All Posts By

Sarah-Lynn Seguin

How to Fail Your Dog Grooming Class in 5 Easy Steps!

They say that if done through a reputable school, online education is just as informative and valuable as its brick-and-mortar alternative. It stands to reason, then, that your online dog grooming class should be just as challenging, insightful, and rewarding as an in-person dog grooming class. Right?

Yes! The right school will provide you with the same high-quality training, regardless of whether it’s online or in a physical classroom. The key factor is what YOU’RE willing to put into your education.

Now it’s time to paws (heh) and be frank. For or those of you who are here to work hard, study, and truly learn, this isn’t the article for you. Nah, today we’re here to give a big shout out to everyone out there who thinks that since their dog grooming class is online, they can breeze through it with little to no effort.

If that happens to be you, then welcome – you’re going to love the tips we’re about to reveal to you! Because although there are plenty of ways to completely bomb your online dog grooming class, these 5 are especially effective.

5 Steps to Flunking (Majorly Hard) in Your Online Dog Grooming Class

Step 1: Pick an online dog grooming school at random

Sure, doing thorough research into online academies can help you determine which school is the best fit for you… But come on, who actually has time for that?

Don’t worry, we’re sure every school out there is totally legit. Not ONE of them will be a scammer, and they surely won’t be after nothing but your money. In fact, why even get hands-on experience in the first place? Plenty of online dog grooming classes out there can tell you everything you need to know with nothing but multiple-choice quizzes!

Those who try to tell you the importance of hands-on training are just spouting fake news! Feel free to simply practice what you think are the proper techniques over and over in your mind. You’ll be totally fine once you actually try your skills on a living, breathing animal.

Step 2: Ignore your course materials

All those extremely helpful instructional videos are just too tedious to have to watch in their entirety. Go ahead and skip through them, or just not watch them at all! Oh sure, they contain critical information that will help you build your skills and become a better dog groomer. But there’s also that new series on Netflix that’s calling your name, too.

Priorities, am I right!?

On the other hand, maybe you’re not a very big reader. It’s cool; you can learn everything you need to know by watching a few YouTube videos. The people there may not be reputable industry experts, but really, how hard can it be to give a dog a haircut?

Also – and I cannot stress this enough – if you DO decide to try your hand at the practical assignments, do NOT take your time! Throw meticulousness and precision out the window, and race against the clock. The final results may be horrific and the dog’s owner may be furious, but they should’ve known the risks involved when they agreed to let you practice on their pooch. Honestly, you can’t be held responsible for that!

Point is: the sooner you can get the groom done, the sooner you can submit your assignment. The real end goal of your dog grooming class is to get that precious certification. It’s totally, 100%, in NO way about the valuable educational experience and industry skills you’ll equip yourself with along the way.

Step 3: Realize that all dog breeds are the SAME

What’s this nonsense I hear about different dog breeds having different coats, requiring different grooming techniques, etc.? So long as it barks, it’s a dog. Their breed has absolutely no impact on how you should approach the grooming process.

So, when your dog grooming class is trying to teach you about different breeds and why they matter, a really effective method I recommend is covering your eyes and shouting, “LA LA LA LA LA,” at the top of your lungs.

Step 4: Disregard your professional grooming tools entirely

If you happened to have lucked out, and the random online dog grooming class you enrolled in happens to come from a trustworthy school, then you’ve likely been provided with your very own set of high-quality grooming tools. Esteemed dog grooming schools will ensure to teach you all about these tools, and how to operate them properly, throughout your course curriculum.

Don’t be fooled, though – you don’t actually need ‘em. Even though it’s extremely important that you do, there are also craftier, more practical alternatives.

For example, you can find everything you need to groom a dog already within your own home. Those massive scissors you keep in the kitchen drawer? Yep, good enough to cut dog hair! Your personal nail clippers, shampoo, and toothpaste? Boom, you’re good to go!

Yeah, your instructor will probably give you a bad grade for doing this. But don’t worry, they’re just wrong.

Step 5: Leave everything to the last minute

Time management is for nerds. You already have a love for dogs, and you already know how to hold a pair of clippers without stabbing yourself in the eye, so what’s the point in devoting any more of your time to actually studying – let alone at a proper pace?

The best online dog grooming classes will be taught by schools who understand the need for flexibility and self-paced learning. QC Pet Studies, for example, gives you a full 2 YEARS to complete your program, starting on the date when you enroll. During that time, though, there are no deadlines for any of your assignments, quizzes, or units.

You know what this means, right? A FREE PASS to do literally nothing until those 2 years are nearly up! Seriously, how sweet of a gig is that? You’d never be able to get away with that in a physical classroom! Plus, since online tutors probably don’t take their job as seriously as brick-and-mortar instructors, they’ll never be able to tell you difference!

Trust me, it’s cool. For real. Just leave everything until about a week before the final deadline, and then just cram super hard for a few days. With luck on your side, you’ll still be able to get a (barely) passable grade and graduate anyways!

Even if you start your career with little to no useful skills, you’ll easily be able to hide it from your future clients. They totally won’t be able to tell the difference between a great groom and an atrocious one.

Okay, let’s drop the charade…

I’m sure you all caught on pretty quickly that the ‘tips’ recommended in this article should in NO way be followed. Dog grooming should be taken seriously. It requires commitment, passion, self-discipline, and a willingness to properly learn the craft. If you’re truly dedicated to making this your long-term career, you won’t just want to be ‘good’. You’ll push yourself to be EXCEPTIONAL!

Do the necessary research, take your time, and find a well-respected school that suits you best. The honest truth is, so long as these criteria are met, it won’t matter if that grooming school is online or in-person. You’ll receive the same life-changing education, and be truly prepared to take the industry by storm.

It all boils down to what YOU’RE willing to put into it. So always make sure you put in your very best!

Until August 14th, get a DOUBLE certification through QC Pet Studies! Enroll in our internationally-leading online Dog Grooming Course, and in addition to knocking $150 OFF your tuition, you’ll also get our First Aid for Groomers Course – absolutely free!

Dog Haircuts 101: Breaking Down the Basics

As a professional groomer, you’re going to be responsible for countless dog haircuts over the course of your career. With the proper training and education, you can make Fluffy look her very best! Without it, though, your client’s dog can walk out looking like a bit of a train-wreck (to put it nicely).

Don’t worry, though, we’ve got you covered! Let’s break down the basic elements you absolutely need to do about dog haircuts. As a bonus, we’ll even reveal to you the #1 secret to becoming a clipper-wielding wizard!

Knowing the Right Dog Haircuts for the Right Breeds

When you have your client consultation, you’ll be able to learn more about their dog and ask the right questions to best determine what haircut would be the best fit. Sometimes it has to do with the breed; other times, it’s the dog’s health, lifestyle, and/or coat condition you need to factor in. And of course, sometimes it just boils down to your client’s preferences!

With time and experience, you’ll be able to look at a dog, know exactly which questions to ask, and confidently know the types of haircut to recommend.

What’s in a Name?

Because there are tons of different dog haircuts, there are tons of different haircut names. While many of them are undeniably cute (such as the “teddy bear” haircut or the “bikini cut”), they’re admittedly a bit ambiguous.

Contrary to popular belief, there isn’t really a “one size fits all” way to do any single cut. A client can walk into a salon in one city and ask for a teddy bear cut, and get one thing. But another client on the other side of the world can ask for the same haircut and get different results. It really depends on region, the groomer’s expertise, and the individual’s preferences.

If your client requests a particular haircut, your best bet is to discuss it with them first and make sure they understand what you’d be doing, and how that haircut will look at the end. It’s a good idea to keep pictures of standard cuts on hand, to make sure the owner’s vision matches your own! This way, everyone’s on the same page. You can ensure that your client’s expectations are aligned with the realistic outcome.

Different Kinds of Dog Haircuts

Full-Body Cuts

Full-body dog haircuts define a dog’s overall look, since they alter the length of the coat on the face, body, legs, and tail. Some popular full-body cuts include:

  • The teddy bear cut
  • The shave
  • The kennel cut
  • The lamb cut
  • The poodle cut
  • The sporting cut
  • The bikini cut

Head Cuts

Clients may come in and in terms of a trim, request nothing but a head cut. Alternately, you may be pressed for time during the appointment. Either way, if a haircut is requested, tending to the dog’s face is always a priority. That is, after all, the part of the dog’s body where your client tends to focus on most in day-to-day life!

The goal with all head cuts is to choose a style that attractively enhances the dog’s natural expression and head shape. For dogs with long hair, it’s also a safety measure to clear out any unwanted fur that’s shielding their eyes and impeding their vision. Just make sure to take extra care and precaution when using any of your grooming tools near a dog’s face. It’s a very sensitive area, after all!

Common head cuts you’ll perform throughout your career will include:

  • The clean face
  • The topknot
  • Tipped ears

Foot Cuts

Too much hair on a dog’s feet and pads can lead to decreased traction, in addition to an increase of tangling. Foot cuts help to prevent this, as well as help keep the dog’s feet cleaner overall! Your dog grooming training will help you differentiate the different kinds of dog breeds, and how those breeds determine the ideal shape and appearance of the foot.

The clean foot and the round foot, for example, are both standard foot cuts you’ll come across.

Hygiene Cuts

These type of dog haircuts are usually needed when hair needs to be removed from a specific area on the body, in order to keep the dog healthy and clean. Here are a few examples of different hygiene cuts, and why they’re needed:

  • The maternity cut – performed on pregnant dogs, and done by shaving the dog’s belly from the armpits to the groin. This particular cut exposes her nipples to her pups, while also ensuring that the area remains clean while she is nursing.
  • The sanitary cut – involves trimming the hair around the dog’s genitalia, to prevent urine, feces, and other unwanted debris from getting tangled in the fur.
  • The T-cut – involves gently clipping the hair under the dog’s armpits, followed by a line straight down the stomach (forming the letter ‘T’). These areas are often forgotten by owners when brushing, and can be prone to matting. The T-cut prevents this, allowing the dog to be more comfortable.

The Secret to Becoming a Clipper-Wielding Wizard is…

Getting proper training, of course!

(Really, are you at all surprised by this answer?)

An education in dog grooming is an excellent way to stay ahead of the competition and impress your clients. Even more importantly, it strengthens YOUR skill-set and makes you the best dog groomer you can be!

After all, in this industry, it’s not enough to simply love dogs. You absolutely have to know what you’re doing, too! When you have both of these things, there’ll be nothing that can stop you!

From dog haircuts, to behavior and temperament, to proper grooming techniques – QC’s leading online Dog Grooming Course will turn you into a true expert! Enroll today and start your dream career!

Dog Grooming Training – Part Two: The Importance of Brushing Before Styling

In Part One of our two-part series, we introduced the concept of prep work prior to styling. Specifically, we broke down the typical types of prep work you’ll perform (and why), as well as how it benefits you, your client, and their dog.

Today, let’s focus on a specific example of common prep work involved during the grooming process: brushing a dog. While there are many kinds of prep work, this one if of particular importance! After all, as we discussed in Part One, a lot of the prep work you do will be required regardless of whether a dog is getting trimmed or styled.

The Benefits of Brushing

Brushing a dog’s hair is vital to its overall well-being. In addition to removing dead, excess fur, it also:

  • Stimulates blood flow
  • Removes dirt and debris
  • Promotes relaxation
  • Reduces shedding and the risk of mats
  • Allows for a shinier, healthy coat

How Often Should a Dog be Brushed?

That really depends on the breed. Most dog breeds should be brushed at least 2 times per week. More specifically:

  • Minimal to no hair should be brushed every other week
  • Hair that’s short and smooth should be brushed once a week
  • Hair that’s short and wiry, curly, or short and double should be brushed 2 times per week
  • Hair that’s long and silky, long and coarse, or long and double-coated should be brushed 3-4 times per week

Obviously, it’s not realistic to expect your client to bring their pooch to you on a weekly basis (although some are more than happy to). But by knowing this useful information, you can better advise your client so they can perform maintenance while at home.

When to Brush a Dog During a Grooming Appointment

If you intend to give your client’s dog a bath, make sure to brush him before and after he gets washed. Brushing him before a bath will remove a ton of excess hair and dirt, which can save you time. In the same breath, if the dog has mats and tangles when they come to you, you’ll want to deal with those before bath time. Otherwise, the tangles risk getting even worse!

Once you’ve finished bathing and drying him, perform the second brush. Because you already prepped the dog with an initial brushing, followed by a proper bath, this second brushing will be a much quicker process. The goal here is simply to remove any loosened hair, smooth out the fur and ensure there are no lingering knots.

If you intend to clip the dog’s hair and style it later on, brushing first is essential! Matted hair can clog your clippers, not to mention put the dog at risk!

Different Ways to Brush

The type of brush you use will be dependent on the dog’s coat and individual needs. Your professional training will get you well-versed in all the different types of brushes within your dog grooming kit, along with which are best suited for certain breeds.

Here are a few examples, though, of brushing methods you’ll regularly use:

1. Pat and Pull

This is optimal for detangling a dog’s coat without injuring the skin. For this method, you’ll rely on a slicker brush. If your client’s dog has a longer coat, your slicker brush may need to have extra-long bristles.

Using a good amount of pressure, pat the brush into the dog’s hair until it reaches his skin. This will allow the brush to access the dog’s undercoat. Then pull the brush out.

For optimal results, use the line method when brushing a dog. This is done by lifting pieces of the dog’s fur, so you can work through it in smaller, more precise sections.

Pro Tip: Make sure that you don’t use too much pressure when brushing a dog. You don’t want to aggravate the dog’s skin by giving him brush burn! The more hands-on experience you get, the better you’ll become at knowing the best pressure to use.

2. Combing

After you’ve finished brushing Fluffy, it’s time to grab a comb from your dog grooming kit. Go back in and pass it through the fur, to make sure you did a thorough job with the brushing.

Start with a wide-toothed comb, and if it easily passes through the hair without resistance, switch to a narrow comb with finer teeth. The goal is to be able to comb all of the fur, down to the skin, without hitting any tangles.

If you’re able to do that, you’ve done a mighty fine job!

3. Deshedding

Deshedding is an important step before you bust out your clippers, and especially before you attempt to style the fur. That being said, you’ll find that many clients will come to you solely for deshedding services. This is particularly common in the spring and fall, the two major shedding seasons.

There are a number of tools you can use in your dog grooming kit to help deshed your client’s pup. Most often, you’ll find that undercoat rakes and deshedding blades will best do the trick.

That being said, this is where it’s once again important to know your dog breeds! Certain deshedding tools shouldn’t be used on specific breeds. For example, you should NOT use a deshedding blade on breeds with long, curly coats, such as:

  • Pumis
  • Poodles
  • American or Irish Water Spaniels
  • Spanish or Portuguese Water Dogs
  • Curly-coated Retrievers
  • Etc.

Want to Learn More?

The single best way to learn all there is to know about grooming prep work and techniques is to enroll in dog grooming school and receive professional training from certified experts! After all, to be the best, you need to learn from the best!

So, what are you waiting for? Get started today in QC’s internationally-leading online Dog Grooming Course, and get certified in as little as 3-6 months!

Dog Grooming Training: The Importance of Prep Work Before Styling – Part 1

As part of your dog grooming training, you’ll quickly discover that the work you do before any styling is just as important as the styling itself! Most dogs that walk into your shop won’t automatically be ready for a trim. They’ll need you to do some essential prep work first.

For instance, if a pup comes to you with matted fur, you won’t be able to safely cut or style their hair until those mats are first addressed and properly dealt with!

In Part One of our two-part series, we’ll start by looking at the types of prep work you’ll most commonly perform before any styling takes place. We’ll also examine why this work is so important, and how it can increase your chances of creating a successful grooming experience for your client AND their canine companions!

What is Prep Work?

In the world of grooming, dogs will rarely come to you 100% ready to hop on the table and immediately get a fabulous haircut. In reality, you’ll often need to perform certain tasks before any clipping or styling gets done.

Some dogs may have mats in their fur. Others may have dirty paws, or extremely long nails. At the start of every groom, it’s important for you to first assess the dog and see what needs to be taken care of before you break out the clippers.

Prep work actually makes up a large part of the grooming process!

Examples of Prep Work

The prep work required will vary from job to job. It really depends on the dog and their needs. Some examples of prep work you’ll frequently need to do include:

Note: Keep in mind that many dogs won’t require a fancy trim or style. Some will only ever come to you for prep work and small touch-ups. Certain breeds, such as German Shepherds and Dalmatians, will usually only require prep work services, due to their types of fur.

How Prep Work Benefits You:

Simply put, prep work makes styling your client’s dog a LOT easier. Why make things harder for yourself when you don’t have to?

For instance, all groomers aspire to work in an efficient and timely manner. Now, I know what you’re already thinking: but isn’t prep work time-consuming?

Yes, sometimes it can be, because you’ll need to add some extra steps here and there. But putting time and effort into preparing a dog for styling will help you avoid setbacks later on.

For example, you’ll commonly need to take the time to carefully brush and bathe a dog before you can begin their haircut. That being said, brushing and bathing a dog is standard practice during many dog grooming appointments. So, you’d typically need to do these things anyway!

The thing is, it would actually prove a lot more time-consuming to struggle to clip a dog with matted, dirty fur. You’d very quickly need to do some hefty backtracking to get the job done properly.

So, approach every groom by thinking two steps ahead. Prep work allows you to preemptively handle all the parts of the styling process that could pose problems later on, if left unattended. This way, you won’t lose time later on during the groom.

How Prep Work Benefits Your Client:

Naturally, your clients’ main priorities will be the health and safety of their furry family members. They’re coming to YOU because they trust you to take good care of their dogs. This trust comes from a combination of your reputable dog grooming training and qualifications and your performance.

You’ll need to prove to clients that you’ll treat their dogs with consideration and high-quality expertise!

Any groomer who knows their stuff will understand the necessity of prep work. The more you prep a client’s dog for styling, the better the final results will be. Not to mention, you’ll be better able to guarantee the dog’s overall well-being. These are key elements to being a successful groomer and maintaining a positive reputation with your clientele!

How Prep Work Benefits the Dog:

Most importantly, prep work benefits the dog more than anyone else.

To start, prep work gives you an opportunity to examine them. Doing so may bring to light a medical condition or affliction that has previously gone unnoticed. For example, as you assess the dog, you may notice skin lesions, lumps, etc. Prep work is an excellent way to spot potentially dangerous maladies, so that you can bring them to your client’s attention.

Prep work helps you to put the dog’s safety first in many other, less extreme, ways as well. Here are some of the most common examples of why prep work is essential to the overall grooming process:

  • Brushing: Lowers the risk of hurting the dog, if their hair has mats or tangles. Trying to clip matted fur can result in cuts, nicks, or clipper burn.
  • Bathing: A dog’s fur should always be clean before clipping it. Dirty fur can lead to irritated skin, infections, etc. Not to mention, dirty hair can clog your clippers, thereby making your job more difficult!
  • Trimming the pads: This will lower the chances of the dog slipping and injuring themselves on your grooming table. Plus, it helps reduce the amount of dirt they’ll track into their owner’s home from outside. It’s a win-win!
  • Nail clipping, grinding, and filing: If a dog’s nails are too long, they can prevent him from standing properly. This can potentially cause the dog to fall on the grooming table or cause infection or breakage—both of which can be very painful. In time, extremely long nails can even cause the dog to develop bone deterioration in the feet.
  • Cleaning the ears: It’s very common for dogs to develop infections and other health concerns in their ears. All dogs must regularly get their ears cleaned. In terms of prep work, “non-shedding” dog breeds have ear hair that absolutely MUST be removed before they get bathed. Otherwise, they risk collecting dirty, tangling, and blocking the ear canal.

Want to learn more about the importance of prep work? Stay tuned for Part Two, where we’ll delve more deeply into specific steps and safety measures that are required when preparing your client’s dog for styling!

Start your dog grooming training today and get your professional career started in as little as 3-6 months! Enroll today in QC’s internationally-leading online Dog Grooming Course!

How to Build Your Pet Grooming Business Website

One of the single easiest ways to doom your career is to not have a website up and running for your pet grooming business. You need a strong online presence in order to be seen!

Never put together your own site before? No worries! With the following Do’s and Don’ts list, you’ll have all the info you need to get started!

Do: Secure Your Domain Name

When first starting your pet grooming business, you came up with a name. Then you would have legally registered it, so that no one else has the right to use it. The same now needs to be done for your website domain!

Research into various website hosts platforms. This is basically the platform where your website will live and be put together. Once you’ve decided which host you wish to use, make sure that no other website already has your desired domain name registered.

If you’re good to go, lock down your domain name ASAP! If the name is already taken, go back to the drawing board and see what other variations you can play with that still use your pet grooming business’s name.

Don’t: Ignore Design Trends

There’s nothing endearing about clicking on a website, only to find that it looks archaic and outdated. Online design trends are forever changing. So, it’s important that you research into the common, popular trends and industry changes within the pet grooming world!

Pro tip: Many website building platforms will have templates that you can use to build your site. Most of these templates are free and follow current design trends. Templates are your friend!

Do: Know Your Brand

Your brand will be a major part of your business’s identity. If you don’t know what your brand is, how can you know what sort of impression your business will give off to clients?

The best way to start figuring out your professional brand is to ask yourself:

  • When my clients think of me and my business, what are some descriptors I want to come to mind?
  • If my client was to describe my business to someone else, what would I want them to say?
  • What is the overall mission/goal of my pet grooming business?
  • What feelings do I want my business to evoke in others?

Once you determine your brand, you’ll be able to start building SO much of your business around it. You’ll be stunned at how much starts falling into place once you have a solid brand as your foundation!

Don’t: Plagiarize Other Websites

Let’s be super clear here: there’s absolutely nothing wrong with referring to other websites as a source of inspiration. But there’s definitely a problem with ripping them off and stealing material for your own use.

Growing up, school drilled into our heads how bad plagiarism is. When it comes to building your pet grooming website, this is of no exception. Simply put, don’t do it.

“But what if I change a few of the words?”

No, don’t do it.

“But how about if I–?”

It’s best to just assume that no matter what, you should never do it.

The consequences can get pretty severe sometimes, especially if the other business were to find out. To give you an idea, there’s always the chance it can result in a lawsuit. At the very least, it could spell danger for your reputation in the industry. No matter how you slice it, it’s just not worth the risk.

By all means, get all the inspiration you need! Keep a journal and jot down notes of any ideas that come to mind when looking through other people’s websites. Just make sure to transform these ideas into something that’s completely your own.

In general, this is the safest way to approach ANY content you put onto the internet.

Do: Learn About SEO

Having a nice-looking website is a good start, but without a proper understanding of SEO (Search Engine Optimization), it can do little to actually get you any real visibility. Your website can only do so much if it isn’t ranking very high on platforms such as Google.

It’s worth it to do some research online and read up on SEO. Learn what it is, how it works, and what you can do to maximize it to your benefit. No, you don’t need to become some sort of SEO expert – but a general understanding can do wonders, and take your business website to a whole other level!

Don’t: Make Things Complicated

Remember what websites looked like back in the early 2000s? Everything was an overabundance of visual graphics, neon colors, barely legible text, and automatic music blasting from every page. We get it; the internet (on a global scale) was still feeling relatively fresh, so we all got a little too excited for our own good.

In this day and age, however, none of these things are a good look. They certainly don’t give the impression of a respectable, professional business. In fact, if you look at the most popular websites out there today, you’ll likely find that most have quite a lot in common! For example, they’ll probably have:

  • Black text on a white background
  • No more than 3-4 fonts
  • Consistency in font use, font size, and color schemes
  • A simple, one or two-column layout
  • A navigation bar at the top of the page, and a footer at the bottom
  • Limited use of scrolling banners
  • A clear use of headers, sub-headers, and body text
  • Images aligned with the text, in a way that makes sense
  • No automatic music (seriously, this is more likely to startle the viewer than impress them)

Do: Add Your Professional Portfolio

Your business website should contain very specific information that will be useful to any potential clients interested in your dog grooming services. This includes details like your contact information, grooming services, qualifications, prices, and more. Just as importantly, you should also include some of your professional portfolio.

By adding images of your past work to your website, you’re giving potential customers a way to physically see the high quality of your previous work. It’s one thing to simply tell them about your prior experience in the field. It’s a whole other ball game to show them visual proof of how awesome you are, and why they should hire you!

Having your portfolio available directly on your website is a guaranteed to way to book more clients for your pet grooming business!

Don’t: Showcase Just ANY Photo

With that being said, there is a standard for the types of photos you should include in your online portfolio. It can be all too easy to turn a good website bad by adding in the wrong types of images.

To avoid this rookie mistake, never use photos you don’t have the legal rights to. Don’t jam pack your website with any images that aren’t relevant to the goal of your business. Similarly, don’t use stock photos either. While they may depict an idea of the services you offer, they can also be very misleading to potential customers.

Try to only use images that broadcast YOUR work. Make sure that these pictures are in high definition, and look to be of professional quality. A high-quality portfolio will mean a high-quality pet grooming business in the eyes of your audience!

Want to learn how to properly market your pet grooming business services online? Read on for 4 helpful marketing tips!

How Your Pet Grooming Certification Will Prepare You for These 3 Dog Afflictions!

There’s more to being a dog groomer than simply brushing, clipping, and washing a dog. A big part of earning your pet grooming certification will be familiarizing yourself with common dog afflictions, and how to properly handle them.

Here, we’ll take a look at 3 of the most common afflictions you may encounter when working with your canine clients. Importantly, you’ll discover just how critical your pet grooming certification will be in preparing you for ANY of these scenarios!

What is an ‘Affliction’?

An affliction is anything that can happen to a dog that results in pain and injury. As a groomer, it won’t be uncommon for you to encounter some type of ailment befalling your client’s pooch. After all, for as lovable and wonderful as they are to work with, a dog’s curiosity can tend to get them into troublesome situations!

Maybe they’re excitable, and move a little too quickly under your scissors. Perhaps the soap looks like food in their eyes, and before you can stop them, they’ve taken a big bite. No matter how well-trained and cautious a groomer may be, there will be times when accidents will happen.

There may also be times where a client brings you their dog for a groom, and you notice an already existing affliction that the owner may not have noticed.

Regardless of how it happens, what matters most is how you deal with it.

Examples of Common Dog Afflictions

The nature of your job requires the use of various different tools. Some may be sharp, others may pose the risk of falling, etc. Obviously, your pet grooming certification and expert training will adequately equip you to operate as cautiously as you can at all times.

But as we mentioned above, accidents can still happen. Here are some of the most usual mishaps that can occur within a grooming environment…

1 – Sprains and Fractures

These types of afflictions can be pretty common. This is especially the case in older, overweight, or overly energetic dogs. If you don’t take proper care when operating and/or securing equipment such as crates, leashes, and grooming loops, your client’s dog can run the risk of spraining or fracturing something.

Typical Symptoms

  • Favoring one paw (or more than one paw) over others
  • Limping
  • Pulling away, vocalizing, or showing signs of aggression when the injured area is touched

Keep in mind that if a dog is limping or favoring a paw, it may not always be a sign of a sprain or fracture. For instance, he may have a cut between his toes, or a broken nail. This is why it’s important to always inspect the suspected injured area. This way, you can best determine what the source of his discomfort truly is!


The rule of thumb here always is: if the dog appears to be in a great deal of pain, advise your client to consult a veterinarian. In the meantime, to ease the pain and potential swelling, ice or cold packs (always wrapped in a towel) may be applied to the injured area. You can do this while the dog is in your care, and/or you can suggest that their owner do this.

Note: NEVER apply heat to a newly injured area! This can inflame the injury and possibly make things worse. If heat is to be applied, it should be done later on in the healing process.

Should your client’s dog already be showing signs of a sprain or fracture when first brought to you, ask the client how long they’ve been showing these symptoms. If it’s been more than 24 hours, it’s likely best to reschedule the grooming appointment, so that the dog can be taken to a vet immediately.

If the dog sustains the injury during their appointment with you, always ensure to communicate this openly with your client. This is something they need to know!

2 – Ingestion of Toxins

The key to a dog’s heart is often times through food – and dogs will try to eat just about anything!

As a certified pet groomer, your work space is home to toxic products like cleaning supplies, pest control supplies, etc. You may have decorated the salon with certain types of plants. Maybe you’ve been fighting a cold, and have medication nearby. You’ll also often be bringing the dog into contact with shampoos, conditioners, flea treatments, etc.

Although the products you’ll use on a dog are specifically engineered to be safe, it doesn’t mean they can safely ingest them. If a dog swallows something he shouldn’t, this can be a potentially life-threatening matter!

Typical Symptoms

  • Lethargic and/or confused behavior
  • Vomiting
  • Diarrhea

The severity of the symptoms can depend on how toxic the substance is, and how much has been ingested. Prolonged toxin ingestion can become so severe that the dog may begin passing blood in their urine, experiencing appetite loss, developing tremors, and even having a full-blown seizure.


Should your client ever bring in a dog displaying signs of toxin ingestion, reschedule the grooming appointment and advise them to consult a veterinarian immediately!

If the dog is in your care at the time of toxin ingestion, the first step is to remain calm. If you panic, it’ll only make the situation worse. Start by ensuring that if there’s still anything in the dog’s mouth, you remove it right away. If necessary, you can also seek out your personal protective equipment (PPE), such as gloves and eye-wear.

Locate a phone and call a professional for medical advice. You can contact a regular vet, a 24-hour emergency number, or (if located in North America) the ASPCA’s Animal Poison Control Center (APCC) hotline.

Tell them exactly what the dog has ingested, and they will be able to advise you of next step measures. This may involve safely inducing vomiting, or bringing the dog directly to the veterinarian.

3 – Wounds and Cuts

Working with sharp objects, it’s bound to happen that once in a while, a dog may get nicked. Don’t worry, this isn’t an automatic reflection of you being a poor groomer. This happens even to the best of groomers!

After all, you’re working with a living, breathing animal. Animals can sometime react unexpectedly, which can cause an accident. As we’ve said before, it’s all about how you respond to the situation that matters most.

Typical Symptoms

  • Recoiling in pain
  • Yelping or vocalizing that something has just hurt them
  • Blood


Wounds and cuts can range from minor to severe, depending on how deep the injury is and where it’s located. Minor wounds don’t necessarily need to be seen by a veterinarian, so long as it’s dealt with right away, doesn’t risk infection, and doesn’t impose any fatal risk to the dog.

If the wound is bleeding, tend to it in a timely manner. If the blood flow is extremely light, apply direct pressure until it stops. Styptic powder, Vaseline, or a cold compress can also be applied to the wounded area, so long as bleeding is minor. Carefully clip away any hair immediately surrounding the affliction. You can then flush it out with a saline solution, or a diluted, non-stinging antiseptic.

If the wound is more serious, the dog may need to see a vet ASAP.

Regardless of the seriousness of the affliction, always make sure to tell your client. They may need to continue certain safety measures at home, or seek further medical assistance. At the very least, NOT telling them is a guaranteed way to put your business and reputation at risk.

Remember: your number one priority is always the safety and well-being of your client’s pooch. Your client needs to know that they can trust you. This is the key to a successful grooming career!

All of the above protocols are ones you will be thoroughly taught during your dog grooming course, as you earn your pet grooming certification. As you can see, ample understanding of dog afflictions – and how to correctly treat them – are critical to a successful career as a groomer!

This, of course, is only just the tip of the iceberg. As you work your way through your grooming training, you’ll discover plenty more common afflictions, along with proper knowledge for handling them. By the time you’re reading to enter the working world, you’ll be prepared for anything that may come your way!

Want to earn a DOUBLE pet grooming certification? Enroll today in QC’s leading international Dog Grooming Course, and receive our First Aid for Groomers Course absolutely FREE!

Why “Flooding” Can Hurt Your Pet Grooming Business

Imagine: you’re locked in a room with the one thing that scares you most. Your fight-of-flight instinct has kicked in, your anxiety is through the roof, and all you naturally want is to get out of there. Except you don’t have the key for the door, and you have no way of knowing when you’ll be let out. All you can do is stay there, while that thing that terrifies you inches closer, and put up with it.

Doesn’t sound very pleasant, does it? If anything, this sounds like a total nightmare.

Believe it or not, this thought experiment forms the basic idea of what’s known as “flooding”. Flooding is a “technique” used by some to essentially try and cure a frightened dog. Notice how I put the word technique into quotations. That’s very much intentional.

As you’re about to see, respectable dog groomers (and even just people in general) consider flooding to be a legitimate training “technique” about as much as they’d consider kicking a disobedient dog to be one, too. That is to say, it’s not a proper technique at all.

In reality, flooding can be a very dangerous practice. It not only puts the dog itself at risk, it also poses a threat to other dogs nearby, other people, and even you!

So, if you’re a certified dog groomer, heed our warning. Never implement flooding as a practice within your pet grooming business. It could wind up destroying your entire reputation.

What is Flooding?

We looked at an example above, but let’s get a little more literal. Sometimes, you’re going to encounter clients who bring a difficult dog for you to groom. When I say difficult, I mean that for whatever reason, they’re not entirely willing to be there.

They may have anxiety, be frightened, or show aggression. For certain dogs, the main trigger for these negative emotions could be having clippers used on them. Maybe they weren’t desensitized to the clippers when they were a puppy. Maybe a prior incident caused an injury and they now have a phobia of the clippers.

Whatever the reason is, they’re now on edge, and their state might make it hard for you to properly groom them. So, what do you do?

The uneducated groomer might choose to enact the concept of flooding at this point. The idea behind flooding is that you take a dog who’s afraid of clippers, and literally clip them nonstop regardless of their reaction. Such a stressful situation will result in the dog’s senses becoming flooded (hence the term).

Once time has passed and nothing bad has happened, the scared dog will come to realize that the thing they fear (i.e. clippers) doesn’t actually pose them any harm. Therefore, they can relax, submit to their surroundings, and function optimally in that environment now.

This is the theory, anyway. In a perfect world, flooding might make sense. The thing is, in the REAL world, it doesn’t work like that. When a dog “submits” when being flooded, what’s actually happening is that they’ve just completely shut down. A flooded dog is incapable of learning. At best, the dog will “shut down” during that session and will have a worse reaction to the clippers on the next groom.

Unfortunately, the consequences of flooding can often be severe.

The Consequences of Flooding

Have you ever heard the saying that if you put any dog in a corner, no matter if he’s vicious or not, he’s going to bite back?

This is one of the primary concerns when it comes to flooding, but it’s far from the only danger.

Here are just some of questions you need to consider in the “scared of clippers” example above:

  • What if the scared dog acts on that fight-or-flight instinct, and lunges at you or the clippers themselves?
  • What if the dog tries to escape and ends up hanging themselves on the grooming loop?
  • What if someone tries to intervene to help you, only to get bitten in self-defense?
  • What if the other dogs in the room get triggered by the scared dog’s outburst?
  • What if the outburst causes damage to any of your pet grooming business’s equipment?
  • What if the scared dog’s coping mechanism to this unwanted situation is even more psychologically damaging for them?
  • Could it lead to prolonged health problems for that dog, such as heightened, chronic anxiety?

These are all viable concerns when it comes to the idea of flooding. They’ve happened before, and they’ll happen again. As this is the industry you’ve chosen to devote your career to, we’re willing to bet that the LAST thing you want is for any of your client’s dogs to be hurt, be it physically or even psychologically.

Flooding poses this risk.

Not to mention that if ANY of these outcomes were to come to fruition, this can ruin your pet grooming business and professional reputation beyond repair.

For starters, any injuries as a result of your decision to implement flooding could result in a potential lawsuit. Beyond that, though, you’re demonstrating a lack of education. You’d be essentially showing your clients that you don’t properly understand dog behavior, nor do you know the proper ways to address it.

Worse yet, they’d walk away with the belief that they can’t trust you to put their dog’s safety and needs first. This is the kind of impression that’s likely to spread like wildfire – and it makes sense. After all, would YOU want to put the life of your furry best friend in the hands of someone who’s proven themselves capable of such negligence?

Alternate Approaches

Let’s circle back to the original issue. If your client brings in a dog who’s triggered by the clippers and their emotional state makes grooming impossible, something will still need to be done. If not flooding, then what?

Luckily, there are plenty of other options available to you. For starters, you can rely on your dog behavior and temperament training that your accredited dog grooming course would have provided you. By being able to spot the right signs and signals, you can act immediately and find healthy ways to help defuse any negative situations before they even occur.

Maybe it’s a matter of getting the dog used to the presence of clippers slowly over several visits.  Maybe it’s a matter of taking more time with this specific dog, and stopping any time it starts to show signs of stress.  Maybe if he’s food motivated, you can gently coax him to accept the clippers while licking peanut butter off a spoon.

You can also communicate the dog’s needs with your client. As the industry expert, you can provide helpful guidance, tips, and general advice for things they can look further into once back at home. For instance, you can stress the importance and effectiveness of positive reinforcement training.

Depending on the severity of the dog’s trauma and/or behavior, rehabilitation under the guidance of trained professionals may be a possible recommendation, too. Most clients will be thrilled for this guidance and will happily participate in helping you help their dog!

These are all just examples, of course. The right approach will depend on the dog and their owner. The longer you’re around the dog, the better your understanding of him will be. You may not know the right course of action the first moment you meet him, but you’ll likely be much more informed by the end of the very first grooming session!

At the end of the day, always do your best to operate your pet grooming business with your client and their dog at the forefront of your mind. The safety of the pup is your most important priority. So long as you always act in a way that honors this, you – and your pet grooming business – will experience many successful years, with a long and happy list of clients!

Haven’t earned your dog groomer certification yet? Enroll today in QC’s leading online Dog Grooming Course, and be ready to work in as little as 3-6 months!

5 Ways Pet Grooming School Teaches You to Understand Dog Behavior

As a groomer, the importance of properly understanding dog behavior cannot be stated enough. After all, your client is quite literally trusting you with their pet. It’s your job is to not only tend to little Fluffy and provide a service, but to do so within an environment that best supports her overall health and safety.

If you don’t understand dog behavior, there’s no way you can guarantee this. Rather, you’ll be grossly unprepared in the presence of anything other than a happy, cooperating pup.

If you’re thinking of becoming a professional groomer, you’re likely already researching into a pet grooming school that can provide you with adequate training, hands-on experience, and an accredited certification. This is definitely a smart move!

But don’t forget to make sure that said school also takes the time to teach you about dog behavior and temperament, too. Developing a thorough knowledge of both is what will truly help you thrive and have a successful career!

In case you need a little more convincing, let’s break down some of biggest ways pet grooming school can help you best understand what your furry client is feeling…

1 – You’ll learn common dog behaviors

A reputable pet grooming school will make sure you graduate from your program with a solid understanding of what a dog is trying to communicate to you in a given situation. Primarily, you’ll discover how to identify the differences between:

  • Natural behaviors (e.g. sitting down, barking, jumping up, etc.)
  • Reactive behaviors (e.g. growling, panting, piloerection, etc.)
  • Threatening behaviors (e.g. snarling, baring teeth, snapping, etc.)
  • Aggressive behaviors (e.g. lunging, biting, etc.)
  • Displacement behaviors (e.g. yawning, shaking, licking lips, etc.)
  • Avoidance behaviors (e.g. avoiding your gaze, ears pinned sideways or back, hiding, etc.)
  • Compulsive behaviors (e.g. pacing, chasing tail, chewing, etc.)

Your course will not only delve more deeply into what each of these behavior categories are; it’ll also teach you where it comes from. As a groomer, it’s not enough just to be able to know that a dog is behaving a certain way – you need to comprehend why.

2 – You’ll be taught dog learning theories

To build off what we just discussed, a key element to knowing why a dog behaves the way he does is to understand the ways in which he could have learned this behavior.

Dogs begin acquiring knowledge from a very young age. Just like with humans, their personal experiences often play a direct role in shaping how they do things. They also tend to heavily affect their reactions to the environment around them.

The different learning theories for training a dog can be broken down into types of “conditioning”. Pet grooming school will ensure to teach these to you! Two of the methods you’ll study up on are:

  • Classical/Pavlovian Conditioning – Using an unconditioned stimulus to evoke an unconditioned response, and then pairing it with a conditioned stimulus so that the dog learns to associate the two together
  • Operant Conditioning – Using positive and negative reinforcement as means to promote learning

In addition, you’ll also learn the pros and cons of these types of learning theories. For instance, while Operant Conditioning is useful if focusing on positive reinforcements, it can also be catastrophic if the opposite is the case.

Negative reinforcement can potentially lead to a nervous, aggressive dog – specifically if they experienced any type of violence, such as being hit by their owner.

I’m a firm believer that no dog is inherently a “bad dog”. Rather, I believe that some dogs have bad behaviors. The thing is, those behaviors came from somewhere, and it’s not really the dog’s fault.

As a professional groomer, you’re going to come into contact with dogs that exhibit bad behaviors.

It’s important that you keep in mind why they’re doing what they’re doing, and what the trigger for them may have been. This will better allow you to assess the situation and determine the best course of actions for you to take in response.

3 – You’ll discover useful teaching methods

No, your job as a groomer is not to train your clients’ dogs for them! But as the expert, you can help point your clients in the right direction. The way you become an expert in the first place?

That’s right: through pet grooming school! (Surprised? Didn’t think so.)

Luring, shaping, targeting, capturing, and modeling are all terms you’ll become well acquainted with. They’re also the most frequent teaching methods for dogs. Your grooming course will break down what each one is, and how to utilize them successfully.

In the event that you’re working on a dog with a few misguided habits, you can use it as an opportunity to try correcting that behavior while she is in your care. Afterwards, you can always provide some guidance to her owner, regarding any teaching tips and advice you recommend they try when at home.

4 – You’ll realize why ‘Dominance Theory’ doesn’t work

Ever seen the movie, Snow Dogs? Well, there’s a very memorable scene in which Cuba Gooding Jr. bites the alpha male’s ear, to assure his dominance as the pack leader. He does this because he was told to by a dog expert, essentially claiming it would make any unruly dog fall into line and follow his command.

In reality, what this character did was beyond stupid. Never try this. It can get you really, really hurt. Also, it doesn’t accomplish anything.

This is just one example of what is called the ‘Dominance Theory’. According to Dominance Theory, a dog will inherently misbehave because she is trying to assert herself as the alpha. The only way to teach them to obey you is to literally show them that YOU are the true alpha. Unfortunately, the measures taken are typically violent in nature.

A reputable pet grooming school will debunk this myth and reveal to you why this theory is in fact false. Just like with Operant Conditioning, this method of training will more often than not result in a dog frequently feels:

  • Scared
  • Threatened
  • Or aggressive

How does this directly affect you? Chances are, you’ll come across a fair share of dogs in the span of your career who have been trained by the Dominance Theory method. The way they’ve been raised by their owner may impact the way they act towards you.

Therefore, you need to know how to appropriately handle the situation, whether that’s finding the right way to calm the dog, or declining service altogether. How you handle it will be up to you – but you’ll be equipped to make that informed decision thanks to the education you received from pet grooming school.

5 – You’ll become a pro at reading a dog

If dogs could talk, your job would be a lot easier. Since they can’t, you’ll need to understand what signals to watch out for. They are the dog’s way of telling you how she’s feeling.

By being able to spot the right signs, you can cater to the dog’s needs. In some cases, you’ll even be able to diffuse a stressful situation before it even begins.

In particularly, pet grooming school will teach you all about calming signals. You’ll learn what they are, why a dog exhibits them, and even how you can use them to gain a dog’s trust!

You’ll also learn what’s known as the Five F’s:

  1. Fight
  2. Flight
  3. Freeze
  4. Faint
  5. Fool Around

Together, they encompass the five instinctive responses any dog can have to a situation. By gaining a mastery of the Five F’s, you’ll be better prepared to handle whatever unexpected scenario that may arise on the job!

Final thoughts

Of course, there is a LOT more valuable information about dog behavior… but then we’d be here all night! At the end of the day, the single greatest way to gain this knowledge is by enrolling in a pet grooming school. Only there can you receive training from dog grooming experts, and truly become an expert.

So, what are you waiting for? Enroll in QC’s leading online Dog Grooming Course today, and graduate in as little as 3-6 months!

Beware These 6 Shady Signs When Looking into an Online Dog Grooming School!

So, you’re ready to turn your dream into a reality and earn your professional grooming certification. Congratulations are in order! You’ve chosen to embark on an exciting and unbelievably rewarding path. Yes, it will require hard work, time, and dedication. But we know you’re more than willing to give it your all!

Now, the next step is deciding which online dog grooming school you wish to get your education from. While you may be eager to get things started ASAP, we urge you not to jump the gun on this decision! There are plenty of legitimate, accredited institutions out there… But there are also even more frauds, whose only goal is to take your hard-earned money.

Without proper research, you could fall victim to a scam “school”. Therefore, it’s important to know which red flags to watch out for. Below are 6 shady signs that an online dog grooming school isn’t the real deal!

1. Their accreditation status is questionable (or non-existent)

Any authentic online dog grooming school worth its salt is going to be properly accredited – full stop.

To be accredited means that the institution is officially recognized by organizations for higher education. It provides a promise that the school follows a strict, ethical set of rules by which it operates. If an online dog grooming school is accredited, it’s like a stamp of approval to let you know it can be trusted.

On the other hand, not having this formal accreditation tells you the exact opposite. When researching an online dog grooming school, check its website to see if any accreditation is listed. If it isn’t, there’s your first warning. Legitimate schools are proud to share their legitimacy. Fake schools will do everything they can to hide it.

2. Be mindful of their reviews

Real schools have real students and graduates. These people will be encouraged to leave a review of their experience, or will choose to do so of their own accord. It’s difficult to find a legitimate online school that doesn’t have at least some reviews!

Here are 2 of the most common red flags to watch out for when checking out any online school’s reviews…

Bad reviews

This one’s fairly obvious. On the off chance that the school is on the level, it still doesn’t mean that it’s a good choice. If there are reviews, and they are overwhelmingly negative, avoid this school! It obviously doesn’t have a very promising reputation.

Suspicious reviews

You know how sometimes you can just tell that all of the reviews for a business are made up? It’s fairly common practice for scammers to fake their own reviews, in an attempt to make their business look genuine.

Unfortunately, they can sometimes be extremely convincing – which can make it tricky for you to be able to spot the fakes. Luckily, there are red flags you can look out for here, too. Here are some examples:

  • Certain words/phrases are repeated throughout more than one review
  • They all have terrible grammar and/or punctuation
  • Every review is short, and none go into real detail
  • Every review is overly positive, and none provide any sort of critique

PRO TIP: Real students of the school will leave reviews on Google, Facebook, or other online forums outside of the school’s control.  Some “schools” will post student reviews directly on their website, but take these with a grain of salt. They could easily be written by the school’s staff! Honest student reviews will also be found on other platforms.

3. You can’t contact anyone

Does their website provide any sort of Customer Support? Do they have an email you can write to, or a phone number you can call? Does anyone actually reply?

Taking it one step further: does this school have any social media pages? Do they have any online presence at all, beyond their website?

If the answer to any of these questions is NO, move onto a different online dog grooming school. Real online schools won’t make you jump through hoops just to speak with a living, breathing human being. If getting into contact with them is near impossible, it’s because they’re trying to hide something.

4. There’s no actual hands-on training

This one’s pretty straight-forward. How can you possibly learn to become an expert dog groomer if your education never requires you to groom a dog? Some things can be taught entirely through books and videos. Dog grooming is not one of them.

As such, authentic grooming courses will always ensure to incorporate real-world training into their curriculum. If you’re looking into an institute that specifically says there’s no hands-on grooming required, beware. This is a scam.

5. You can simply buy your certification

If an online dog grooming school is offering you a certification in exchange for something in return, such as a review, turn tail and run!

Likewise, be on the lookout for “schools” who will sell you your groomer certification for a standard lump sum of money, to be paid upfront – and without any schoolwork to be completed whatsoever.

Real talk: you will never be able to become a professional dog groomer this way. If you can purchase a certification without actually earning it, it’s not a real certification. You certainly won’t be doing yourself any favors, either!

6. It seems too good to be true

As the old saying goes: if it seems too good to be true, chances are it probably is.

Whether the schooling is done online or in-person, you’ve got to be realistic. Proper education requires hard work, time – and yes, some sort of financial investment. Any “school” that tells you otherwise is trying to sell you a big bag of BS.

When researching into an online dog grooming school, here are some questions to ask yourself:

  • Are they promising an unrealistically short amount for you to earn your certification?
  • Is the curriculum ridiculously easy?
  • Is there very little schoolwork actually involved?
  • Is the tuition surprisingly low, compared to every other grooming school you’ve seen?

These are ALL huge red flags to avoid! If any online dog grooming school ticks off these boxes, it’s likely just a diploma mill in disguise. In other words? It, too, is a big, fat scam.

When researching into online dog grooming schools, the one thing we recommend above all else is to trust your instinct. If something doesn’t feel right, it’s likely because it isn’t. Follow your judgment, as well as your heart.

In the end, you’ll know when you’ve found the school that’s perfect for YOU! 😊

Ready to get started? Check out QC’s leading online Dog Grooming Course, and discover all the amazing things you’ll learn!

5 Ways to Get More Clients for Your Dog Grooming Business

With social distancing still in effect, your work flow may be a little slower than usual right now. But eventually, things are going to go back to normal. When that happens, plenty of pet owners are going to want to get their dogs groomed!

How can you capitalize on this so that you can hit the ground running, increase your bookings, and gain an even larger clientele than you had pre-pandemic?

Simple: use this time at home to start planning ahead! There are tons of great marketing strategies at your disposal; capable of increasing your business’s visibility and overall appeal. So, let’s look at a few of them.

This way, once work picks back up again, you can immediately begin booking more clients for your dog grooming business!

1. Create a Customer Referral Program

Even though we live in a technological age, never underestimate the power of good, old-fashioned word of mouth. There are plenty of potential customers out there who can be reached by leveraging the network of clients you currently have.

A Customer Referral Program is a relatively simple concept: current (or past) clients will recommend your services to people they know. If it results in a new client booking with you, the client who recommended your business receives some sort of reward.

What the reward entails is entirely up to you! It could be a discount on their next grooming appointment, a discount for products you sell as part of your business, a complimentary service, etc. The important thing is that it gives your current clients some sort of incentive to spread the word about your dog grooming business!

2. Develop Promotional Products, Contests, and Giveaways

It’s just a fact that people love free stuff. Who doesn’t, right? So, why not spin this in a way that brings more exposure to your dog grooming business?

One way you can do this is by producing your own line of promotional products that can be given to clients as a complimentary gift. Clients can receive them as a ‘thank you’ for purchasing your grooming services! Importantly, the item (whatever it is) will have your brand/logo clearly visible on them.

This merchandise doesn’t need to be anything overly fancy, either! Here are a few fun little examples of what they can be:

  • T-Shirts
  • Keychains
  • Drinkware
  • Reusable bags
  • Doggy loot bags

That being said, you can go as far as you want with this idea! For instance, if you have the budget, you can always expand on the t-shirt idea, and create multiple items of clothing articles that bare your business name/logo.

Another way you can promote your business through complimentary products is by holding contests and giveaways for your clients. For example, clients can be encouraged to share the contest/giveaway post across their social media, and then one of them will be selected at random and receive a free prize.

You, as the business owner, benefit from this marketing strategy because the more interested clients spread the word about the promo, the more exposure your dog grooming business is getting to the public.

Yes, when it comes to any sort of promotional product, you’re going to be investing money into something you’d be giving away for free. But as a result, your clients will likely use them (which could cause someone else to see it and then inquire about your business).

At the very least, it could serve as that little extra touch that elevates your client’s overall experience. This can make them far more likely to gush about your awesome dog grooming business to people they know… and this is NEVER a bad thing!

3. Improve Your Online Presence

Now, if you don’t already have a foundation for your online presence, this is where you should start. Build a professional website for your business, and create social media channels across various platforms such as Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, etc.

Because we live in such a tech-heavy age, having some sort of online presence is critical. Not many businesses these days can be overly successful without it.

If you’re at the beginning stages of your career, the importance of having a strong website, and at least one social media channel, cannot be stressed enough!

Should you already have these things set up already, it’s always worth it to revisit your marketing strategies, and see what can be improved upon. With regards to your website, comb through each page and ask yourself:

  • Do all the links still work?
  • Has everything been properly spell-checked?
  • Is all the information up-to-date and relevant?
  • Does my website accurately reflect my business’s branding?
  • Do my images look as professional as they could be?
  • Is there additional content I could/should be adding?
  • What else can I add to my site that would be beneficial?
    • Examples of this could be starting a blog, setting up an email campaign, adding a section for clients to book appointments online, etc.

For your social media, you should consider:

  • Do my social media channels consistently reflect my overall business brand?
  • Am I posting the right kinds of content?
  • Should I be posting more (or less) frequently?
  • Am I scheduling my posts to be published at optimal traffic times?
  • Am I interacting enough with my followers?
  • Am I consistently responding to comments, questions, and concerns in a timely fashion?
  • If not, what can I do to improve on this?
  • What other types of content could I focus on posting?
  • Are there other popular platforms that I should expand my social media presence onto?
  • Am I standing out from the competition?
  • If not, what could I do to achieve this?

As you can see, there is LOTS to consider when approaching your online marketing strategies. Similarly, there is always ample room to improve! Simply focusing on this alone will give you days’ (even weeks’) worth of work to focus on!

Note: You can take this one step further by offering any of these specialty treatments as a discounted or complimentary service for first-time clients, when they purchase a groom!

Offers geared towards first-time clients is another excellent marketing strategy to drum in new business!

5. Earn your dog grooming certification

This is DEFINITELY a way to help you stand out from the competition! Believe it or not, there are still plenty of places in the world that don’t actually require dog groomers to have any form of certification, licensing, or even training.

Honestly, this is crazy to us! Given that the very nature of your job involves being responsible for a dog’s well-being and safety, professional training and certification are absolutely things you should have.

Otherwise, how can you confident ensure for your client that their dog is in the safest possible hands?

Trust us: if a client has the option between booking with someone who has no formal background in grooming, versus a true expert who’s put in the time and effort to learn the craft, they will ALWAYS choose the latter.

Plus, if you’re passionate about your dog grooming business, you’ll want to be the best possible groomer you can be! The only tried-and-true, most fulfilling way you can do this is through accredited dog grooming courses.

So, what are you waiting for? QC Pet Studies’ leading online Dog Grooming Course will let you start your studies right now, from the comfort of your very own home!

By the time social distancing has been lifted, you could be armed with your very own International Dog Grooming Professional (IDGP) certification, and take the world of dog grooming by storm!

Keep reading for 5 MORE tips to bettering your dog grooming business and booking more clients!