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Career Advice

How to Be a Dog Grooming Salon Manager

QC Pet Studies graduate, Casey Bechard, works as a full-time dog groomer and shop manager at Off The Leash Pet Grooming in Regina, Canada. Today, she talks about her experience of becoming a dog groomer salon manager, and provides insight into the typical duties and requirements of this position!

It’s important to first make clear that this topic is heavily subjective. It can mean so many different things for different people! My personal experience as a dog grooming salon manager is exactly that: MY experience. What’s true for me may resonate with many others – but it also might not.

Something that all of us can probably agree on is that being a manager at a dog grooming salon can be great, but it also can be challenging. I’m here to share a little bit about what my roles are, and how I got this position at Off the Leash Inc.

A Little Background

I’ve been with Off the Leash Inc. for almost 3 years now. To me, that’s crazy, because time has just flown by! When I started at the shop, I was only its 2nd employee (not counting my boss). The shop was always steady, with grooming appointments coming and going. We also ran a little daycare program for pups, in the back of the building.

I started out in the doggy daycare. I loved playing with the dogs and hanging out. But I wanted to do MORE! I had goals of interacting with clients and helping with the actual grooming process. So I became a bather, and frequently helped my boss with bathing and prepping dogs.

My boss has been grooming for years. She showed me the ropes before I even considered getting my dog grooming certification.

By working more in the front-end of things, seeing clients, and interacting with their dogs, I got really familiar with many of our customers. They started trusting me more and more with their pets, and even started asking me to do their nails or bath them.

So when it came time to do my dog grooming certification and work with dogs for my video assignment submissions, I had plenty of options for different pups to use!

To be frank, there wasn’t really a specific moment where my boss, Kayla, sat me down and asked to be the manager. Over time, I’d gotten to know her really well. We have a lot of the same views and similar work ethics, so things just sort of fell into place.

We were starting to get new employees, and Kayla couldn’t always be at the shop. She realized that she trusted me enough to keep the place going when she wasn’t there. It was a mutual fit, for both parties.

I’m super fortunate to have this title, but I don’t see it as just ‘being the manager’. If the girls need anything, want to chat, ask something, or inquire about any type of situation, they always know they can come to me with anything. They don’t have to be nervous about talking to ‘the manager’.

Typical Duties

Being the manager of a grooming salon comes with responsibilities. To take you through a ‘typical day’ would be so hard because it is always different. Always! No 2 days are the same, and that’s what I love about it.

However, some of my standard managerial tasks include:

  • Talking to difficult/unhappy clients
  • Writing monthly emails for our clients
  • Approving time off/vacation requests and tracking sick leave
  • Constantly brainstorming ways to better the shop
  • Researching new products and grooming tools
  • Handling employee mishaps, conflict, etc.

Typically, these tasks are not always frequent, but they are recurring. With time and experience, you become more familiar (and better) at handling each challenge.

Dealing with Unhappy Clients

This responsibility in particular is a major part of being a salon manager. Always remember that you have to try and see the issue from their point of view. You’re the professional. To the best of your ability, you have to try and understand the client’s perspective, and then do what you can to make the situation better.

If, for instance, your client doesn’t like the grooming job you did, you can offer to fix it or give them a deal the next time they’re in. Even though they’re unhappy in the current moment, you’re still giving them incentive to continue doing business with you in the future.

Maybe their issue is with some other aspect of the salon, such as (in our case) the doggy daycare. Perhaps their dog got a scratch on them, which can be pretty common when dogs are playing together. In my personal experience, we would then offer to bath their dog for free, or something to that effect.

It all comes down to making the clients happy! That being said, clients also need to know that when it comes to animals, things sometimes just happen. Do what you can to appease the client, but also make sure that everyone stays realistic.

Social Marketing

Another important area that grooming salon managers need to focus on is the marketing practices we put in place for the shop. Marketing helps us get our name out there, bring in a larger clientele, and keep regular contact with our current customers.

One very common way of marketing your business is through social media.

For example, at Off the Leash Inc., we send out monthly emails to our clients. These emails consist of a bunch of things and various topics. They also change from month to month, to keep the news we’re providing current and fresh.

With these monthly emails, we aim to let clients know of any deals going on that month at the shop, if there’s a running promotion, new products for purchase, etc. We also let them know if there’s something special taking place that month in the world of dog care.

Last month, for instance, was dental awareness month. So we made sure to highlight that and the importance of taking care of a dog’s teeth!

Sometimes, we put a ‘Dog of the Month’ in our monthly email as well! We find this to be a fun little thing that the girls working in doggy daycare do for the pups and their owners!

As you can see, my duties and responsibilities as a dog grooming salon manager are endless. But I wouldn’t trade it for anything. I have a blast at work and, hey, I’m surrounded by dogs all day! What could be better?

Do YOU want to work your way up to being a dog grooming salon manager, like Casey? Start by earning your dog grooming certification, and enroll in QC’s leading Dog Grooming Course today!

How to Keep Yourself and Your Clients Safe During the Coronavirus Outbreak

The novel coronavirus COVID-19 is all over the news right now, and you’re sure to be thinking about it, too. While over half of those diagnosed globally have confirmed to have since recovered, there are a lot of unknowns about the outbreak that are still yet to be discovered. So it’s always good to be prepared!

Your pet grooming business is a service industry profession. There’s NO way to completely avoid coming into contact with people and their dogs. If there was, it’d be impossible for you to do your job! There are, however, some common sense ways you can help minimize the risk to both your and your clients’ health.

Check out these 6 simple tips, and start implementing them into your pet grooming business practices ASAP!

Coronavirus outbreak and coronaviruses influenza background as dangerous flu strain cases as a pandemic medical health risk concept with disease cells as a 3D render

Wash your hands

We’ll say it again, and louder for those in the back: WASH. YOUR. HANDS.

Current research suggests that the Coronavirus spreads mainly via respiratory droplets. This means that when an infected person coughs or sneezes (or talks, or even breathes), tiny droplets of water containing the disease can be transmitted to nearby persons and surfaces.

One of the most effective ways of limiting the spread of this type of virus is by washing your hands frequently and thoroughly. Get into the habit of washing your hands several times per hour, including any time before and after you’ve touched a communal item. Examples of this would be:

  • Doorknobs
  • Grooming tools that are shared in the salon
  • The office phone
  • The cash register
  • And any other surface/ item that’s regularly touched by more than one person!

Mind you, washing your hands doesn’t need to be a fancy endeavor. Good old-fashioned soap and water works perfectly fine. There’s no need to constantly break out the hand sanitizer. That’ll likely just wreak havoc on your skin anyway.

That being said, it’s a good idea to keep hand sanitizer bottles around. Clients may want to use them when they enter and/or leave your salon.

Lastly, but just as importantly: keep your hands off your face!

Hygiene concept. Washing hands with soap under the faucet with water

Stay home if you’re sick

If you’re coughing, sneezing, or have a fever, DON’T risk it. Sure, it could just be a cold (and it probably is). But it could also be something worse. Because of this, do yourself – and everyone around you – a favor by taking some time off from your job.

This is especially true if you’ve had contact, or suspected contact, with ANYONE infected with the Coronavirus. Even if you’ve simply traveled recently to hard-hit areas, it’s best for you to err on the side of caution.

Remember: it can take several days for you to start showing symptoms of the Coronavirus. During this time, you’re still infectious. So if you’ve recently come into direct contact with someone known to have the Coronavirus, it’s probably better to be safe than sorry.

If you run your own pet grooming business, reschedule your appointments! Alternately, if you work at a salon, talk with your boss and explain the situation. They may very agree with your decision to stay home for a few days, so as not to take any risks.

If you can’t stay home when you’re sick…

If you absolutely cannot stay home just because of a cough (we live in the real world and there are bills to pay, I get it), then take extra precautions to ensure you don’t get anyone else sick:

  • Wear a mask. Most masks aren’t great at preventing you from becoming infected, but they ARE really good at helping you to not infect others. Regular surgical masks catch those respiratory droplets we discussed earlier, and prevent you from spreading your germs all over the place.
  • Avoid direct contact. This means no handshakes with clients, no hugging your colleague on her birthday, etc. Try to stay a good 6 feet away from anyone else. Keep your germs to yourself as much as possible!
  • Warn your clients. Your clients should be informed of your condition. Remember, just because you have mild symptoms doesn’t mean you can’t pass along a potentially dangerous disease to someone else. If you’re sick, it’s a good idea to warn your clients ahead of time and see if they’d rather reschedule their appointment. Most will be extremely grateful that you have their best interest at heart.
  • Warn your colleagues. Similarly, colleagues will want to know that you’re sick so they can make an informed decision about how to handle the situation. You might not be aware of a colleague’s severely immunocompromised family member who lives with him. If you absolutely have to go to work while sick, warn your colleagues in advanced so that they can choose to stay home themselves, or take other precautions. (Also, maybe prepare yourself to be the black sheep, too, until you’re feeling better.)

Encourage Sick Clients to Reschedule

You’re allowed to refuse to work with a sick client, if you don’t feel comfortable. You’re allowed to turn clients away. If clients walk into your salon coughing and sneezing, you can ask them to leave.

During the outbreak, you can help everyone stay safe by amending your cancellation policy. Encourage clients who are ill to reschedule their appointments to a future date when they’ve recovered.

Coronavirus and Pets

According to the WHO, there is no evidence that pets can be infected with the Coronavirus. However, it’s possible that infected individuals’ pets can transmit the disease in the same way you can become infected by touching an infected surface.

So if an infected individual asks you to groom their dog (even if it’s dropped off at your salon by another person), it’s a good idea to take extra precautions with that dog. It might even be in your best interests to reschedule the appointment altogether.

Clean Your Space

More than ever, it’s worth taking extra time to keep your work space as clean as possible. This means regularly disinfecting all tools, cleaning all surfaces with soap and water, and using air purifiers to try and keep the air clean.

Stay Informed

There’s lots of news floating around about the Coronavirus. It’s hard to stay on top of it all. It’s a good idea to find a trustworthy source, and then check it regularly for updates.

In the United States, the CDC has a very informative Coronavirus Disease web portal that’s updated regularly. Consult their recommendations for disease prevention, so you can stay on top of the current risk assessment for your area.

The government of Canada has a similar portal here. In addition, the World Health Organization has tons of useful advice and resources as well!

The bottom line is: no one knows exactly what will happen with the Coronavirus over the coming months, or even years. At this time, risks are still very low. But being informed, and taking common sense measures to stay safe, are always a good idea.

So while you don’t have to turn your grooming salon into a surgical suite, it’s a good idea to stop letting clients lick your face. Maybe their dogs, too.

Happy young caucasian female wearing blue long sleeved shirt making thumb up sign and smiling cheerfully, showing her support and respect to someone

Want to run your own successful pet grooming business by becoming a certified dog groomer? Enroll in QC’s leading Dog Grooming Course today and start working this year!

Improve Your Dog Grooming Speed with These 10 Tips

As a professional dog groomer, there’s a LOT involved in your day-to-day responsibilities. With so many things to do, it can become all too easy to lose valuable time during a groom. What can you do to shave off a few precious minutes here and there, so you can devote that time to the things that really matter?

We’ve got you covered! Here are 10 tips to help you increase your grooming speed and efficiency, without sacrificing quality!

1. Know your grooming tools

This sounds like common knowledge, but let’s be fair: a groomer needs a lot of different tools to do their job. As a newbie, remembering what each one does and how to use them properly can be a bit tricky. This is why dog grooming classes are so essential! Not only does proper education thoroughly teach you what everything is, but you get hands-on training, too!

On top of dog grooming classes, another way to help your speed when unsure about your tools is to simply ask a colleague. If you work in a salon or with a team, remember: these people are always there to help!

2. Maintain your grooming tools

Once you know your tools inside and out, the next order of business is making sure you always take the best proper care of them. The greatest clippers in the world will still be useless if they’re unsanitary, rusted, or broken in any way. Ensure to clean your tools regularly, and inspect them often so you always know whenever something needs to be replaced.

3. Establish a routine for yourself

It’s all about repetition! Yes, not all grooming jobs will be the same, because not all dogs or breeds will require the same work. But it’s a proven fact that the more often you do something, the better you’ll become at it. Dog grooming classes will lay down the foundation of your knowledge in grooming techniques and different dog breeds.

Then, once you start getting hands-on experience in the professional world, you’ll begin picking up on what different things are required when working with a particular type of dog. Once you find an effective grooming routine that works for you, stick with it – maintaining that routine will only improve your skills AND your grooming speed!

4. Stay focused

On even a well-maintained dog, there can be a lot to do. But let’s just say you’re dealing with a client whose pooch really needs a proper cleaning and makeover. Your to-do list just got longer! Now you may find yourself getting flustered and losing track of what you’re doing.

The result is that you’ll find yourself ‘dancing’ around the grooming table; jumping from one thing to another in a disorderly fashion. If you find yourself in this position, you need to stop and take a breath. Center yourself and regain focus.

Work on one thing at a time, without becoming distracted and moving to something else before you’ve finished. The more organized your grooming process is, the less time it’ll eat up.

5. Be more systematic with your tools

Sometimes, when giving Fluffy a haircut, you may notice you have a tendency to switch around your blades. Like, a lot. The time it takes to constantly do this will add up fast! Instead, you can make the process much quicker if you stick to one blade, cover all the needed areas with it, and then move to a different blade once you’re all finished.

This practice obviously can’t be done in every area of the grooming process, but for the ones where it can, you’ll be amazed at how much faster it makes you!

6. When possible, bathe first

If you have a dog with really long hair that’s just going to be chopped off anyways, it may be faster to give him a bath before you do any pre-working. Another instance where you can bathe the dog first is if it’s already a short-haired breed.

Not to mention, clean fur is easier to work with in general. It’s less harsh on your grooming equipment, and much more sanitary. Using your blades on dirty hair can increase the dog’s chances of irritation, or worse, even infection. Nobody wants that!

7. Don’t be afraid to ask for help

If you work at a grooming salon, or have a team employed within your own business, don’t hesitate to ask for an extra body when necessary. Some dogs experience high anxiety at the groomers. Others may show signs of aggression.

Trying to groom a difficult dog will understandably take more time than working with one that’s laid back. Doing the job alone might make things more challenging – and definitely slower. Having another professional there to help keep the dog feeling safe, and perhaps to assist with the groom, is an excellent alternative.

8. Try not to be your own worst critic

When it comes to passing judgement, we’re always toughest on ourselves. One very common place where dog groomers lose time is hyper-focusing on every single detail and losing the ability to see the results objectively. You may find you have a common habit of finishing something, critiquing it too much, and then going back and trying to make it better.

To some degree, this type of self-discipline is great to have as a groomer. There will be times when you should go back in and touch things up. But in reality, there are probably things that are perfectly fine as is, and don’t need any more time or attention. Being too obsessive over being perfect 100% of the time is a habit that can really hurt your grooming speed overall.

9. Help teach your clients

Dog grooming classes help make you a certified expert in your field. You can use that knowledge to help educate your clients. No, we’re not expecting you to go overboard and run your own tutoring sessions. (Though, hey, if you want to, have at it!) But you’d be amazed how much easier – and quicker – your job can be when dogs come to you already in pretty good condition.

There’s a level of responsibility every owner has when it comes to maintaining their pup’s health. Based on the dog’s breed and needs, taking a few minutes to help their owner understand what they can (and should) be doing at home will mean that you don’t always have to start from ground zero every time they come back.

10. Always clean up at the end of the day

If you don’t, you’ll have no choice but to do it first thing the next day, which will set you back in your daily schedule. Not to mention, NOT cleaning up each day is highly unsanitary. But a tidy, sanitized work station and set of grooming tools at the end of each day will mean that your next day can get started right away!

Do you have any other tips for increasing your grooming speed? Let us know in the comments!

Interested in dog grooming classes? Enroll in QC’s leading Dog Grooming course today and become a certified professional in 2020!

The Occupational Health Hazards of Being a Dog Groomer

Professional cares for a dog in a specialized salon. Groomers holding tools at the hands. Pink background. groomer concept

Every career has risks to your health. People who sit at computers all day can develop back problems and get chronic headaches. Healthcare professionals are exposed to a myriad of diseases on a daily basis. Social service professionals are at an extremely high risk of burnout… You get the idea.

The key to minimizing the health risks of any job is proper training and preventative measures. Unfortunately, a lot of dog grooming courses don’t really delve into this topic. That’s why today, we’re going to look at the occupational health hazards of being a dog groomer, as well as the steps you can take to protect yourself!

1: Back Problems

As a dog groomer, you’ll sometimes find yourself working at odd angles. Being bent over a grooming table can be murder on your back. Not to mention, you’ll also frequently be lifting dogs into or out of the tub, as well as on and off of the grooming table.

Preventative measures:

  • Use mechanically-powered grooming tables and tubs. You should set a comfortable height based on the dog. Try to keep your back straight at all times.
  • Use a ramp or steps for the dogs. If you don’t want to invest in a power-lifted table/tub, you can at least set up steady ramps or steps. This way, the bigger dogs can climb onto elevated surfaces on their own.
  • Use the buddy system. If all else fails and you have to lift a heavier dog, get a colleague to help you.
  • Use a brace. An orthopedic back brace can help prevent back strain. It also helps improve your overall posture. Poor posture can be a major cause of back pain, too.
  • Exercise daily. Yoga and/or other stretching exercises can help keep your back strong and healthy. It also increases your endurance for those long days on your feet!

2: Sore Feet / Plantar Fasciitis

“Sore feet” can seem like such a snowflake malady, can’t it? But if you’ve ever worked a job where you literally don’t sit down for 12 hours per day, you know the real effect sore feet can have on your life. It can very easily be disruptive to your life outside of work!

Foot pain .Woman sitting on grass Her hand caught at the foot. Having painful feet and stretching muscles fatigue To relieve pain. health concepts.

Preventative measures:

  • Wear comfortable and supportive shoes. Heels and flats have no business in a grooming salon. Use a comfortable shoe with a good arch; one meant for walking and standing. Sneakers are a good pick for this type of environment.
  • Use insoles and orthotics. Insoles and other orthotic inserts are normally recommended if you’re going to spend the entire day on your feet. It’s not a bad idea to consult with a podiatrist if you start experiencing any type of foot pain from your job.
  • Rest and stretch whenever you can. It might not be ideal to take your shoes off in a busy grooming salon, or in the break room where people are eating. But if you’re able to get away for 10 minutes once or twice a day to take off your shoes and stretch your feet, it’s probably worth doing.

3: Groomers Lung

Yes, that’s a real thing!

Being a dog groomer means you breathe in a lot of stuff that you probably shouldn’t. Over time, this can cause mild to very severe lung problems. Groomers Lung is unfortunately not well known in the grooming community, but it’s a very real and serious condition that should be taken seriously.

Preventative measures:

  • Use a mask. This is especially important when blow-drying a dog, or if you’re brushing out the undercoat of particularly hairy dogs (I’m looking at you, Akitas). But it’s also a good habit to wear a mask any time a large amount of fur and other debris is flying around. The good news is that there are tons of cloth groomer’s masks you can buy, and most are super cute!
  • Rinse out your sinuses. Even when using a mask, you’d be surprised how much dog hair and other garbage you can still breathe in. Using a sinus rinse like a neti pot or Hydrasense on a daily basis can help clear out debris from your nasal passages. This way, it won’t get inhaled into your lungs.
  • Have a good air filter in your salon. While we’re at it, maybe have more than one. Air filters will trap all that nasty stuff flowing through the air, so less of it ends up in your lungs. In an environment such as a dog grooming salon, with so much fur flying around the room, you should make sure to check your filters every few days. Replace them frequently – it’ll be necessary! Don’t follow the manufacturer’s recommendations here; you’ll likely have to change your air filters 3 or 4 times faster than recommended.
  • Clean like there’s no tomorrow! Try to vacuum (or at least sweep) your workstations before and after each client. Doing so will help catch errant hairs before they get into your lungs. You should also thoroughly vacuum and clean the entire grooming salon every day. Ideally, you’ll even do this twice per day: once in the morning, and once at night. You’ll be surprised how much hair and dust settles overnight!
Dog in noise cancelling headphones, blue isolated background.

4: Hearing Problems

You might not think about this one until you start spending a lot of your time in a salon. But doggy hair dryers are LOUD! Being exposed to these kinds of loud noises on such a regular basis can take a toll on your ears. You probably won’t notice it at first, but hearing loss is something that comes on gradually. Once the damage has been done, though, it can’t be reversed. So take care of your ears!

Preventative measures:

  • Use ear protection. This one’s common sense, and pretty straightforward. Whenever you’re using a dryer or any other loud instrument, always make sure to protect your ears. Ear plugs are both affordable and effective. Alternately, you can also invest in a good pair of ear muffs that anyone in the salon can use.

5: Bites and Scratches

Working with animals, it’s just a fact that the odd bite or scratch will happen. That said, it should be the exception and not the norm. I know dog trainers, who make a living working with aggressive dogs, who haven’t been bitten more than once or twice in their entire 30+ year careers. If they can avoid being bitten by dogs who want to kill them, you can avoid being bitten by Fluffy on the grooming table.

Evil Chihuahua looks into the camera with a displeased expression of the muzzle.

Preventative measures:

  • Listen to the dog. Dogs don’t want to bite you. They’ll give you plenty of warning before resorting to biting you. A growl is the clearest sign that you should stop what you’re doing. In addition, a stiff posture, pinned back ears, hackles up, whale eyes, etc. are other common signs you should look for.
  • Stay below the dog’s threshold. This is the biggest problem most groomers face. If a dog gets overly stressed, he will react. You can likely groom any dog with enough time, but you have to give the dog that time. If a dog gets stressed during a groom, you need to slow down and let them get used to the situation. This might mean taking 3 or 4 times longer to groom a “difficult” dog. Ignoring the dog’s emotional state and pushing through anyways, just to get the job done, will ALWAYS make things worse for you and the dog.
  • Avoid grooming difficult dogs. Many groomers can’t devote the time, or just don’t have the training (provided in dog grooming courses), need to groom a reactive or aggressive dog. That’s okay, though! Just be honest with yourself about the types of dogs you’re willing to groom. There are plenty of non-reactive dogs out there that need grooming! Avoiding difficult dogs will not hurt your business.
  • Use a muzzle and other tools. There’s nothing wrong with muzzling a dog for a groom, if he has a history of biting. Other tools in such a situation might involve an e-collar (a.k.a. the cone of shame), which physically prevents the dog from reaching your hands. Keep in mind, though, that a muzzle isn’t fool-proof! It should only be there to protect you in the event that you make a mistake. In other words: using a muzzle doesn’t absolve you from doing everything you can to make the groom a relaxing and positive experience for the dog.
  • Seek medical care for all bites and scratches. We know this isn’t exactly a preventative measure, but since these injuries are almost inevitable, it’s worth mentioning. Dog bites can be nasty. If you do get bitten, clean out the wound immediately and, if needed, seek medical care.

Now, I feel like I’ve just spent 1,500 words telling you that you’re going to die if you become a dog groomer. But this article is NOT meant to deter you from being a professional dog groomer! Like I said at the start, every profession has its own risks. Nothing is completely foolproof.

The critical thing is that with the proper education, dog grooming courses, practice, and preventative measures, you CAN – and most likely WILL – have a long and healthy career as a dog groomer, without ever encountering these issues!

Learn everything you need to know by taking dog grooming courses, and becoming professionally certified. Start your grooming career in 2020!

3 Dog Grooming Realities that Classes Won’t Teach You

QC Pet Studies Dog Grooming Realities - Featured Image

Dog grooming classes are wonderful at teaching you the theoretical knowledge and practical skills you need to be a successful dog groomer.  A good dog grooming course (whether it’s online or classroom-based) will teach you all about canine anatomy, grooming tools, safety concerns, standard cuts, first aid, and more.  Graduating from a course should allow you to start your dog grooming career with the confidence to groom dogs safely and effectively.

But a grooming class can’t teach you everything.  Here are a few realities to dog grooming that most courses just won’t prepare you for.

QC Pet Studies Dog Grooming Realities - Grooming Poodle

1: You can’t satisfy every client

A good dog grooming course will teach you how to interact with your (human) clients.

That said, no matter how well you’re prepared, every business owner is bound to encounter a few “Choosing Beggars” or “Karens” in their careers.  These customers just can NOT be pleased no matter what you do.  Though these clients are rare, you can usually tell by these typical behaviors:

  • They ask for discounts or for free services because “you charge too much” / “Suzy down the street offers the same services for cheaper” / “they’re doing you a favor by allowing you to practice on their dog” / “other reasons”.
  • They have unrealistic expectations and don’t take kindly to being told that what they want Just. Isn’t. Possible.
  • They expect you to fall over yourself and do everything humanely impossible to please them because “you work for them” (whether they intend on paying you for your work or not).
  • They lose their mind if you dare to ask for a deposit.
  • They resort to insulting you personally or leaving horrible (and exaggerated/untrue) reviews of your business if they’re displeased in any way.

A lot of professionals will go way above and beyond for this type of client because they can’t bear the thought of displeasing a paying client or seeing a bad review of their business. But the truth of the matter is, you’ll never be able to please this type of client and doing so can hurt your business more than their bad review ever will.  Instead, focus on setting healthy boundaries with terrible clients and learn how to respond to bad reviews in a professional manner.

The good news is, people are becoming savvier at identifying and calling out these impossible clients. If your business reputation is solid and your reviews are otherwise positive, most potential clients won’t be put off by one or two bad experiences with a nightmare client.

QC Pet Studies Dog Grooming Realities - Dog on Grooming Table

2: Dogs are really unpredictable (but like, really)

Your dog grooming course should teach you all about dog behavior and how to work with different types of dogs including difficult-to-groom ones.  But reading about working with dogs and actually doing it is a very different experience.

Most groomers are surprised the first time they work on a “difficult” dog. It’s more challenging than you think it’ll be! Some scenarios you’re likely to encounter:

  • The terrified dog who wants to bite your face when you get within 3 feet of her
  • The overly-friendly dog who wants to tackle you to the ground and lick your face when you get within 3 feet of him (i.e. my puppy)
  • The dog who hates all other dogs and becomes Cujo when another dog is in her field of vision
  • The dog who loves all other dogs and screams until he’s allowed to play with them (i.e. my puppy)
  • The water-lover who refuses to get out of the tub
  • The water-hater who refuses to get into the tub
  • The dog who’s perfectly fine until you dare to touch her feet
  • The pup who’s perfectly fine until you dare to touch his ears
  • The explosive diarrhea

You get the idea.

Dogs have so many personalities and quirks. And fact is, for a groomer, an overly-friendly Labrador can be just as much of a pain to groom as a reactive Golden Retriever.

The good news is, when you’re just starting out, you can usually find enough clients who have well-behaved dogs that are used to being groomed.  Don’t be afraid of being selective with your first few clients and screening out the difficult cases! Starting out on “easier” dogs can allow you to master your craft before you start working on more challenging pooches.

And when you do find yourself working with a difficult canine, remember this: Dogs are living beings with feelings. You’re not doing a dog (or yourself) any favor by “powering through it”. If they’re scared, nervous, overwhelmed or otherwise being difficult, your best option is to stay completely calm and slow down or take a break. If that means you can’t fully groom a dog during a scheduled appointment, so be it.  Most dog owners (except for the ones in point #1 above) will be thankful that you have their best friend’s interest at heart.

QC Pet Studies Dog Grooming Realities - Difficult Dogs

3: Business “best practices” won’t always work for your business

Your dog grooming course should teach you how to launch a grooming business. This training is based on business best practices that have been tried and tested.  But once you run your own business, you start to learn that some “best practices” might just not work for your own business.

Now I have yet to see a business who doesn’t benefit from, say, having a website. But when it comes to setting your prices, for example, or actually marketing your business, it’s very likely that not every strategy that’s recommended in your course will be a hit with your particular business.

Maybe your business is located in a very conservative area and you have to be extremely careful about your social media use.  Maybe your target audience skews much older and you actually do benefit from advertising in newspapers even though we’d never advise it as a viable marketing strategy in QC’s online dog grooming course. Who knows?

So while you definitely should pay very close attention to your dog groomer business training and adopt most, if not all, of the advice presented within the course, you also shouldn’t blindly follow business advice if you start to see evidence that it doesn’t work for your business.  Use your intuition and common sense, and go with what works!

QC Pet Studies Dog Grooming Realities - Dog Holding Business Newspaper

Dog grooming classes are great. A comprehensive dog grooming course will help you succeed in your future career as a dog groomer.  But just as with every profession, taking a grooming class won’t teach you everything about being a dog groomer. Sometimes you just have to get into the weeds and experience the profession for yourself!

Ready to start your dog grooming career? Check out QC’s online training program here!

5 Little Known Factors That Can Help Your Dog Grooming Business

female groomer hugging scared collie

Dog grooming businesses are booming just about everywhere, but ensuring that your business prospers for the long run is a lengthy and challenging process. You’ll always need to be on the lookout for more dog grooming clients and ways to expand your business, and the reality is, not all of these things can be learned in dog grooming school. Some things will require a bit of “real world” experience.

Luckily, we’ve got 5 easy ways for you to up your game and book more clients. Great news: most of these take little to no effort and WILL have lasting results!

female dog groomer grooming a small, curly breed

1: A Website

Okay, so this one might not exactly be a secret, but it’s seriously surprising how many dog groomers don’t bother to have a website. Frankly, a Facebook Business Page is not a substitute for a professional, independent website!

We’re living in a world where every person has the Internet in their pocket. 1 in 4 homes have at least one smart speaker! Our point is, like it or not, your online presence matters. Your website, your branding, your portfolio, and your social media channels – they all matter.  If you don’t have these, there’s a huge market out there that you’re just not reaching.

But if you don’t at least have a website, you’re making this entrepreneurial thing WAY harder on yourself than is necessary…and being a business owner is tough enough!

Most people assume that setting up a website is complicated, but it actually doesn’t have to be hard at all! You can create a simple site using tools like Squarespace or Wix in just a day or two – no graphic designers or web developers needed! These services are very inexpensive, too, which is a nice bonus!

2: Online Scheduling

So you have a website. Now what?

Well, people are going to use your website to see your services and prices, as well as find your contact information. But ask yourself this: What if clients didn’t have to call you to book a grooming appointment in the first place? What if appointments could be made directly from your website?

Just think about how many people you know who absolutely loathe making phone calls. These people are more likely to opt for text or email instead, if available to them. Plus, online booking can often be done much faster than over the phone.

Think about it: what if your grooming business were to be the only local business that spares people the anxiety of making that dreaded phone call?

On your website, you could have a simple “appointment request” form, where people can request appointment slots with your company. You can then follow-up with the client directly to confirm the appointment. This takes very little effort to set up with most website builders, and can add immense value to your business.

female groomer bathing dog

Just be sure that you stay on top of the requests and keep yourself organized. The last thing you want to do is forget about them! Also, make sure to set realistic expectations with the client as to what will happen when they click “submit” on that online form. How long will it typically take for you to read and respond to their form? You can let them know an approximate wait time for a reply, either on the form itself, or as a disclaimer once it’s been submitted.

Pro tip: If you want to get REALLY fancy, you can set up online scheduling software and integrate it with your website. This way, clients can actually see your schedule and book specific appointment slots that are most convenient for them. There are tons of apps and different software out there that do this, though keep in mind the good ones aren’t free.

3: Listing Your Specialties

Think about the types of dog owners who might be skeptical about going to a dog groomer. It could be a good idea to dedicate a few pages on your website addressing their concerns before they even mention them!

REMEMBER: A lot of clients won’t bother calling your business to ask about their concerns. The more questions you can preemptively answer on your website itself, the more impressive you and your business will be. Therefore, the more clients you’ll secure!

Here are a few examples that come to mind:

  • First-time dog owners might be worried about booking their first appointment. Explain exactly what they can expect when they book a grooming appointment (and what their pooch can expect, too).
  • Puppy visits are often scary for dog owners! This is especially the case with experienced dog owners who understand how crucial it is to make every experience a positive one! A page on your website explaining how you introduce puppies to the grooming experience can lead to more bookings and life-long customers!
  • Owners of reactive dogs are always worried about environments such as grooming salons. A web-page dedicated to reactive dog owners will do loads to assuage their concerns. You can explain how you care specifically for reactive dogs, what special techniques/tools you use, and more.
  • Something bad might happen to their dog while in your care. While First Aid Training for groomers isn’t mandatory, we feel it should be. It’s incredibly useful, and is one of the top things that will make your clients feel at ease when trusting you with the safety of a member of their family!

Animal Shelters and Foster groups also need groomers. This is often an under-served, but important section of the dog community. Think about offering special prices or unique services for shelter dogs and foster dogs. Display it proudly on your website! Not only will this give your business some serious karma points, but rescues and shelters are extremely likely to recommend services they use themselves.

skiddish young dog next to owner

4: Register your Business with Google

Have you ever used Google to search for a business or service near you? If you haven’t, you’re in the minority (and frankly, you should try it – it’s a great tool!). When you want to compete and make your business stand out, you can’t ignore Google’s importance in terms of reaching customers.

Creating a Google Business Profile is free and helps customers find you. Using your address, business hours, etc., Google can quickly serve up your business information if potential customers search for things like, “Dog grooming near me”, or “how much does dog grooming cost?”, etc.

You can also customize your Google business listing to allow customers to call you directly from your listing, visit your website, and even book appointments (see point #2 above)!

To get started, just go to Google and search for: “Google My Business”.

5: Show customers you care!

People are suckers for heartfelt stories about animals. Just think about the last Internet video that made you cry. Odds are it had something to do with a neglected dog finding a new home, or a cat being reunited with its owner. Maybe a dog happily tippy-tapping with his new favorite toy!

You work with animals every day, which gives you amazing opportunities to have a seriously WICKED Social Media strategy. Most groomers don’t bother to use this to their advantage. But the fact is, it’s the perfect place for you to excel and get your name out there!

Share ‘before and after’ photos of all your furry clients on social media. Make a ‘photo release’ part of your client onboarding process. Most customers will be happy for you to post photos of their babies! (But of course, some customers will ask you not to, so make sure you always respect those requests for privacy purposes.)

female groomer giving dog teddy bear cut

If you offer special services to shelter animals or rescue dogs, for example, take some time to make a little video montage of that dog’s journey. Think about how you’d react to seeing a video of a scared shelter dog going into a salon so it can get pampered up. Imagine how touching and absolutely heart-warming it would be to see the dog feeling so much better afterward.

Not only will your business benefit from the publicity, odds are your video will help that dog get adopted, too. Win-Win!

There are lots of creative ways you can boost your business. Don’t be afraid to try out new things and see what works!

Interested in launching a dog grooming business, but not sure where to start? QC’s Online Dog Grooming Course comes with full business training that will set you up for success!

The Dog Groomer’s Salary: What to Expect in 2020

beautiful medium-size dog on grooming table, being rubbed down by towel

According to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics, dog grooming jobs are going to increase by over 16% over the next 10 years.

WOW!

That means you can expect the grooming job market to grow much faster than almost any other job. Great news! So how much money can you expect to make as a groomer? What can you expect in the grooming industry in 2020? Let’s find out!

Note: Please note that all amounts listed in this article are in US dollars. 

cute up-close shot of puppy

Wages

Dog Grooming Professionals

Wages for dog grooming jobs are slowly increasing over time. According to payscale.com, a dog groomer’s salary in the US is anywhere between $21,000 (on the low end) and $54,000 (on the high end). That puts the average right around $32,000. Groomers also make an annual average commission of almost $6,000.

Keep in mind that these numbers refer to dog groomers that are employed mostly at salons and pet stores. Self-employed dog groomers can earn substantially more for their work.

Dog Grooming Salon Managers

A dog grooming salon manager might be an employee of a larger company, or she could be the owner of the grooming salon. A grooming salon manager can make anywhere from $30,000 to $72,000 per year, with the average being approximately $45,000. The average salon manager also receives an annual bonus of around $2,300, and the same commission amount of almost $6,000.

groomer cutting pomeranian's nails with scissor clipper

Factors that affect salary

The numbers above are averages that represent dog groomers of every kind across the United States. Your salary will depend on many factors, including:

  • Your location. Dog groomers in New York earn a higher average salary than dog groomers in Cheyenne. On the other hand, the cost of living in New York are staggering compared to the cost of living in Wyoming.  Salary isn’t everything; consider your costs, too!
  • Your education. A certification in dog grooming can help you earn higher wages, especially if you freelance. Clients will pay more for the reassurance that you’ve been trained to not hurt their dog.

Your experience. Your years of experience as a dog groomer will have a direct impact on how much you can earn. Groomers at the top of the scales that we discuss above typically have over 10 years of professional dog grooming experience under their belt.

Job Growth

As mentioned before, the number of grooming jobs is expected to increase very quickly over the next few years. That means you can expect:

Entry Level Opportunities

When an industry expects an increase in job numbers, most of these jobs are entry-level. Therefore, anyone who is looking to become a dog groomer will have no shortage of available grooming salon jobs they can apply to. With a solid education and good interviewing skills, you should be able to land your first professional dog grooming job and start gaining experience!

shiba inu getting brushed by groomer

Freelancing Opportunities

High demand for dog grooming services means that you can likely make a very good salary offering part-time grooming services out of your own home. Not everyone is comfortable bringing their dog to a grooming salon, and many owners will pay handsomely for the premium and individualized service you can offer as a freelancer. It’s a great opportunity to earn extra income until you’re ready to make grooming your full-time job!

Expansion Opportunities

A period of industry growth like this one is the perfect time to think about expanding your existing grooming business. Depending on your experience, this might mean:

  • Expanding your salon
  • Hiring more employees
  • Launching a mobile grooming service
  • Offering specialized services
  • And more!

Changes in Customer Behavior

The millennial generation has a bad reputation, but it hardly coincides with reality. Despite popular beliefs, millennials are not selfish and entitled. This is a generation who grew up working in the service industries, and who by-and-large respect the hard work that you do as a dog groomer.

Also, with many of these millennials opting for a child-free lifestyle, they’re adopting pets like crazy. They absolutely adore their fur-babies! These customers are willing to spend their hard-earned cash on pampering their pooches.

This means that by offering a unique grooming experience that targets younger clients, you can charge way higher than the average dog grooming prices for your services.  You can be really creative with your approach! Some ideas to get your hamster-wheel turning:

  • Luxury dog grooming. This might include everything from ergonomic dog beds in the kennels, to having a doggy massage therapist on staff.
  • Green dog grooming. Global warming affects everyone, and businesses who are environmentally conscious tend to stand out in a good way. This can mean anything from powering your salon with solar panels, to using biodegradable, cruelty-free products.
  • While-you-wait dog grooming. Not every owner is comfortable leaving their dog in a salon and coming back to pick him up later. Consider having a separate “waiting area” for your clients while their dogs are groomed. Bonus points if this space doubles as a doggy play-date!
  • Partnered services. More and more doggy daycares offer grooming services. Why not flip the tables and offer dog walking services as part of the grooming experience!
  • Personalized services. Send your pupper clients a card during the holidays, and a little gift for their birthday. It’s a cheap way to stay on your clients’ minds, and hard-core dog parents will swoon!
  • Altruistic approach. Donating part of your earnings is a great way to gain some publicity while doing good work. An example: “For every 20 dogs we groom, a deserving dog from the local humane society will receive a full spa day at our salon, absolutely free!” Think about the kind of Social Media attention that could generate, not to mention how awesome that would make you feel!
cuddling small puppy wrapped in towel

All in all, 2020 will be a fantastic year to enter the dog grooming industry or to grow your business.  With a few years of experience, you can expect a comfortable salary, and as you can see, there are so many other ways you can earn even more money!

Want to earn your dog grooming certification in 2020? Enroll today in QC’s leading online dog grooming course!

My 4 New Year Resolutions for My Dog Grooming Career

dogs in party hats, celebrating New Year's

QC Pet Studies graduate, Casey Bechard, works as a full-time dog groomer and shop manager at Off The Leash Pet Grooming in Regina, Canada. Today, she talks all about her dog grooming career resolutions for 2020.

Now that the New Year has arrived, there’s always that, ‘what are my resolutions going to possibly be!?’ crisis. It happens to the best of us! Whether it’s with regards to your personal life or work life, it’s always at the back of your mind. For me, my New Year resolutions will focus on my business.

My dog grooming career this past year was challenging, but very rewarding at the same time. Looking back on the resolutions I made in 2019, I can admit that some weren’t seen through. So I think I’ll make a point to carry that unfinished business into this coming year (with new goals, too, of course)!

4. Take on New Challenges

I always love a new challenge! But this year, I believe I can take on more. It will be a good test of all that patience I first had at the start of my grooming career. Having good patience when you’re grooming a dog is honestly so important! Dogs know when your patience is running thin, I swear. Trust me, they won’t waste a second before they’re trying to test you for everything you’ve got.

Personally, I don’t mind working with a dog that doesn’t like to be groomed. The end result is either going to be successful, or you’ll see areas where you know you can do better next time. But no matter what, whenever I finish working with a dog, regardless of how it went, I see that as a win in my books.

Taking on dogs that are a bit of a challenge and working with them, however the job may turn out, is one of my goals this coming year.

3. Taking on New Tasks as a Manager

Being the manager at Off the Leash Pet Grooming has been so rewarding; I’m so thankful for the opportunity to be in this position! That being said, I also feel like I could be doing more with this title at the shop.

brown and white pomchi getting teeth brushed with finger brush

I want to start being more involved in the managerial side of things, and I don’t mean just being in charge when the boss is away. For example, I’d love to make monthly newsletters to feature new items and new perks around the shop. I would also love to start introducing our store’s employees, because I believe that our customers would love to know who’s taking care of their dogs all day. I have ideas and I’m ready to use them!

I also think it would be important to focus on up-scaling our social media presence, since it’s a huge way to not only keep contact with past clients, but create contact with potentially new ones. If people are tagging your business account and posting about you, it catches other people’s eyes.

Social media provides opportunity for growth. This even goes for my own Instagram account, which I use to promote the dog grooming work I do independently. I tag my friends or people that I know in my post, and they sometimes share it or make their own posts. This is a big deal because it can lead to new followers, or even just bring in traffic to your page.

2. Move the Salon to a New Location

I put this one on my resolutions last year, but it just wasn’t in the cards at the time. This year, however, it’ll be happening. I am so excited! Finding a new building for our business that’s both located in the right area and set up for what we need is hard to find, but we’re working on it.

Hopefully in the next couple of months, we’ll find something we love, so we can move on in! Our space right now is just too small for what we do on a regular basis. Our number of staff increased quite a bit in 2019, so it’s time!

groomer petting old golden retriever

1. Always Keep Learning

I love this resolution because it will never get old. You can literally never stop learning, no matter what your occupation is. Learning is everything, especially when you’re first working towards becoming a certified dog groomer!

I love learning new things, especially when you’ve been doing something for so long and it’s your passion. Going to conferences, watching videos on YouTube, getting new books, talking to other groomers – there are always new ways to learn. You just have to find them!

With grooming, people’s grooming techniques can vary drastically. Just by watching someone or talking to them about their process, you can learn so much but about their grooming approach, their preferred tools, how they deal with difficult dogs, etc. I can’t wait to further my learning in this very challenging, but rewarding, career.

Now that I have put some of my New Year’s resolutions out there, I challenge you all do to the same! Always keep them in the back of your mind when working. They can be anything you desire. Don’t limit yourself, either! I didn’t just focus on grooming; I also want to aim to be a better manager, and explore how my whole team can benefit from trying new things! Just go for it!

Happy New Year, and happy grooming!

There are plenty of negative myths about online dog grooming school that are just plain FALSE. Let’s do the world a favor and debunk 5 of them

QC Pet Studies’ Top 10 Dog Grooming Articles of the Last Decade

happy girl cuddling Pomeranian in grass

Happy New Year, everyone!

As we embark on a brand new decade, let’s first take a look back at your favorite Sniffin’ Around blog articles from the past 10 years.

girl high-fiving golden lab puppy

There are tons of clippers out there, and a bunch of custom blades to accompany them. As a professional groomer, it’s important to know your way around your clippers. The wrong blades can cause uneven cuts (at best) or seriously injure the dog (at worst)!

Should you go for steel or ceramic blades? What size is best for your dog?  Are 5-in-1 blades any good?  How should you maintain your blades?  We have the answers to all these questions and more in this highly informative article.

Ask any professional groomer, and they’ll tell you that the teddy bear cut is a groomer’s bread and butter. It’s definitely a style you’ll have to practice and master before you can launch your dog grooming business. QC’s online dog grooming course has an extensive breakdown of this very important cut. In this popular post, you can get a sneak peek into the course video where QC tutor, Lisa Day, takes you on a step-by-step overview of the teddy bear cut!

Becoming a professional dog groomer takes patience and dedication. But it doesn’t have to be a complicated process! Back in 2017, we outlined the 6 simple steps that anyone can follow in order to achieve their goal of becoming a dog groomer. These steps are just as relevant today! So why not work these 6 steps into your New Year’s resolution, and become a dog groomer in 2020!

As a professional dog groomer, keeping a dog’s coat healthy is the responsibility at the very core of your job description. Different coat types have very different needs. For example, double coated dogs shouldn’t be shaved. Wire coated dogs need to be stripped. Smooth coated dogs have more sensitive skin. Using the wrong technique or tool on a dog can cause a lot of damage to their coat!

But it’s not always easy to identify a dog’s coat type, especially if you’re dealing with a mixed breed. So use these four tricks to properly identify your furry client’s coat, so you can give him the groom he deserves.

pomeranian with teddy bear hair cut

Now there’s an important question if you’re looking to start a career as a dog groomer! Unfortunately, there’s no one-size-fits-all answer to this question, because any state/province can set its own regulations. But this post will guide you through finding out the basics: from what exactly a dog grooming license is, to how to find out if you need one where you work.

I guess licenses are just on your minds a lot!

Lots of people use the terms “certification” and “license” interchangeably. But they are, in fact, two completely different items. Whether it’s required or not, a certification is always a good idea for any serious dog groomer. It’s a proof of competency that you can show to potential clients. If you’re “certified”, then you’ve been trained to groom dogs safely.

Read the full article for more information on the differences between licenses and certifications, how to find out what you need, and how to obtain them.

Frankly, I was surprised this article wasn’t number one on this list. “How much money will I make as a dog groomer?” is one of the most important questions people ask before deciding whether they want to launch their grooming career!

Of course, your actual salary will vary based on your location. But this article does a great job of breaking down the criteria that will affect your grooming salary, including the types of services you offer and your years of experience. Keep in mind that you may need to adjust the numbers a little for inflation (the article was published in 2017, after all), but the overall information is still highly relevant today!

happy golden retriever in bath with bath products

Let’s face it: there are perfectly valid reasons why someone might not be suited to being a dog groomer.  It’s a wonderful career for the right person. But it can also be your own personal hell if you start a grooming career without thinking through the down sides of the job.

If you’re on the fence about whether you want to become a professional dog groomer, consider these 8 reasons why the profession might not be the best fit for you.

Okay, so maybe this is why #4 wasn’t closer to the bottom of the list. Here’s another article that’s a must-read before you decide to become a professional dog groomer! This article outlines additional start-up costs for your dog grooming business. It also gives you a ballpark range that you can expect for your salary, once your business is up and running. Want some tips to increase that base salary? We’ve got you covered there, too.

Cheers to the #1 most popular dog grooming article of the past decade (WOW)!

As a professional groomer, there are a few haircuts you’ll encounter over and over again. Yes, the teddy bear cut is going to be number one by far – but there’s also the poodle cut, the lamb cut, the kennel cut, and more. This article demonstrates 7 dog haircuts you’ll encounter countless times over the course of your grooming career.

happy dog portrait with yellow background

Are there any articles you’d like to see covered in 2020? Let us know in the comments!

Ready to turn your dreams into reality, and start your dog grooming career? Enroll in QC’s leading online Dog Grooming course today!

QC Pet Studies’ Top 10 Dog Grooming Articles of 2019

corgi puppy in owner's arms

Wow, 2019 felt like it went by in the blink of an eye! Let’s welcome 2020 by first taking a look back at your top 10 favorite articles over this past year.

It’s pretty impressive that this article made this year’s list, given that it was only published a couple weeks ago! But when you look at what it’s about, it’s easy to see why. Though entertainingly filled with satire, this article succeeds in driving home a very important message: it can be all too easy to destroy a good reputation. Avoid the 7 prime examples listed here, and you’ll ensure that your clients will only ever have the best things to say about you and your business!

female groomer trimming dog's hair

QC graduate and professional dog groomer, Casey Bechard, was on fire this year! Despite the fact that she only just received her grooming certification at the beginning of 2019, her career has quickly taken off and only gotten better ever since. Here, she lists some really fantastic goals that would – and did – strengthen her grooming career. Check them out, and don’t be shy to use some of those goals for yourself in 2020!

Let’s face it: big doggos are precious, but they can also be a little intimidating. Add to that the fact that a lot of your work as a groomer will be with small to medium-size breeds, and you might wind up feeling a little out of your element when a Saint Bernard or Rottweiler comes in for an appointment.

But it doesn’t need to be overwhelming! Just like with smaller dogs, grooming larger breeds can become second-nature – you just need to know what to do! This article will equip you with 3 of the best tips to get you started!

No dog groomer can hope to be successful without sturdy and reliable equipment under their belt. However, even the best grooming kits can eventually become useless if not properly taken care of. If you’re guilty of committing any of these 6 mistakes, your grooming tools may be at risk! Keep your equipment pristine – and your reputation, solid – by avoiding these bad habits!

dog getting hair trimmed

QC Pet Studies loves to show off our talented students and graduates! After all, what’s more inspiring than to see someone who was in your very shoes go on to become successful in the field? Located all the way in New Zealand, Katie was first a graduate of QC Makeup Academy, having started her very own hair and makeup business.

Since then, she’s found a passion for grooming and turned to online dog grooming school. She’s taken both QC’s Dog Grooming Course and the First Aid for Groomers class. Driven by her love of animals, Katie’s dog grooming business now takes up the majority of her time – even being regularly booked up to 3 weeks in advance! Learn more about Katie’s journey, and remember: it can happen for you, too!

Casey’s back, with even more professional knowledge to share! This time, it’s her insight on what it’s really like to work in a dog grooming salon. While there are many pros, there are also challenges that you’ll have to adjust to and overcome. Here, Casey shares 3 of these obstacles. This article is definitely a helpful and insightful read, especially for anyone interested in working professionally within a salon setting!

Any person with basic canine education and a pair of trimmers can call themselves a dog groomer, but it takes a lot more than that to truly be a great one. From knowing your breeds, to proper handling and sanitation of equipment, this article provides you with 7 key tips to make yourself truly stand out from the competition in the dog grooming world.

golden lab getting bath

Let’s be real: dog odors are a nuisance. But aside from making sure that your pooch gets a regular bath, what can be done about the smells already living in your home? You’ll find the answer to that very question – and so much more – here in this article. Save your nose, and start reading!

Dogs are adorable. But dog hair? Not so much – especially when it seems permanently glued to all of your furniture and clothes! Sure, you can make sure to brush your pup regularly, but that isn’t enough! If you really want to get rid of all that pesky dog hair, your best bet is to check out (and then follow) these 6 invaluable tips.

On top of being a fountain of knowledge, we’ve already covered that Casey Bechard manages her very own grooming salon. Needless to say, she knows what she’s talking about! She also knows better than anyone how tricky it can be when first starting out as a groomer; particularly, the most common mistakes that can happen while you’re still learning the ropes.

Luckily, she’s compiled this list of the top 6 errors you may find yourself likely to make, so you’ll be able to avoid them! Definitely worth the read, and no surprise at all that this is 2019’s most popular Sniffin’ Around article!

groomer holding puppy

Who knows what articles will become most popular next year, but we’re excited to find out! Are there any topics you’d like to read in 2020? Let us know in the comments!

Ready to become a professional groomer in 2020? Enroll in QC’s leading Dog Grooming course and start your journey today!