Category

Career Advice

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

pup on couch, looking at window

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

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

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

1: You’re physically and emotionally fatigued.

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

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

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

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

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

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

2: You start disengaging.

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

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

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

disengaged woman in work meeting

3: It starts affecting your dog groomer work.

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

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

What To Do About It

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

circles with moods

Don’t ignore the signs.

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

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

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

Eat healthy and drink water.

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

woman drinking glass of water

Build solid sleep habits.

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

Get some exercise.

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

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

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

Take a vacation.

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

Get professional help.

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

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

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

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

Investing Your Dog Groomer Salary: 3 Do’s and Don’ts

dog groomer working in salon and increasing dog groomer salary

Look, we get it: when starting your very own grooming business, you’re going to understandably excited. You’ll want to do everything possible to get your career off the ground, build a solid reputation, and make a profit. This is a great mindset to have! But there’s another consideration that’s just as important to factor into the overall equation: how to invest your dog groomer salary properly.

After all, earning revenue isn’t enough to sustain a business in and of itself. There are overhead costs and plenty of other expenses you’ll also need to take into consideration. For as much as you need to make money, you’ll also need to put money back into your business.

Knowing what you should be spending your salary on can be a bit overwhelming for first-time entrepreneurs. But don’t worry, we’ve got this handy list of Do’s and Don’ts to steer you towards the right path!

dog groomer increasing salary by working on client's dog

Tips for Investing Your Dog Groomer Salary

DO: Set Business Goals

From a business standpoint, it’s never a good idea to go into anything blindly. The more prepared you are, the better. So, determine where your business is currently at and then create goals for where you want it to be.

For instance, do you want to acquire a long list of devoted clients? Do want to operate your business out of a physical salon, out of your home, or at the client’s place of residence? What sort of marketing strategies do you want to explore in order to get your name out there?

These are all critical things to figure out! The goals you set for your business heavily impact where parts of your dog groomer salary will need to be invested.

DON’T: Neglect the Value of Proper Training

Your job quite literally revolves around having another living being in your care. It doesn’t make sense to enter this sort of profession without first ensuring that you know what you’re doing. Dog groomers who jump into their careers without a proper foundation can be known to produce poor results, mishandle their clients’ dogs, or even cause fatalities.

If you’ve already started your business and lack any sort of certification, we STRONGLY urge you to consider taking a dog grooming course.

dog groomer increasing salary by blow drying client's dog

Professional training allows you to become a true industry expert. You’ll not only learn how to groom a dog successfully; you’ll also become learned in dog behavior, afflictions, skin conditions, various different breeds and their unique grooming requirements, and First Aid training.

Not only that, but the right school will arm you with a reputable certification that you can proudly show off on your resume! By investing your dog groomer salary into a professional course, you’re investing into a better future for your business.

DO: Create an Emergency Fund

Unexpected situations happen. The last thing you want is to be unprepared for them. For instance, what if a major piece of equipment suddenly kicks the bucket? What if you or a family member have a medical emergency that requires you to take time off work?

You don’t want a time of crisis to drain you of all of your profits. This is why it’s crucial to use some of your dog groomer salary to create an emergency savings for your business. This way, you have a cushion to fall back on, in the event that you ever need it.

DON’T: Skimp on Your Equipment

In the beginning, you’re going to need to invest a decent amount of money into your grooming tools. This just comes with the territory of being a professional dog groomer. With that in mind, it’s never a good idea to cut corners when it comes to your equipment.

Because the thing is, you’ll get exactly what you pay for. While you don’t need to go broke in order to stock your dog grooming kit, you also should research into each product and ensure you only buy reliable equipment. Otherwise, sure, you’ll spend less money initially – but when that tool breaks on you (and trust me, it will), you’ll be back to square one and needing to shell out more money in order to replace it.

By investing in sturdy, high-quality tools, you’re investing your dog groomer salary the right way. They’ll be with you for the long haul and keep their value for quite a long time. Not to mention, they’ll allow YOU to do your job to the best of your ability – which should be one of your top priorities.

DO: Hire Employees When the Time is Right

If your business is booming, this is obviously great! But if you’re booking more clients than one person can handle on their own, the overall quality of your work might start to suffer. Once you hit the point where you feel you could benefit from a little help, it might be time to consider expanding your team and hiring some staff!

Yes, you will need to invest some of your dog groomer salary into this venture. After all, anyone you hire will need to be paid for their work. Other factors you’ll have to take into consideration and add to your business’s budget will include:

  • Payroll taxes;
  • The cost of training;
  • Increased utility fees in your place of business;
  • Adding more equipment to your business;
  • The cost of benefits (if you choose to offer them);
  • Insurance;
  • And more!

That being said, it’s still a worthwhile investment. In the long run, more employees mean more clients your business is able to service. With time, you’ll wind up making all that money back in the form of profits.

small dog and puppy sniffing each other's faces

DON’T: Rely Solely on Word-of-Mouth Marketing

No, we’re not saying that word-of-mouth has been rendered an obsolete marketing strategy. It still brings value to the table. But these days, the optimal way to advertise your business is by doing is online.

If your business is just starting out, or your salon isn’t located in a highly visible space, then online advertising can quickly become your best friend! By investing some of your dog groomer salary into your digital marketing strategies, you can drastically increase your chances of clients finding you and seeking out your services.

So, create a business page on Facebook and spend a little money boosting certain posts, ads, or promotional offers. Another smart idea would be to invest in Google AdWords. That way, your name pops up when dog owners perform a Google Search for grooming businesses in their area.

So long as your endeavors results in newly acquired clients and/or leads, consider it money well spent!

Note: Just make sure to keep an eye on your SEO analytics so you can adjust your spending accordingly. This data is key to knowing whether the amount of money you’re putting into advertising is too much, not enough, or just right. That way, you won’t risk over or underspending.

Can you think of other ways you should (or shouldn’t) invest your dog groomer salary? Let us know in the comments below!

Start your career with a DOUBLE certification! Enroll in QC Pet Studies’ online Dog Grooming Course and get our First Aid for Groomers Course absolutely FREE!

Mobile Dog Grooming Career: Pros and Cons

woman's dog grooming career - driving in van with black lab in passenger seat

Congratulations! You’ve worked hard to complete your dog grooming training and earn your professional certification. Now you’re ready to break into the industry, start your dog grooming career, and launch your very own business. At this point, the most important question becomes: what type of business do you want to run?

Mobile grooming has gained more and more popularity over the years, and with good reason. This growing sector of the industry could be the right path for you! Of course, you’ll need to do your research before making any decisions.

Let’s break down what a mobile groomer does, and then delve into some of the common pros and cons related to this profession.

What is Mobile Dog Grooming?

In a nutshell, mobile dog grooming is when you – the groomer – physically travel to the clients’ homes for their appointments. You might invest in a van or truck big enough to house and transport your mini salon. Another popular option is to bring your grooming equipment into the client’s home, where you can groom the dog in its own environment.

The Pros and Cons of a Mobile Dog Grooming Career

In order to decide if a career in mobile dog grooming is right for you, you’ll need to carefully consider all of the factors that influence this profession. Here are some of the most common pros and cons that you’ll come across as a mobile groomer…

Pro: It’s the most convenient option for your clients!

For starters, mobile services present a major perk for clients! They won’t even need to leave their homes in order to reap the benefits of your services. This is definitely something that can set you apart from other competitors in your area.

Mobile grooming can be convenient for you, too! Not to mention, the fact that you’ll need to work with less equipment will teach you to become craftier in your approach to grooming.

Con: You’ll need to work long hours.

As a mobile groomer, you’ll usually be flying solo. You only have two hands (we assume), and that means you can only work on one dog at a time. If you want your dog grooming career and business to make a serious profit, you’ll need to work extended hours on a regular basis. This way, you can fit more appointments into your daily schedule.

If this isn’t an appealing or realistic option for you, mobile dog grooming might not be the best career choice.

Pro: It’s remarkably cost-effective!

When you work in a salon, part of your paycheck will go towards covering the overhead costs associated with running that establishment. Similarly, when you operate your own business out of a physical location, you’ll encounter all sorts of additional expenses that you’ll need to budget for and pay out of your profits. But a mobile dog grooming career doesn’t work the same way!

Yes, the initial start-up cost will likely be high for a mobile business. After all, you’ll need to have a reliable vehicle, set up your mobile grooming station and invest in your tools and products. But once those costs are out of the way, maintaining your mobile grooming business will be a LOT less expensive than operating a physical salon.

You’ll have a smaller workplace to manage and you’ll need less equipment, so your business overheads will be much more cost-friendly.

Con: You may need to turn down certain clients.

Money can quickly become tight for a mobile groomer if you continuously take on jobs that don’t actually turn a profit for you. At times, you may be required to pick and choose the appointments you book. This could mean turning down potential clients to accommodate others who are willing to pay more.

For example, full-service grooms have higher rates than individual services because they require more work on your part.  As such, these kinds of appointments would be more favorable for your business than substantially cheaper, a la carte requests.

Pro: You’ll have a much LARGER clientele in general!

Think about it. You’ll increase your chances of booking more clients by offering to come directly to them and your mobile flexibility allows you to travel to clients in other towns and cities. This is a unique perk that you simply can’t offer if you work in a physical salon!

Whether you live in a small town, or simply want to give yourself that extra edge in a larger, competitive city, mobile dog grooming is definitely going to allow you to reach out to more clients.

Con: Travel, maintenance, and expansion considerations

Although a career in mobile dog grooming is cost-effective compared to running a brick-and-mortar salon, you’ll still need to take several expenses into consideration. For instance, you’ll need to budget for expenses related to traveling, such as vehicle maintenance, gas, meals, etc.

relaxed border collie lying next to owner in van

Similarly, you would need to spend more money if you ever decided to grow your business. After all, you can only fit so many people in your vehicle. If you want to expand and eventually hire a team, you’ll need to buy more vehicles. Then you’ll also need to factor in the travel and maintenance costs associated with those vehicles.

Pro: You’ll get to work with happier, less-stressed dogs!

Some dogs are perfectly happy to visit the salon, but others can get extremely anxious and stressed. By grooming them in (or near) their own homes, they’ll likely be much more relaxed and receptive to your efforts. Working with a happy dog will make your job much more enjoyable in general, and it will also help the groom to go by with far fewer hiccups. This is always a major plus!

So… IS a Mobile Dog Grooming Career Right for You?

As the saying goes, “The grass is always greener where you water it”. Whether you are a mobile groomer, operate out of your own salon, or are employed within a salon, you’ll run into ups and downs in any job. That’s just life!

jack russel terrier puppy looking up at camera from outside of van

Ultimately, a big part of your success will depend on how you choose to approach your dog grooming career. While mobile grooming may come with its own unique set of challenges, it also offers extremely rewarding benefits.

So long as you go into this career path with as much preparation and training as possible, and you maintain a focused work ethic, you’re going to do just fine!

Haven’t gotten professional training yet? QC Pet Studies can help you earn your certification and launch your dog grooming career in as little as 9-12 months! Click here to learn more!

How to Become a Dog Groomer in a Small Town

QC Pet Studies - Become a Dog Groomer in a Small Town Blog- Featured Image

We’re going to bust a myth for you: it’s totally possible to become a dog groomer and work professionally – even if you live in a small town. Despite what the stereotypes may tell you, you don’t have to move to a big city in order to pursue your dreams.

Once you’ve taken the time to get proper dog grooming training and have earned your professional certification, you’ll be ready to enter the industry. But where exactly do you start?

Well, if your area has a local grooming salon, you can always try to get a job as an in-house groomer. But what if this isn’t an option or if you don’t want to work for someone else? Then freelance and/or mobile grooming are the best options at your disposal. By starting up your own business, you’ll be able to call the shots. Much of the success you can achieve will be dependent on the efforts you’re willing to put in!

You’ll be able to work on a client-to-client basis. Although it doesn’t sound like steady work, it absolutely can be! Once you establish yourself with a list of loyal customers, you’ll become a thriving dog groomer in no time!

Here’s how to become a successful dog groomer in a small town!

QC Pet Studies - Become a Dog Groomer in a Small Town Blog- Groomer

Know Your Market

Knowing your market means considering a number of factors. Ask yourself these questions before diving into a career in dog grooming…

  • Who is your target client? Consider the demographics of your town. Would you be working with older citizens? Younger adults? These are things you need to know!
  • What types of grooming services would you like to offer? The more areas you can properly cover, the better. After all, clients will be more likely to book with you if they can have more services tended to by a single business.
  • How much competition is there in your town? Are there a number of local groomers and/or salons around you? Then you’ll need to work even harder to make yourself stand out! Research into your local competition. Find out the sort of services they provide, what their rates are, the kind of reviews they’ve gotten, and what makes them successful (or not-so-successful). This is all valuable information to help you get the edge in your own business!
  • Is there a demand for dog groomers? This is perhaps the most important consideration. There aren’t going to be any clients for you to work with if there isn’t a demand! Some small-town dog groomers consider opening up their business radius to other surrounding towns. If there’s limited demand in your immediate area, find other small towns where there is a demand for dog grooming services! (hint: this is where a mobile grooming business can make the big bucks!)
QC Pet Studies - Become a Dog Groomer in a Small Town Blog- Clippers

Know Your Competition

As I just mentioned, it’s critical that you understand what the competition is like, in order to thrive in your local industry. Here are some points to consider…

  • Determine how much experience they have. Who are the other established dog groomers in your town, and how long have they been around? Are they properly certified? Do they have experience with different breeds?
  • Look into the services they offer. Dig through online reviews of the best dog groomers in your area. Learn about all the standard and specialized services they offer, along with any packages they provide for their clients. How are they pricing their services?
  • How can YOU set yourself apart and stand out? Maybe, in addition to your primary training, you also have lots of experience grooming poodles, large breed dogs, or have extensive First Aid training. Offering clients what your competition can’t or (simply doesn’t) offer is guaranteed to set you apart and attract the attention of potential clients!
QC Pet Studies - Become a Dog Groomer in a Small Town Blog- Research Competition

Know What You Can Offer (and Start Offering)

Now that you understand your potential clientele and know what you can offer, start booking these new services! Here’s where to focus to get your dog groomer business up and running (and then keep it that way):

Marketing

Marketing is the best way to get your name out there! Even in a small town, marketing is still critical to your career as a professional dog groomer running their own business. It doesn’t have to be pricey! There are plenty of cheap (and even free) marketing tools that’ll serve you well, once you get familiar with them.

A quick and easy marketing technique is to build your social media presence! Having a website and/or online portfolio for your dog groomer business is a no-brainer. But social media is a great way to get people on your website and communicate with clients. Start an Instagram account, a professional Facebook page, and maybe even a LinkedIn profile. Most social media networks have built-in analytic tools to help you track data (like finding out who is interested in your work, for example).

QC Pet Studies - Become a Dog Groomer in a Small Town Blog- Marketing

Connections

Use those connections to build your network and obtain clients! This includes anyone from friends and family, to salon professionals, to happy customers, to other industry experts you can forge a professional relationship with, etc. A key part of becoming a dog groomer in a small town will be earning loyal clients. When you don’t have a large and loyal following right at the start, you’ll want to keep clients coming back.

Consider offering referral discounts. When a client refers someone to you, they’ll get a percentage off their dog’s next grooming appointment. You can also experiment with promotions and sales to draw in new clients. Just be sure not to give discounts forever. Know your worth!

Starting a career as a dog groomer in any town or city can be daunting. But with professional training and some helpful tips like the ones above, you’ll be set for success!

Your Dog Grooming Training: 3 Common Client Complaints (and How to Handle Them)

dog groomer training on a black poodle

Throughout your dog grooming career, you’ll have the pleasure of working with all sorts of amazing clients. Unfortunately, you’ll also come across a few who aren’t completely satisfied with the job you’ve done. That’s just the way it goes in this kind of industry! Luckily, your dog grooming training has prepared you for this.

While some negative feedback may be indicative of further improvements you can make as a groomer, other negative feedback will come from a place of ignorance. This isn’t to say that the client themselves is ignorant. More that, they simply might not understand why you did something the way you did, due to a lack of grooming or general business knowledge.

This is understandable. After all, they came to you because you’re the expert. The thing is, in these kinds of situations, there’s a right way and a (very) wrong way to handle your client’s displeasure. Let’s take a look at 3 common complaints a client may voice to you on the job, and the best way to respond to each one.

dog groomer training by working with small breed dog

“You didn’t cut his nails short enough!”

If you chose not to get proper dog grooming training, then yeah, this could be an error on your part. But chances are, you’ve paid your dues and put in the time and effort to earn a professional certification. So, it’s likelier that you chose that length for a very particular reason: to avoid cutting the quick.

You’ll encounter a lot of clients who have never even heard of the quick, much less understand what it is. In this scenario, it may just be a matter of helping them better understand why you cut their dog’s nails the way you did.

How Not to React

“I’m sorry – are YOU the professional groomer? Look lady, if I knew you were going to question every little thing I did, I wouldn’t have bothered booking with you. Why don’t you just cut the dog’s nails yourself next time?”

How to React

“While I’d love to be able to do that for you, if we go any shorter, I’ll likely cut the quick in your dog’s nail. The quick is a small nerve and blood vessel located at the core of the nail bed. I have to be very careful not to nick it, or it can cause your dog a fair bit of pain and start bleeding.  I know the nails might look a bit longer than you were expecting, but I can assure you that they’re at the right length for this breed.”

“She bit you? But she NEVER bites!”

Just because a dog shows aggression, it doesn’t mean they’re automatically a ‘bad dog’. But your client might get a little defensive if that’s what they think is being insinuated. Now, whether you choose to groom the dog again in the future is entirely your call. For your own safety, as well as the safety of the dog, you’re totally allowed to decline an aggressive dog if you worry it will be a repeated problem.

However, you also don’t want your client to get the wrong impression or be misinformed. In the event that their dog’s display of hostility is not a one-time offence, the client needs to understand the potential reasons behind her dog’s behavior. This way, measures can be taken going forward to prevent it from happening again.

How Not to React

“Oh, she didn’t bite me, huh? Want to take a look at my hand and tell that to the big chunk she took out of me? If that’s how you’ve raised her to be around people, then clearly, you’re the problem. You and your mutt can get lost and never come back!”

How to React

“The truth is, even the gentlest dog can become aggressive if they’re scared or anxious. It’s called ‘fear aggression’, and it’s quite common in dogs of all ages. She might have been startled by something I did, or maybe she had a negative response to her new, unknown environment.

Hopefully, the more exposure she gets to being groomed, the more comfortable she’ll be during the process. Should she get scared and try to bite again, one possible option would be for her to wear a muzzle during her appointments.

Either way, I think it would be a wonderful idea if you were in the room with her during her next assessment. That way, you can best determine whether in-salon grooms are the right fit for her.”

 “I thought I told you to shave him down. I don’t want to have to deal with all that hair!”

As you learned from your dog grooming training, single-coated breeds can be shaved once in a while, but they should not be shaved completely. In fact, if your client wants to rid their single-coated pooch of their hair, it’s best to clip that hair instead. This way, you can take it to a short length, while still leaving enough to keep the dog safe and healthy.

Double-coated dogs, on the other hand, should never be shaved. Period. Doing so even one single time can cause irreparable damage to the integrity of the dog’s coat. Not to mention, it can also lead to afflictions such as:

  • Alopecia in the hair follicles
  • Overheating, sunburn, and even skin cancer (as a result of unprotected sun exposure)

How Not to React

“You have no clue what you’re talking about. This is ridiculous! Everyone knows you shouldn’t shave down a dog, especially one with a double-coat! If you want to lecture me on how to cut your dog’s hair, then maybe you should take a class or two first. I’m pretty sure I’m the professional here.”

How to React

“I definitely understand how annoying dog hair can be to clean up and maintain, but unfortunately, this is as short as I can go without putting your dog’s health at risk. Dogs need their coats. Their hair is actually their greatest natural defense mechanism against the external environment. Their coat protects them from the weather, while also protecting their skin.

If your dog were to be shaved down, his coat would likely never grow back to the same way again. His skin may also be at risk of serious, harmful damage as well. At this length, the hair will be easier to maintain, and your dog will be happy and healthy.”

We’re willing to bet that one major thing you learned from your dog grooming training is the importance of remaining respectful towards your client. Part of being an industry expert is recognizing when a client’s complaint may be stemming from a lack of knowledge about your craft. As the groomer, you can use this as a positive opportunity to teach them more about their dog’s health, body, and overall safety.

No matter what, never respond rudely. No complaint is worth damaging your business’s reputation. Always maintain your composure, be professional, and treat the customer courteously. Even if they refuse to listen to what you have to say, you’ll know you did everything you could to make their experience a positive one.

First Aid training is critical for any professional groomer. Start your dog grooming training today by enrolling in QC Pet Studies’ leading online Dog Grooming Course – and we’ll give you our First Aid for Groomers Course absolutely FREE!

How to Become a Dog Groomer When You’re Introverted

dog groomer cuddling with dog

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

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

What’s an Introvert?

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

Why is Dog Grooming Perfect for Introverts?

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

dog groomer blow drying pug on grooming table

Could there be anything better?

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

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

How to Become a Dog Groomer in 4 Easy Steps

1 – Do Your Training Online!

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

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

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

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

2 – Use the Internet to Network!

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

two dogs cuddling on cushion

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

3 – Start Your Own Dog Groomer Business!

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

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

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

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

4 – Offer Virtual Services!

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

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

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

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

close up of dog getting haircut from dog groomer

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

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

My Top Tips for Increasing Your Dog Groomer Salary

professional groomer increasing her dog groomer salary through excellent customer service

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

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

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

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

dog groomery cutting dog's hair

1 – Get Your Name Out There!

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

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

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

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

Promoted Myself on Social Media

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

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

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

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

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

Encouraged Word-of-Mouth

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

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

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

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

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

Talked to EVERY Client

This one is especially important!

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

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

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

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

2 – Add Extra Services to Your Business!

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

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

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

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

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

dog groomer holding dog's paw while shaving its stomach

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

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

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

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

4 Factors That Affect the Self-Employed Dog Groomer Salary

self-employed dog groomer holding boston terrier after bath

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

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

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

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

1. Are you Certified?

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

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

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

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

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

2. What Types of Services Do You Offer?

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

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

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

3. Where Do You Live?

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

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

self-employed dog groomer shaving dog on grooming table

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

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

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

4. What Sort of Equipment Do You Use?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Your Dog Grooming Training

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

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

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

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

Your Dog Grooming Tools

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

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

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

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

Starting your Career

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

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

It’s a win-win!

How Long Does It Take to Become a Dog Groomer?

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

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

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

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

FOLLOW YOUR DREAM!

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

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

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

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

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

Yeah, you heard me.

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

The choice, ultimately, is yours.

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

Apprenticeship Programs

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

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

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

In-Person Grooming Classes

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

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

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

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

Online Grooming Classes

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

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

What could be better?

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

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

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

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

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