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How to be a dog groomer Archives - QC Pet Studies

How to Become a Dog Groomer Step-By-Step

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

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

Let’s dive in, shall we?

What Qualifications Do You Need to Become a Dog Groomer?

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

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

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

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

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

How Do You Train to Be a Dog Groomer?

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

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

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

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

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How Long Does it Take to Become a Dog Groomer?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

What are The Disadvantages of Being a Dog Groomer?

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

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

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

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

Occupation Hazards for Dog Groomers

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

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

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

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

Occupational Hazards for Dogs

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

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

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

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

Two dog groomers working on dogs in professional salon

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

These 6 steps to walk you through the process!

Step One: Learn EVERYTHING You Can About Dog Grooming

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

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

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

Step Two: Get Certified as a Professional Dog Groomer

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

In-Person Grooming School

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

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

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

Online Grooming School

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

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

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

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

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QC Pet Studies’ Dog Grooming Course

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

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

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

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

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

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

What to Expect as a Student of QC Pet Studies

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Step Three: Get Certified in Pet First Aid and CPR

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Step Four: Practice, Practice, Practice!

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

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

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

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

  • Practice what you’ve learned on your own dog(s), if applicable;
  • Offering complimentary grooming services at the start of your career;
  • Volunteering your expertise at dog shelters, charity events, etc.;
  • Taking part in a pro bono photoshoot, in which you groom a dog for free in exchange for high-quality images you can use in your professional portfolio;
  • Joining local, relevant groups on social media and proposing your services for other members to see, etc.
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Step Five: Get On The Job Dog Grooming Training

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

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

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

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

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

Step Six: Network and Ask for Referrals!

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Get $200 OFF QC Pet Studies’ Dog Grooming Course + A FREE Eco-Friendly Planner!

Do you dream of working as a professional dog groomer? QC Pet Studies can help you turn this dream into a reality in as little as 9-12 months!

Look, I get it: going back to school always feels like a daunting decision for some of us. This is why we’re committed to making the decision to enroll with QC the easiest one you’ll ever have to make!

But before I get into all the reasons why QC Pet Studies is the dog grooming school to train with, let me first start by letting you in on some seriously exciting news…

Have You Heard About QC Pet Studies’ Brand-New Promo?

Okay, get ready for an awesome announcement… Are you ready?

Here it is:

Until September 17th, 2021, you can get TWO courses with QC Pet Studies for the price of ONE… AND get $200 off your course… AND get a free eco-friendly planner!

As a result, you’ll be able to launch your career as a professional dog groomer with a DOUBLE certification. What’s more: both of these qualifications/designations are internationally recognized! Thus, you’ll have the freedom to potentially service clients from all over the world, if you so choose!

Alright, so now that you’re as excited as I am, let’s take a closer look at this exclusive promotional offer.

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What You Need to Know

Here’s the promotion in a nutshell: until September 17th, 2021, when you enroll in QC Pet Studies’ wildly popular Dog Grooming Course, we’ll knock a whopping $200 OFF your tuition AND provide you with a complimentary eco-friendly planner!

Crafted from recycled cardboard, these down-to-earth writing supplies embody the green spirit. Not to mention, the planner is absolutely beautiful!
But wait, that’s not all we want to give you!
As an added bonus, we’ll also gift you with our First Aid for Groomers Course at NO additional cost!

To put this into context, this First Aid for Groomers Course normally costs $348 USD… But you’ll be able to enroll in it absolutely FREE. Not only is this the perfect option for someone wanting to get their education on a budget; it’s quite literally a steal.

So, now you might be thinking, “Okay, but why these courses? Why will these certification programs help me become a professional dog groomer and have a successful career?”

Don’t worry, I’ve got you! Let’s take a look at this next…

QC Pet Studies’ Dog Grooming Course

The first thing you need to know is that this is, hands-down, our most popular program. Thousands upon thousands of aspiring and working groomers alike have graduated from this course and gone on to cultivate thriving, fruitful careers in the pet industry.

The wonderful thing about the Dog Grooming Course is that it’s craftily tailored towards ANY and ALL skill levels. Yes, this means that even if you’ve never groomed a dog before, this course will turn you into a subject-matter expert by the time you’re finished. On the other hand, if you already have some experience under your belt, this course will refine all of those core, fundamental grooming techniques you already know and bring them to the next level!

The Course Breakdown

QC Pet Studies’ Dog Grooming Course is broken up into 5 parts. In the first 3 units (A through C), you’ll learn all about:

  • The fundamental concept of dog grooming;
  • Health and safety;
  • Basic dog anatomy;
  • Skincare;
  • Canine behavior;
  • Tools of the trade;
  • And so much more!

Next, you’ll move onto Part 2 of the program. This is where you’ll get the most of your training by taking advantage of the First Aid for Groomers Course – which I’ll tell you more about shortly.

From there, you’ll progress to Part 3 of the Dog Grooming Course, which covers units D through G. These are the units where you’ll begin putting your grooming and First Aid knowledge to real-world use!

For example, you’ll get to:

  • Trim nails;
  • Clean ears;
  • Brush and de-mat coats;
  • Bathe and dry dogs;
  • Work with different coat types;
  • Execute various haircuts and styles;
  • Do cuts that meet breed standards;
  • And more!
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Now it’ll be time to move onto Part 4 of the program, which consists of your Practicum Units (1 through 5). During this portion of the course, you’ll be tested on your ability to safely and skillfully groom dogs.

These Practicum Units will have you completing intensive hands-on assignments that draw on the content you’ve mastered throughout the course. Furthermore, your personal tutor will review all of your work and provide extensive audio feedback, thereby helping you identify your current strengths and weaknesses.

Business Training

Finally, you’ll arrive at the last unit of the Dog Grooming Course, which is all about business training. Though this unit is optional, we STRONGLY recommend taking full advantage of it. In fact, the countless graduates who’ve come out of QC Pet Studies have attributed a large part of their career success to the business knowledge they obtained in this very unit.

After all, in order to have a successful business, you need to know how to actually run one. This final unit will ensure to teach you everything you need to know in order to do just that!

You’ll discover how to work for employers, or get your own business off the ground if that’s the career path you’d prefer to take. Moreover, you’ll learn how to market and promote yourself, find your target clientele, conduct competitor research, develop your brand, provide top-notch customer service, and so much more.

Essentially, the Dog Grooming Course – as a full, all-encompassing program – goes full circle. It not only teaches you how to groom like a true expert; it also teaches you how to conquer the business side of things, thus making you a total powerhouse!

QC Pet Studies’ Dog Grooming Certification

Once you graduate from this course, you’ll be mailed a physical copy of QC Pet Studies’ exclusive International Dog Grooming Professional (IDGP) certification. This certification, as I mentioned earlier, is internationally recognized and will be sure to impress all your future clients and/or employers!

And don’t forget: this title also serves as your official designation, too. Your resume will look mighty impressive with this reputable qualification added to it!

Want to hear what past QC Pet Studies graduates have had to say about the Dog Grooming Course? Check out their course reviews here!

QC Pet Studies’ First Aid for Groomers Course

As a professional groomer, First Aid training is JUST as important as grooming training. This is why QC Pet Studies’ First Aid for Groomers Course is the perfect complement to your Dog Grooming program!

Note: While you can enroll in this program without taking the other course, we highly recommend also enrolling in the Dog Grooming Course if you have no prior experience in the industry.

So, why exactly will taking QC’s First Aid for Groomers Course set your career up for even greater success?

Because this 2-unit course will diversify your industry knowledge and increase your booking potential tenfold! 

The Course Breakdown

If I tried to list all of the valuable lessons you’ll learn in this program, we’d be here all day. However, these are just some of the amazing skills you’ll gain from this training:

  • How to build your First Aid kit;
  • Setting up a safe workspace and operating within it;
  • Preventing injuries and accidents;
  • Assessing a dog’s health;
  • Preventing bites or scratches;
  • Treating minor injuries;
  • Determining the severity of a wound and checking a dog’s vitals;
  • Creating an emergency plan;
  • Rescue breathing techniques and performing CPR;
  • Helping a choking dog;
  • Responding to various emergencies – such as dehydration, heatstroke, heart attacks, seizures, cysts, parasites, burns, and bruises;
  • And more!

QC Pet Studies’ First Aid for Groomers Certificate

Upon graduation, QC Pet Studies will send you your internationally recognized First Aid for Groomers certificate of completion, which you can proudly add to your portfolio and resume. This certification shows top industry clientele that you’ve received professional First Aid training and know how to do your both job masterfully and safely.

Pro Tip: Setting yourself apart from the competition is HUGE in the grooming industry – especially if you run your own business. This level of safety training will be sure to make yours a memorable name!

What to Expect as a Student of QC Pet Studies

Okay, so now you have a better idea of these two courses and why our current promotional offer is so amazing. But what can you actually expect as a student, once you’ve enrolled with QC Pet Studies?

Self-Paced, Online Learning Environment

This is probably the best place to start since it’s easily the top reason why students and alumni completely love QC Pet Studies’ training.

All of our courses are done 100% online and at your preferred pace. We don’t impose any deadlines on you, nor do you need to follow any rigid, set schedules. Starting on the date you enroll, you get a full 2 years to complete your programs. That said, each course is less than 40 years long.

As such – and since you have full control over when and how much you focus on your studies – you can use as much or as little of that 2-year timeframe as you need. To put this into perspective: many of our grads found that by working on their course for a mere 1-2 hours per week, they were able to graduate in as little as 9-12 months (sometimes sooner)!

Tons of Hands-On Training

Yes, while our courses are done online (rather than a brick-and-mortar class), we still understand the need for real-world experience. This is why QC Pet Studies’ Dog Grooming Course provides an abundance of practical assignments that’ll give you all sorts of eye-opening, hands-on training.

Furthermore, these assignments will push you to find and work on dogs of different breeds and sizes, as well as those with different coat types. As a result, you’ll hone your skill-set and be completely prepared to book legit, paying clients as soon as you graduate!

Real Industry Expert Tutors

At QC Pet Studies, we firmly believe that you can only become the best by learning from the best! This is why all of our tutors are real-world dog groomers with years of experience under their belts.

Once you enroll in your courses, you’ll be assigned your personal tutor. Since our learning environment is one-on-one style, we guarantee that your training experience will be 100% tailored to you, your work, and your goals. Furthermore, after every unit, your tutor will go over your work with a fine-toothed comb and then provide thorough audio feedback to help you identify your current strengths and weaknesses.

Groomer makes shearing of Yorkshire Terrier by scissors. hairdresser pet and pet hair care specialist. extras at the pet store

Physical AND Digital Course Materials

Once enrolled, you’ll receive your login details for QC Pet Studies’ Online Student Center within 1-2 business days. As soon as you can log into the OSC, you’ll have access to the digital copy of all of your textbooks, instructional videos, quizzes, worksheets, and assignments. Thus, you’ll be able to begin your course as soon as you want!

However, we’ll also be mailing you a physical copy of your course materials as well – right to your front door, at no extra charge. Plus, since the Dog Grooming Course also comes with a complimentary starter grooming kit, you’ll also receive that from us, too!

Competitive Tuition Rates

In general, QC Pet Studies – like all other online schools – will offer cheaper tuition than what you’d find in an in-person grooming school. This is because we don’t have a physical campus to maintain or any of the additional overhead costs that would come with that.

But it’s not enough for us to simply be more affordable than brick-and-mortar schools… After all, we want to make your decision to pursue your dream career as easy as possible! And this is exactly why we pride ourselves on our low monthly payments plans.

Now, you absolutely can pay the full amount at the time of enrollment (which will get you a pretty nice Pay-in-Full discount). But you also have the option to pay a small deposit at the time of enrollment, followed by easily affordable payments for a set number of months afterward.

This way, ANY person with ANY budget can get QC’s top-quality education!

(Seriously, once you add this on top of the $200 OFF you’ll get from this promotional discount, it’s hard to think of a reason not to enroll with QC Pet Studies right away!)

Pro Tip: Did you know QC Pet Studies also offers a 21-Day Money-Back Guarantee? Learn more about it here!

Ready to become a professional dog groomer? Take advantage of QC Pet Studies’ exciting, limited-time promotional offer today and book your first client in as little as 9-12 months!

A Day in the Life of a Dog Groomer

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

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

Breaking Down a Day in the Life of a Dog Groomer

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

No, I’m just kidding! 😝

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

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

The Start of My Day as a Dog Groomer

First Thing’s First…

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

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

Getting My Grooming Space Ready

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

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

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

Relaxed, sleeping dog listening to music through headphones

My First Client of the Day

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

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

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

Starting with The Prep Work

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

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

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

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

April portfolio image 2

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

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

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

The Styling Stage

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

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

April portfolio image 5, after groom shot

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

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

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

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

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

Moving Onto the Next Dog Groom

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

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

At the End of My Day as a Dog Groomer…

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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