Category

Health and Safety

How to Complete your Online Dog Grooming Classes Safely from Home

To say the world is a little loopy these days is an understatement. It’s difficult to imagine that we’ve all been socially distancing for only a few weeks. It feels like we’ve been at this for six months already!

But while staying at home isn’t fun for most, it’s also the least we can do to help our healthcare workers fight this pandemic. Last week, we discussed how you can maximize your time at home by taking dog grooming classes to get your professional certification.

Today, we’re going to discuss how you can complete your online dog grooming courses safely from the comfort of your own home.

Studying at home

For the theoretical portion of your online grooming classes, safely studying from home is very simple:

  • Read your course books
  • Watch instructional videos
  • Take lots of notes
  • Keep your workspace tidy

In the best interest of keeping things sanitary, always remember to regularly clean commonly-used surfaces and objects. This would include keyboards, remote controls, pens, desks, etc.

Completing your Assignments

This is where things can get a little tricky. There are different types of assignments in your dog grooming classes. Let’s go over each one individually.

1 – Quizzes and written assignments

These types of assignments are more common in the early units of your dog grooming classes. This is where you’ll learn the theoretical parts of dog grooming.

These assignments can be done from your home, using the same tools and safety practices you use when studying.

2 – Case Studies

Case-study assignments are mostly used in the business section of the course. For these, you’ll need to do industry research.

Right now, it’s best to ONLY conduct this research online! Avoid consulting with other professionals or businesses in-person. Yes, some of your research might be more difficult, if many businesses are closed.

But this could also mean the business owners are bored at home, too! If there’s someone you want to consult for your schoolwork, try to reach out on social media. That being said, if you do this, be ready to take no for an answer.

3 – Practical Assignments

Your practical grooming assignments are the ones where you’ll actually work on your skills. These assignments include practicing different individual skills, and completing various elements of the grooming process. You’ll need to record these on video, so your tutor can review your technique and provide helpful feedback.

Here are some ways to safely complete these assignments:

  • Don’t ask someone else to film your work. Use a tripod or stable surface to secure your camera, and film your work yourself if you can.
  • If you do need another person to help you, remember to stay at least six feet apart. You may want to wear protective equipment as well.
  • If the assignment asks you to use a dog, try to use your own dog as much as you can. Many assignments don’t require a specific breed.
  • Use your at-home grooming equipment. Don’t go out to self-grooming stations or salons if you’re under a stay-at-home order/quarantine.

Finding dogs

There WILL be some assignments where you’ll be required to groom a specific breed or type of dog. Normally, it would be easy enough to use a friend’s dog, or go to a local rescue and give one of their fosters a bit of a pampering session.

These days, though, that can be risky.

The good news is, dogs can’t carry the coronavirus. The bad news is that if you borrow a dog, you’re probably going to have to be in contact with other humans who can spread the virus.

But there are still ways you can keep everyone safe! Here are a few suggestions:

  • Don’t borrow dogs from anyone who’s sick. The same goes for anyone who’s recently been exposed to someone who’s sick.
  • Don’t borrow dogs if you’re sick, or if you’ve recently been exposed to someone who is sick.
  • Try to find owners who will allow you to take their dog to your home to do the groom. Don’t groom dogs in other people’s homes. Likewise, don’t allow the dog’s owner to linger in your home while you’re working.
  • Try to avoid travelling long distances. Borrowing a dog from down the street is safer than travelling across the city for a dog.
  • When picking up or dropping off a dog, see if you can make the exchange outside. This is safer than going into someone’s house, or inviting someone into your home.
  • If possible, bring a leash from your house. This way, you don’t have to handle a leash that’s been recently touched by someone else.
  • Wash your hands before picking up the dog, and again after you’ve dropped them off.

Taking Care of Yourself

This is a great time to focus on your future career goals! With proper planning and precautions, you can safely complete your dog groomer classes from home. When this is all behind us, you’ll be ready to launch a new business.

That said, remember that at the end of the day, NOTHING is more important than your health.

Things are changing quickly, and we all need to adapt every day. If you don’t feel safe working on strangers’ dogs, it’s perfectly okay to take a break from that part of your studies. Focus on your own dog, or spend your time practicing your techniques in other creative ways.

Keep in mind that your mental health is just as important! It’s okay not to be okay these days. For some people, taking classes is a great way to focus on something positive during these uncertain times.

But for others, an online course is just another source of stress. If you’re in this second group, it’s okay to take a break and focus on your own wellbeing.

We’re all rooting for you!

Haven’t enrolled in your dog grooming classes yet, but interested in getting started today? Check out QC’s leading Dog Grooming Course, and get certified in as little as 3-6 months!

How to Prevent These 5 Dog Health Hazards at Your Dog Grooming Business

Recently, we took a look at some of the most common occupational health hazards that a dog groomer faces on the job. Today, we’re going to look at the other end of this spectrum: the common health hazards posed to the dogs themselves when getting groomed.

If you’re looking to start a dog grooming business or join a salon, this will be worth the read. By knowing the types of risks dogs face when in your care, you can help better ensure their overall safety.

1. Clippers, burns, and other nicks

This is applicable in all cases when using clippers, but especially when the dog has really matted fur. If matted hair sits close to the skin, the chances of accidentally nicking Fluffy by getting too close with the clippers are higher.

When a dog is clipped a little too close to his skin, it can lead to irritation and sensitivity. Certain areas on dogs, such as their hind quarters, are more sensitive than others. Should Cujo be get razor rash, nicked, or cut in these sensitive areas, he’ll likely experience an uncomfortable itchiness afterwards.

Even if the initial damage is small, a dog can unintentionally make it worse in the aftermath if he starts scratching or licking at it!

How to prevent this:

Of course, you should never clip your client’s pooch with haste or lack of training. Take the proper time, care, and execute your tools with precision. Know your different blades. Understand where and when to use each one.

If the dog has mats that are closer to the skin, use a comb and try to gently draw them further away before you do any clipping. If this proves impossible, it may be worth it to shave the dog altogether.

Having an emergency First Aid kit on-hand is recommended, should a more serious injury accidentally occur. At the very least, you should have the following items at your disposal:

  • Peroxide
  • Gauze
  • Antibiotic cream
  • Lidocaine spray

Importantly, ensure that you inform your client of any and all injuries when they arrive to pick up their pup. Don’t try and hide it from them. If the injury were ever to get worse or become infected and the client wasn’t made aware of the situation, you could have a lawsuit on your hands!

2. Soap in the eye

Soap in a dog’s eyes can lead to disaster! Breeds with bulging eyes – such as Pugs and Pekingese – are especially susceptible to this risk. When soap gets into a dog’s eyes, some of the consequences can include:

  • Corneal abrasions
  • Ulcerations
  • Burns
  • And more!

On top of this, when a dog’s eyes get irritated, he may be inclined to try and scratch at it, in an effort to relieve the itch. Unfortunately, this can often make things worse and lead to infection (both bacterial and fungal).

How to prevent this:

For starters, ALWAYS make sure that all products you use, such as shampoo, are specifically made for dogs. Be extra careful when using any product on a dog’s face – and especially around his eyes! If anything gets into his eyes, immediately rinse the area with eyewash for approximately 10 minutes.

Make sure to tell the owner right away. Should the situation warrant a trip to the vet, eye drops may need to be prescribed. So again, it’s important that your client know what happened.

3. Cutting the quick

The quick of a dog’s nail is the core of the nail bed. It’s also a blood vessel and contains nerves. Cutting it will not only make a bloody mess, it’ll be very painful for the dog. In worst-case scenarios, it can lead to infection. No one with a heart wants any of this – much less a professional groomer!

How to prevent this:

First, stay calm. Your client’s dog is probably now a bit panicked as it is; they don’t also need to feel your anxious energy, too. That’s only going to make things worse. Even if you’re freaking out on the inside, try to remember to take a breath and maintain your composure. You can fix this!

The quickest way to stop the bleeding is to use styptic powder. As a professional dog groomer, this is a product you absolutely NEED! It’s an antihemorrhagic agent that contracts the blood vessel and helps the blood to clot.

In the event that you accidentally cut the dog’s quick, styptic powder will staunch the blood flow. It’ll also help reduce the likelihood of infection and provide some immediate pain relief for the pooch. You can find more thorough instructions for applying styptic powder to a dog’s nails here.

As with the previous risks noted already, we can’t stress enough how important it is to notify your client of this injury. It doesn’t matter how minor it may be, they still need to know!

4. Swimmer’s ear

Certain dog breeds have floppy ears. Beagles, Poodles, English Cocker Spaniels, Bloodhounds, Coonhounds, and Basset hounds are just some examples. Dogs with floppy ears are more prone to ear infections.

These ear infections are similar to the ‘swimmer’s ear’ (medically known as Otitis Externa) that people can get. The symptoms are most commonly:

  • Pain (which can be anywhere from mild to severe)
  • Difficulty hearing properly
  • Itchiness and overall irritability
  • Pus or fluid leaking from the ear canal

If you’ve ever had an ear infection, you know how debilitating it can be. Imagine how that would feel to a dog!

How to prevent this:

Especially when dealing with floppy-eared dogs, it’s important that you don’t get water in the ears when bathing them. As a precaution, you can place large cotton balls in Buddy’s ears before his bath. Just make sure they’re not too small, and definitely don’t shove them deeply into the ear canal. Once the bathing process is over, remove them immediately.

It also wouldn’t hurt to give the dog’s ears a once-over after his bath, too. This way, you can make sure they’re completely dry. If any water happened to get into his ears, you’ll be able to deal with it right away.

For clients with floppy-eared canines, it would be worth it to educate them on the common signs and symptoms of doggy swimmer’s ear. That way, they can be on the look out after every groom – just to be safe! Some dead giveaways that a dog may have ear irritability are:

  • Excessively scratching/pawing at his ears
  • Redness in the ear canal
  • Pain when his ears are touched
  • Shaking his head a lot

5. Self-hanging

Arguably, the biggest risk to a dog’s health at the groomers is accidentally injuring themselves on the grooming loop. Sometimes, extreme accidents can happen – some of which can be severely dangerous or even fatal. Occasionally, you’ll encounter dogs that either have lots of energy or are resistant to you.

Whatever his reasons may be, it can result in him trying to jump off the table. Doing so while his head is still in the collar can result in self-hanging, if not intervened in time.

We know, none of us want to think of this scenario. But as a professional groomer, you need to be fully aware that although infrequent, it IS a possibility.

How to prevent this:

Always keep an eye on your client’s dog and always stay within arm’s reach of the dog. Never ever leave a dog unattended while tethered on a grooming table, even for a second.

If the dog is highly stressed and shows signs of trying to get off the grooming table, focus first on easing his anxiety and calming him down. Often, just putting a soothing hand on the dog’s body can reduce his panic. If need be, you may require a second groomer to help with the job.

If you’re a freelance groomer without a team, recognize when a job may be too much for one person to handle. While we understand that you likely don’t want to turn down work, it may be in the best interest of both the dog and your business.

The last thing you want to do is bite off more than you can chew (excuse the pun), attempt a job that absolutely can’t be done alone, and then potentially injure your client’s pup.

Not only would the dog’s safety be in jeopardy, but your reputation could be, too. While you can learn how to take on many jobs, you also need to know your limits. Know when to refuse service.

Remember: even if your client is unhappy with your decision, they’d be devastated if something bad happened to their dog.  

Ultimately, the greatest way to know how to properly handle and groom dogs is by taking actual dog grooming classes and learning from trained experts. While being aware of all of the above safety risks is critical, you first need to know the foundation!

If your goal is to start a dog grooming business or join a salon, getting the proper education, training, and certification are the single best ways to ensure ALL dogs will be safe in your care!

Become a certified dog groomer today! Enroll in QC’s leading Dog Grooming Course, and get our First Aid for Groomers Course absolutely FREE!

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!

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!

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!

6 Ways to Keep Your Dog Safe during the Holidays

adorable dog photobombing family christmas photo
two golden retrievers and a chihuahua wearing reindeer antlers

The holidays are upon us; a special time of year for the whole family, including our four-legged family members. It’s also a time of year when many dogs end up at the emergency vet or in animal shelters! Here are some ways you can help keep Fido safe this holiday season.

1: Dogs are for life, NOT just for Christmas

Let’s start with the most common mistake many owners make: getting a new puppy as a Christmas present. Too often, these puppies end up abandoned before they’ve even reached their first birthday. Never buy an animal unless you’re prepared and willing to be in it for the long-haul. Please ensure you’ve thought hard on it and weighed all the pros and cons before adopting a puppy/dog as a Christmas gift, especially for a young child. Some things to consider are:

  • A child will be excited at first, but will likely not keep up with a dog’s care and training. This isn’t the dog’s fault! He can’t learn if you don’t teach him.
  • Puppies will grow! Plenty of people seem to only want the novelty of having a tiny, cute pup that everyone will swoon over. But the moment he gets bigger, and maybe doesn’t look quite as adorable anymore, the shine is gone and now he’s no longer wanted. On top of that, the number of people who adopt large breed dogs and then give them up as soon as they “grow too big” is astounding.
  • Dogs need constant care! A dog without adequate mental and physical exercise will become destructive. Again, that’s the owner’s fault. You’d become restless, too, if you were always bored out of your mind, with nothing to do. Your pooch is no different!
  • Giving up a dog is almost certainly a death sentence. If you adopt a dog with even the slightest thought that “if it doesn’t work out, you can get rid of it”, please don’t adopt him. Turn around, and go invest in a goldfish. The sad truth is, giving up an adopted dog may sentence him to a place that could spell the end for him if he doesn’t immediately get adopted again. Not to mention that the older a dog get, the worse his chances are at getting a second chance.

Remember: dogs are not commodities! If you’re not 1,000% committed to caring for him for the next 10+ years, get a stuffed animal instead. At least they won’t pee on the carpet.

2: Watch for open doors

The holidays are filled with comings and goings. If your pooch is known for bolting out the door as soon as it opens, pay special attention to your dog when family and friends are visiting! It only takes a split second for a pooch to sprint for an exit. It’s easy for this to happen while everyone’s saying “hi” and hugging at the front door.

small dog running in snow

If you’re worried about this happening, keep Rover behind another barrier while the front door is open. This could be a baby gate, a crate, or just in a separate room.

3: Be careful with food!

Holiday feasts can be a treat for Fluffy, too. There’s nothing wrong with giving her a little piece of turkey meat or some mashed potatoes as a special Christmas treat. But many holiday favorites can be dangerous to dogs, specifically:

  • Turkey bones – they can splinter and cause severe internal damage or intestinal blockage. Meat is okay, bones are not.
  • Onions, garlic, grapes and raisins, most seeds, etc. – these can be very toxic to dogs. Be sure you know what kind of food is safe for your dogs to eat.
  • Anything sweetened with artificial sweetenersthese can be lethal to dogs. Be very careful with the desserts, and make sure Fluffy doesn’t sneak a bite!

Keep in mind that guests often don’t know what’s safe for a dog to eat and what isn’t. A lot of the time, they’ll want to spoil your dog. If you can’t trust your guests not to accidentally poison your dog, it’s probably safer to her (or your guests, if you’d prefer) in a separate room while the food is out.

4: Be careful with the not-food!

Dogs aren’t exactly as discerning as we are when it comes to putting stuff in their mouths. Scented Christmas decorations like candles and other knick-knacks can be just tempting as a juicy turkey leg. I once had a golden retriever eat a bag of beeswax tealight candles. That was a fun trip to the emergency vet…

brown dog about to eat christmas tree ball ornament

Similarly, tree ornaments can be tempting toys for dogs. For larger dogs, the tree itself can make for an alluring target. Interactive Christmas toys, like your singing and dancing snowman, should probably be kept on a high shelf.

Christmas presents also probably shouldn’t be kept under a tree, i.e. at nose-level. Dogs will be eager to play with boxes and/or eat them. At best, you’ll end up with slobbery presents. At worst, you’ll end up with a hefty vet bill for emergency surgery to remove little Timmy’s legos from your dog’s tummy.

Note: If your dog does make a buffet out of your tree, decorations, or presents, call the vet or emergency vet immediately. Don’t risk your dog’s life by using a ‘wait-and-see’ approach!

5: Plan for office closures

Many pet care professionals are closed, or have reduced hours, between Christmas and New Years. Be sure these closures won’t affect your pet’s care by taking the following precautions:

  • Book your regular grooming appointment several weeks ahead of time
  • Buy extra dog food so you don’t run out on Christmas day
  • Consult with your veterinarian if your dog is under regular care for chronic conditions. Ensure you have enough medication to get you through the holidays, if your vet’s office will be closed.

6: Be mindful of stressed-out doggos

While the holidays can be a great time for us to visit family and friends, or have large groups of people over, this can be extremely stressful for many dogs.  A dog under stress can be unpredictable. Even the most gentle soul can become reactive, and hurt themselves (or someone else) if they’re put under enough stress.

scared small pup in owner's arms

Here are a few tips to give you and your pooch the best chances at an incident-free holiday season:

  • If entertaining at home, pay close attention to your dog’s body language, and look for signs of stress. Provide them a safe space to escape the noise and crowds if they need to. This is especially important if there are children present!
  • If visiting someone else’s house with your dog, the same rules apply. Bring a crate with you so you can put your dog somewhere safe, if needed. If you know your dog doesn’t do well with large gatherings, other dogs, or children, it might be safer to leave him at home.
  • If travelling without your dog, use a reputable kennel or pet sitter while you’re gone. If a friend is watching your dog during the holidays, be sure she’s well aware of your dog’s needs and how to best provide them – especially if she’s having people over for Christmas, too.
  • Keep in mind that holidays are the busiest dog park days. People bring their pooches out to “tire them out” before larger gatherings. This means that parks are crowded with dogs who are over-stimulated, and very likely don’t have too good of manners. At this time of the year, it might not be the best space for your furry friend.
  • Give your dog some TLC in an environment that’s comfortable for them. We totally get it: things are crazy during the holidays, and everyone already wants all of your time as it is. But with all the hustle and bustle, your best boy is going to miss you, too! Don’t forget to make some time for him when you can – even if it’s just for a few minutes to give him a cuddle, throw around his favorite toy, or brush his fur to keep him looking his best. Grooming a dog helps to stimulate his blood flow, which keeps him healthy, both in body and spirit!
man walking his happy dog in the snow

All these points are particularly important for puppies and senior dogs alike. Remember that puppies go through several fear-imprint periods while they’re growing up. A traumatic experience can cause life-long anxiety issues. Senior dogs, on the other hand, become much less tolerant as they age. So even if old Rex used to be fine with kids pulling his tail back in his youth, it doesn’t mean you should let your 1-year-old niece do that this Christmas.

(But also as a side note, don’t let kids pull on a dog’s tail in the first place. This hurts the dog and can cause them to reflexively react with aggression, which could put the child in danger. It’s basically a lose-lose situation for everyone involved!)

All in all, the holidays are a wonderful opportunity to take time off work and spend it with your loved ones. With the right precautions, your pupper will enjoy this time as much as you do!

How else can grooming a dog be beneficial to you? By making it your career in 2020! Enroll in QC’s leading online dog grooming course today!

7 Easy Ways to Tank your Dog Grooming Business Reputation

happy dog surrounded by paper mess

You’ve worked hard to establish your dog grooming business. You have a great space and a solid base of recurring clients. You’re booked every day. Life is good! But where’s the fun in that? Tanking your reputation will make running your business a lot more challenging, and that’s the real test for any true entrepreneur, isn’t it? If you’re looking to completely ruin your dog grooming business’ reputation, here are some sure-fire ways to get it done!

1. Triple your prices overnight

You have a solid client base, so logically it’s now time to make them pay through the nose for your services. Most business owners would incrementally increase their prices over time. But not you! Your clients should expect that you’ll jack up your prices once they see how talented you are.

Extra points: Don’t tell your clients your prices have increased until after you hand them their bill, then argue with them when they complain that a nail trim shouldn’t cost $100. If they refuse to pay, threaten legal action! Heck, why stop there? Record them with your phone and post it to YouTube so the whole world can see how unreasonable they’re being!

dog dressed as robber sitting in a suitcase full of money

2. Overbook, then rush through appointments

You’re a talented dog groomer and your business is in high demand. Time to work on your speed game so that you can cram more bookings into a standard workday! Most groomers would hire other professionals to help out with their booming business, but what a waste of resources that would be!

Why hire a brusher/bather if you can just give Rover a quick rinse in the tub, spray him down with a doggy cologne, quickly smooth down the top coat, put a bow on his head, and move to the next dog? Time is money, and cutting corners is your best friend! No need for a thorough bath, rinse, and brush.  Rover will smell good enough when his owners pick him up, so they’ll never know. By the time they get home and see the mess of a dog underneath the bow, it’ll be their problem to deal with!

3. Start using the wrong tools

If your dog grooming clippers break, there’s no need to replace them. Just head down to the drug store and buy a cheap beard trimmer. It’s basically the same thing, right? Who cares if it’s nowhere near powerful enough, ends up ripping clumps of fur out, or cutting the dog’s pads while you trim their paws!

Run out of your fancy dog shampoo? Use whatever you have in the bathroom at home. Forget that your own shampoo isn’t formulated for dogs and will irritate their skin. They’ll still get “clean” with that shampoo, and their skin will eventually heal.

(Probably. Fingers crossed.)

Can’t find your grooming shears? Grab any old pair of scissors from your office. Sure, they’re not nearly sharp enough; they’ll cause uneven cuts and will tug at the dog’s fur with every snip, making them extremely uncomfortable. It’s not like it’ll cause permanent damage.

The bottom line: no need to inconvenience yourself or invest in good tools. Dogs are resilient – they’ll survive.

(…Maybe.)

woman shrugging

4. Listen to the owner’s wishes, even though you know better

Shave a golden retriever for the summer because “he’ll get too hot”? Sure, no problem.

Put a senior dog with a heart condition through a full groom, even though there’s a chance he’ll end up at the emergency vet (or worse)? Yes, sir. Not a problem, sir. After all, the owner has a party tonight and Bella needs to look her best, health concerns be damned.

You can also totally use an oatmeal shampoo on a dog with a history of yeast infections, because the owner read on the internet that it’s good for itchy skin. What do you mean, ‘improper etiquette’? Meh, it’s not your job to advocate for the dog or educate the owner. Who cares if Fluffernutter ends up with a crazy skin infection a few days later? That’s not your fault, you were just following orders!

5. Store personal client information in an unsecured forum

Who needs privacy? Your customer’s contact information, emergency contacts, credit card numbers, etc. don’t need to be secured. Just write them all in that one messy notebook you leave on the front desk, completely open and in plain sight. Better yet, store all that information on an unsecured spreadsheet, and then email it to yourself for good measure. If someone happens to steal or hack your clients’ information, you’re innocent! Securing information is HARD and you’re BUSY. It’s not like you could easily use encrypted software to properly store sensitive data or anything.

Bonus points: When your clients’ information does get hacked, deny all responsibility and blame the victim. They never explicitly told you to not keep their credit card number and expiry date on a post-it note. What are you, a mind reader?

small dog dressed up as a mind reader

6. All aboard the gossip train!

OMG, have you seen the way Debbie looked this morning when she dropped off her poodle for a groom? Baggy sweats and puffy eyes like she’s been crying all night… Must be trouble in paradise!

Your clients, staff, and vendors are going to love the new you when you loosen that tongue and gossip with them about other clients! It’s not like they’ll expect you to be professional and refrain from spreading rumors or butting into people’s lives. Yeah, you’re there to groom their dogs, but what’s a little gossip to go along with it? Dinner and a show! If Debbie didn’t want you to gossip about her, maybe she shouldn’t so obviously have problems at home.

It’s not like everyone will wonder if you’re also gossiping about them behind their backs, too, right?

7. Start fights with online reviewers

How DARE someone criticize your business by leaving a horrible review! She’s really going to get uppity about you injuring her dog during a routine groom and then lying about it? Real mature. Doesn’t she know how difficult it is to run a business these days?

You’ll show her! You’ll reply to her so-called “honest” review by attacking her personally, calling her names, poking fun at her appearance, and using racial slurs for good measure. Since you have her contact info, you can always dox her if you really want to get revenge. You’ll find out who her employer is and you’ll send a complaint to her boss. You’ll find her social media friends and spread rumors to turn them against her, too.  She tried to ruin your business, and now she must PAY!

Bonus Points: Find out where she lives and show up at her house to attack her in person. A stalking charge is a great way to seal the deal on a ruined reputation. You might even make the news – yay for free publicity!

beautiful groomer holding dog in salon

All kidding aside, it’s easy to damage your dog grooming business’ fragile reputation by making careless mistakes, or just not thinking ahead to the consequences of doing things “the easy way”. As a business owner, it’s worth taking precautions to safeguard your reputation whenever you can. Remaining professional at all times, and following the business tips provided in your dog grooming course business training unit, will help you gain a spotless reputation that will follow you throughout your career!

Want to hear our actual tips for properly handling negative reviews? Click here to keep reading!

7 Best Dog Grooming Equipment for First Time Dog Owners

wet dog wrapped in towel next to bath products

Owning your very own dog for the first time is super exciting – but also a bit scary. A living, breathing being, entirely dependent on you for its survival? Talk about pressure!

You’ll quickly come to find that the limitless affection you’ll feel from your pup and receive in return far outweighs any difficulties by a long shot. So long as you protect, love, and cherish your dog like a member of the family, you’ll make an A+ caregiver.

Part of learning how to do that, of course, is knowing how to take care of your dog’s physical and mental health. Doing so will keep your dog healthy, but will allow the two of you to bond. So you’re going to need to learn how to groom him and, more importantly, to make a regular habit of it.

Now, because you’re brand new to this dog-owning thing, you may not know where to start. Don’t worry! Just make sure you have the following items, and you’ll be golden… retriever!

happy golden retriever puppy

(Hah!)

Keep reading to learn about the 7 best dog grooming tools you’ll need as a first time pet owner!

1. Dog brush

Everyone and their grandma knows that dogs need to be brushed. Brushing helps to remove dead skin and hair, while also detangling any knots. Brushing also helps the body produce its natural oils. Since the bristles of the brush come into rhythmic contact with the skin, brushing also helps your dog’s overall blood flow. Simply put, brushing keeps him happy and healthy!

There’s a lot more to it than that, though. No matter what, you should always brush your dog at least weekly. But depending on the breed, you may need to brush him more, or less, frequently.

Breed will also affect the type of brush you’ll have to buy. A good all-purpose dog brush would be a slicker brush, but if you want to do the best job possible, you can use:

  • Grooming gloves – Useful for quick, surface brushes if your dog is a major shedder.
  • Combs – Fine-toothed combs work well on fine dog hair, whereas wide-toothed combs are for dogs with thick coats. Typically, medium-toothed combs are the standard choice.
  • Pin brush – Best used on single coat dogs with long hair.
  • Curry brush – Created for dogs with short hair.
  • Undercoat Rake – Ideal for the double-coated dog who sheds twice a year. Furminator FTW!
husky sitting next to its shed fur

2. Dog hair clippers and/or scissors

We wouldn’t expect someone who’s not a hairdresser to walk into a salon and start snipping away, so if you don’t feel comfortable with this grooming step, you can always turn to a professional dog groomer to trim your pooch’s hair.

If you do think you’re up for the task, you’re going to need some tools first. Clippers are the most common option. However some dogs, such as smooth-coated dogs, won’t need clipping. If he’s a breed with a wired coat, you can always hand-strip your dog as well. Normally this is done twice a year.

If you’re unsure what sort of clippers to use, you can always visit your local pet store and ask an expert. He or she can show you what’s in stock, and which clippers would be best for your dog.

Some northern breeds with thick fur, such as Huskies, or breeds with double coats, such as Golden Retrievers, should never be clipped. Clipping can permanently damage their coats. Check carefully to see if your pet’s fur should not be clipped.

Even if your dog doesn’t need regular trims, a good pair of scissors or a good quality trimmer comes in handy for removing mats/burs or for trimming the hair between the pads of the feet. Typically trimmers are safer for this type of work, but you can also use scissors if you have a calm pup and a steady hand!

3. Dog nail clippers & Styptic powder

Always use equipment designed for dogs. When it comes to nails, this is an absolute must.

If your dog has lots of energy energy and is full of zoomies, his nails might not need to be cut often. His activity will naturally wear the nails down. Less active and/or old dogs will need regular attention. Some examples of the different kinds of nail trimming tools are:

  • Claw-like/plier-like clippers
  • Scissor-like trimmers
  • Guillotine trimmers
  • Files

For puppies or dogs with small, delicate nails, we recommend the scissor-like trimmers.

Styptic powder is something every owner should have on-hand when trimming their dog’s nails. If you’re lucky, you’ll never need to use it! But if you’ve ever accidentally cut a quick without your trusty QuickStop handy, you’re well aware of the mess that can ensue.

Pro tip: Get your puppy used to regular nail trims from day one! Make a point to trim a few nails at least once per week, and use lots of treats! Your future self will thank you.

small dog getting nails clipped by pro groomer

4. Dog shampoo and conditioner

You don’t need to be a professional with a specially-made dog bathtub to wash your dog. Your regular bathtub will be fine – just make sure you have a lot of old towels ready, because you’ll need them!

As with all dog grooming equipment, you must use shampoo and conditioner designed for dogs. If you use the wrong stuff, your dog could experience skin irritation and even hair breakage. You’ll find many shampoos and conditioners made just for dogs. These won’t sting if they get into your pet’s eyes. When buying shampoo and conditioner, always look for those that are free of scents and dyes.

Dogs with medical conditions might require special types of shampoo. So if your dog has highly sensitive skin, is prone to allergies, or has regular skin infections, it’s a good idea to consult with your veterinarian before choosing a shampoo.

5. Dog toothpaste and toothbrush

Did you know that only approximately 8% of dog owners brush their pup’s teeth every day? What’s a bit more terrifying is that a whopping 43% of owners have never brushed their dog’s teeth. Imagine if you never brushed your teeth, or even if you skipped more than a day. You’d feel gross! So why should your dog have to go through that?

Lack of brushing can lead to dental disease, gum decay, tooth loss, and a world of pain! When it comes to your dog, make sure his teeth are well taken care of. Brush them at least every 2-3 days, but if you can do it more frequently, so much the better.

Human toothpaste will upset your dog’s stomach, so once again, make sure the product is made specifically for canines. You’ll be able to pick from countless options when it comes to flavor, organic options, etc. You’ll also be able to see which ones are vet-approved.

Doggy toothbrushes have angled bristles and are soft to the touch. Depending on your dog’s breed, he may benefit from a certain type of toothbrush. You may have to choose a brush that suits your dog’s needs. For instance, big dogs often need brushes with long handles, since you have to be able to go further into their mouths. On small breeds, though, you can use a finger brush.

dog licking toothpaste off toothbrush

6. Ear cleaning supplies

Another important but neglected part of dog grooming is regularly cleaning your dog’s ears. This is especially important in dogs with big/floppy ears! Remember: he can’t reach up and do it himself, and stuff will start building up in there. If it’s not properly remedied with regular grooming, he can suffer from ear infections thanks to wax, debris, humidity, etc.

Ear cleaning can be done by anyone. You must, however, be sure you are as gentle and careful as possible. Plenty of ear cleansers that vet-recommended and can be purchased in pet stores. These will rinse and clean out your dog’s ear canal. Once the gross stuff inside the ear is flushed out, you can use something soft and sanitary (like a cotton pad) to wipe it away. Don’t poke anything sharp into your pet’s ear!

If you want the job done as thoroughly as possible (e.g. using ear powder, plucking excess hair, etc.), then we strongly recommend either taking your dog to a professional. Alternately, another option would be to have formal training under your belt by taking a dog grooming course!

7. TREATS!

Come on – you couldn’t possibly think that we’d talk about the well-being of your pup without mentioning that you should spoil him with treats? Of course we’re going to say that!

While too much of a good thing can have its own negative consequences (e.g. chonky doggos), yummy treats are great tools for learning, rewarding good behavior, and just reminding your furry friend that he is, in fact, your best friend. You can buy treats at grocery stores, pet shops, bakeries, and even make your own!

Plus, treats can come in handy if you ever need to distract your dog long enough to get something done. Case in point: if your dog hates baths and refuses to sit still in the tub, put a little bit of peanut butter on the bathtub wall. Bam! Your dog will quite literally forget you exist, and you can finally scrub out all that dirt he rolled around in while digging up the neighbor’s garden.

woman cuddling puppy

Congrats again on becoming a new dog parent! We wish you and your new furever friend the happiest life together! Now that you know about the top seven grooming tools you’ll need, we have no doubt your dog will be well taken care of for years to come.

If you’re ever unsure, always remember that you can take him to a professional.

Or better yet, if you have the interest and the drive, that professional could very well be you! A good pet grooming school will allow you to become trained and certified on your own schedule and at affordable prices. You’ll also receive the equipment needed to complete the course and to launch your career. You could find yourself ready to start your dream job in less than a year!

Can you think of a better career than one where you’re around animals all day!

Want to start your professional dog grooming career? Enroll in QC Pet Study’s certified Dog Grooming course today!