Career Advice

The 3 Dog Haircut Styles My Clients Request Most

Dog haircut styles article, Apr 9 2021, Feature Image, Corgi getting haircut at groomers

What are some of the most common dog haircut styles you’ll be expected to know? QC Pet Studies graduate, Casey Bechard, reveals the Top 3 cuts her clients request the most! Casey works as a full-time dog groomer and shop manager at Off The Leash Pet Grooming in Regina, Canada. She is an alumnus of QC’s Dog Grooming and First Aid for Groomers courses.

Today, I’m going to share with you the 3 dog haircut styles that my clients here in Regina, Saskatchewan, request most from me. It’s important to keep in mind that popular dog haircuts can vary from location to location. However, what this article can do is show you a few of the styles your potential clients might request and how to give them what they want.

The following list is in no particular order. It’s also worth mentioning that while these 3 cuts are requested the most often, they do not make up the majority of my time while working in the salon.

With that in mind, let’s jump into it and take a look at puppy cuts, summer cuts, and breed-standard cuts!

Dog haircut styles article, first in-post image

The 3 Most Requested Dog Haircut Styles

1. The Puppy Cut

There’s no single industry standard that defines a “puppy cut“. In general grooming terms, this dog haircut style is basically when the hair is trimmed to the same, even length all over the body. What people consider to be a puppy cut can vary based on location, breed knowledge, and personal preference.

In my own experience, a “puppy cut” in my salon is literally when clients bring their puppies in for their first groom – and want them to look like a puppy for as long as possible.

Dog Haircut Styles: Puppy Cuts for Golden Doodles

Typically, when clients request this particular cut, I use an E guard comb all over the dog’s body. I tend to do this cut a lot on Golden Doodle pups. I have a lot of clients with that breed and they always love their dogs’ coats. For this reason, they want to keep them for as long as possible.

As groomers, we know how much maintenance it takes to keep a Golden Doodle’s coat mat-free. So, I start by walking the client through what I’m going to be doing during the appointment. Next, I explain the at-home maintenance that will be required on their part between grooms. After that, I advise them to come back in about 4-6 weeks, depending on how much they brush at home and take care of the fresh groom.

We’re the subject-matter experts, so it’s important to make sure ours clients are properly educated whenever possible. This is why I also show my clients the types of brushes they can use and how to use them correctly. I go into this level of depth because a lot of clients (especially ones with new puppies) don’t yet understand the amount of work needed to keep their dogs’ coats healthy and maintained.

Creating the Puppy Cut

To achieve this dog haircut style, you’ll first need to bathe and dry the pup. Depending on the dog, you might also need to use conditioner or detangling spray. The trick with a puppy cut is to get the dog super dry first. There should not be a wet spot anywhere on them!

Remember: a lot of dogs don’t like the high velocity dryer. So, you might need to bank a bit more time for this step. Once drying is complete, do a thorough job of brushing them. Next, begin shaving them with your e-comb. Regular brushing throughout the grooming process is key when it comes to achieving a puppy cut. Brushing helps make everything look neater and allows you to see if there are spots you’ve missed. This way, you can go over it again.

After you’ve finished shaving the dog, the next important step is to scissor the legs. I achieve this with curved scissors and a regular comb. First, comb out all the legs. Secondly, scissor off any excess hair. The head and face areas are where clients might ask you to get more specific. For example, they could want their pooch to have a beard, shorter-looking ears, etc.

This is just one reason why it’s important to have a consultation prior to the groom. Be specific with your questions so you can have a good understand of what your client wants. Ultimately, people mostly just want their dogs to look cute. But they also want it done in a certain way.

When it comes to the face and head, I tend to use thinners. I clean out the pup’s eye area and then make the head round, while keeping it proportionate to the body. Afterwards, I clean up the chin (if my client does not want a beard) and the top of the head.

2. The Summer Cut

When it comes to dog haircut styles, the “summer cut” is probably the most common one I do. Simply put, this kind of cut involves trimming the hair shorter to the body (about 1-2 inches long, on average). This way, the dog will be cooler during the hot summer months.

Sometimes, clients will come in and say, “I want my dog short everywhere!” In this case, the summer cut is my go-to!

Dog Haircut Styles: Creating the Summer Cut

Once the dog is dry, bring it to your table and brush them out really well. This is especially important if they have a curly coat on their body, legs, head, and neck. Once that’s done, you can achieve this cut using a 2 guard comb on your blade. This way, even though the hair will be short, it’ll still leave enough to protect the dog’s skin from the sun.

When the clipper work is done, you can begin shaving the armpits and sanitary areas. Don’t forget about the hair between their eyes. For this spot, you can use a hand-held clipper for safety and close precision. Once toy tend to the paw pads and nail areas, you can then start scissoring the legs and shaping them up a bit.

Once the legs are finished, you’ll finally move onto the dog’s head. Scissoring work there will mostly consist of cleaning up any unwanted hairs that are falling in their eyes and mouth. Personally, I use my thinners for this part of the job. Sometimes, I’ll switch to my scissors if I need to trim up the ears or tail.

And just like that, presto – you’re finished with your summer cut!

3. Standard Breed Cuts

This one is pretty self-explanatory. Sometimes, clients want a cut that best represents their dog’s breed. Of all the dog haircut styles listed in this article, I deal with this one the least.

But when a client does request it, I almost always refer back to what I learned through my QC Pet Studies training. In Unit G of QC’s Dog Grooming Course, there’s an entire booklet devoted to interpreting and working with breed standards. This is what I look back on, as well as the instructional videos of tutors demonstrating the different cuts.

Most of the time, I do breed standard haircut styles for Golden Retrievers and Schnauzers. When working with Golden Retrievers, you’ll mostly be brushing out their coats and doing a little bit of trimming on their furnishing parts. Basically, you just want everything to look like it’s flowing together nicely.

For me, it also helps that Golden Retrievers are one of my FAVORITE breeds to groom! They are such sweet dogs. It’s like they know how beautiful they look afterwards. Watching them happily prance around after the appointment is always a highlight of my day.

Dog Haircut Styles: Standard Breed Cut for Schnauzers

For a Schnauzer, the standard breed style is your typical skirt, beard, and eyebrow cut. Fun fact: I actually had to work with this breed for one of my hands-on assignments in school. I vividly remember the dog… and the mark I got doing on my assignment.

To this day, I still groom that dog. But my mark, on the other hand, I try to forget. I’m just kidding – while it wasn’t very good, it did push me to become better. I really had to practice that cut because, for me, figuring out where to place the skirt was difficult. So, I practiced every chance I could on Schnauzers. I want to say that I’ve now got it down to a T. But hey, if the owners like it, that’s all that matters! 😉

To achieve the skirt, start by shaving the back of the dog. A #4 blade should do the trick. To know where the skirt starts, look to where the ribs are on the dog. Start shaving just below that area. I find that this is a prime spot to start my skirt. Just make sure to shave around the bum area, as well as a little lower on the chest.

To maintain the skirt, comb through it thoroughly and then trim it up with scissors. The most important part of the skirt is making sure it’s not matted at ALL. Once that’s finished, move onto the head and the ears. They should be the same length as the body hair. The one exception is the eyebrows and beard, which should be left long for the time being.

Next, clean up between the eyes with your thinners. Once this is done, you’ll be ready to tackle the Schnauzer’s face. First, brush the eyebrows forward and then grab your scissors. Put them on an angle, with the tip of the scissor pointing away from the dog. From there, you’ll trim the brows.

Remember: they shouldn’t be falling in the dog’s eyes. But they should still be a good length, so it looks like there are eyebrows. When you move onto the beard, start by combing through it. Hold the muzzle and trim it up a bit with scissors. Bam, you have a Schnauzer cut that’s true to the breed standard style!

I know this blog was a little lengthy, so I thank you for sticking around ’till the end. I loved writing this one! My goal for you now is to keep on practicing. Master each and every dog haircut style to the best of your ability. If I can do it, so can you!

Happy grooming! 🙂

Learn more about dog haircut styles and how to master them by enrolling with QC Pet Studies today!

How Much Do Dog Groomers Make in the First Year?

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

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

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

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

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

The Dog Groomer Salary: A Breakdown

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

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

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

Working in a Grooming Salon

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

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

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

Working as a Freelance Groomer or Owning Your Own Salon

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

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

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

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

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

Professional Training/Certification

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

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

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

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

puppy getting nails trimmed by dog groomer


Location 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!

5 Dog Grooming Must-Haves for ALL Beginners!

dog grooming must-haves blog article camille mar 12 2021 feature image

Want to start a career in dog grooming? QC Pet Studies student, Camille Torkornoo, is here to reveal 5 dog grooming must-haves to get you started! Camille’s business, Mount Zion Kennels, specializes in grooming and breeding standard Poodles. Learn more about Camille by reading her Student Feature!

dog grooming must-haves article camille mar 12 2021 headshot

In the world of dog grooming, there are A LOT of different tools used for different purposes. It can be challenging to know which tools you should invest in when starting out.

Maybe you’re interested in becoming a dog groomer, or maybe you just want to learn how to groom your own pet at home. Either way, here are my Top 5 dog grooming must-haves for ALL beginners!

5 Dog Grooming Must-Haves

1. Combs

The very first dog grooming must-have for ALL beginners are combs. Combs are one of the most essential tools for the job! They come in many different lengths and sizes. For this reason, it can feel a bit tricky deciding which one to get when starting your career.

If you’re new to dog grooming, I recommend a basic steel comb with fine-coarse teeth. This type of comb should do just fine when starting out. It can be used to find matted spots and comb them out. Plus, you can use it comb out the hair before cutting or scissoring it. I find this kind of comb give dogs a nice fluffy finish to their groom, when used correctly!

2. Slicker Brushes

Like with combs, there are many different kinds of brushes. When deciding which kind to get when starting out, a slicker brush is the way to go! Slicker brushes are definitely one of the top dog grooming must-haves! They can be used for fluffing and brushing out coats. Plus, they work like a charm for de-matting heavily tangled coats!

groomer brushing dog with slicker brush

3. Nail Care Tools

Dog grooming isn’t just limited to cutting and styling hair. Nail maintenance is also an essential part of it! You can’t trim a dog’s nails without the proper tools. So, you’ll need a good pair of basic nail clippers.

Medium-sized nail clippers work well for most dogs. But for really big breeds with thick nails, a large-sized pair would work better. You’ll also want to invest in a nail grinder. Nail grinders will smooth out the nails after they’ve been clipped. Not to mention, they’ll get you a bit closer to the quick without cutting it and making the dog bleed.

When it comes to nail maintenance, styptic powder is another essential dog grooming must-have. If you accidently clip a dog’s nail too far and expose the quick, you can put some styptic powder on it to make the bleeding stop.

4. Clippers

We can’t talk about dog grooming must-haves without mentioning a good pair of clippers! There are a few different kinds, but the best ones for a beginner would be a pair of 5-in-1 clippers.

These clippers have an adjustable blade. Another perk is that they don’t tend to get hot as quickly as detachable blade clippers do! Since they’re not very expensive, this staple tool is also affordable for any budget. They make the perfect addition to your dog grooming kit when just starting out!

5-in-1 clippers are perfect for trimming faces, feet, ears, and paw pads. You can even use them for light bodywork on pretty much any dog. They’re a lot quieter and don’t vibrate as much as detachable blade clippers do. I find this great, especially when working on sensitive dogs and puppies.

dog grooming shaving dog with clippers

5. Shears

The last dog grooming must-have for all beginners is a good set of shears! Shears are also known as grooming scissors. Scissor work will complete every groom you do – and you can’t accomplish that without a good set a grooming shears.

There are quite a few kinds of shears, coming in all different lengths and styles. It can prove to be a difficult choice when selecting a pair to start out with. But don’t worry, I’m here to help! Here are 3 types of shears I recommend for all brand-new dog groomers:

#1 – Straight Shears

You’ll want to start by investing in is a good pair straight shears. Straight shears are used for creating nice, straight lines on any breed of dog. They’re the standard pair of shears used for every groom!

#2 – Curved Shears

The second kind you’ll want to get is a good quality pair of curved shears. Curved shears are perfect for cutting rounded edges on topknots, legs, and tails. They are definitely a must-have, especially if you’re working with Poodles and/or Poodle mixes on a regular basis!

#3 – Thinning Shears

The last kind you’ll want to get are a pair of thinning shears. Thinning shears have toothed blades. As a result, they only take off a fraction of the hair when you cut it. Thinning shears create a smoother look and they’re great for blending hair.

If you mess up when using straight or curved shears, you can use you pair of thinning shears to blend and hide the faulty cut. Plus, they’re great for working on double coated breeds. These are truly are a dog grooming must-have!

dog grooming must-haves shears

Choosing Shears: Food for Thought

Here are some other things to take into consideration when getting your set of shears:

  • You don’t want them to be too short, but you don’t want them too long either.
  • A good length to start out with would be 6 or 7 inches.
  • You also don’t need the most expensive pair out there – but you do want to invest in some good quality ones.
  • Good quality shears should have a sharp edge that’ll stay sharp. This will allow you to provide nice, clean cuts to your grooms and create a great finished look.

Now That You Know The 5 Dog Grooming Must-Haves…

…go forth and take the industry by storm! You’ve got this! 🙂

Set your career up for success by getting professionally trained and certified in less than one year. Enroll with QC Pet Studies 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…

4 Awesome Dog Grooming Package Ideas

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Trying to come up with competitive dog grooming package ideas for your business? QC Pet Studies graduate, Casey Bechard, is here with 4 great ideas to get you started! Casey works as a full-time dog groomer and shop manager at Off The Leash Pet Grooming in Regina, Canada. She is an alumnus of QC’s Dog Grooming and First Aid for Groomers courses.

One important part of being a professional dog groomer is knowing how to appropriately charge a client for certain services. The thing is, when it comes to pricing, there’s no real ‘one size fits all’ answer. There are so many ways that you – as the groomer – can choose to charge customers for your services. You can offer a la carte services, package certain services together, etc.

That being said, I do have a few cool dog grooming package ideas that I’m going to share with you today. I’ll first share how my own salon sets and groups grooming rates. Then I’ll let you in on a few ideas that I think would be exciting to use (and haven’t seen others do yet).

Let’s jump into it!

dog having ear hair trimmed

4 Dog Grooming Package Ideas to Get You Inspired

Idea #1 – Charge by Breed

In the salon I’m working at now, we charge by the breed. This means that if someone were to bring in a Shih Tzu, the prices we’d quote them would be based on that specific breed. A client who brings in, say, a Border Collie would be presented with different rates.

When we charge by breed, the main dog grooming package we offer includes a:

  • Bath;
  • Blow out;
  • Brush out;
  • Haircut or trim (if need be);
  • Nail trim
  • And an ear cleaning.

However, on top of this package, we also offer what we call “add-ons”. For example, let’s say a client wants their dog to have everything mentioned above. But they ALSO want their dog to have a teeth brushing, blueberry facial, ear plucking, nail painting, etc. All of these additional services would be an extra cost added on top of the original price.

Here’s the thing about charging by breed: while we do have a certain price range for certain breeds, that doesn’t mean that every dog of that particular breed will fall under the same price. For instance, two German Shepherds could come to us in completely different shape. The German Shepherd in need of a lot more work won’t cost the same as the German Shepherd who comes to us in next-to-pristine condition.

We also take into consideration the fur type, size, and temperament of the dog. If a Border Collie were to come in, the starting price would be, say, $72.00. That’d be the standard, base fee we’d be starting from for that particular breed. But what if that Border Collie is bigger than a normal Border Collie? What if its fur is thick and has some matting?

Then we would factor in all of these things, as well as how much time it would take to groom this particular pup. In this case, I’d say that the price is now between $85.00 to $95.00.

This is just one idea of a dog grooming package that I personally know works and flows great for my team and me!

Idea #2 – Create Dog Grooming Packages that Catch a Client’s Attention

There are plenty of dog grooming package ideas that will be successful due to their ability to grab your clients’ attention. For example, you can bundle certain services together and give each bundle a fun, catchy name. I’ve always thought this would be a great idea!

For example, say you want one of your packages to be a full-service, luxurious experience. It would include whitening shampoo, conditioner, a blow out, a hair trim, a nail trim, ear cleaning, smell good spritz, and a bandana/bow. You could call this package “The Spa Treatment”!

You could offer this package for an all-inclusive, set rate. If a client wanted to omit a particular service from this package, you would eliminate it – but the price would stay the same. As far as what you would charge for a package like this, I believe it would all depend on your skills and qualifications at the time. Your location should also be considered, such as whether you work in a salon, from home, or at your client’s home.

Idea #3 – Create Issue-Specific Dog Grooming Packages

In terms of dog grooming package ideas, another option is to develop certain packages that deal with very specific things. For example, you have a package catered specifically towards dogs with sensitive skin. This package could be available for both small and big dogs, with a different price range per size.

In this sensitive skin package, you could provide:

  • Hypo shampoo;
  • A CO2 tablet to soothe the skin;
  • A blow out
  • A gentle brush out;
  • A trim or de-shed (if needed);
  • A nail trim;
  • Ear cleaning;
  • A Bow or bandana at the end.

Pro Tip: If a client were to choose this package, always remember to reassure them that you will be cautious and mindful when dealing with their pup’s sensitive skin. They will definitely appreciate this!

dog grooming package ideas shiba inu being brushed

Idea #4 – Offer Mini Dog Grooming Packages

Not all dog grooming package ideas need to be grand-scale. Some of the best bundles out there are the smaller, mini ones. These will serve you well when a client wants just a couple things done – without having to pay for the more traditional grooming services, too.

For instance, you could have ‘Walk-In Service’ mini packages, as well as mini packages reserved only for clients who book ahead. Here are some examples of services you can easily bundle together into a mini service package:

  • Nail trim, shave pads, and trim Grinch feet;
  • Teeth brushing, ear cleaning, and wrinkle clean (or just eye clean);
  • Sanitary butt, face, and feet clean up (you could call this one ‘The Full Maintenance Clean’!).

All these ideas exclude the actual full groom. As such, you could charge less than half of the regular grooming price. You can also tailor the prices accordingly, based on a variety of factors. If you tell your regular clients about these smaller, bundled services, they might be interested in coming in for them between full grooms!

From a business standpoint, these mini bundles give your client a wider variety of options to choose from. They will help get clients through your doors, create more opportunities for prospective customers to try out your services, and ultimately better your bottom line.

When it comes to dog grooming package ideas, the sky’s the limit! There are lots of fun ideas you could explore and try out. Just make it your own and use products that you believe in. With a bit of thought and creativity, your dog grooming business can offer something truly special and unique.

Happy grooming!

Did you know that QC Pet Studies’ Dog Grooming Course also offers a full unit of business training? Learn more about this exciting certification course here!

The Dog Groomer Salary in 2021

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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!

Is Dog Grooming Hard?

is dog grooming hard - poodle before and after grooming

When you find something you want to do for the rest of your life, you ask yourself a lot of questions: Can I really do this? Will I be successful? How do I get to where I want to be? How long will it take to get there?

You may also be asking yourself, “How hard will it be to become a success in my industry?”

This is especially true when you’re thinking of embarking on a journey to become a professional dog groomer. Between finding new clients, dealing with anxious or aggressive dogs, and learning the skills you’ll need to be the best groomer you can be, you’ll be faced with many challenges along the way.

But if you’re wondering if you have what it takes to face those challenges, we’ll break it down for you here and now. This way, you can make the right choice for you and your future career.

Is Dog Grooming Hard?

Like anything, dog grooming comes with its own unique challenges. That being said, it isn’t hard once you fully understand the skills required. From pet First Aid, to the specific grooming requirements for different breeds and fur types, there’s a lot to consider when you’re first starting out!

Dog grooming is also a career that relies on word of mouth marketing. Once you do a great job on one client’s furry friend, you may find that all of their (human) friends are calling you up for their own appointments. You’ll need to have a “hustle” attitude if you’re starting your own business. Be prepared to work hard for each and every client at the beginning of your career.

Of course, working for an existing groomer or in a salon has its own challenges, too. You’ll have less control over who your clients are, so you may have to be prepared to work with many different types of dogs from the get-go.

dog grooming, washing dog’s face

Get Prepared

One way to make sure you’re fully prepared to handle your new career as a dog groomer is by taking a great dog grooming course! Understanding every aspect of the dog grooming industry won’t just make you better at your job – it’ll also make you much more confident as you begin your career. With the help of a reputable grooming school, you’ll acquire all of the tools you’ll need to work with a wide variety of dogs and dog owners.

Understanding dog First Aid is another great way to feel more secure and comfortable in your new working environment. If you’re worried that dog grooming will be a hard career, one of the best things you can do is prepare as much as you can BEFORE that first official client walks through the door!

Am I Suited to a Career in Dog Grooming?

While there are challenges that come with dog grooming, it’s also an exciting, rewarding, and fun career that many people dream of having. If your idea of a perfect day involves spending a lot of time with dogs of all shapes and sizes, you’re probably on the right track to becoming a good dog groomer.

However, there are a few things that make all the difference between being a good dog groomer and being a great one. If you know for a fact that you possess any of the following traits, then you just might be in the perfect spot to begin a career that suits you very well!

Dog grooming expert cutting nails of small dog on grooming table


You don’t have to be a total extrovert to be successful as a dog groomer. But knowing how to communicate with your clients (both human and canine) will make a big difference in customer satisfaction. Understand what you do as a dog groomer and be prepared to explain it – in detail – to concerned dog-parents.

For example, you know what a “puppy cut” is on a particular breed… but does your client?


Whether you’re starting your own business or working for an existing one, keeping organized will make your days much less stressful. The last thing you want is to get ready for a busy day, only to realize that you’ve booked two clients for the same time slot! To avoid disappointing both your clients and yourself, you should make every effort to be extremely organized.


Dogs know when you’re uneasy, and people do, too. Would you trust your dog with a groomer who didn’t act like she knew what she was doing? It’s completely normal to feel some jitters as you begin a new job (or even as you take on new responsibilities at a job you’ve had for years). But trust yourself and your knowledge!

Challenges of Dog Grooming

Like we’ve said, dog grooming can come with pretty specific challenges. How many other careers count “trampled by puppies” as an occupational hazard?

While there are so many rewards to becoming a dog groomer, you’ll also have to grapple with some of the less-great aspects of the job. This includes things like occupational health hazards. If you’re worried about what you’ll face as a dog groomer, look no further!

Dog grooming professional giving Spanish water dog a bath

Difficult Behavior

Even if all your clients insist that their dogs are beautiful, gentle creatures who would never hurt a fly, it’s hard to tell what a dog will actually do when faced with a new and scary situation. You’ll have to go into your career as a dog groomer prepared to deal with anxious, even aggressive dogs. Mor importantly, you’ll need to know how to protect yourself and them.

Difficult Clients

In almost any client-facing career, you’ll find more than one person behaving much worse than any of dogs you might come across! They might be insisting on heavy discounts. Perhaps they’re ignoring your shop rules, or trying to convince you to fit them in last-minute. Whatever the situation, always be prepared to professionally (and confidently) shut down any bad behavior from clients.

Erratic Schedules

Sure, you can often set your own hours as a dog groomer, but you may find that the most profitable hours don’t fit into a standard Monday to Friday model. Clients are usually busy, and really appreciate being able to take their dog to you after work or on weekends.

Rewards of Dog Grooming

Now, about those rewards we were talking about! If you’ve read about all the challenges you’ll face as a dog groomer and you feel better than ever about your career choice, you can start dreaming about all the great things that come with it!

Shih Tzu being brushed in dog grooming salon

Career Growth

People love to spoil their dogs! Taking them to the groomer is one way they love to do it. The dog grooming field is only continuing to grow. We guarantee that you’ll be able to see your hard work pay off when your career begins to take off.

Starting Your Own Business

If you decide to start your own business, you’ll have achieved the dream of millions of people around the world. Being your own boss and setting your own hours gives you a great deal of freedom.

Working with Dogs

This is probably the main reward! Most people interested in dog grooming as a career get into the field because they love dogs. Thankfully, you will actually spend a great deal of your day getting to hang out with pups of all shapes and sizes!

Whenever you start something new, you’re bound to feel nervous. You might even feel like your new career is going to be too hard for you to handle. But if you’re prepared, and you know exactly what you’re getting into, you’ll be able to handle pretty much whatever the job throws at you!

What are some challenges you’ve faced as a dog groomer? What do you love about your job? Tell us your thoughts in the comments below!

Become a certified groomer in less than one year! Enroll in QC’s leading online Dog Grooming Course today!

3 Signs You’re Burning Out as a Professional Dog Groomer (and What to Do About It)

pup on couch, looking at window

While anyone can experience burnout, some jobs have a higher rate of burnout than others. Dog grooming is one of these jobs. While highly rewarding, it’s also a high-stress job – especially when you’re running your own dog groomer business

Burnout can be crippling. In serious cases, it can take months or even years to fully recover. But if you’re able to recognize the signs early, and take proper steps to address it, you can help minimize the effects of burnout and get back to work!

Let’s go over the top signs that you might be burning out as a dog groomer, and what you can do about it.

1: You’re physically and emotionally fatigued.

One of the telltale signs of burnout is exhaustion, in every sense of the word. 

Physically, you feel worn out. You don’t have energy for things that used to be easy to do. You probably have trouble sleeping. Perhaps you’re starting to sleep too much or you have symptoms of insomnia (i.e. trouble falling asleep, waking up often during the night, etc.).  

Odds are, your eating habits will change. You might experience loss of appetite and find yourself skipping meals. You might also feel other physical symptoms such as gastrointestinal pain, headaches, difficulty breathing, and more. You’ll probably notice you get sick more often, too.

Important Note: Never write off sudden, new physical symptoms as burnout. If you suddenly start experiencing physical pain of any sort, you should consult with your doctor right away!

Emotionally, you might start experiencing increased anxiety. You’ll find yourself worrying more than usual, often about things you can’t control or that didn’t bother you before. You might also become more edgy with your dog groomer clients, coworkers, friends, and even family.

You could also start experiencing symptoms of depression. Common feelings associated with depression include hopelessness, guilt, irritability, or other (more serious) symptoms. You might suddenly find that you now have a shorter temper. Perhaps you’re feeling more irritable; prone to angry outbursts, both at work and at home.

2: You start disengaging.

As burnout progresses, you’ll probably start detaching from what normally brings you joy. You might find yourself waking up every morning and dreading going to work. Out of what feels like nowhere, being a dog groomer may no longer feel as fulfilling as it used to for you, and so you could begin to respond negatively to your job environment.

As your symptoms worsen, you could even find yourself avoiding other activities that used to make you happy. Hanging out with friends/family, or indulging in your favorite hobby, might begin to feel very overwhelming or emotionally taxing. As a result, you might start to isolate yourself more from others. Socializing becomes a chore you try to avoid. People around you start to notice that you have a more negative general outlook on life. 

It might be hard to notice these signs yourself, so it’s important to listen to people around you! Despite what your burnout is telling you, they do care about you!

disengaged woman in work meeting

3: It starts affecting your dog groomer work.

In the early stages of burnout, your work might go largely unaffected. Your mental and physical health will suffer, but you might still be able to perform at work; hiding your symptoms from your colleagues or employers. However, as your burnout becomes more persistent, your work will start to suffer.

Your detachment and emotional exhaustion will spill into your dog groomer career, and you’ll begin losing focus. You’ll start getting more and more irritable, and care less about the quality of your work. You might start skipping entire workdays, without giving proper notice to your employer or clients. As a dog groomer, you could even start treating your furry clients poorly.

What To Do About It

If you start experiencing the start of burnout, there are some steps you can take to help you climb out of the hole before you’re in too deep!

circles with moods

Don’t ignore the signs.

You might not experience every single thing on this list. But you’ll probably notice that something feels “off” at the start. You may notice your habits changing and you don’t know why. It’s important that you pay attention to what your body is telling you!

Admit to yourself that you’re starting to burn out.

Unfortunately, mental health issues are too often stigmatized and dismissed.  You’re not “weak” or “crazy” if you’re burning out. Ignoring or denying it won’t make the problem go away.

Eat healthy and drink water.

When you’re stressed and busy, it’s easy to start neglecting these basic things. Take a step back and return to basics: lots of fresh fruits, veggies, and water. It’s amazing how these small changes can make a big difference!

woman drinking glass of water

Build solid sleep habits.

Set a regular bedtime routine and stick to it! Remove electronics from your room and get proper sleep. There are certain apps that can help you fall asleep if you experience insomnia. I’ve been using one for a month now and it really does help!

Get some exercise.

Once you’re eating and sleeping right, try getting into a light exercise routine. It doesn’t need to be intense! A 30-minute walk every day can do wonders for your mental health – and your dog will love you for it, too!

As a dog groomer, don’t be afraid to reduce your workload.

If you can afford to, consider cutting back on your work hours a bit. I know this can be scary at first as a dog groomer, because it means you don’t have as much money coming in. But if you don’t cut back now, you might be forced to stop working entirely later.

Take a vacation.

It doesn’t have to be a week on a private island somewhere! Even a few days away from work can make a difference, as long as you use them to do something fun. Go for a hike outside the city, check out your local art scene, or just re-read your favorite book. Sometimes, our minds need that mental break. If you have paid vacation days, make sure you use them. If you’re self-employed, plan ahead to take a few days off now and again!

Get professional help.

Look, sometimes you can take all the right steps and still struggle with burnout. That doesn’t make you a failure! We all need a little extra help sometimes. Consulting with a professional to develop proper stress management techniques (or just to talk about what’s stressing you out) can help immensely!

Burnout is a serious condition and should be treated as such. As a dog groomer, you work in a fast-paced, high-stress environment that you can’t always control. Your furry clients can sometimes be unpredictable and a little frustrating.

But you owe it to your clients to be in good mental health when taking care of their beloved pets! Addressing burnout early on doesn’t only make sense on a personal level – it makes sense on a professional one as well!

Did you know that dog groomer classes can actually help improve your mental health? Keep reading here to discover why!

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!