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Career Advice

How to Become a Dog Groomer When You’re Introverted

dog groomer cuddling with dog

Do you have a love of dogs, and dreams of revolving your professional career around them? Then you’re in luck! Dog grooming is not only an extremely rewarding career; it also happens to be a perfect path for those of us on the introverted side. Now, if you’re wondering how to become a dog groomer in the first place, never fear. We’ve got all the answers you’re looking for!

Let’s take a look at why dog grooming is such a great profession for introverts – and how you can earn your certification, plus start your own business, in a way that works best for YOU!

What’s an Introvert?

The biggest factor that sets introverts apart from extroverts is how they charge their internal battery. Extroverts thrive best in social settings. Their internal batteries tend to deplete when they go too long without human contact of some kind. Quite simply, introverts are the opposite. Their internal batteries charge from time spent alone, in their personal comfort zone.

Why is Dog Grooming Perfect for Introverts?

Of course, you’ll still be expected to interact with your (human) clients throughout the day. But these interactions will only make up a small percentage of your daily work! For the most part, your time will be spent with the pooches. This means minimal contact with people, and maximum contact with dogs!

dog groomer blow drying pug on grooming table

Could there be anything better?

Keep in mind that if you’re employed within a salon, you’ll also be surrounded by your fellow colleagues on a regular basis. However, for many introverts, this won’t be a problem. Friendships are often formed with ease in this kind of industry, so there will usually be at least one person around with whom you enjoy spending time.

Pro Tip: If you prefer to work on your own, or focus best on your job when it’s just you and your client’s dog, another option is to launch your very own grooming business! That way, you can be your own boss and create your optimal working environment.

How to Become a Dog Groomer in 4 Easy Steps

1 – Do Your Training Online!

These days, in-person schooling is still not entirely safe. Many aspiring students don’t want to risk their health for the sake of getting an education, and understandably so. Luckily, the same high-quality dog grooming education can be found online!

how to become a dog groomer - woman training from home on laptop

There are plenty of perks to online learning that particularly benefit the introverted. For example:

  • You don’t need to attend a physical classroom. You can work from the comfort of your own home!
  • You aren’t required to learn in the company of other students. Instead, it’ll just be you and your virtual tutor for the entire duration of the program!
  • You won’t be forced to adhere to set deadlines or schedules. Not everyone learns at the same pace, or has the free time needed to abide by strict due dates.
  • You’ll still get hands-on training. Just because the schooling is online, doesn’t mean you won’t still get plenty of practical experience. Gain real-life training by working on dogs you know and people you’re already comfortable with!

2 – Use the Internet to Network!

Once you’ve earned your certification, you’ll likely already have built the beginnings of your network; courtesy of the tutors, fellow students, and graduates in your school’s community. Going forward, the internet can also serve as a powerful tool to allow you to keep networking and expanding your connections!

two dogs cuddling on cushion

Establish a presence on social media. Follow and comment on the work of other groomers in your area, and even reach out via private messenger. Ask your friends and family to recommend your services online, and join all sorts of chat rooms, grooming groups, and forums.

3 – Start Your Own Dog Groomer Business!

We mentioned it before, but it’s worth mentioning again. If you happen to be an introverted dog groomer, why not be your own boss?

Set your own hours, choose which services you want to offer, and operate from wherever you choose! As a self-employed groomer with their own business, you’ll have tons of options as your disposal, such as:

  • Working out of your own home
  • Providing mobile grooming services and traveling to clients’ homes
  • Contracting your services to other businesses, salons, etc.

You’ll get to set all the boundaries and terms. This way, you can ensure that you’re always working under circumstances where you can best shine!

4 – Offer Virtual Services!

It goes without saying that if you want to be a successful dog groomer, you’re going to have to, you know, actually groom. This service can’t exactly be provided online. However, there are plenty of other related services that CAN.

From a business perspective, offering additional services is always going to be a plus (so long as the extra efforts don’t detract from the most important aspects of your business). Here are just a few ideas of virtual services you can offer, that are likely to increase your online presence and attract more clients:

  • Virtual consultations
  • Writing and/or vlogging for dog grooming companies, blogs, and publications
  • Start your OWN dog grooming blog and/or vlog
  • Become an authority on dog grooming on social media
  • Sell dog grooming products and/or tools online
  • Teach virtual dog grooming classes

For the common introvert, these are all awesome ways to continue growing your business, making a profit, and appealing to new clients – without ever depleting your internal battery!

close up of dog getting haircut from dog groomer

So, what are you waiting for? The world is your oyster, and it’s time for you to make the most of it by pursuing the career of your dreams!

Want to earn TWO professional certifications for the price of ONE? Learn how to be a dog groomer by enrolling in QC’s leading online Dog Grooming Course, and we’ll give you our First Aid for Groomers Course… absolutely FREE!

My Top Tips for Increasing Your Dog Groomer Salary

professional groomer increasing her dog groomer salary through excellent customer service

QC Pet Studies graduate, Casey Bechard, works as a full-time dog groomer and shop manager at Off The Leash Pet Grooming in Regina, Canada. Today, she shares her top 2 tips for boosting your dog groomer salary.

It’s no joke when I tell you that you can make quite the dog groomer salary in this line of business! Admittedly, though, there are factors that can affect your level of success. Depending on location, the demand, local competition, etc. some groomers might make more than others.

Where you provide your services can play a part, too. For instance, your dog groomer salary might be a bit different for brand new groomers freshly entering the industry, compared to a seasoned expert. Similarly, you might see a different income when you operate out of your own home vs. in a salon.

All that to be said, I have some tips and tricks that may help you increase your dog groomer salary! While the following may seem like little, easy things, you’ll find that they’ll actually go a LONG way for your business…

dog groomery cutting dog's hair

1 – Get Your Name Out There!

You might think this is pretty straightforward. The problem is that most people don’t understand the level of work that actually goes into this marketing strategy.

If you’re thinking, ‘I just have to talk to some people, hand out a few business cards, and I’ll start racking in the clients‘ – then you’re already on the wrong track. I wish that’s all you had to do! But in reality, the process requires a lot more effort than that.

Now personally, I didn’t start my own salon, and I didn’t provide grooming services out of my home. Rather, I work alongside other people at an established grooming business. When I first started, I was lucky enough to have a mentor to guide me and lift me up. It also helped that they could put in a good word about me to clients.

But although all that was nice, I still wanted to do my share. I wanted to play an active role in growing my career, and increase my dog groomer salary myself. So, I started taking action! Here are a few things I did that I found to be extremely effective:

Promoted Myself on Social Media

These days, everyone lives online. It’s basically an unwritten rule that if you want to succeed in the modern world, you NEED to have some sort of online presence. The greater that presence can be, the better.

With that in mind, I made an Instagram account and followed everyone in my area who had a dog. (Okay, maybe not everyone, but you get the idea.) From there, I began posting photos from my grooming portfolio. Making use of social media is a fun – and constructive – way to get your name out there and show people what you can do.

If potential clients can’t see your past grooms for themselves, or see what you have to offer them, then you’re just another groomer trying to make it. There won’t be anything unique setting you apart from the crowd. If you want to stand out from the competition, then it’s important not to fall into this trap. Showcase your best work for everyone to see!

Make your account your own. Once it’s ready, get your friends and family to follow and like your posts for a while, until your channel reaches more people. With my current Instagram account, I’ll have people follow me and then the next day, I’ll see that they booked their dog in with me. SO COOL!

Focusing some of your efforts on your social media strategies will be a great way to grow your clientele, get more bookings, and increase that dog groomer salary of yours.

Encouraged Word-of-Mouth

Word-of-mouth is something you can successfully establish through your level of high customer service. The longer your customers know you as a groomer, and trust your quality of work, the likelier they’ll be to recommend you to others.

Because let’s be real: your clients will often become like family after a while. Customers who are happy with your services will typically return back to you every 6-8 weeks. When you treat them (and their dogs) right, they’ll grow to trust you. Often, they’ll want to work with only you.

When you achieve such a fantastic reputation as a groomer, your clients will be guaranteed talk about you to their friends and family. That’s just the way she goes! As a result, you’ll hopefully get more bookings out of it, from people who can become long-term clients as well!

Another thing you can do is offer incentive and/or referral programs. For example, you can provide brand new customers the opportunity to get 10% off their first groom if they book with you. As another example, you can reward existing clients with discounted services, gifts, or a free groom whenever their personal recommendation results in you booking a new client.

I really, really appreciate the clients who continue to come and see me – and only me – to groom their dogs. It makes you feel good inside! Plus, long-term clients mean long-term bookings. These are people who can guarantee you that you’ll continue to make a dog groomer salary for the foreseeable future.

Talked to EVERY Client

This one is especially important!

Whether the owner is dropping off or picking up their pooch, you want to make sure that you talk to them each and every time. More importantly, establish that contact when they come to pick up their dog. Some things you can discuss with them include:

  • Telling them how their dog did during the appointment
  • If you have any concerns, based on what occurred during the appointment
  • Health issues that you wish to bring to their attention
  • If you have any recommendations (i.e. upkeep) for the owner once they’re back home, etc.

I feel that communicating with the client is a fundamental part of the grooming process as a whole. By chatting with you, the owner can better decide if they vibe well with you and like the work you did on their dog. Sometimes, they’ll want to book their NEXT appointment with you right then and there!

Of course, that’s always great because then you’re guaranteed another groom from them – which means money for you.

2 – Add Extra Services to Your Business!

In our shop, how we charge for things might be a little different than others. The initial price is determined by the breed of the client’s dog. Then we build off of this base rate with ‘add-ons’, as chosen by the customer.

So, if a client wanted their dog to get their teeth brushed, or have a blueberry facial, those would be extra charges (or add-ons). By adding extra services to the appointment, it all adds up pretty quickly. For every appointment, my co-workers and I then get a commission for the total amount rendered.

This is an example of a smart, effective way to set your rates, package your services, and add extra services to your business. That being said, your rates should always be set in a way that’s realistic, and won’t alienate all of your customers. While you should always charge for your worth, it’s important to remember not to get greedy either – otherwise it can have a negative impact.

It’s important to be transparent about your prices, too. Don’t try to hide your rates, or sneak them up on clients. When first making these changes in your business, don’t be surprised if some customers aren’t sure how to feel about them. They may be hesitant at first, and may have questions.

Honesty is always the best policy! Answer all of their inquiries to the best of your ability – but don’t hesitate to also tell them the awesome benefits of your extra services, too! There are plenty of clients who will be happy to pay a few extra dollars to spoil their pup. For others, even if they don’t plan to purchase those services, the fact that you offer them in the first place can still look great on your part!

dog groomer holding dog's paw while shaving its stomach

Earning a reliable dog groomer salary is understandably important. But it’s also important to remember that it’s not the main priority. Instead, your job is about interacting with the clients and their dogs in a way that leaves a positive impression. It’s about putting in the effort to assure them they’re in good hands. It’s about keeping an open line of honest communication at all times.

Above all else, the #1 priority of your career should always be the health, safety, and satisfaction of your client’s dog!

That being said, I hope that I’ve been able to show you that there are many ways to make money in this industry and boost your dog groomer salary. So, take care, and as always, happy grooming!

One major way to increase your dog groomer salary is by earning a reputable certification! Start your training with QC Pet Studies today!

4 Factors That Affect the Self-Employed Dog Groomer Salary

self-employed dog groomer holding boston terrier after bath

Becoming a self-employed dog groomer is a wonderful way for you to do what you love for a living, while also getting to be your own boss. As the owner of your very own business, you have the unique freedom to:

  • Set your own hours
  • Choose where you work
  • Offer the services you enjoy doing most
  • Tailor your services towards specific niches within the industry (i.e. competition grooming, large breed grooming, etc.)
  • Book your own clients
  • Determine your own rates
  • And so much more!

But what will your income actually look like? Well, there are many factors that can affect the self-employed dog groomer salary. On the one hand, this means that it can sometimes be difficult to anticipate a concrete annual income. But on the other hand, it also means that you have a lot of opportunities to increase your salary through the right strategies!

So, what are some of the biggest factors that can impact your self-employed dog groomer salary? Here are 4 of them!

1. Are you Certified?

This is a big one. Technically, little to no education is actually required in order to be a self-employed dog groomer or start up a business. In fact, many dog groomers don’t even have an actual certification on their resumes! But just because you don’t need to have this level of training, doesn’t mean you shouldn’t get it anyways.

Think about it: would YOU get your hair cut by someone who had no professional training? Probably not.

In the world of self-employed groomers, there will be plenty of competition. But the fact is, many of them will be self-taught. You can give yourself a major edge by taking the time to learn the craft the right way, by a real industry professional. Clients will always choose the groomer who has a proper certification over one that doesn’t.

Your rates can reflect your level of training, too. If many of the other self-employed dog groomers in your area aren’t actually certified, you can afford to set your rates a little higher than what they’re charging.

Don’t worry about scaring off potential customers! You’ll quickly come to find that many pet owners are happy to pay a little bit extra, if it means their furry family member is in the hands of a true expert.

2. What Types of Services Do You Offer?

Are you a one-stop-shop for clients, or do you only offer particular grooming services? It goes without saying that the more services you provide, the wider your clientele will be – which means more profit for your business. While plenty of clients will want a la carte services, there will also be just as many who want to give Fluffy the full treatment.

If you limit the kinds of services your business offers by too much, you’ll also be limiting how financially successful your business can ultimately be.

All we’re saying is, don’t sell your career short. Research into the most popular grooming services needed in your area and make sure your business offers them. If you wish to only specialize in certain areas of the grooming industry, that’s totally your right. But unless there’s a strong demand for it where you live, just be warned that it can negatively impact your salary.

3. Where Do You Live?

Where you live often plays a big role in your self-employed dog groomer salary. For instance, if you’re in a small town, there may not be a very high demand for dog groomers. Of course, on the other hand, the demand could still be there – just with less local competition for you.

If this is the case, you’ll not only have primary access to the majority of local clients; you might also have grounds for charging a little bit more for your work compared to the going rate.

self-employed dog groomer shaving dog on grooming table

Depending on the demand for your services, living in a small area can either work for or against you. It’s all a matter of how YOU approach the situation, and how well you use your circumstances to your advantage.

The same can easily be said for large cities, too. While largely populated areas will often equal a higher demand for dog groomers, it typically also means a lot more competition in your area. However, if you play your cards right, this can wind up being a very good thing for your business.

Find ways to set yourself apart from the other groomers in your city. Continue to pursue further training and education, so you can always remain current and build upon your qualifications. The stronger you are as a groomer, the more clients you’ll attract – and the more you can justify raising your service rates.

4. What Sort of Equipment Do You Use?

The thing about being a self-employed dog groomer is that you’re the one responsible for financing the entire business. In addition to the day-to-day workings of running this business, another thing you’ll need to budget for is your actual grooming equipment.

This will obviously require some sort of investment on your part, but it’ll be worth it in the long run. Make sure you invest in high-quality, reliable tools. You can be the best groomer in the world, but if your tools are falling apart or not properly maintained, you won’t be able to do your job!

Not to mention, clients will rarely want to hand their dog over to someone with sub-part grooming equipment. In their eyes, the state of your tools reflects your skill level. Bad equipment will likely mean a bad groom.

It makes sense, then, that the more well-kept and up-to-date your equipment is, the more customers you’ll attract to your business. This means a higher income as a result of regular bookings!

Note: This isn’t to say that you always have to pay top dollar in order to have the best equipment, though. Here are 5 affordable ways to stock up your grooming kit with excellent equipment, without going broke in the process!

Are you ready to become a self-employed dog groomer and launch the career of your dreams? There’s no time like the present, so get started today!

Dog Grooming Training: How to Start Your Career on a Budget

Starting a career as a dog groomer can be fun and exciting! But if you’re not careful, it can also be on the pricey side. Thankfully, there are plenty of budget-friendly ways to start your career – without sacrificing the quality of your dog grooming training or tools!

Your Dog Grooming Training

If you want to become a dog groomer, you’ll need to find a training program that will help you get there. There are in-class dog grooming training programs, and there are online ones, too. The online dog grooming schools are usually much more affordable, and offer the same quality of education in the end. You just have to find the right school!

Most schools will allow you to pay your tuition in installments. This can be a great way to work your dog grooming training into a fixed budget. Look for a school with easy monthly payments on tuition.

But be careful! You’ll want to make sure there are no hidden fees that might unknowingly make your tuition much more expensive than the advertised price! You also want to avoid any school that forces you to pay a monthly/annual fee in order to keep your certification “valid”.  These are 100% scams, meant only to steal your money.

We’ve discussed this many times before: when it comes to choosing an online dog grooming school, research is important!

Your Dog Grooming Tools

Any good dog groomer training program will require you to physically work on dogs as part of your studies. After all, how else are you supposed to learn?

You’ll also (hopefully) want to practice your skills on your own time as much as you can. This means that you’ll need grooming tools. I’m not going to lie – some grooming tools can be expensive. But the thing is, when it comes to this, you don’t want to skimp on quality just to save a few bucks.

Lucky for you, there are tricks to getting top quality grooming tools without paying through the nose!

  • When looking at your dog grooming training options, look for a program that supplies you with a grooming kit as part of your tuition. A good school should provide you with clippers, scissors, brushes, and combs.
  • Shop for gently used items. Kijiji and Facebook Marketplace can be goldmines for dog groomers in training! Many people purchase grooming equipment to work on their own dogs, only to realize it’s above their skill-set. These people usually end up hiring a groomer anyway, which means that lots of these tools are brand new, and can be bought at a huge discount!
  • Know where it’s okay to cut corners. You never want to sacrifice quality when it comes to shears or clippers. But at the end of the day, a slicker brush is a slicker brush, whether you buy it at the dollar store or at a high-end pet boutique.
  • Use self-wash grooming stations. Many pet stores have them, and most are free! You can bring your furry friend to one of these stations for a bath/brush and use the store’s tools and supplies. Bonus: you don’t have to deal with a wet dog in your own bathroom!

Starting your Career

If you’re on a tight budget, you might not be able to start an at-home grooming business right away… and that’s okay! Working as a groomer at an established salon can also be a great way to improve your skills, while being paid to do so. Plus, you won’t have to deal with any startup costs!

Some grooming salons will be happy to hire you, even while you’re in the process of completing your dog grooming training. If you’re able to work as a brusher/bather at a grooming salon while you complete your training, that’s a fantastic way to get extra cash AND practice your skills on the job.

It’s a win-win!

How Long Does It Take to Become a Dog Groomer?

I remember the day I finished University… It was 2013, and I was 21-years-old. I’d been a student for basically 95% of my life, and let me tell you, the final year of my post-secondary degree was brutal. I couldn’t wait to be done! After staying away for over 48 hours to cram for my final exam, and feeling like I wrote it in a zombified state, I walked out and made a decision: I was NEVER going back to school ever again!

Of course, as the years went on, I quickly realized that part of the problem was that I hadn’t actually gone to school for the thing I was most passionate about. That is what really makes all the difference, isn’t it? By the time this dawned on me, however, I was faced with a whole new dilemma…

With my 30s just around the corner, would I even want to have to devote 2-4 MORE years of my life to education? For many mature students, this is one of the largest roadblocks. You want that dream career, but in order to get it, you have to postpone it even longer first.

Maybe this is you, and all of this sounds little too familiar. Or, perhaps you’re that younger version of me who’s fresh out of high school, looking towards the future, and trying to decide what it is you want to do with your life. Either way, I have the same piece of advice, and it can be summed up in to 3 little words:

FOLLOW YOUR DREAM!

If you’re reading this, I assume you have an innate love of animals. In particular, dogs. I don’t blame you. Dogs are pretty much better than people in every single way, and no one can change my mind about that. I’m willing to go one step further and assume that because you’re reading this, you’ve dabbled with the idea of becoming a professional groomer and devoting your life’s work to this industry.

Let me just say upfront: this is an AWESOME idea! Getting to work with all sorts of dogs on a daily basis? Sounds like heaven to me.

Obviously, you understand that a proper education is critical for this type of job. While plenty of places don’t necessarily require you to have formal training, you know full well that you won’t be able to have a successful career without it. But therein lies what I’m willing to bet is one of the things probably holding you back: actually committing to this necessary education.

So, I’m going to let you in on an amazing secret… Are you ready? Here it is…

You can become a certified, professional dog groomer AND start booking clients in as little as 9-12 months.

Yeah, you heard me.

Now, there are admittedly certain factors that play into this estimated time frame – and it really all boils down to the type of grooming school you choose to attend. Some academies will have longer programs, while others can potentially have you graduating in even less time than one year.

The choice, ultimately, is yours.

So, how long does it take to become a dog groomer, really? Let’s take a look at your options!

Apprenticeship Programs

As we mentioned above, most places don’t enforce strict formal education in order for one to become a dog groomer. At most, you usually just need to have a high school diploma (or its equivalent). The good news is, this means you have plenty of different choices you can choose from, in terms of how you want to get your training.

One popular option is an Apprenticeship Program. Here, you’ll shadow an experienced groomer, and learn the ropes from under their knowledgeable wing. Opportunities for an apprenticeship can either be found through established businesses (i.e. Petco, PetSmart, etc.), or by approaching freelance groomers who run their own ships. Apprenticeship Programs typically last anywhere from 6-10 weeks in length.

One obvious perk is that your exposed to hands-on training, pretty much from the get-go. One downside is that you’re not so much learning all the theory and foundational knowledge you’d be taught from an actual course. It’s important to remember that while shadowing a seasoned dog groomer is undoubtedly useful, they’re not a trained instructor.

In-Person Grooming Classes

This is another popular option, and one that provides you with an actual education. The average in-person grooming course takes approximately one year (2 semesters) to finish, followed by further hands-on training in the field.

You’ll get to be tutored by professional who not only knows proper grooming, but knows how to teach it to you in a way you’ll understand. The brick-and-mortar environment also allows you to meet others aspiring groomers and develop alongside them. These peers can easily form the beginnings of your professional network.

There are some downsides though, too. For starters, in-person courses can sometimes get pretty expensive. You’re also forced to adhere to the school’s strict schedule and deadlines. If you have a busy schedule as it is, a full-time job, or a family to care for, in-person classes might not be flexible enough for your availability.

Of course, there’s also the elephant in the room to address: the global pandemic we’re currently in the middle of. Most schools are still closed down, or only offering virtual classes. While social distancing is still a thing, in-person dog grooming courses may not be the best choice right now.

Online Grooming Classes

We live in the age of online living, so it’s only natural that online learning has become a prevalent method of education in recent years. Not only are you provided with the exact same, high-quality schooling you would be in a brick-and-mortar setting; your studies are catered to YOUR needs.

Most online schools will allow you to work at your own pace, on your own time. You won’t be pressured by external deadlines, or even need to put yourself at risk of being exposed to COVID-19. You can maximize the time you’re already spending at home by earning a reputable certification AND the business knowledge needed to launch your very own grooming business.

What could be better?

Since your online dog grooming course will likely be self-paced, it’s really up to YOU how quickly you want to finish it. The students and graduates of QC Pet Studies, for example, have stated that by simply putting a few hours per week to their schoolwork, they were able to finish their grooming course in as little as 9-12 months.

If you’re looking for a more concrete idea of how many hours QC’s Dog Grooming Course takes to complete, the answer is roughly 80-130 hours. Again, this depends on how you choose to approach your studies, and the time you’ll take to practice and develop your skills before you complete each assignment.

Keep in mind that you have 2 full years to complete your QC program, so you can create a schedule that works best for you! You can find a full course outline here, which should help give you a better idea of the depth of the course and assignments.

Learn more about making the most of your online grooming course here!

If you only take ONE thing away from this article, I want it to be this: don’t put off your dreams any longer! Yes, 2020 has been a stressful year for all of us, but there’s no reason you can’t finish it on a high note and make it your year, all the same. End 2020 off right by kick-starting your dream career, becoming a true grooming expert, and booking your very first client!

How the Pandemic Has Affected My Dog Grooming Career

QC Pet Studies graduate, Casey Bechard, works as a full-time dog groomer and shop manager at Off The Leash Pet Grooming in Regina, Canada. Today, she discusses how COVID-19 has affected her dog grooming career.

What a time we are living in right now! I hope this blog posts finds everyone safe and healthy. I feel honored to be sharing my story of how the world today is affecting my dog grooming career.

I’ll start by sharing what it was like at the start of all this. Then I’ll touch on how I was feeling before going back to work, as well as how things are going now.

Closing the Shop

When COVID-19 really started making waves, my boss and I were hesitant about closing the shop. But it also unfortunately made sense. Once the world was declared to be in a pandemic and social distancing started happening, business really slowed down.

To put this into perspective, I was down to grooming maybe 3 dogs a day – and that was considered a good day!

Going through that was kind of scary. We were all thinking, “Is this it? What if we never get busy again? If we close, how many clients will I lose?

Things like that were constantly going through my head. But ultimately, I think people were just scared; scared to leave their house and scared of going to a public place. Getting their dogs groomed was probably the last thing on their minds, and I can totally get that.

So when we decided to close, we weren’t sure for how long or what that would look like. In total, we were closed for just over a month. When our city decided to reopen businesses, that’s when we decided it was time for us to resume our services as well.

At that point, I was getting messages from people asking if we were open, as well as clients requesting that I go to their place to groom their dogs. So, it felt like the right time to open our doors again. You would not believe the response we had when we decided to reopen again!

All of our clients are amazing; they wanted to book with us right away. We were booked for nearly 3 weeks in advance! To me, that’s mind-blowing. I think the pandemic caused many of our clients to really take notice of what we go through as groomers.

When they couldn’t turn to us, people were trying to groom their dogs themselves while at home. I think a lot of them didn’t actually know how hard it would be. In a way, it’s almost as if some people now have a greater appreciation for groomers.

It was also great that everyone was really understanding and cooperative when it came to the safety protocols we set in place for the shop. Things went very smoothly once we opened again.

My point is, there is always a light at the end of the tunnel, folks!

Getting Back At It

It was so weird getting back to a working environment after being forced to take that time off. For starters, everything looked a little different than before. We now had less staff, everything was by appointment only, and our daycare services were remaining closed.

Don’t get me wrong – we were busy and work was good.

But one thing that bothered me (or rather, made me sad) was that some of our best clients wound up turning to other groomers while we’d been closed. While I absolutely get that their dogs needed the service, it was still a disappointing blow.

This was especially the case when I saw that a lot of them were going onto social media and raving about how great this other place was. Many claimed that they were set on a new groomer. That definitely hurt, and we were all pretty bummed about it. We care about our clients, after all, and grow bonds with them and their dogs!

But we just had to keep focused on the clients that were continuing to support us. Those are the ones that matter and need our focus. Plus, we got a lot of new clients as well, which is great!

Worried About the Dogs

This was another concern. Being closed for as long as we were, we were scared to see what shape some of the dogs coming to us would look like. Some of our worries were:

  • Would the dog be matted to the skin?
  • Would they have only a few mats, or would they be in surprisingly great condition?
  • Will it take me longer than an hour and 15 minutes to get the job done?
  • Will I be falling behind a lot?

I think not knowing what to except with every dog coming in was definitely the hardest part. Personally, I absolutely HATE falling behind in my working day. Achieving excellent results in a timely fashion is very important to most groomers.

That being said, that sort of thing was out of our control. We needed to be able to adapt – and together, as a team, we did! My fellow groomers and I were always helping each other out when we needed it. If we noticed someone falling behind on a groom, we’d ask if they needed a hand, or if they wanted their next dog bathed.

Little things like that go a long way! It’s so important to have good people to work with, especially during difficult times. You can’t always do everything yourself. Having an extra set of hands can really turn a bad situation around.

Did this whole pandemic bring its fair share of ups and its downs? Oh, for sure. It was scary not knowing what the future looked like, but getting back into the swing of things really helped with my confidence, too.

If nothing else, it served as a reminder of how the grooming community always steps up and supports one another. We all banded together to try and make things better. Because really, everyone was in the same boat. We were ALL along for the ride!

Client Love

Like I’ve said before, our clients are amazing! They never fail to make us feel appreciated. We were getting extra tips, donuts, coffees, and sorts all other treats. Why? Because we love what we do, and they see that in the quality of our work.

In reality, if you think you’re failing or not doing well enough as a groomer, your clients and co-workers all have your back. Throughout COVID-19, there’s been a lot of uncertainty and confusion. Many of us have wondered at least once, “What do I do now?”

But when people were messaging me when we weren’t even open, asking for advice? That really gave me hope. It made me realize that pandemic or no pandemic, people are still going to need to have their dogs groomed. It’s really as simple as that.

Since we’ve re-opened, we’ve been SO busy! It’s been over 2 months now, and we’re just starting to see it slow down, and turn back into what our normal summers have looked like in the past. It’s a welcoming reminder that as crazy as the world’s been this year, we will eventually go back to how things once were. This difficult time won’t last forever.

Above all else, my hope for you is that no matter how hard things get in your dog grooming career (or even just in the world itself), you”ll try to always look on the bright side of things. Believe me, holding onto hope is the very thing that will always get you through the dark days. ❤️

In Hindsight…

When I think back on these past several months, it was definitely the not knowing that scared me the most. But once we got back to work, and I saw just how awesome our clients were to us, all that worry was gone.

Yeah, there have been a few bumps in the road along the way. I’ve had a few tired days. Ultimately, though, when I see all those clients going home happy, their pup freshly groomed in their arms… That’s always enough to put a smile on my face!

Why not maximize your time at home right now by earning your certification and kick-starting your OWN dog grooming career? Enroll today in QC’s leading online Dog Grooming Course, and be ready to work 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!

Treatment

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.

Treatment

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

Treatment

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!