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Sarah-Lynn Seguin

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!

Is Dog Grooming a Good Career?

is dog grooming a good career blog article feb 26 2021 feature image

If you absolutely love dogs and dream of working with them each and every day, you might have considered becoming a groomer at least once. But what’s the reality of a job like this? Is dog grooming a good career?

More importantly, is it a good career for YOU?

It All Depends…

On what, you might ask? Well, on you, of course!

We won’t mince words: dog grooming is not an easy career. It’s demanding and challenging. If you go into it thinking that it’s going to be all fun and games, you’ll be in for a very rude awakening.

But none of this means that dog grooming isn’t a good career! On the contrary, it’s known to be remarkably rewarding. Plus, you’ll get to do exactly what you’ve always dreamed of: interact with dogs on a daily basis.

For any dog lover, it really doesn’t get much better than that!

The Importance of Being Prepared

As I mentioned above, how much you enjoy being a professional dog groomer will ultimately depend on your preferences, work ethic, and expectations. That’s why we’re here today! We figure, if you have a clear understanding of what you’ll be walking into, you’ll better be able to decide whether this path is the right one for you.

So, here are some things you should know about dog grooming as a career…

Dog Grooming is a Good Career For You If…

1. You enjoy being active.

This is the furthest thing from a desk job, so it’s best that you know that right away. Dog grooming requires you to be on your feet all day. You’ll be constantly moving around and lifting tools, equipment, and, well, dogs. In fact, the only time you’ll likely find yourself able to sit down and rest your feet is during your break.

If you like being physically active, or you’re looking for something to help you become more active, this career could be the perfect fit! However, if you know in your heart that it’d be too much of a strain, or you’d positively hate that level of exertion, you probably won’t enjoy your dog grooming career very much.

2. You’re committed to learning.

Dog grooming is the kind of career where you’ll get what you put into it. The more effort you’re willing to give, the better the rewards will be.

In most places, you still don’t technically need professional training, certification, or licensing to work as a groomer. But that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t get any of these things. Real talk: you’ll be setting your career up for failure if you choose not to get trained.

Clients care about their dogs. They’re like family to them. So, it makes sense that they’ll only want to book with groomers they can trust. This means a groomer who’s taken the time to learn the trade and get some sort of reputable qualification to back them up.

If you’re not interested in schooling and think you can wing things on the fly, dog grooming won’t be a good career for you. But if you are interested in learning the right way first, the sky will become the limit for your success!

Plus, if you’re truly serious about a thriving dog grooming career, won’t you want to be the best you can possibly be?

3. You like to challenge yourself.

Once again, let me reiterate: dog grooming is not an easy career. No two dogs will ever be exactly the same. From one appointment to the next, you’ll need to complete different kinds of tasks. To complete these tasks, you’ll need to have a large knowledge base about all of the following things:

  • Grooming techniques;
  • Prep work;
  • Breed standards and popular haircuts;
  • Canine anatomy;
  • Dog behavior;
  • Working with aggressive and/or difficult dogs;
  • Skin issues;
  • First Aid and risk prevention;
  • And so much more.

As you’ve probably guessed, this is the kind of information you’ll be taught during your dog grooming certification training. (See now why it’s so crucial to get it?)

If you’re the type of person who loves to push the bar on what you know, constantly strengthen your skill-set, and outdo yourself at every turn, you’ll find a career in dog grooming to be extremely gratifying.

However, if you’re someone who prefers routine, hates the unexpected, and likes sticking to one or two things that you’re really good at, being a groomer probably isn’t for you.

4. You want to be your own boss.

While grooming in a pre-existing salon is a popular option, another awesome thing about a dog grooming career is that you have other options at your disposal, too. For instance, do you want to start your own business? Would you like to groom dogs from home, travel to clients’ houses, or even open your own salon?

These are all possibilities, depending on your goals! While some careers offer little flexibility or room to grow, dog grooming is the type of job that can take on many different forms. With the right business training under your belt (which you’ll get in, you guessed it, your professional schooling), there’s no limit on the direction you can choose to take your career in!

5. You’re willing to work hard for your paycheck.

If you want a job with a set income, working in a dog grooming salon will be your best bet. Just keep in mind that working for someone else means that there might be limited room to increase that income as quickly as you’d like. But if your priority is getting a stable, regular paycheck and scheduled hours, then awesome! A lot of groomers prefer this option for those very reasons.

Now, if you want to operate your OWN dog grooming business, you’ll need to know this: it may take a little while for regular income to start coming in. As you gain experience and establish yourself, your bookings will increase, you’ll attract repeat customers, and your salary will get better and better.

The beauty of being your own boss is that you can play a direct role in your salary! If you put in the time and effort to implement smart business strategies, you can rake in some seriously big bucks! It all falls back to you and what you’re willing to put into your career.

6. You’re good with people.

Now, let’s be clear: dog grooming is a good career for extroverts and introverts alike. After all, the majority of your time will be spent working with dogs. That being said, you’ll still be expected to interact with dog owners before and after the appointments.

If your people skills are lackluster, the success of your career will be lackluster. This is because your clients are ultimately the ones booking with you. They’re the ones who will either rave about you and recommend you to others, or leave a bad review. Even if you like dogs better than people (and hey, who doesn’t?), you still need to have excellent customer service skills.

So long as you’re cool with this, you’ll have a long and happy career! But if you’d prefer a job with little to no physical interaction with other people, dog grooming won’t be a good fit.

7. You’re good with dogs.

This might sound like a no-brainer. But you’d be amazed at the number of groomers out there who are actually terrible when it comes to handling and working with dogs. Obviously, this makes absolutely no sense to us.

If dogs have a knack for making you instantly happy, dog grooming is a good career for you. If the idea of interacting with all sorts of different dogs every day (even the difficult ones) sounds like a dream come true, then dog grooming is a good career for you. But if dogs tend to not like you, you have a hard time handling them, or you straight up dislike them, guess what? Dog grooming won’t be a good career for you.

I know, crazy right? 😜

is dog grooming a good career article feb 26 2021 last in-post image

So, Is Dog Grooming a Good Career?

Only you can know for sure! But at least now, you have a better understanding of what will be expected of you and what your career could look like. If you read all of the above and are thinking to yourself, “This sounds like so much fun!”, then I think we both know what the next step for you is…

Graduate Feature: April Costigan

QC Pet Studies graduate, April Costigan, feature image
QC Pet Studies graduate, April Costigan, headshot

Name: April Costigan

Location: Centennial, Colorado

QC Pet Studies Courses you’ve taken:

Your website: https://www.sparklingdogs.com/

Tell us a little bit about yourself!

I’ve been working with dogs for the past 11 years in the capacity of fostering, training, rescuing, and (now) grooming. I simply love dogs and have a deep respect for them. I’m now formally trained by QC Pet Studies to groom all coat types and breeds.

I specialize in practical cuts for the everyday dog, but I can also provide specialty cuts as well. I am smart, friendly, and imaginative. Dogs really seem to like me! I like to bring a little whimsy to my work, as well as a sense of humor.

After my clients drop off their dogs, I often text them fun photos throughout the grooming process. I really love the time I spend with each dog. It just tickles me pink when I’m brushing them out, or trimming around their faces, and they stick their little tongues out to give me a quick kiss on the cheek. To me, that is the highest form of a compliment.

I have also been working in an animal shelter for nearly 2 years now. Nothing gives me more pleasure than grooming a dog that has been lost on the streets or lived a life of neglect. Being able to transform that dog from a miserable state to a clean, comfortable, and happy dog is the greatest reward.

I work full-time at this animal shelter and groom 3 days a week in my own private studio. I absolutely love it!

Bud before groom Bud after groom

How did you know that grooming would become more than just a hobby?

When I first took the position of Kennel Manager at MaxFund No-Kill Animal Shelter in Denver, Colorado, I had no idea the impact I would personally have on homeless animals. I knew that keeping the dogs clean, fed, warm, and comfortable was an important mission. But I didn’t fully understand how much basic grooming could really make a difference in these dogs’ lives until I experienced it first-hand!

After a while, providing basic grooming simply wasn’t enough. I needed to know more because I wanted to give more back. My compassion for these animals grew every day, and I just felt like this was my personal mission. I was driven by the need to do better.

I’m happier now that I ever was when I had a high-level corporate job. This career has more meaning.

Why did you choose to enroll in an online dog grooming school, rather than brick-and-mortar classes?

I worked full-time and could not attend in-person classes. So, I did a lot of research for online courses and that’s when I found QC Pet Studies. This school offered exactly what I wanted!

There were lots of instructional videos that I could watch over and over again. I would have lifetime access to my course materials, in case I ever wanted to refer back to them in the future. The practical assignments offered hands-on training. I like that I had the flexibility of choosing the dog I wanted to work with for each assignment.

The valuable tutor feedback I received throughout the course was the most important thing to me. I wanted individual comments about my specific work – not what the whole class would working on, if in a physical classroom.

It was critical that I had an instructor I could truly connect with. I got just that from Lisa Day! She gave me terrific insights in all my audio feedback files. The QC Pet Studies website doesn’t tell you this, but Lisa Day and Paddy Gaffney are really funny. They make the distribution of important information fun and entertaining! They really connect with their students on a higher level.

Kiwi before groom Kiwi after groom

How did you learn about QC Pet Studies? Why else would you recommend this school to aspiring dog groomers?

Research, research, research! I think I googled and read every single online grooming course curriculum available. Ultimately, though, I found that I got more “bang for my buck” with QC Pet Studies than I would’ve with any other institution.

I really liked that I had to video my work and upload it for grading, rather than simply taking open-book tests. Anyone can do that, but that doesn’t mean anyone can groom a dog. By submitting my actual work and receiving feedback, I felt like I really learned what I did well and what I could do better.

Best of all, I could do it when it was convenient for me. Yes, I did my assignments during the day. But I could do the actual coursework in the evening – or in some cases, very late at night. I loved the flexibility!

Prior to your professional training, how much knowledge and experience did you have with grooming?

My previous experience with grooming dogs was fairly basic. I could trim nails, give baths, bush out coats (but not properly), and clumsily cut out unsightly mats. I also have dogs of my own, and I was able to keep them neat and tidy. But I was never able to give them stylized haircuts. I had very basic skills.

Magnolia before groom Magnolia after groom

You enrolled with QC Pet Studies, completed your courses, and graduated – all in 2020! Why did you choose to embark on this journey during the COVID-19 pandemic, and how do you feel QC’s flexible online learning environment made it possible for you to achieve your goals?

The pandemic wasn’t really a thing until after I had enrolled, so it didn’t really play a role in why I chose to enroll. I enrolled because I really wanted to be able to own and operate my own business.

I will likely always work for the animal shelter because there are dogs out there that don’t have access to a professional groomer, but really need one. However, having my own business – with my own clients – really allows me to connect with dogs on a deeper level. By having my own clientele, I get to build lasting relationships with wonderful dogs and wonderful people.

QC’s flexible, online learning environment allowed me to achieve my goals because I could do the work whenever I wanted. I didn’t have to wait for a classroom to complete an assignment. Rather, I could move forward as quickly as I wanted and at a pace that suited me. I’m a driven individual and I ate up the coursework like it was candy. I loved every minute of it!

What was the most difficult technique to learn from QC Pet Studies’ Dog Grooming Course? What was the most fun technique to learn?

Shaving a poodle’s face was the most difficult technique for me. At first, I was hesitant about shaving the face all the way. I have more confidence now, but it was tricky for me in the beginning.

The most fun technique to learn was creating a round face, such as a Westie or Teddy Bear cut. I love working with a dog that can barely see at the beginning, thanks to all the fuzzy fur on their face. It allows me to create a beautiful, rounded look that shows off the dog’s big, bright eyes.

I love the reaction I get from my human clients when they pick up their dog. Their pup no longer looks like a mop! Instead, they’ve become a bright and intelligent creature; begging for cookies with great big, brown eyes.

Kandi before groom Kandi after groom

You also completed the First Aid for Groomers Course. In your opinion, why is First Aid training essential for a professional groomer?

This is an excellent question. I think First Aid should actually be the first part of the course – and an absolute requirement!

Many dogs that I’ve worked with have underlying health issues that are not always apparent. Being able to identify odd behaviors as a prelude to something happening is key. A groomer must be able to identify risk factors in a dog and stop grooming immediately, so they can assess the situation and take action, if needed.

I realize that stress can trigger events. Therefore, I do whatever I can to keep a dog calm and comfortable. If I see stress levels rising, I take a break or do something else. Sometimes, switching gears is all that’s needed to reduce anxiety and allow the dog to regroup.

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

The Westie is my favorite. I actually have 3 Westie clients and I love all of them! One of my clients never had her Westie cut to actually look like a Westie before she came to me.

Another allowed me to use her Westie in one of my video assignments for QC Pet Studies. I followed the instructions offered in the instructional video and created the cutest dog ever. My client loved the look of her dog!

My tutor said that my Westie had a perfect Westie head and that I’d done a great job. That made my day!

Noodles after groom

Is there a particular technique or skill you’re currently working on mastering right now?

I firmly believe that there is always room for improvement in everything I do, that each dog is different. The thing I’m working on mastering at the moment is the ability to change my technique if a dog is becoming stressed out.

For example, nail trims for some dogs are no big deal. However, on other dogs, it can be a whole production. If they hate it, they might want to squirm away. You can spend 15 minutes on a stubborn dog, just trimming the nails.

So, changing the way I hold the foot might make a difference. Clipping them with a different type of trimmer might make a difference. Maybe using a grinder is the answer. Personally, I do not like using a grinder because I feel it takes too long. However, for some dogs, this might be what they need.

Do you have any advice for students of dog grooming classes who are struggling to find dogs to practice on? Where should they be looking? How can they assure the owners that they’re going to take care of the dog?

Go to your local animal shelter and sign up to be a volunteer. Walk some dogs and get to know a wide variety of dog personalities. Once you have built up your confidence in handling dogs, start looking for opportunities to groom them.

A particular breed might not be needed for an assignment. But if there’s a dog desperately in need of grooming, help him out. It’s still experience! Plus, you might learn something that is not included in any course curriculum.

Before you know it, the dog you need for your assignment will present himself. When that time comes, you’ll know exactly how to take care of him. Not only will you excel in your coursework – you’ll excel as a human being as well!

For Practicum Unit 2: Grooming a Natural Breed, you groomed a Sheltie to its breed standard, in which you focused on enhancing the dog’s natural appearance. Looking back on your work now, with your experienced eye, is there anything you would have done differently?

Looking back on my work with this Sheltie, I think I would have liked to have brushed her tail out more. I think there was an opportunity to make the tail look even prettier. That dog was incredibly sweet! I believe she would have allowed me to spend more time on her tail, making sure that it was tangle-free.

Before the Groom
After the Groom

Overall, how do you think QC Pet Studies’ Dog Grooming and First Aid for Groomers courses have prepared you to work in the professional field?

I don’t think I could be where I am today without QC Pet Studies. The Dog Grooming and First Aid courses are fantastic. I learned so much from Lisa Day and Paddy Gaffney. I often wish there was an additional QC course I could enroll in!

What are your career goals as a groomer for 2021 and beyond?

I’ve officially started my own business, Sparkling Dog Grooming. I’ve constructed an entire professional grooming studio in my basement and have started building a very nice client list. I’m looking to grow it more in 2021! I would also love for my granddaughter to join me in a few years, as my assistant. I’d love to teach her everything I know about dog grooming.

QC Pet Studies graduate April Costigan's business logo

Ready to begin your own journey? Enroll with QC Pet Studies and earn a double certification in less than a year!

The Dog Groomer Salary in 2021

dog groomer salary feature image

On a global scale, 2020 was arguably the worst year we’ve lived through in decades. But now that a new year has begun, there’s hope that the next twelve months will be more forgiving, more positive, and filled with more opportunities for growth. If one of your goals for 2021 is to start your dream job as a professional dog groomer, you’re likely excited but also wondering, “What sort of salary can I expect to make?”

Before We Begin…

It’s important that we make this very clear: the projected average salaries we’re going to discuss are in no way set in stone. If we learned nothing else last year, it’s that life can be extremely unpredictable. Unfortunately, we cannot know for certain whether these numbers will prove to hold up, be less, or even be more than predicted. Only time will tell!

Secondly, it’s important to remember is that a dog groomer’s salary is very fluid and based on a number of factors. Even two groomers living within the same town can make two vastly different incomes! In a profession such as this, there are a lot of things that YOU can do to directly impact your dog groomer salary, increase your earnings, and better your bottom line.

But we’ll talk more about that later!

Global Predictions for the Dog Groomer Salary in 2021

We should probably point out that your dog groomer salary over the course of 2021 will obviously be affected by the hours you work. Logically, part-time groomers will make less than full-time ones.

The following projections are based on recent data, the salaries of individuals living within that specific demographic, income made last year, and other influencing variables. With that in mind, these are the anticipated average hourly wages for dog groomers in 2021, based on country:

black pug with piggy bank

Keep in Mind…

The above projections aren’t a one-size-fits-all sort of deal. There are LOTS of dog groomers who will make more than this in 2021. This is because, as I mentioned above, there are a number of influencing elements that also need to be taken into consideration.

So, let’s look at a few of them, shall we?

3 Factors that Can Impact Your Dog Groomer Salary

1. Your Location

Where you live can play a direct role in how much you make. For instance, groomers living in a major city will likely have countless competitors. As such, the going rate will often be a bit higher. In this sort of case, a dog groomer could potentially wind up making a higher salary than a groomer living in the boonies.

That being said, there can also be perks to working within a small town. If your area needs groomers, but there aren’t many options to choose from, you can definitely profit by offering your services in a less competitive market. Since your clients will have fewer (to no) alternatives, you’ll not only have dibs on the client base – you might even be able to charge a little more for your services, since you’ll be considered a rare commodity!

At the end of the day, your location will always come with its own set of pros and cons. The key is how you use your situation to your advantage!

white dog getting haircut

2. Your Qualifications

If a client has to pick between a dog groomer who’s been properly trained and certified, versus someone who has not, they will ALWAYS choose the person with the stronger qualifications. After all, why shouldn’t they? They love their dog. It only makes sense that they’d want to make sure whoever looks after them will keep them safe and treat them right.

If the only experience on your resume is that you’ve groomed your own dog at home, that isn’t going to be enough. I guarantee that you will make a substantially smaller salary than a dog groomer with an impressive resume, stacked with reputable certifications.

Remember: a hobby is not the same as a career – and a career comes with the necessary training. Only then can you truly be great at what you do and provide your clientele with peace of mind that they’ve chosen the best of the best!

3. Your Services

Whether you work within an established salon or start your own business, the number of grooming services you can offer will impact the number of jobs you can take on – which ultimately means a higher dog groomer salary for you. Additionally, if you know that you have a special talent for certain services, don’t be afraid to go above and beyond to showcase those specific skills.

The best kind of dog groomer is one who is not only a Jack of all trades, but an actual master of them, too!

Note: With that in mind, know where to draw the line. Never offer a service that you know you’re weak in. For instance, if you know you’re not great at grooming Poodles, don’t accept bookings to groom Poodles. It’s better to be upfront and honest to a client than it is to accept their money and give them bad results.

corgi getting blog dried by dog groomer

3 Ways to Increase Your Dog Groomer Salary in 2021

1. Adapt to the Pandemic!

What if grooming salons have to close down, or the pandemic is severely limiting your bookings?

Take your business mobile!

These days, mobile dog grooming is a popular option for pet owners looking for a convenient way to have their dogs groomed, without having to physically travel to the groomer. As a mobile dog groomer, you’ll go to them!

Not only can this option allow you to continue operating and booking appointments fairly regularly – you’ll likely be able to charge more for your mobile services, too, since they’ll be considered a hotter commodity!

Want to learn about some of the pros and cons to being a mobile groomer? Keep reading here!

2. Strengthen Your Online Presence!

Most of us were already spending a lot of time online, even before the pandemic. But since COVID-19 began, the world is living online now more than ever. So, make sure you’re getting seen!

Work on your social media channels by regularly posting unique content that best reflects your brand, mission, business goals, and most importantly, who you are. Build an official website for your business, or polish the website you already have so everything is current and accurate. Go over your online portfolio and make sure the images representing your work are of the best quality.

The better your online presence is, the more exposure you can get for your business. This, in turn, can wind up attracting all sorts of new clients, which will positively impact your dog groomer salary.

3. Get Professionally Certified!

As I discussed earlier, you’re guaranteed to book more clients and increase your profits if you have reputable training and qualifications to your name. A proper education is always going to be a sound investment that will pay back its worth tenfold, for the rest of your career! Take your training one step further by adding a First Aid certification to your resume, too.

This way, you’ll truly be a dog grooming expert and your client will never have any doubts that their dog is truly in the right hands!

Pro Tip: Thinking of pursuing your professional training online, rather than in-person? Here are 5 reasons why online schooling is the way to go!

Here’s to 2021 and the promise of better things to come. With the right mindset, the right preparation, and the right strategies, you can pursue the career of your dreams this year and earn a great dog groomer salary to boot!

Ready to begin your exciting journey? Enroll today with QC Pet Studies today and get certified in less than a year!

QC Pet Studies’ Top 10 Blogs of 2020

QC Pet Studies corgi wearing glasses, sitting at table and looking at laptop

2020 has been a wild ride from start to finish. We’ve all experienced extreme highs and lows, learned how to adapt to the world’s new normal, and rediscovered the importance of human connection. For QC Pet Studies students and grads, 2020 was also a year devoted to pursuing a dream career in dog grooming, earning professional certifications, and launching new businesses!

We here at QC Pet Studies couldn’t be prouder of how hard our students and alumni have been working, and wish them nothing but the absolute best in the New Year.

With 2021 right around the corner, let’s take a moment now to look back and count down your top 10 favorite Sniffin’ Around blog articles over the last 12 months!

woman sitting on couch, looking at laptop, with dog next to her

Your 10 Favorite QC Pet Studies Blog Articles of 2020

Starting a business is one thing – but keeping it sustained and successful is an entirely different story! So, what measures should you take to elevate your dog grooming business so that it attracts even more clients, bookings, and exposure?

QC Pet Studies offers 5 easy options at your disposal… so don’t wait a second longer to find out what they are!

In our opinion, some of the best movies in cinematic history are ones with a dog in a leading role. (Other than I Am Legend. We’re still mad about that one scene.) So, what are some of the most popular breeds to hit the big screen? Even more importantly, what are the grooming requirements for these breeds?

You’ll have to keep reading to find out!

Do you want to become a professional dog groomer, but don’t know for sure just how long it’ll take you to complete your training? Here, we break down the typical process and average length of time it takes to become a dog groomer, based on whether you a) do an apprenticeship, b) attend in-person grooming classes, or c) earn your certification online (such as with QC Pet Studies).

Given the nature of your job, there are certain risks that are taken each time your client’s dog is placed into your care. Only by being professionally trained can you adequately prepare yourself to handle these hazards, in the event that something ever unexpectedly goes wrong.

Read on as we break down 5 of the most common dog hazards in the workplace, and how to successfully prevent them!

Part of being a great groomer is your ability to achieve high-quality results in an efficient amount of time. Improving your speed takes practice, but there are plenty of other tricks that can help you along the way! From knowing your tools to establishing a systematic routine – keep reading as we reveal 10 tips that will make you a faster groomer without sacrificing the quality of your work.

Not everyone wishes to own their own business, and that’s okay! For many groomers, the dream is to become employed within an existing salon. If this sounds like you, then you’re in luck because in this article, we break down 8 interview tips that are guaranteed to get you hired!

While a reputable grooming education from QC Pet Studies will teach you most of what you need to know, some things can only be learned through real-world experience. Whether it’s dealing with a dissatisfied customer or a business “best practice” that just won’t seem to work for you – here are 3 realities to being a dog groomer that your courses won’t teach you.

What’s interesting about this article is that it was written prior to the international outbreak of COVID-19. Therefore, it goes without saying that our original projections might not have exactly come to fruition for everyone. However, there are still many groomers all over the world who were able to make a good income – even amidst the pandemic.

How accurate were our projections, compared to what YOU made in 2020? Let us know in the comments below!

woman wearing face mask and high-fiving dog at home

Once grooming practices everywhere started getting the green light to re-open, the question on everyone’s mind was: How can I run my business safely? If you’re thinking of launching your own dog grooming business in 2021, this article is definitely for you.

Read on as we reveal 6 key strategies that will help you implement social distancing protocols, drastically reduce exposure to the virus, and increase your chances of staying in business during the pandemic!

Those who are serious about a professional career in dog grooming want to be as prepared as humanly possible. So, it comes as no surprise to us that this article was the most popular one of 2020!

While being a groomer is remarkably enjoyable, it’s also not just fun and games. Thanks to the equipment you’re working with, the different dogs you’ll encounter, and being on your feet all day, the job also comes with very serious health concerns.

If you dream of being a dog groomer, this is one of the best articles you can possibly read. This way, you can begin your new career knowing EXACTLY what to expect – and what you can do to prevent an occupational health hazard!

small dog licking water while being bathed by groomer

Everyone here at QC Pet Studies would like to thank each and every person who has taken the time to read Sniffin’ Around’s blog articles this past year. We hope they have been informative, insightful, and fun! Stay tuned for even more awesome content to come in 2021!

Kick off the New Year by pursuing the career you’ve always wanted! Enroll in QC’s Dog Grooming Course today!

Student Feature: Camille Torkornoo

QC Pet Studies student, Camille Torkornoo and her 2 poodles

Name: Camille Torkornoo

Location: Eugene, Oregon

QC Pet Studies Courses you’re taking:

Your website: https://www.mountzionkennels.com/

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/mountzionpoodles/

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/mountzionkennels

Tell us a little bit about yourself!

My name is Camille Torkornoo and I am 18 years old. I have a passion for animals – especially dogs. I own 3 standard poodles, two of which I show in UKC conformation, and use to practice my grooming on.

When did you know that grooming would become more than just a hobby for you?

I’ve always enjoyed grooming my own dogs. But I had never thought about making a career of it until after I decided I didn’t want to go to college or get a degree. I had been praying a lot about what I should do next in my life, and I realized that I could learn to groom dogs professionally.

I contacted multiple grooming shops (both local and commercial, like Petco), but I was only 17 at the time. They all required employees to be at least 18. That’s when I found out about QC Pet Studies and their Dog Grooming Course!

Although you groom all types of breeds, you specialize in Poodles. What is it about Poodles that you love so much?

My dad, actually! He fell in love with the breed before I did. When my family decided to get a poodle for me, I instantly fell in love with the breed, too. I love how intelligent they are. They have awesome personalities and a gentle nature.

They’re such great family dogs. I have 7 younger siblings, and would love to have lots of kids of my own in the future. My poodles have been such great dogs around all the kids. Not having hair stuck on all of the furniture is a huge plus, too!

You’re also a reputable Poodle breeder, but have gone on record stating that you do not support the breeding of “doodles”. For those who may not know the problematic history behind this popular designer dog, tell us a bit about why you do not breed doodles.

I have a love for all dogs, but I don’t support the breeding of “doodles” or other “designer” mixes. There are a few reasons for this. For starters, all purebred dogs have been bred for a specific purpose. They’ve been bred to a standard which has made them who they are for centuries. There is a breed of dog for every purpose, and breeders of these dogs have worked hard to preserve their breed and its heritage.

Standard poodles have been around for thousands of years, and have done every job imaginable. They were bred to retrieve waterfowl, and have been used over time in the circus and the military, as guide dogs and service dogs, and much more. They’ve even been used as sled dogs in the Iditarod!

Now, onto doodles. The main reason why people want doodles is because of their “non-shedding” coat. But there are many purebred dogs that have this desirable trait. Some people say they don’t like the poodle haircut, but don’t realize that you can cut a poodle to look like anything. If you don’t like the clean face, you can simply leave it furry.

View this post on Instagram

Freshly groomed!

A post shared by Camille Torkornoo (@mountzionpoodles) on

Another main reason I don’t support doodle breeding is because reputable breeders have been working hard to eliminate and prevent breed-specific diseases and health issues. When you cross two or more breeds together, this increases the number of possible hereditary diseases and health issues that dog can come across in its life.

For example, let’s say that breed #1 is affected by health issues A, B, and C. Breed #2 is affected by health issues C, D, E, and F. The result is that the mixed dog that results from these two breeds will be affected by health issues A, B, C, D, E, and F.

By mixing multiple breeds, you’re increasing the number of diseases and health conditions the dog may be affected by and will need testing for in the future.

I could go over these reasons in more depth, but I think these points alone get my point across. Poodles and other purebred dogs already exist with the desirable traits. Reputable breeders are working hard to preserve and better the breed, and I would rather  be a part of and support that. I encourage others to do the same!

Your Poodle, Moriah, has won a number of awards. Tell us a bit about her and your accomplishments together!

Moriah is my 2-year-old standard poodle. So far we’ve earned her Trick Dog Novice title and International Canine Ninja title. We’re currently working on her UKC Championship, and training to compete in agility and hunting retriever trials!

As part of your grooming services, do you offer competition grooming for your clients’ dogs? If not, is this a service you’d like to offer clients in the future?

As of now, I only offer pet grooming for my clients’ dogs. I actually haven’t thought much about offering competition grooming, but I might consider it in the future!

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

The main reason I decided to pursue professional dog grooming training through an online course, rather than in-person, was because I was still under 18 when I finished high school. I wasn’t old enough to enroll in an in-person grooming program, and I didn’t want to wait a whole year to start!

Ultimately, why did you choose to enroll with QC Pet Studies? What made QC stand out from other online grooming school?

QC Pet Studies was the first online grooming school I came across. To be honest, I had never heard of an online grooming school before that! As I researched the school, I liked it even more.

QC Pet Studies has a great rating with the Better Business Bureau, and was very affordable! I also love how they have a Student Forum, and how their support system and teacher interactions are more personal – just like any other online college course.

You’re currently on your third Unit of QC Pet Studies’ Dog Grooming Course. What’s the #1 best lesson you’ve learned so far?

So far, the #1 best lesson I’ve learned has to be the groomer’s safety unit. I think that handling dogs’ safely is the most important part of working with animals. That unit was very helpful, and I learned a lot from it!

You’re also enrolled in QC Pet Studies’ First Aid for Groomers Course. In your opinion, why should all professional groomers have First Aid training?

I think that it would be a wise decision for all groomers to have first aid training because it’s part of animal safety and good knowledge to have.

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

Probably the scissor technique. Learning how to properly use different kinds of scissors in different ways, for different coat types, is what I’m currently working on mastering.

What advice would you give an aspiring groomer who wants to work with Poodles, but has never handled this breed before?

Use friends’ dogs, if they have poodles. Alternately, you can also contact local poodle breeders and ask if you can practice on their dogs!

How do you think QC Pet Studies’ Dog Grooming Course is preparing you for an even more successful career in the field? (I.e. is the tutor feedback useful? Are you learning new things that you didn’t know before? Etc.)

The tutors have given me great feedback, and the units pretty much cover everything I need to know and learn about grooming. The only part I need to do on my own is practice, and apply what I’ve learned on real dogs.

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

I’m hoping to finish my courses in 2021, and start advertising and taking on more clients. My long-term hopes and goals are to get a job at a grooming shop, so I can gain more hand’s on experience, and then eventually set up my own grooming business from home.

Enroll with QC Pet Studies today, and we’ll give you our First Aid for Groomers Course FREE when you enroll in your Dog Grooming Course!

El Paso Requires Dog Groomer Certification as of January 1st

For dog lovers such as ourselves, thinking of the worst-case scenario can be a difficult thing to do. But all the same, it needs to be done. There are countless groomers out there who have never gotten professionally trained or earned their dog groomer certification. While most of the time, this doesn’t have catastrophic consequences – it also sometimes does.

This should be common sense. As a dog groomer, you’re working with potentially dangerous tools. Your client is quite literally putting their pet’s safety into your hands. Without a proper dog groomer certification – and the level of training that comes with it – mistakes can all too easily be made. When the wrong mistake is made, a trip to the groomer can quickly become fatal.

Such was the case this past August, when an ill-equipped dog groomer in El Paso, Texas, caused a 16-week-old Shi Poo puppy named Luccas to lose his life.

What Caused This Deadly Incident?

Leobardo Nava was a dog groomer for Happy Paws Dog Grooming. He also didn’t have a dog groomer certification or any specialized training. While handling his client’s puppy (known as Luccas), Nava allegedly grabbed Luccas by the neck in an aggressive manner. Afterwards, Luccas demonstrated signs of pain when he tried to walk. He was unable to eat or drink anything upon returning home. The poor pup died not long after.

Upon investigation, it was determined by police officials that Luccas’ lungs were “full of blood” and that he’d died of a “pulmonary edema, caused by the stress of the accident”.

The Aftermath

Nava was swiftly arrested and charged with one count of Cruelty to Animals under Texas law. Happy Paws Dog Grooming of El Paso – who had suspiciously demanded that Luccas’ owners pay for their appointment in cash, and ‘couldn’t print [them] a receipt’ – has since closed their doors and taken down their Facebook page.

The real aftermath, however, is the change in legislation that El Paso is now putting into place. Prior to this incident, people were not required to obtain special training or obtain a dog groomer certification in order to get licensed. However, this will no longer be the case come 2021.

Starting January 1st, anyone in El Paso who wishes to be a dog groomer will be required to get reputable training. It will also become mandatory to obtain a dog groomer certification in order to become licensed and work professionally. Furthermore, this new legislation will require grooming shop owners to conduct thorough background checks on any potential hires.

Council also voted to “expand restrictions on the use of dog restraints” and implement a certain set of standards regarding animal care within grooming businesses.

We, for one, think it’s about time.

Why A Dog Groomer Certification Should Be Mandatory

In a perfect world, ALL aspiring groomers would need to obtain a reputable dog groomer certification before entering the industry. Calling yourself a dog groomer doesn’t automatically make you one. This is a profession that relies heavily on subject-matter expertise. It requires knowledge that can only be obtained through proper training and education.

Think of it this way: you wouldn’t hand a self-proclaimed ‘Doctor’ a scalpel if you knew they’d never been to medical school, would you?

(We seriously hope the answer to this is “no”.)

As a groomer, your job involves dealing with another living, breathing life. It cannot be stressed enough that only those who know exactly what they’re doing should be allowed to have this level of responsibility. Otherwise, disaster can occur at any second, regardless of how prepared you think you are.

It’s probably safe to assume that you want to be a dog groomer because you love dogs. If so, then you owe it to them to be as prepared as possible!

10 Reasons You Should Earn Your Dog Groomer Certification Through QC Pet Studies

It’s difficult to narrow down all the reasons why you should pursue your professional training through QC, but we’ll do our best! Here are 10 of the best perks you’ll find when you enroll in our Dog Grooming Course:

  1. The program is 100% self-paced and you get a full 2 years to complete your course!
  2. Your classes are online, so you can train from anywhere in the world!
  3. As part of your course, you’ll be provided with your very own set of professional grooming tools!
  4. When you enroll in this course, we’ll give you our First Aid for Groomers Course – absolutely FREE!
  5. Complete hands-on assignments that will give you ample field practice!
  6. Learn everything there is to know about dog behavior, grooming techniques, breed requirements, products and tools, and so much more!
  7. Receive extensive business training so you can launch your very own company after graduating!
  8. Receive an International Dog Grooming Professional (IDGP) certification plus a First Aid for Groomers certificate upon completion of your courses!
  9. QC’s tutors are Certified Master Groomers with decades of experience in the industry!
  10. You’ll be training at a school that has been pioneering the e-learning experience since 1984 and holds an A+ ranking from the Better Business Bureau!

Do YOU agree that all groomers should need to have a dog groomer certification in order to legally work? Tell us why or why not in the comments below!

This Black Friday, get $200 OFF your tuition when you enroll in QC’s leading online Dog Grooming Course!

Investing Your Dog Groomer Salary: 3 Do’s and Don’ts

dog groomer working in salon and increasing dog groomer salary

Look, we get it: when starting your very own grooming business, you’re going to understandably excited. You’ll want to do everything possible to get your career off the ground, build a solid reputation, and make a profit. This is a great mindset to have! But there’s another consideration that’s just as important to factor into the overall equation: how to invest your dog groomer salary properly.

After all, earning revenue isn’t enough to sustain a business in and of itself. There are overhead costs and plenty of other expenses you’ll also need to take into consideration. For as much as you need to make money, you’ll also need to put money back into your business.

Knowing what you should be spending your salary on can be a bit overwhelming for first-time entrepreneurs. But don’t worry, we’ve got this handy list of Do’s and Don’ts to steer you towards the right path!

dog groomer increasing salary by working on client's dog

Tips for Investing Your Dog Groomer Salary

DO: Set Business Goals

From a business standpoint, it’s never a good idea to go into anything blindly. The more prepared you are, the better. So, determine where your business is currently at and then create goals for where you want it to be.

For instance, do you want to acquire a long list of devoted clients? Do want to operate your business out of a physical salon, out of your home, or at the client’s place of residence? What sort of marketing strategies do you want to explore in order to get your name out there?

These are all critical things to figure out! The goals you set for your business heavily impact where parts of your dog groomer salary will need to be invested.

DON’T: Neglect the Value of Proper Training

Your job quite literally revolves around having another living being in your care. It doesn’t make sense to enter this sort of profession without first ensuring that you know what you’re doing. Dog groomers who jump into their careers without a proper foundation can be known to produce poor results, mishandle their clients’ dogs, or even cause fatalities.

If you’ve already started your business and lack any sort of certification, we STRONGLY urge you to consider taking a dog grooming course.

dog groomer increasing salary by blow drying client's dog

Professional training allows you to become a true industry expert. You’ll not only learn how to groom a dog successfully; you’ll also become learned in dog behavior, afflictions, skin conditions, various different breeds and their unique grooming requirements, and First Aid training.

Not only that, but the right school will arm you with a reputable certification that you can proudly show off on your resume! By investing your dog groomer salary into a professional course, you’re investing into a better future for your business.

DO: Create an Emergency Fund

Unexpected situations happen. The last thing you want is to be unprepared for them. For instance, what if a major piece of equipment suddenly kicks the bucket? What if you or a family member have a medical emergency that requires you to take time off work?

You don’t want a time of crisis to drain you of all of your profits. This is why it’s crucial to use some of your dog groomer salary to create an emergency savings for your business. This way, you have a cushion to fall back on, in the event that you ever need it.

DON’T: Skimp on Your Equipment

In the beginning, you’re going to need to invest a decent amount of money into your grooming tools. This just comes with the territory of being a professional dog groomer. With that in mind, it’s never a good idea to cut corners when it comes to your equipment.

Because the thing is, you’ll get exactly what you pay for. While you don’t need to go broke in order to stock your dog grooming kit, you also should research into each product and ensure you only buy reliable equipment. Otherwise, sure, you’ll spend less money initially – but when that tool breaks on you (and trust me, it will), you’ll be back to square one and needing to shell out more money in order to replace it.

By investing in sturdy, high-quality tools, you’re investing your dog groomer salary the right way. They’ll be with you for the long haul and keep their value for quite a long time. Not to mention, they’ll allow YOU to do your job to the best of your ability – which should be one of your top priorities.

DO: Hire Employees When the Time is Right

If your business is booming, this is obviously great! But if you’re booking more clients than one person can handle on their own, the overall quality of your work might start to suffer. Once you hit the point where you feel you could benefit from a little help, it might be time to consider expanding your team and hiring some staff!

Yes, you will need to invest some of your dog groomer salary into this venture. After all, anyone you hire will need to be paid for their work. Other factors you’ll have to take into consideration and add to your business’s budget will include:

  • Payroll taxes;
  • The cost of training;
  • Increased utility fees in your place of business;
  • Adding more equipment to your business;
  • The cost of benefits (if you choose to offer them);
  • Insurance;
  • And more!

That being said, it’s still a worthwhile investment. In the long run, more employees mean more clients your business is able to service. With time, you’ll wind up making all that money back in the form of profits.

small dog and puppy sniffing each other's faces

DON’T: Rely Solely on Word-of-Mouth Marketing

No, we’re not saying that word-of-mouth has been rendered an obsolete marketing strategy. It still brings value to the table. But these days, the optimal way to advertise your business is by doing is online.

If your business is just starting out, or your salon isn’t located in a highly visible space, then online advertising can quickly become your best friend! By investing some of your dog groomer salary into your digital marketing strategies, you can drastically increase your chances of clients finding you and seeking out your services.

So, create a business page on Facebook and spend a little money boosting certain posts, ads, or promotional offers. Another smart idea would be to invest in Google AdWords. That way, your name pops up when dog owners perform a Google Search for grooming businesses in their area.

So long as your endeavors results in newly acquired clients and/or leads, consider it money well spent!

Note: Just make sure to keep an eye on your SEO analytics so you can adjust your spending accordingly. This data is key to knowing whether the amount of money you’re putting into advertising is too much, not enough, or just right. That way, you won’t risk over or underspending.

Can you think of other ways you should (or shouldn’t) invest your dog groomer salary? Let us know in the comments below!

Start your career with a DOUBLE certification! Enroll in QC Pet Studies’ online Dog Grooming Course and get our First Aid for Groomers Course absolutely FREE!