Others might even show aggression.

As the professional, it’ll be up to you to recognize each dog’s behavior. Only then can you adjust your strategy accordingly in order to work with them.

If you only know how to work on a calm, picture-perfect dog, you’re going to be in for a very rude awakening. You could wind up panicking in the face of any other kind of dog. Panicking can lead to potential injuries. At the very least, it’ll turn a salvageable situation into a disaster waiting to happen.

One thing will be for certain, though: if you don’t know how to work with a client’s dog, they’re not going to book with you again. They won’t recommend you to others (in fact, they might do the opposite). As a result, your career will suffer… and your dog groomer salary will definitely suffer, too.

4 – Your people skills are terrible.

Most of the time, you’ll be working only with dogs. But that doesn’t mean you’ll never need to talk to their owners.

Your clients care about their dogs and see them as part of their family. For many people, it can be nerve-wracking to leave their dog in the care of a complete stranger – especially if this is their first time booking with you. The kind of impression you make on them can be the make-it-or-break-it factor. It can determine whether they choose to book with you again, refer you to others, or leave a scathing review.

So, keep this in mind whenever interacting with your clients! Even if you’re not the biggest people person, put on a smile. Be kind, friendly, and professional. Even when your interaction is limited, it can still have a huge impact. If you have a bad attitude, it’ll probably leave a bad taste in their mouth. They could easily think that the way you’ve treated them is an extension of the way you’ll treat their pet… and you do NOT want them to think that!

The better your customer service is, the more clients you’ll book. You’ll get more repeat customers and more raving reviews. Not only will this strengthen your reputation as an industry expert – it’ll better your bottom line and do wonders for your dog groomer salary.

In the long run, how you treat the dog is the most important thing. But how you treat the dog’s owner is a close second.

first aid, injured dog having paw wrapped up by dog groomer

5 – You don’t have First Aid training.

In our opinion, First Aid training should be mandatory for all dog groomers. Your job requires you to work with sharp, potentially dangerous tools. Moreover, you’re using all these tools on another living being.

If you don’t have any training, your chances are a lot higher for things to go wrong. That being said, you could be the most prepared groomer there ever was – and still have accidents happen.

This is exactly why First Aid training is essential! If you accidentally hurt your client’s dog, or they hurt themselves, knowing how to quickly and effectively assess and respond to the situation will make all the difference. Not knowing what to do spells danger. In extreme cases, it can even have fatal consequences.

If your client’s dog gets hurt on your watch and you have no training or understanding of what to do, that’s going to look bad on your part. Furthermore, if there was something you could have done but didn’t (due to lack of training), and the dog’s well-being is put into greater jeopardy as a direct result of this, your career will probably be over.

We’re going beyond the discussion of your dog groomer salary with this one. For the sake of everyone’s safety, the best thing you can do for your professional career is get First Aid training. Period.

Did you know that when you enroll in QC Pet Studies’ online Dog Grooming Course, we give you our First Aid for Groomers Course absolutely FREE? Learn more here!

Increase your dog groomer salary in 2021 by getting professionally trained and certified with QC Pet Studies. Enroll today!