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Career Advice

22 Lucrative Pet Business Ideas Anyone Can Start

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Dream of working with animals for a living? You’re in luck, because there are all sorts of pet business ideas out there. Let’s take a look at 22 possible career paths you can pursue right away!

Is Starting a Pet Business Profitable?

First thing’s first: you need to know whether this endeavor will actually be worth your time. After all, if your efforts won’t lead to results (or a livable income), it could still make for a great passion project – but not so much a realistic, full-time job.

The good news is, you can absolutely make a great profit off of starting your very own pet business! The key is how much work you’re willing to put into it.

Like with starting any business, it’s important to keep in mind that it’ll take time to make the profit you’re looking for. When first launching your business, you’ll be an unknown name in the industry. This means it’ll be up to you to get it off the ground, promote yourself, gain in-field experience, and attract clientele.

Furthermore, you’ll need to be good at budgeting. There are many overhead costs that come with running your own business, and improper investments could wind up draining more money than you’re making. This is why, to give you the best chances of success, we strongly recommend getting some form of business training before you jump straight into opening up shop.

In a nutshell: if you’re someone who lacks motivation and self-discipline, these goals will be difficult to achieve. However, if you know that you’d be willing to do whatever it takes to make your dreams a reality, then starting a pet business is the perfect option for you… and it can definitely become extremely profitable!

22 Pet Business Ideas You Can Pursue

So, what possible career paths are out there for you? Let’s take a look!

1. Pet Grooming

As a professional groomer, you’ll help pets look their absolute best! You’ll be responsible for everything from clipping nails, to giving baths, to doing haircuts, to treating skin conditions, to deshedding and de-matting coats, and SO much more.

Moreover, there are tons of specializations and niches within this particular career path. For instance, you can:

  • Work in a grooming salon;
  • Own your own salon;
  • Start a mobile grooming business;
  • Work as a freelance groomer;
  • Specialize in grooming for dogs, cats, etc.;
  • Specialize in competition grooming;
  • Target your grooming services for animals in need (i.e. at shelters);
  • And more!
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2. Dog Walking

When lockdowns were in full effect, dog owners had the privilege of being at home with their furry family members on a daily basis. But now that life is returning back to normal, more people are no longer working from home. As such, they need someone to help take their dogs out for walks while they’re gone.

This is where you can come in! As a professional dog walker, you can arrange the best days and times to come pick up your clients’ dogs, provide them with some exercise and socialization, and give them a much-needed potty break. This job can be extremely flexible (if you would prefer to only work certain days and/or between certain times), or you can book as often as you want.

There will always be dog owners who need this service, so the high demand will NEVER be going anywhere!

Pro Tip: Want to gain some experience first and/or build your clientele BEFORE starting an actual dog walking business? There are plenty of apps out there that can get you regular work in this field, such as Rover.

3. Pet Sitting

The nice thing about pet sitting services is that they can be as broad or as narrow as you want them to be. For instance, you could offer to watch your clients’ pets at your own home or within theirs. Additionally, you could strictly offer to sit during the day, on weekdays, or on weekends.

On the other hand, if you wanted to make this your full-time career, you could offer to pet sit 7 days a week, at any hour of the day, as well as overnight.

As a rule of thumb, the more options you can offer pet owners, the better your chances will be at getting bookings. But if this is something you’d rather do part-time, or paired with another pet business, the flexibility is also there to fit your sitting services within your preferred schedule.

4. Pet Photography

If you’re good with a camera, perhaps the perfect pet business ideas for you is to take pictures of animals for a living! There are all sorts of reasons why clients seek out pet photographers, such as:

  • Holiday-themed photoshoots (i.e. Christmas cards);
  • Animal marketing ads;
  • Family portraits;
  • Photos of shelter animals, to help increase their chances of adoption, etc.;
  • End-of-life memories;
  • Pet portraits for special occasions (i.e. a birthday present);
  • And more!

5. Handmade Clothing and Accessories

When it comes to pet owners, there’s a market out there for everything – and that includes the demographic who like to dress up their pets! As a maker of homemade animal clothing, you can create anything from casual attire (e.g. shirts, pajamas, etc.) to holiday-specific clothing (e.g. Halloween costumes, Christmas clothes, etc.).

Moreover, you can choose to specialize in clothing for certain breeds and/or sizes, or tailor your services to any dog, regardless of size. Plus, if your business were to offer custom orders for clients, this could also be a major selling point!

Cute little ginger kitten wearing warm knitted sweater is sleeping on the white carpet

6. Organic Pet Treats

These days, there are more pet treats out there than you could shake a stick at. But many contain unwanted additives and questionable ingredients. For owners who prefer to feed their pets organic, natural diets, these types of foods are therefore off limits.

This also means that these animal owners are likely on the lookout for a healthy, homemade alternative!

So, if you enjoy baking and working with food, why not use your skills to offer the yummiest, healthiest treats on the market? This blog article offers 7 ideas to get the ball rolling. From there, use your imagination and creativity to whip up the types of treats YOU would want to feed your own pet… and then offer them to the world!

7. Handmade Toys

Some people have a natural knack for DIY projects and handy work. If you fall into this category, then perhaps the perfect pet business idea for you is to handmake toys for a living!

This particular job path also provides ample room to get creative, as the toys you create can be of any size, shape, color, or theme you want them to be. Not to mention, if you make toys for different varieties of pets (i.e. dogs, cats, rabbits, ferrets, hamsters, rats, etc.), you’ll be able to cater to a much larger clientele.

Moreover, you can even take your business one step further by creating handmade toys for exotic pets, too. There are plenty of people with post-bellied pigs, sugar gliders, etc. who may find it trickier to shop for toys for their unique pet. Since the options are more limited, your business could be the very thing they’ve been looking for!

8. Dog Training

You’re probably familiar with the saying, “It’s never to late to teach an old dog new tricks”.

This train of thought can be applied to all dogs of any age. New dog owners may need some expert help with training their young puppy. Others may have adopted an older dog with behavioral issues that need correcting. Whatever the reason may be, this is a career path with a high demand and many different types of clientele.

If you’re patient, have good communication skills, and possess a way with dogs of all temperaments, starting your very own dog training business could be the most rewarding option out there for you.

Did you know that QC Pet Studies is releasing a self-paced, online Dog Training Course in the coming months? It’s true! Make sure to stay tuned for more details, so you can enroll in this certification course the moment it launches!

9. Pet Daycare

This career path is similar to pet sitting, with a few important changes. With pet sitting, you could be watching one animal at a time, or one client’s pets. When you have your own pet daycare, you’ll likely be babysitting multiple pets for multiple clients at the same time.

If you excel at multi-tasking, have ideas for how to fill the days and keep all these animals occupied, and would love nothing more than to be surrounded by dogs and/or cats every day, then this is DEFINITELY the pet business idea for you!

Pro Tip: If you don’t have any prior experience watching over a handful of animals at once, perhaps starting as a sitter would be the best choice. That would allow you to dip your toes in the water and hone your skills; preparing you to look after more animals once you progress to opening up your own daycare.

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10. Pet Boarding

Kennels can be extremely expensive, especially if owners need to go out of town for an extended length of time. For those on a budget, this can make such an option unaffordable. By starting your own pet boarding business, you can corner this market and attract a LOT of interested clients!

This type of career endeavor would likely require an investment on your part, as you’d more than likely need to own your own facility in order to safely, properly, and legally board the animals. The one tricky thing to keep in mind is that there are zoning laws to consider.

If interested in this pet business idea our recommendation would be to first research your local laws and legislations. If zoning restrictions or bylaws that’ll prevent you from pursuing this career path, it’s better to know that sooner rather than later.

11. Animal Blogger/Writer

Do you love to write? If so, another pet business idea is to start your very own animal blog! You can take this one step further by also lending your writing skills and expert insights to other businesses’ blogs and publications.

Freelance writing can be an awesome way to make a decent income – especially since you can set your own rates. The more your work is published, the more clients you can secure going forward. On the other hand, if you’d prefer to write strictly for your own blog, this would be a idea best paired with an additional business service.

Not sure how to develop your own blog? This article will teach you everything you need to know to get started!

13. Pet Training for Film and Television

Earlier, we took a look at dog training services for pet owners. However, there’s another similar business you can start for yourself, which specializes in pet training for the media.

Off the top of your head, can you count how many times you’ve seen an animal in a movie, on TV, or in a commercial? Probably not, since it’s a pretty regular thing. Well, someone is responsible for training these animals for the big (and small) screen – and that someone could be YOU!

Again, this is the type of advanced job where previous experience would do you a world of good. So, maybe start your career as a professional trainer by working with pet owners, and then move higher up the ladder to work with all those furry movie stars.

14. Pet Product Tester

Before animal food, accessories, toys, grooming tools, etc. can be released to the general public, they first need to be tested. After all, how else will these brands know if their products are truly effective?

Your pet business can be geared entirely towards helping these other businesses iron out their merchandise before they hit the shelves. For obvious reasons, we encourage you to have your own pet if you want to pursue this career path. Just make sure that whatever you’re testing out on your animal doesn’t put them in harm’s way!

15. Open Your Own Pet Store

While there are all sorts of mega chains out there, many animal owners prefer to shop for their pet’s essentials a little more close to home. By that, I mean locally, with store owners they can meet and get to know face-to-face.

It goes without saying that in order to open your own pet store, you’ll need to be willing to invest in this endeavor. After all, you’ll need to secure a location and then stock it up with products. That said, if the demand is high where you live, and you strategically tailor your shop to meet the demographic’s needs, this could be a very fruitful prospect for you!

Portrait of cute dog near different variation of goods for animals in pet store

16. Pet Massage Therapy

Humans aren’t the only ones that need some R&R! Animals, too, can experience bone, muscle, and/or joint issues that could greatly benefit from professional massage therapy. You could even expand on this business by offering additional complementary services, such as hydrotherapy, acupuncture, and homeopathy therapy.

Obviously, this is the sort of career path that requires ample training and education first. If you’re already experienced in massage therapy (as well as any of the added services mentioned above) and have been looking for something new, this pet business idea might just be what you’ve been looking for. Otherwise, if you’re brand-new to the concept, you’ll need to put some time and money into your certification training first.

17. Poop Scooping

I know, it’s not the most luxurious of jobs – but it needs to be done! This is a pet business idea that can easily be paired with a dog walking career. That said, it doesn’t have to be either.

All you’ll need in order to operate a poop scooping business are shovels, gloves, waste containers, a vehicle (so you can transport the waste), and somewhere you’re allowed to legally dispose of the poop.

In terms of demand, you could offer your services to any of the following clientele:

  • Pet owners who need their yards cleaned up;
  • Dog walking clients;
  • Dog parks;
  • Veterinary clinics;
  • Kennels/boarding facilities;
  • Grooming salons;
  • Pet daycares, etc.

18. Travel Agent for Pets

This one might sound a little silly, but hear me out. There are an abundance of reasons why an animal may need to be transported by plane, train, boat, or what-have-you. For instance, they may have been adopted and need to be shipped in from another country. Their owner(s) may be moving or going on vacation, and they’re coming along for the adventure.

This is where a pet travel agent comes in handy. You could help individual clients and organizations alike safely and legally get the animals from Point A to Point B. This could include handling the animal’s documentation, securing the method by which they’ll be traveling, schedule their departure and arrival, aid in making the journey as stress-free as possible, etc.

19. Social Media Manager for Pet Celebrities

Doug the Pug, Pudgy the Chihuahua, Juniper the Fox, Jill the Squirrel… These are just some of the countless animals that have gone viral and gained a mass following on social media. And while the social media accounts for a lot of these animals is run by their owners themselves, some are run by skilled social media professionals.

This is where you and your pet business can come in! If you know how to manage and run a thriving social media channel, your services could come in handy for owners who have a famous pet – but not as much time to spend online every day.

Curious Sugar Glider pet on keyboard with hand grabing.

20. Social Media Personality and Pet Expert

Speaking of social media, another pet business idea is to make a big name for yourself online! As we discussed earlier, you could run your own blog – but there are tons of other things you can do to build on this, too.

For instance, you could start a YouTube channel and/or TikTok account. You could grow a huge following on Instagram, Twitter, and/or Facebook. You could even attract followers on platforms such as Pinterest, or start a podcast.

With the right strategies, persistence, and unique content, you could become the next big face in terms of popular pet personalities!

21. Pet Food

Earlier, we talked about how you could build a pet business around making homemade treats. But if you wanted to take this one step further, why not branch out and make homemade pet food in general?

There’s no shortage of people out there who prefer to feed their pets all-natural diets, from trusted sources. By keeping your homemade pet food organic, and containing only natural ingredients, you could make quite the name for yourself in this popular corner of the industry!

22. Open Your Own Cat Café

Seriously, is there anything better than enjoying a nice, hot coffee while being surrounded by adorable cats? Cat cafés have become wildly popular over the last decade or so, as many consider them to be the BEST hangout spots. Having been to several myself, I can confirm that this sentiment is 100% true.

Keep in mind that you’ll need to invest in a commercial property for your café’s location, as well as any applicable licenses your local area requires in order for you to run this establishment. However, once you have everything up and running, it won’t take long for your business to take off and start turning a nice profit!

Plus, this particular job path offers an incredible opportunity to make real change in these animals’ lives. Although you can work independently, you could also pair up with animal shelters as well. This way, the cats hanging around in your café are adoptable ones; provided with the special opportunity of finding their forever homes when they meet your clients.

Talk about a win-win situation!

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What’s The Best Pet Business Idea to Start?

Ultimately, the pet business idea that speaks loudest to YOU will depend on your own passions and goals. Just remember that as we discussed earlier, it’s critical that you get yourself some business training, regardless of which plan you decide to pursue.

At QC Pet Studies, our self-paced, online Dog Grooming Course comes with an entire unit devoted to business training! So, if dog grooming is a career you’d be interested in, you can rest easy knowing that in addition to learning how to groom, you’ll also be taught everything you need to know to launch AND run a thriving business.

That said, the knowledge and skills taught in the business unit can be applied to ANY pet business idea you wish to pursue! For example, you’ll discover how to:

  • Name your business and get it legally registered;
  • Build your business’s brand;
  • Develop your official website;
  • Build your professional portfolio;
  • Network;
  • Attract and retain clients;
  • Implement proper marketing strategies;
  • Provide exceptional customer service each and every time;
  • And SO much more!

So, do you know what sort of pet business YOU want to open? Let us know in the comments below!

Enroll with QC Pet Studies today and launch your very own pet business in as little as 9-12 months!

How to Become a Dog Groomer Step-By-Step

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If you’re reading this article, it’s probably because you absolutely LOVE dogs and want to know how to become a dog groomer professionally. Luckily, you’ve come to the right place!

I’m willing to bet that you have a ton of questions about this new, exciting career path. If so, then look no further, because we’ve answered ALL of them for you in this article.

Let’s dive in, shall we?

What Qualifications Do You Need to Become a Dog Groomer?

The short answer to this question is: it depends on where you live. Some cities, States, provinces, etc. will require you to have professional certification training in order to work in licensed salons. Other areas might not require anything other than a high school diploma.

But the longer answer – and I cannot stress this enough – is that despite this, proper training is always a MUST in this field of work!

Think about it: you’ll be handling a living, breathing creature. Moreover, you’ll need to work with sharp tools and use them on these animals. If you don’t actually know what you’re doing, things can not only go wrong quickly – they can become downright dangerous.

Furthermore, your clients are going to expect you to be trained. For the vast majority of them, their dogs are their family. As such, they’ll only want to book with groomers that can truly TRUST to take proper care of their pet. If you aren’t trained, you’ll be passed over more often than not.

For these reasons, we’re of the strong opinion that professional dog groomers need to be properly educated and certified in order to work. Luckily, more and more cities are getting with the program and making this mandatory. Hopefully, one day it’ll be like that everywhere!

How Do You Train to Be a Dog Groomer?

There are 2 popular options for how an aspiring groomer can gain the necessary training needed to work professionally. The first is to do an apprenticeship or on-the-job training. Here, you would shadow an experienced groomer for a period of time; learning the ropes with the help of your mentor.

Alternately, some salons provide training from the ground up. This way, they can get you to the salon’s standards by the time you finish your training. In this scenario, you’d likely be learning the specific techniques and standards set within that particular establishment.

The second is to complete an accredited dog grooming certification course. These days, there are countless options for how you can pursue this education. In-person training is definitely an option, but so is online schooling. We’ll cover this more a little later in the article!

Technically, there’s also a third option (if you so choose), which is to do BOTH. By all means, you can complete a professional course and follow that up by completing an apprenticeship, too. This route is by no means mandatory. But hey, nothing wrong with being a powerhouse by the time you start working solo, right?

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How Long Does it Take to Become a Dog Groomer?

The amount of time it’ll take to start working as a dog groomer depends on where and how you obtain your professional training.

If you choose to apprentice with an experienced groomer/mentor, your training can last approx. 6-10 weeks. Sometimes, depending on the salon, your apprenticeship can take anywhere from 12-18 months to complete. If you’re hired by a salon and they provide in-house training, this can last for several months, on average.

Should you decide to pursue a professional certification course (which is the path we most recommend), your training duration will depend on the institution. Some schools offer programs that take only a handful of weeks to complete, while others can take upwards of a year.

Keep in mind, though, that when it comes to your training, it’s important NOT to cut any corners. Just because you’re eager to get started as a dog groomer doesn’t mean you should automatically run to a course that’s only a few weeks long.

After all, will you be honestly be able to learn the same amount of skills and knowledge in just a few weeks, compared to what you’d learn in a year’s time? If this is the career path you really want to pursue for the long-term, you should be passionate about learning things the right way.

This means taking the necessary time needed to properly hone your craft. Only then can you truly call yourself a grooming master!

Did you know that QC Pet Studies’ online training takes, on average, 9-12 months to complete? However, since our Dog Grooming Course is 100% self-paced, you can complete your studies on YOUR time and graduate in as little or as much time as you need!

What are The Disadvantages of Being a Dog Groomer?

Look, I’ll be real with you: if the idea of working with dogs on a daily basis appeals to you, then you’ll find no greater joy than pursuing a career as a dog groomer.

But that doesn’t mean it’s an easy job.

On the contrary, being a groomer can be incredibly demanding. You’ll work long hours and be on your feet for the majority of them. By the time your shifts end, your feet will probably be pretty sore (so, a nice, hot bath at the end of the day will feel like heaven for you).

There are also occupational hazards and safety risks to consider, too – both for you and the dogs.

Occupation Hazards for Dog Groomers

Some clients will be bringing in nervous, anxious, or stressed-out dogs. Especially if it’s their first time being alone with you, these types of dogs could go on the defense and feel like they need to protect themselves.

This is basically my gentle way of saying that while bites and scratches won’t be a regular part of your day, they could happen once in a blue moon. Chances are, it’ll happen at least once – or, if nothing else, an attempt by the dog will be made. So, you need to be prepared for this, both physically and emotionally.

There’s also your bodily health to keep in mind. Groomer’s lung, for example, is a very real thing. This is particularly a potential risk if your grooming career spans over a lengthy period of time, and if the proper precautions are not taken on your part.

(Don’t let this freak you out, though. It’s super easy to take the right safety measures – such as wearing a face mask and cleaning your work station regularly – and prevent groomer’s lung from ever affecting you.)

Occupational Hazards for Dogs

In a grooming environment, there’s a LOT that can go wrong if you aren’t adequately prepared. Again, this all circles back to why proper training as a groomer is so critical.

Potential hazards can range anywhere from mild, minor incidents (e.g. an accidental cut or knick while clipping them), to more extreme emergencies (e.g. accidental self-hanging on the grooming table).

Not to sound dramatic or anything, but when clients are leaving their dogs in your hands, you’re quite literally responsible for their lives for as long as they’re in your care. By getting a proper education, you’ll know how to keep them safe at all times. If an emergency happens, you’ll be equipped to handle it accordingly.

If you’re not trained, however… Well, we don’t even want to think about what could potentially happen in the event of an occupational hazard.

Two dog groomers working on dogs in professional salon

So, now that you know what it takes to be a dog groomer, how can you actually start your career as a dog groomer?

These 6 steps to walk you through the process!

Step One: Learn EVERYTHING You Can About Dog Grooming

Because you’re reading this article, you’ve already started Step One – hooray! From here, keep absorbing as much as you possibly can about the industry, as well as the ins and outs of professional grooming.

Here are some suggestions for how you can do more research about the dog grooming world:

  • Read grooming articles and publications;
  • Watch grooming videos (there are TONS on YouTube and TikTok, for example);
  • Find groomers on social media whose work you admire, follow them, and see how they run their businesses;
  • Use Google to see what the most relevant search inquiries are for those in your area who are looking for dog grooming services;
  • To build off this, conduct some Google research to get a better idea of what the demand for groomers is like where you live;
  • Check out the other groomers in your area (a.k.a. your local competition) and learn more about their businesses, target clientele, etc.;
  • Start brainstorming the kind of career YOU want for yourself (i.e. do you want to work for a salon? Start your own business? If the latter, what do you want your business to look like? Etc.).

Step Two: Get Certified as a Professional Dog Groomer

Okay, now it’s time to decide whether you want to pursue your professional training online or through a brick-and-mortar school. When making this choice, it’s important to keep in mind a few key things…

In-Person Grooming School

On average, brick-and-mortar dog grooming courses can take anywhere from a couple months to a year to finish. The obvious pro of in-person schooling is that you’ll be surrounded by your fellow peers, as well as your instructor.

However, there are also some cons to consider as well. For example, you’ll have to pay a much higher tuition rate for a much less personalized learning environment.

Furthermore, you’ll have no choice but to work at everyone else’s pace. If the course is 18 months long in total, you won’t be able to graduate any sooner than that. Not to mention, you’ll be expected to abide by the strict schedule the school sets for you. This means you’ll never have the flexibility to miss a class!

Online Grooming School

On the other hand, distance learning (a.k.a. online learning) has become the preferred method of education over recent years. This has especially been the case over the course of the COVID-19 pandemic. Why?

First, your tuition will be a lot more affordable and suitable for any budget. This is because there’s no physical campus or building to maintain. Second, because it’s just you and your tutor, you’re guaranteed a customized learning experienced that’s tailored specifically for YOU, your needs, and your career goals.

Additionally, the right online dog grooming course – such as the one offered by QC Pet Studies – will be 100% self-paced, as I mentioned earlier. As a result, you’ll never have to commit to deadlines or the need to travel. Yes, this means that you can become a dog groomer while you sit on the couch in your jammies!

(Although, when the time comes for your hands-on training, you might want to change. Up to you, though!)

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QC Pet Studies’ Dog Grooming Course

QC Pet Studies‘ Dog Grooming Course is 5-part course that you can complete in as little as 9-12 months. This program provides textbook learning, instructional videos, quizzes, and more hands-on training than you could shake a stick at.

If I tried to list everything you’ll learn in this course, we’d be here all day! However, here’s a condensed list to give you an idea of the skills you’ll acquire:

  • Fundamental concepts of dog grooming;
  • Health and safety;
  • Basic dog anatomy;
  • Skincare issues;
  • Canine  behavior;
  • Prep work;
  • How to execute a groom from start to finish;
  • Breed standards and how to work on dogs of various breeds;
  • How to launch your very own grooming business and find long-term success in the industry;
  • And SO much more!

Once you graduate, you’ll walk away with an internationally-recognized International Dog Grooming Professional (IDGP) certification AND designation that you can proudly add to your resume.

And we guarantee, all of your future clients and/or employers will be completely impressed by this accreditation!

Want to hear what graduates of QC Pet Studies have had to say about our Dog Grooming Course? Check out their Features here on our blog!

What to Expect as a Student of QC Pet Studies

Once enrolled, QC Pet Studies gives you a full 2 years to finish your dog grooming training. But remember, our online learning environment is 100% self-paced! Thus, you can choose how much (or how little) of that time you’ll actually need in order to graduate.

As a frame of reference, many of our alumni found that they were able to graduate in as little as 9-12 months by simply dedicating 1-2 hours per week on their courses. But if you’re able to commit more time per week to your training, you could very well graduate even sooner than that!

Within 1-2 days of enrolling in your course, you’ll receive the login details for QC’s Online Student Center. From here, you’ll have access to all of your digital course textbooks, instructional videos, quizzes, assignments, and more. Now, if you’re someone who prefers having physical course materials to learn from, don’t worry – QC will mail those out to you, too! You’ll receive them within 1-2 weeks.

Oh, and since our Dog Grooming Course comes with a FREE starter grooming kit, we’ll also deliver that to you at no extra charge, too!

Another perk of QC Pet Studies’ dog groomer training is that your tutor is a real-world industry expert with years of experience. After you submit each unit, your assigned tutor will rigorously review your work with a fine-toothed comb. Then they’ll submit your grades, as well as thorough audio feedback. You’ll be able to use this feedback to better recognize where your current strengths and weaknesses are!

If all of this weren’t already awesome enough, we also offer a 21-Day Money-Back Guarantee! You can learn more about this here. Basically, we want to make the decision to pursue the career of your dreams as simple and pain-free for you as possible!

A dog groomer dries a bichon maltese dog with a hair dryer.

Step Three: Get Certified in Pet First Aid and CPR

By now, it’s no secret that knowing First Aid for dogs is just as important for your career as knowing how to groom. After all, you’ll need to be prepared for anything and everything that can go wrong during an appointment. First Aid training makes all the difference between a good groomer and an exceptional one.

This is exactly why, when you enroll in QC’s Dog Grooming Course, we encourage you to obtain First Aid and CPR skills… at NO additional cost! That’s right: when you take our Dog Grooming Course, we also throw in our First Aid Course absolutely FREE!

In this 2-unit program, you’ll learn all about:

  • Building your First Aid kit;
  • Setting up a safe and functional workspace;
  • Correctly assessing a dog’s health and checking vitals;
  • Preventing injuries, accidents, bites, scratches, and more;
  • Properly responding to emergency situations;
  • When to recommend veterinary care;
  • Assessing the severity of a wound;
  • The steps involved in creating an emergency plan;
  • Performing CPR and rescue breathing techniques;
  • Artificial respiration;
  • How to help a choking dog;
  • Wound care;
  • Handling dehydration, heatstroke, heart attacks, seizures, cysts, parasites, burns, bruises, etc.
  • And more!

The best part? Once you complete this course, you’ll earn an internationally-certified First Aid for Groomers certificate!

Not only will this additional training increase your overall confidence in your abilities – it’ll assure your clients all the more that their dog is being looked after by the best of the best!

Want to learn even more about our First Aid Course? QC Pet Studies’ student, Camille Torkornoo, reveals 3 of the most IMPORTANT skills you’ll acquire from this program!

Step Four: Practice, Practice, Practice!

If you want to know how to work as a dog groomer, here’s one of the most important tips I can give you: all of the textbook knowledge in the world won’t matter if you don’t ultimately know how to apply it in real life.

This is one of those jobs where hands-on training is fundamental. Understanding how to groom a dog in theory is completely different than legitimately doing it on a living, breathing dog. For this reason, you should get as much real-world exposure as humanly possible before you begin booking paying clients!

The good news is, your certification course will get your foot in the door. As part of your assignments, you’ll be tasked with finding different dogs of different breeds and sizes to groom. From there, don’t be afraid to maximize your personal network.

How many friends and/or family members do you know who have dogs? These are ALL people who might potentially be willing to let you practice your newfound skill-set on their pooches! Other ways to gain practice can also include:

  • Practice what you’ve learned on your own dog(s), if applicable;
  • Offering complimentary grooming services at the start of your career;
  • Volunteering your expertise at dog shelters, charity events, etc.;
  • Taking part in a pro bono photoshoot, in which you groom a dog for free in exchange for high-quality images you can use in your professional portfolio;
  • Joining local, relevant groups on social media and proposing your services for other members to see, etc.
How to become a dog groomer article in-post image 5

Step Five: Get On The Job Dog Grooming Training

Remember earlier, when I mentioned that you can absolutely do an apprenticeship after completing your certification training? Here’s why this would be a smart career move:

There’s never a downside to learning from someone who’s been in this industry long enough to earn their stripes. Yes, your dog grooming course will teach you all you need to know to launch a lucrative career. But there’s no way you’ll begin your career already knowing everything.

For this reason, shadowing a mentor and being taken under their wing (or paw, if you appreciate good puns) can be the very thing that takes your professional training and kicks it up another notch! Entering the professional world can be a bit daunting at first. But when you do so under the watchful eye of a seasoned expert, the whole experience can be a lot easier to navigate.

So, do some digging and reach out to different groomers in your area. There’s no harm in asking whether they’d be willing to bring on an apprentice and show you the ropes. So long as you approach the matter in a humble, professional way, you might very well be surprised by the positive response you get in return!

Whether you want to join an existing grooming team of launch a business of your very own, the experience and insight you’ll gain from an apprenticeship will DRASTICALLY increase your likelihood of achieving success in the long run.

Step Six: Network and Ask for Referrals!

Networking will be your BEST FRIEND as you become a dog groomer – especially at the beginning of your career, while you’re still an unknown name. The grooming industry is a pretty tight-knit community. As such, it won’t take long for you to meet and/or become acquainted with other groomers in your area, as well as dog walkers, doggy daycares, pet stores, dog owners, etc.

These are ALL people and/or businesses that can potentially help you gain clientele!

Now, you might be thinking, “But wait, why would I become friends with other dog groomers? Aren’t they my competition?”

Yes… But that definitely does NOT this mean they aren’t also allies. Your grooming career will be much better off if you establish positive connections with others in the community (even your competitors) than if you tried to go at things solo.

After all, through networking, you’ll be increasing your chances of getting referrals. Dog walkers can refer you to their clients; as can pet stores, daycare owners, etc. Even other groomers can potentially send customers your way, if their own schedules are completely booked. The important thing here is that they need to trust that you’d do the same for them, if the shoe were ever on the other foot.

In the end, you’ll have a longer, more fruitful career if you maximize genuine networking opportunities with as many people as possible.

How to become a dog groomer article, last in-post image, professional groomer headshot in salon

Ready to begin the career you’ve always wanted? Enroll with QC Pet Studies today and become a dog groomer in less than a year!

3 Dog Grooming Complaints and How to Handle Them

Dog grooming complaints article, Aug 13 2021, Feature Image

As a professional groomer, you’ll sometimes hear dog grooming complaints from unhappy customers. That’s just a reality in this line of work! What’s important is how you choose to handle these complaints.

Luckily, QC Pet Studies graduate and industry expert, Casey Bechard, is here to help.

Today, Casey breaks down 3 common client complaints. Moreover, she’ll reveal the RIGHT way to respond to them. This way, you can properly mitigate the situation – and hopefully turn an unsatisfied client back into a happy one!

A Reality of The Job: Dog Grooming Complaints

I would be completely lying if I said I never, ever got one complaint from a client. And you know what? There’s absolutely no shame in getting one, because it will happen at some point or another throughout your career.

After all, we are human. We’re not perfect! Sometimes, I think clients forget that we make mistakes, same as everyone else. But one thing they don’t always know is that complaints can actually help us in the long run.

They really do, trust me. Personally speaking, I have grown SO much as a groomer because of what clients have said to me. If ever a dog grooming client voices a complaint, the key is not to simply shrug them off.

(Well, I mean, sometimes you will. It’ll depend on the nature of the complaint, of course.)

But for the most part, you need to embrace complaints and see them as constructive feedback. Only then can you use them as a way to better yourself.

Today, I’m going to discuss a few experiences I’ve personally had in my dog grooming career so far. Hopefully these experiences – and how I handled them – will help YOU if (or when) you run into a similar dilemma.

3 Dog Grooming Complaints and How to Handle Them Properly

Complaint #1: “You sent my dog home injured!”

This is a complaint that probably won’t be all that common for you, but you’ll more than likely hear it at least once. In this situation, the owner thinks that you’ve injured their dog during the grooming appointment.

For example, one time I groomed a Shih-Tzu pup, same as I’ve done many times before. There were absolutely no issues during the groom, nor where there any issues after it. In fact, the dog was happily running around while waiting for the owner to come back.

However, a few days later, the shop got an email from the owner. In it, they stated that I’d cut her dog by her private parts. Moreover, she was disappointed that no one had told her that her dog had this cut.

She also stated that she was going to be bringing her dog to the vet because she was in pain. I remember her asking in the email, “How did we not tell her, because clearly her dog was in pain?”

How I Handle This Complaint

So, when I had a minute, I simply started writing her back. I told her that I was sorry to hear about her dog and how uncomfortable she was. However, I stressed that if I had accidentally cut her dog during the groom (which I know I didn’t), I definitely would have let her know.

After all, that’s not something we try and keep from owners. On the contrary, we ensure to inform them of anything like that immediately. Afterwards, I went on to say that she was fine after the groom as well, as well as the fact that there were no issues present at that time whatsoever.

PRO TIP: Notice that I wrote in a very professional manner that I didn’t injure her dog. Furthermore, I made it clear that if ever I were to make such a mistake, I’d have admitted it and let her know. If you know you didn’t do anything wrong in a situation like this, stand up for yourself. Trust that you did the right thing.

The Aftermath

Not long after, I received another email back from my client. In it, she apologized and admitted that she figured out that it was all just razor burn. Her dog had been licking it raw and that’s why it looked worse than it was.

It actually worked out for the best, because I wasn’t aware that this dog got bad razor burn sometimes. As a result, I was able to add it into her file so I could be mindful of that next time.

So you see, if I had admitted to something I hadn’t done, this whole situation would have had a very different outcome. My client’s pup could’ve continued getting bad razor burn because I wouldn’t have known it was a potential issue.

My point is, there are ways to stand your ground and be nice about it! I get that she was upset in the first email. But as you see, all I had to do was explain my side of the story, along with what I’d seen, and it all turned out fine in the end.

Want to ensure you’re fully equipped to handle all possible injuries and/or emergencies on the job? Take your dog grooming skill-set to the next level by enrolling in QC Pet Studies’ First Aid for Groomers Course!

Dog grooming complaints article, Aug 13 2021, in-post image 2

Complaint #2: “You didn’t groom my dog perfectly!”

Sometimes, you’ll have brand-new clients coming in for their very first dog grooming appointment with you. Now and then, some people may start going off about how the last groomer did this and that, and how unhappy they were.

As you can imagine, this can be quit intimidating. Some clients are looking for a PERFECT groom – and honestly, there isn’t one because it doesn’t exist. There are some people that you just can’t make happy. Such is life.

But as always, it’s still your job to try your best! So, listen to everything they’re saying. From there, approach the groom based on your understanding of what it is they want. If you have any questions or are unclear about something, don’t hesitate to ask!

Based on my personal experience, when these types of clients come to pick up their dog afterwards, they’ll gush about how cute it looks and how they like it. However, within a couple of days, our salon might get a call about how they actually hate the groom.

Despite their initial, positive reaction, it’s not, in fact, what they wanted.

(Sigh.)

How I Handle This Complaint

From here, I’d simply ask if there’s anything I can do to fix what they don’t like. Similarly, I’ll ask if there’s any additional info I should know this time around. This way, I can avoid doing it again the next time.

Believe it or not, a lot of time, that client will just wind up saying something along the lines of, “No, I just wanted to let you know.”

This is the point when I’ll say, “Okay, thanks for calling. If that’s everything, I must get back to my client (a.k.a. the dog I am grooming).” Then I’ll leave it at that.

Most the time, you won’t hear back again from a person that doesn’t like your cut. They’ll simply not return for future business. In this industry, get the odd person who seems to have something negative to say something about everything sometimes comes with the territory.

This is fine – but these are the types of customers I recommend shrugging off and not letting ruin your day. After all, there’s not much you can do about it after the fact. You did the best job you could, and you tried everything in your power to remedy the situation.

Ultimately, THAT’S what matters!

Tibetan terrier dog getting washed at dog wash in stainless steel bathtub, selective focus

Complaint #3: “You didn’t stop my dog’s shedding!”

With dog grooming, you not only give dogs haircut. You also groom bigger dogs that just need a good brushing. At my shop, we call this a de-shedding treatment.

We use special shampoo, brush the dog in the tub, blow-dry them, and then brush them even more once they’re all dry. Essentially, we’re getting all that extra dead undercoat off the pup.

But the thing is, they’ll most likely still be shedding a bit. After all, dogs shed. That never completely stops, and it’s just part of having a dog.

Plus, if it’s the dog’s first time getting the treatment done, it’ll most likely shed a bit more because their hair follicles aren’t used to the treatment. So, that’s definitely something to keep in mind, too.

How I Handle This Complaint

A surprising amount of clients will wind up complaining a few days later, after their dog has seen us. Why? Because they’re unhappy that their dog is still shedding.

Well, yes… They will continue to shed. Because they’re dogs.

The goal is to reduce the amount of shedding, so that it’s less than it was before the grooming appointment. However, it won’t stop it entirely. In the face of this kind of dog grooming complaint, I’ll simply tell the customer this.

Some of the time, they want us to re- brush their dog because they think it shouldn’t be shedding hair at all. Of course, I can do that – and I will, if that’s what they want. However, it’s still very important to try and instill in their minds the fact that their dog will continue shedding.

Simply put: that’s what their dog does when they have an undercoat. Clients will typically be a lot happier with grooming results once they have a realistic understanding of what to expect.

I hope this article can help you in the future, as you navigate your way around dog grooming client complaints. Just stick to your gut and believe in yourself. Tell the truth always, and above all else, just have fun grooming!

Become a professionally trained and certified dog grooming expert in less than 1 year by enrolling with QC Pet Studies today!

A Day in the Life of a Dog Groomer

Day in the life of a dog groomer article, Aug 06 2021, Feature Image

Dream of a career in professional grooming? QC Pet Studies graduate, April Costigan, is here to show you what a day in the life of a dog groomer looks like! This way, you’ll know exactly what to expect!

Day in the life of a dog groomer article, Aug 06 2021, April Costigan headshot

Breaking Down a Day in the Life of a Dog Groomer

The life of a dog groomer is very glamorous. It involves non-stop hobnobbing with famous people and money just falling out of our sequined bags. Also, the flash of the “puparazzi” cameras going off in our face is constant.

No, I’m just kidding! 😝

While it may not be that exciting, a day in the life of a dog groomer is still pretty adventurous – and definitely rewarding! I own my own business and have my own studio. As a result, I get to manage my own time. There’s a lot of work involved, though.

So, if you’re interested in knowing what it’s truly like to be a professional dog groomer, then let me tell you how a typical day goes for me!

The Start of My Day as a Dog Groomer

First Thing’s First…

Each morning, I check my schedule so I can prepare myself for what I’ll be doing that day. On an average day, I groom 5 dogs and work a 10-hour day. Some days, I’ll only groom 3 really big, hairy dogs, since those take longer. Other days, I can groom 6 really small dogs, so long as they don’t have complicated coats or requested cuts.

In the life of a dog groomer, it’s important to always prepare yourself for what’s to come. My grooming day begins at 7:00 a.m. Since I own my own studio, I arrange my schedule so that when one dog is arriving, the last one is departing. My day usually ends at 5:00 p.m. – and no, I do not take a lunch break. (Although that’s mostly just due to personal preference.)

Getting My Grooming Space Ready

Once I know what’s on my schedule for the day, I’ll prepare my grooming space. First, I lay out all the tools I’ll be needing; making sure I have plenty of shampoo prepared. I buy the big, concentrated gallon jugs and dilute the shampoo with water for the proper mixture.

Next, I get fresh water bowls ready and put my own dogs in a separate pen that’s just for them. They always like to be in the same area that I’m in, which keeps them happy and quiet.

Finally, I turn on some nice music. I tend to pick something that entertains me, but does not aggravate the dogs. Music adds a level of relaxation for me, which transfers to the dogs I work on. It’s really very pleasant!

Relaxed, sleeping dog listening to music through headphones

My First Client of the Day

I greet my first client at 7:00 a.m. If they are a new client, I have them sign a grooming contract. This grants me permission to groom their dog. Next, they fill out an additional form which gives me their name, address, and phone number. Moreover, this same form provides me with information about their dog, such as the contact details for their veterinarian (in case of an emergency).

Afterwards, we have a brief conversation about how they would like their dog groomed. Then the client departs and their dog stays with me. I always begin with a nice “before” picture of the dog and text it to my client. This is because I like for them to have a visual of their dog before he/she is groomed.

Day in the life of a dog groomer article, Aug 06 2021, April portfolio 1

Starting with The Prep Work

We then get started with all the prep work first. For example. some of this work will include:

  • Trimming the dog’s toenails
  • Cleaning their ears
  • Trimming the hair out of the footpads
  • Completing a sanitary trim
  • Thoroughly brushing the dog out in order to remove any mats or debris stuck in the coat

After this, we head for the tub. I like to send a second photo to my client of their dog before or after the bath. Personally, I think it’s helpful to keep the client updated on where we’re currently at in the grooming process.

I like to make it extra cute, too. So, I sometimes wrap the dog in a towel and make her look extra snuggly. My clients love these types of photos. After all, who can resist those great, big eyes and soggy little face?!

April portfolio image 2

Once bath-time is over, it’s time to blow dry the dog by hand. Personally, I NEVER cage dry a dog. Instead, I take the time to ensure that all the curl is blown out of curly coats. Plus, I ensure all the extra hair is blown out of shedding coats.

Admittedly, this process can be quite messy! So, while I do this, I have my vacuum cleaner nearby. This way, I can quickly suck up extra hair that just keeps circulating around in the air during the blow drying process.

I like a clean shop, so I sometimes need to vacuum 8 times per day! While this may sound a bit tedious, it’s still critical. Maintaining a clean space is essential to staying healthy and being more efficient in my work.

The Styling Stage

Once dry, I start working on styling the dog’s coat. Importantly, I make sure to keep a close eye on the time. Each of my grooming packages have a set amount of time assigned to them. Thus, I must complete all my tasks in a timely manner. In my experience, I’ve found that most grooms take approximately 2 hours to complete.

After I’ve finished, I take a couple more photos. The first one is an “after” photo of the dog on the grooming table, in a similar position as the original “before” shot. This is so my client can see the drastic difference in how their dog looks after grooming, compared to how they looked at the start.

April portfolio image 5, after groom shot

The second photo I take is a “glamor shot”. I do this for a couple of reasons.  Firstly, many of my clients post their dog’s grooming experience on Facebook or other social media sites. I feel that if I provide them with a really cute photo, they’re more likely to use the one I took, instead of one that may not be as cute. Having my clients share my photos online, and reference my business and me, is free advertising!

Secondly, I like to have photos that I can use on my own website. I find that if I ask my clients if I can use their dog’s photo in an advertising campaign, many of them are so excited that they readily agree. It’s just good marketing. I mean, look at Hazel in the shot below. Can you believe how stinkin’ cute she is?!

Day in the life of a dog groomer article, Aug 06 2021, in-post image 6

I text these last two photos together, with a quick note that tells my client that their dog is ready. Rarely do I have a client that picks up a dog late. So, as one dog is departing, my next dog arrives.

Once the first client has paid their bill and picked up their dog, the next client has dropped their dog off. As soon as that client has filled out any necessary paperwork and has also departed, I’m ready to work on my next dog.

Moving Onto the Next Dog Groom

Before I actually start, I do take my own dogs out for a quick potty break. Of course, my client’s dog is welcome to come, too. Once everyone is back inside, I make sure to quickly clean my equipment. This way, my scissors, clipper blades, combs, and table are all sanitized and ready for the next groom. This only takes about 3-5 minutes, so be sure to take that time to clean your equipment between appointments!

I go through the above process about 5 times throughout my day, in order to accommodate my 5 dogs. As I mentioned earlier, I don’t take a lunch break. That said, when I let my dogs out for potty breaks, I do have a quick snack. After all, it’s important that I don’t get too hungry during the day!

At the End of My Day as a Dog Groomer…

…it’s time to do my administrative work. I’m running a legitimate, licensed business. As such, it’s critical that I always keep accurate books. I go to my office and enter new clients into my bookkeeping software. I’ll also create invoices for the clients of the day and record how they paid for their service (i.e. credit card, e-transfer, cash, check, etc.).

Next, I prepare any cash for deposit via an ATM machine. I make a bulk deposit once a week. All other forms of payment can be completed electronically. Moreover, once a month, I reconcile my checking account with the statement from the bank.

Near the end of my day, I’ll also make supply purchases online and record those purchases in my books as well. I pay my quarterly taxes for both State and Federal income taxes, and I try to stay on top of supply inventory needs for my studio.

Close up cropped image young woman calculating monthly expenses, managing budget, entering data in computer application, sitting at table full of papers, loan documents, invoices, utility bills.

And There You Have It: A Typical Day in the Life of a Dog Groomer!

That’s it – this is what a day in the life of a dog groomer looks like for me! 🙂

I won’t lie, i’s a lot of hard work. Sometimes, my back is aching by the end of my shift. My knees hurt from kneeling on the floor, in order to get the best angle for trimming little doggie necks. Usually, I have hair in my eyes.

However, I love EVERY minute of it! It’s my dream job, and I’m very happy that I get to have a career doing something I’m so passionate about. I love my doggy clients (and their humans are pretty awesome, too).

I hope YOU enjoy dog grooming as much as I do. After all, if you don’t, you’re not doing it right! 😉

Ready to start your journey? Become a professional dog groomer in less than 1 year by enrolling with QC Pet Studies today!

How to Build Your First Dog Grooming Starter Kit!

Dog grooming starter kit article, July 23 2021, Feature Image

New to the industry and putting together your dog grooming starter kit for the first time? You’ve come to the right place! Join QC Pet Studies graduate and expert groomer, Casey Bechard, as she shares some tips and tricks to help you get started!

When you’re first starting out as a dog groomer, knowing which tools to use can be difficult. Personally, when I first began my career, I experimented with a lot of different tools. Over time, I found ones that I loved. On the other hand, I also found ones I didn’t love – and that wished I hadn’t spent money on.

So, if you’re brand-new to this industry and putting together your dog grooming starter kit for the first time, you’re in luck. This blog is all about just that! As we dive in, just keep in mind that all of what I’m about to say is based on personal preference, as well as my own subjective experience. Some of the tools that’ve worked for me at the start might not work for you. Think of the following tips as something I hope can help you out – but don’t think of them as gospel.

Ultimately, what works best and gets the job done will be up to you and you alone!

Building My Dog Grooming Starter Kit: Tools I Like and Dislike

QC Pet Studies’ Grooming Kit

When you sign up for QC Pet Studies’ Dog Grooming Course, they’ll actually send you a dog grooming starter kit to help you in your training. This kit (and its shipment) is included as part of your course tuition, which I found extremely helpful! Furthermore, this kit was very good for me because it gave me a good introduction to staple tools of the trade.

By practicing with QC’s tools, I could better decide whether or not they were the best fit for me – a.k.a. if I’d want to use them in my professional career or not. By extension, this kit also helped me decide what sorts of other tools I was interested in trying out.

There were definitely some tools provided in QC’s kit that I thoroughly enjoyed using. For example, I loved the thinners and the handheld clipper. In fact, to this day, I still use those thinners! However, I’ve had to invest in a new handheld clipper because I overused the other one.

QC Pet Studies dog grooming starter kit

Adding to My Dog Grooming Starter Kit

The rest of my most-used tools, I first ordered so I could give them a try. Hands-down, my most favorite comb in my kit is a Greyhound Comb. I’m completely OBSESSED with it and use it for every groom! (Speaking of which, I should probably get another one to add to my collection!)

Truth be told, I have so many combs in my grooming tool kit that I never use. Why? Because, in my opinion, none of them compare to this one. I also invested in 2 new pairs of curved scissors. They’re a bit bigger than the ones QC Pet Studies gave me, which I actually prefer. I’ve found that these larger ones do slicker work, and the length of the tool makes the scissoring go faster.

Other Personal Recommendations

If you only buy one tool for your dog grooming starter kit, though, then I recommend investing in a Chris Christensen Slicker Brush. You won’t regret it, I promise! These brushes are great for those curly-coated breeds. Moreover, they’re the absolute best at getting out knots.

I use mine every day and it’s worth the money! Now, I got the smaller size of the two (they come in either medium or large). But if you have the budget, I highly recommend buying the bigger one. I sure wish I did – and I definitely plan on purchasing it eventually! All of my other slicker brushes simply don’t compare to this one. Of course, I do use the other ones for certain looks I’m trying to achieve. But if I’m being totally honest, I mostly pick up my CC Slicker Brush 99% of the time!

Groomer brushing dog with Greyhound comb

A Tool You Can Skip in Your Dog Grooming Starter Kit

Ever heard of the Furminator brush? Chances are, anyone with a furry pet probably has. It’s quite a popular tool, particularly for pet owners to use at home. If you happen to be a fan of it, that’s awesome. I’m not here to knock it in any way. All I’m saying is that it’s not a tool I’d personally recommend for your dog grooming starter kit.

I’ve tried using it before and I’m just not a fan. Based on my experience, I found this brush to be way too sharp. As a result, it was all to easy to leave marks on the dogs and irritate their skin. A lot of times, if clients use that brush at home, they’ll come in complaining that their dogs have red marks and sores on their skin. I’ll ask what kind of brush they used at home. Almost always, it was the Furminator. So, I try to avoid this tool – and I tell my clients to do the same.

2 Tips to Keep in Mind

Firstly, if you have other groomers around you, try to see what tools they’re using on a regular basis. You can then go from there, try those tools for yourself, and see if you’d like to invest in them for your dog grooming starter kit. Importantly, I always recommend testing out a tool before putting too much money into it. So many times, I’ve seen groomers purchasing all these new, expensive tools without knowing if they like them or not. Lo and behold, they get them, try them out, and discover that they were nothing but a waste of money!

Secondly, if you’re ever unsure about a certain tool, read its online reviews before buying it. I’ve found this to be extremely helpful, and it’s prevented me from spending unnecessary cash a number of times. Furthermore, don’t hesitate to shop around! Look at a bunch of different websites in order to find better deals. Who knows, you might even find a better quality version of an item you’re interested in.

Having options is NEVER a bad thing!

Dog gets hair cut at Pet Spa Grooming Salon. Closeup of Dog. The dog is trimmed with scissors. Gray background. groomer concept

In Conclusion

As a professional groomer, having a mastery of the different tools you’re using on your clients’ pups is a MUST. Some brushes may be sharper and harsher than others. Certain scissors won’t do the same job as other scissors. If you’re grooming a dog that has lots of lumps and bumps, only the right tool will allow for a safe, careful result. My point is, it’s critical that you truly know what you’re doing and which tools to work with at all times.

I hope this blog will prove useful as you go forth and put together your dog grooming starter kit! If you use the tips I’ve provided above, I promise you won’t go wrong with the tools you’ve picked! I know it can be fun shopping for all the new and exciting gizmos and gadgets. Just remember that you won’t have everything you want (or need) overnight. That said, I promise you will get there. Have fun trying them out and I hope you can find some amazing tools!

Happy grooming!

Enroll in QC Pet Studies’ self-paced, online Dog Grooming Course and receive YOUR dog grooming starter kit in the mail in as little as 1-2 weeks!

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

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

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

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

The Importance of Dog Grooming School

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

In-Person Dog Grooming School

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

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

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

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

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

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

What About an Online Dog Grooming School?

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

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

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

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

Tuition, Pace, and Flexibility

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

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

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

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

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

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

Hands-On Experience

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

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

So, What Are You Waiting For?

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

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

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

5 Reasons Why Professional Training Will Boost Your Dog Groomer Salary

Dog groomer salary article, July 2 2021, Feature Image

Looking for ways to boost your dog groomer salary? If you haven’t done so already, this is your sign to get professional certification training!

Why will a proper grooming education better your business and help you increase your income? QC Pet Studies graduate and industry expert, April Costigan, is here to tell you! Read on to discover 5 critical reasons why you absolutely MUST get professionally certified!

Dog groomer salary article, July 02 2021, April Costigan headshot

Why I Became a Professional Dog Groomer

When I first contemplated learning more about grooming dogs professionally, I was working in an animal shelter. Each week, we took in a large number of stray dogs. Additionally, we also took in transferred dogs from other shelters, as well as relinquished dogs from families that could no longer care for them.

Many of these dogs arrived in the worst possible conditions! They’d have matted coats, or were just plain filthy. I quickly learned how to clean them up and make them more comfortable. Eventually, I began to wonder if I could perform these services professionally. But before I made any concrete decisions, I first wanted to know what a dog groomer salary actually looks like…

Researching The Dog Groomer Salary

I did a little online research, specific to my area. During this research, I discovered that there was a wide range of hourly rates – from minimum wage for bathers, to $17/hour for dog groomers working for large pet supply outlets.

Finding a specific dollar amount for a dog groomer salary proved rather difficult, as many locations were vague in their job descriptions. I then discovered that – at least in my area – the salary offered at boutique shops was based on how many dogs a groomer could complete in a day. That’s when I decided that if I wanted to pursue this career path (and I really did), I’d have to come up with a plan that would offer a sustainable income for me.

I wanted to know how I could do quality work and get paid a quality dog groomer salary. The answer was to obtain a legitimate grooming certification!

Cocker Spaniel getting groomed on grooming table

5 Reasons a Professional Certification will Boost Your Dog Groomer Salary

You may be asking yourself, “Why do I need a certification?”

Well, I can give you FIVE excellent reasons why taking the time to learn how to properly groom a dog will allow you to be paid a much higher rate!

1. Trust

When you obtain a professional certification, you’ll be able to earn and retain new client business based on your advanced skill-set. For example, in QC Pet Studies’ Dog Grooming Course, you’ll discover SO much more about dog grooming that you already do. In less than a year, you’ll know everything you need in order to work at a professional standard… and have an internationally-recognized certification to add to your resume, too!

As a graduate of this course myself, I can tell you that it’s a truly outstanding training program. QC Pet Studies will prepare you to become a top-quality, reliable, and trustworthy groomer. After all, that’s the number one thing your clients will want from you: to know that you’re taking excellent care of their beloved dog.

Moreover, they’ll be able to trust that you’ll produce the look they actually want for their dog. Dog parents WILL pay a little higher rate for this level of confidence!

2. Dependability

With a certification under your belt, your clients will depend on you to groom their dog completely and efficiently. Furthermore, they’ll schedule their dog’s regular appointments in advance. As a result, happy clients will fill up your grooming calendar and make good use of your time. Satisfied repeat customers are key to increasing the dog groomer salary!

Dog groomer salary in-post image for article, groomer and owner tending to puppy getting groomed at salon

3. Referrals

When you have happy clients, they talk about you and your qualifications – including your reputable certification. In turn, when you produce awesome results and make their dog stand out at the dog park, that’s free advertising! Dog owners love to talk about their dogs.

By the same extension, when they have a groomer that they love, they’ll likely refer you to their friends and family. Speaking from experience, I get 40% of my new business from referrals alone. And of course, more bookings means a better dog groomer salary!

4. Certification Seal

When you graduate from QC Pet Studies, they’ll provide you with a physical copy of your internationally-recognized certification. But that’s not all! You’ll also get an electronic image of QC’s International Dog Grooming Professional seal, too. You can then showcase this certification seal on all your printed media, as well as your business website.

Nothing gives me more pride that to have this seal on my marketing materials!  It’s proof that I know what I’m doing, even if a person has never seen my work before. This little seal is a BIG deal and allows me to charge more for my work.  That equates to a larger dog groomer salary!

QC Pet Studies International Dog Grooming Professional IDGP certification seal

5. Advice and Recommendations

As a professional dog groomer, I am a resource for my clients. I’m regularly asked what can be done about itchy skin, dry coats, chapped noses or paws, and tear stains. These are just a few topics of information I like to be ready to answer questions about.

QC Pet Studies prepares you to become the “go-to” person when questions pop up about how to properly care for a dog’s coat. Your expertise will allow you to educate your clients the brushes they should be using at home, how often their dog should be brushed, how tear stains can be eliminated, etc.

Just keep in mind that I never give medical advice. As dog groomers, we’re qualified to do many things – but that’s not one of them. That being said, if I find that a dog has an ear infection, an injury to their paw, or a lump that wasn’t present the last time I groomed them, I immediately take a photo and send it to the owner. My clients appreciate that I’m always on the lookout for odd things they may not have noticed.

I adore these dogs, too. So, if I suggest that a visit to the vet may be in order, my clients know that it’s because I’m a caring and compassionate person. You see, it comes back to trust. My clients trust that I am working at the front-line of their dog’s health. People appreciate that and often give me tips for letting them know that something needs to be addressed.

While you can’t always rely on this as part of your dog groomer salary, it’s definitely a nice added perk to keep in mind!

Your Dog Groomer Salary: Conclusion

I could easily come up with five more reasons why professional training will boost your dog groomer salary, but I think I’ve made my point. If you want to be able to charge more for your work, then you must do really GREAT work.

The convenience of QC Pet Studies’ online training will catapult your dog grooming career! It’ll give you all the skills and information you need to get moving in the right direction. If you have a passion for dog grooming, then you can use that same drive to obtain professional training. Trust me, you’ll be glad you did it!

Volunteer getting kiss from dog at animal shelter

Bonus: Food for Thought

I still work part-time for the animal shelter, but its not because I have to. Rather, it’s because I want to. After all, even homeless dogs want to look and feel good. If you want to gain more experience and add to your portfolio, I highly suggest volunteering at a dog shelter. Offer your grooming services to the homeless dogs. No, there’s no money in it – but it’s very rewarding work!

The dogs you groom will be so grateful to you for spending quality time with them; doting on them, caring for them as individuals, and making them feel important. Many of them have not been loved for a long time, or have lost the ones that did love them. A lot of these dogs are heartbroken, scared, or just plain confused.

I know you are a compassionate person. You wouldn’t want to be a dog groomer if you weren’t! So, while you improve things for yourself, help a dog that needs you, too. You can make a world of difference for them!

Boost your dog groomer salary in as little as 9-12 months by getting trained and certified with QC Pet Studies!

Increasing Your Groomer Salary Post-COVID: Dog Training

Dog training article, June 25 2021, Feature Image

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

What is Dog Training?

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

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

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

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

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

  • Sit
  • Stay
  • Down
  • Come
  • Leave it

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

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

5 Key Skills Needed to Be a Dog Trainer

1. Must Love Dogs

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

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

2. Patience

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

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

Dog training outdoors

3. A Friendly Demeanor

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

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

4. Clear Communication Skills

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

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

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

5. An Understanding of Dog Behavior

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

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

Multiple dogs outside for group training session

Why Dog Training Services Will Increase Your Income

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

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

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

Additional Reasons Why Dog Training Will Better Your Bottom Line

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

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

Getting Started

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

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

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

3 Tips for Becoming a Dog Groomer in 2021

Becoming a dog groomer article, June 18 2021, Feature Image

Dream of becoming a dog groomer? Make that dream a REALITY in 2021!

Today, QC Pet Studies student and owner of Mount Zion Kennels, Camille Torkornoo, breaks down 3 awesome tips to help you launch the career of your dreams!

Becoming a dog groomer article, June 18 2021, Camille Torkornoo headshot

Becoming a Dog Groomer in 2021

Here’s a fun fact you probably didn’t know: according to the Global Pet Market – Analysis By Type (Pet Food, Pet Care Products, Pet services), Pet Type, By Distribution Channel, By Region, (2021 Edition): Market Insights, Covid-19 Impact, Competition and Forecast (2021-2026), the global pet market was “valued at $223.54 billion” dollars USD in 2020! Moreover, of all the animals getting adopted last year, dogs were reported as being the most popular.

However, thanks to COVID, grooming services have faced a rather bumpy ride over the past year. With multiple waves and unexpected lockdowns, salons all over the globe went from open, to closed, to open again, etc. But here’s the good news: now that vaccines have been getting distributed, the chance of another lockdown is decreasing.

As a result, businesses everywhere have been able to re-open their doors. This time, hopefully for good!

What does this mean for YOU? Well, if you’ve been dreaming of becoming a dog groomer, now is the PERFECT time to turn that dream into a reality!

Why NOW Is the Perfect Time to Get Started

The adoption and sale of dogs saw a drastic increase over the course of 2020. But at the same time, many pet owners couldn’t always visit their local groomer. Now, however, we’re finally at a point where dog groomers likely won’t need to close their doors again. (Fingers crossed!) As more people continue to get fully vaccinated, and safety measures continue to be respected, this means that groomers will hopefully be able to run their businesses at full capacity soon.

And as for all those new dog owners who couldn’t get their pooches groomed during lockdown? They’re going to be racing to their local salons to book appointments ASAP!

Basically, this may very well be the best time to pursue your goals of becoming a dog groomer. Not only are grooming services in high demand – there are countless clients waiting to book with a groomer like you… and the industry is likely to remain this way for the foreseeable future!

Dog groomer brushing out small dog at salon

3 Tips for Becoming a Dog Groomer in 2021

So, now that you’ve decided to go for your dreams and make them happen, how should you get started? Where do you need to begin?

Luckily, I’ve got 3 awesome tips to help you take those important first steps!

Tip #1: Enroll in Online Grooming School!

The COVID-19 pandemic gave the majority of us a lot of extra time on our hands. You may very well still have that extra time. But eventually, that’ll be a thing of the past. So, why not take advantage of this by starting a new, exciting career before your schedule becomes hectic again? That way, once everything is officially back to normal, you can get paid to do what you’ve always wanted!

QC Pet Studies is an in-depth, online grooming school where you can get professionally trained and internationally-certified in less than one year. The beauty of this school is that you get the exact same hands-on training and textbook knowledge that you’d get in a physical classroom… Except you get to work from the comfort of home, and entirely at your preferred pace!

Moreover, as you progress through your training, you’ll get personalized feedback from their amazing tutors. These are people who are also real-working industry experts. When you graduate, you’ll become an official, designated dog groomer – with a proper certification to add to your resume!

Enrolling with QC and getting professionally trained is a great place to start your career. It’ll make your pathway to becoming a groomer much easier, as well as provide great opportunities along the way. Plus, having that certification will benefit your career in countless ways!

Keep in mind that I say all this from personal experience. After all, while I’m currently working as a professional dog groomer, I’m also a student of the craft. Right now, I’m working through two professional courses: Dog Grooming and First Aid for Groomers, both offered through QC Pet Studies.

Becoming a dog groomer article, June 18 2021, 2nd in-post image, groomer trimming Pomeranian's backside

Tip #2: Take Advantage of the Increased Number of Potential Clientele!

As we discussed earlier, many groomers had to close their doors in 2020. As a result, countless pets lost their groomers for long (and unexpected) periods of time. Plus, not all of the groomers who closed their doors last year have decided to re-open them. This means that there are more than a few dog owners who are on the hunt for a new groomer to tend to their furry family member!

Moreover, many people also got new puppies during the lockdowns. Those puppies only add to the large number of dogs who need a new groomer in 2021.

Since there’s now an overwhelmingly high volume of existing clients desperately trying to get back on their grooming schedule, a lot of shops are unable to take on new clients at this time. In fact, plenty of groomers are actually completely booked for the next 2+ years!

You can take advantage of this by becoming a dog groomer! Chances are good that you could easily take on a full clientele, consisting of several different breed types, to help you expand your skill-set as a groomer and gain experience in the field. One place where you can start is to find friends and family who can’t get their dogs to a groomer. If you do a great job, they’ll probably tell their friends and family about your services. Pretty soon, you can have all sorts of clients through word-of-mouth alone!

Tip #3: Find a Mentor and/or Do an Apprenticeship!

I’ve said it once and I’ll say it again: there are SO many pets that need groomers, and grooming shops are overwhelmed right now. So, another option at your disposal is to look into applying to be a groomer or an apprentice at a local shop in your area!

Many grooming shops are currently understaffed; facing difficulty in meeting the high demand of clients in need. As a result, they’re actively looking to bring on new groomers, trainees, and/or bathers. I would actually say that a bathing position would be the best place to start out in a grooming shop! After all, bathing and prep work is the foundation of every great groom.

If you learn to master that part, it makes the grooming part a lot easier – as well as faster to learn!

The hands of a young girl are carefully washed by a red dog in a white bath. The German Spitz owner thoroughly washes the wool

Do YOU have any other tips to add to this list? What advice would you give to someone who dreams of becoming a dog groomer in 2021?

Share your thoughts in the comments below!

Thanks so much for reading! 💕

Becoming a dog groomer has never been easier! Enroll with QC Pet Studies today and earn your professional certification in as little as 9-12 months!

How to Run a Thriving Dog Grooming Business After COVID!

It’s hard to think about “normal” after we’ve been in this abnormal COVID world for longer than anyone expected, isn’t it? We’ve all been playing lockdown-roulette, it seems, for the past year (and then some). While we’re all excited about a full reopening, business owners in particular are thinking about how they can make up for lost times during lockdown, and succeed in the post-COVID era. For dog grooming businesses in particular, this presents a particular challenge.

If YOU run a grooming business, you’re probably about to get flooded with bookings. So, how do you take full advantage of that short-term boost in business, and ensure it translates into long-term success?

Grooming business article, June 04 2021, in-post image, Corgi on grooming table at salon

Expect a Re-Opening Boom for Your Grooming Business

When your grooming business reopens, odds are that many clients will try to book appointments with you as quickly as possible. Between lockdown and fears of the virus (not to mention pandemic puppies), there are oodles of dogs out there that are way overdue for a groom. Make sure you get your fair share of that business!

How to Prepare:

  • Accept bookings ASAP. Advertise your re-opening date well in advance – a.k.a. as soon as you know it! Give your clients something to look forward to!
  • Be proactive. Contact your loyal customers yourself, either by phone or email. Moreover, offer to book their grooming appointments for them. Here are 5 additional ways to provide proactive customer services, courtesy of Forbes!
  • Book longer appointments than normal. Many dogs will be in need of more intense grooming services than usual. Don’t sacrifice the quality of your work in order to try and cram more dogs into your schedule!
  • Offer extended hours. If you can, try to be extra-flexible with your grooming schedule. Offer earlier/later hours, weekend appointments, etc. Clients will appreciate the flexibility!
  • Find Partnership Opportunities. If you’re just starting out and don’t yet have an established client base, or if you’re having trouble filling your calendar, consider partnering up with veterinarian offices, dog trainers, doggy daycares, and other likeminded businesses. They will also be inundated with pandemic puppies. Thus, they’ll likely be asked to recommend groomers.

Keep it Up After the Boom

So, you’re getting an influx of clients as restrictions ease and more people get vaccinated. That’s great! Now the question is: how can you make sure this increase in business lasts?

Dog groomers wearing masks and giving dogs haircuts in salon
  • Book future appointments NOW. When the client picks up their freshly-groomed pooch, offer to book their future appointment right there, on the spot. Most clients will do so without giving it a second thought. And with proper reminders from you, most will keep their appointments!
  • Ask for reviews. Your dog grooming business thrives when customers recommend your services to others. But most customers don’t bother leaving a review unless they’re specifically asked. So, ask! Positive reviews on Google or Facebook are worth their weight in gold!
  • Advertise. Take advantage of the boom in business by advertising your success. Talk about how busy you are and how long your wait times are. Furthermore, show ‘before’ and ‘after’ shots of pandemic dogs. Customers are attracted to businesses that are doing well. Why not use this to your advantage?

3 Tips for Running a Successful Grooming Business

There are additional steps you can take to ensure you stay ahead of the competition!

Tip #1: Keep Everyone Safe!

It’s important to remember that while COVID is winding down, it’s not over yet. Be sure to follow all local guidelines for mask requirements, social distancing, capacity limits, etc. If you live in an area that’s fully reopen, it’s still perfectly reasonable to require that all clients be fully vaccinated or masked in order to enter your salon.

Keep in mind that many customers (or staff) might still have residual anxiety from living in a pandemic for the past year. As such, enforcing social distancing measures, having hand sanitizer available, and continuing to offer curbside pickup/drop off upon request are great ways to show your clients that you continue to take their safety seriously.

Tip #2: You (and Your Grooming Business) Should Be Accommodating!

Everyone is in a weird transition phase right now. People are starting to go back to work, kids are going back to school, and our lives are getting busier. Most people won’t have “visit the dog groomer” at the top of their priority list. So, make it easy for them to book and follow through with their appointments!

Here are a few easy tricks to help you achieve this:

  • Offer easy, online booking.
  • Send reminders of upcoming appointments. Bonus points if you’re able to do this via text message!
  • Offer pickup/drop-off services as a premium service.
  • Have a clearly outlined cancellation policy.
  • Waive that cancellation policy in the event of illness, or other circumstances out of the client’s control.
Woman owner cutting Pomeranian dogs hair with scissors during coronavirus quarantine.

Tip #3: Watch Out for Those Pandemic Puppies!

The pandemic led to an unprecedented boom in the pet industry. People adopted more pets in the past year than ever before! But now that those puppies are growing up, they’re starting to show some behavioral issues that most owners weren’t prepared to deal with.

Frankly, many people adopted a pandemic puppy without really thinking about long-term socializing or training requirements. As a groomer, you need to be ready for these uneducated owners to seek out your services. When this happens, here are some things to keep in mind:

  • When onboarding new clients, ask when their dog was adopted. This will give you a clue as to whether or not you’re dealing with a pandemic puppy.
  • Similarly, ask if the dog has visited any groomer before. If they haven’t, be ready for a more challenging appointment.
  • Be gentle with these dogs. Book an extra-long appointment time – same as you would with anxious or otherwise difficult dogs. If needed, split the groom between several appointments.
  • Educate the owner on the dog’s ongoing grooming needs.

If you’re thinking of starting a dog grooming business, QC Pet Studies’ self-paced, online Dog Grooming Course is a great place to start! This certification program comes with full business training to get you up and running quickly.

The great news is, you’ve already jumped over the biggest hurdle you never thought you would encounter: your dog grooming business survived a global pandemic. Now it’s time to let your business shine. You’ve got this!

Start your dog grooming business in less than 1 year by enrolling with QC Pet Studies today!