How to Become a Dog Groomer - 7 Top Tips

If you're thinking about becoming a dog groomer or adding this service to your business, here you'll find some advice to help you get started.
How to Become a Dog Groomer - 7 Top Tips

Last update: 29 July, 2019

These days, people are always looking for new ways to pamper their pets. As a result, pet spas have seen a rise in popularity in recent years. Dog groomers offer a range of different services, from high-fashion hair cuts to pedicures, from massages to aromatherapy, and even facial treatments! Today, we’ll tell you everything you need to know about how to become a dog groomer.

What does a dog groomer do?

Most owners only make use of the more practical services offered by dog groomers: a good bath, a hair cut, a nail trim, and so on. Anyone who becomes a dog groomer needs to really love animals. They’ll also need to have a great deal of patience, and get on well with both pets and people.

Here are some of the basic things you’ll need to know to become a dog groomer:

1. How to become a dog groomer – do some market research

Think about how much you’ll need to earn, and how much you’ll need to charge for your services. At first, it might be a bit difficult to work out a good pricing strategy. So, start by checking out the competition, and then assess your potential client base.

It’s also important to do some research into the local market, finding out who your potential competitors might be, where your premises could be located, and if you have sufficient funds to cover initial costs. After all, starting a new business isn’t cheap.

2. Think about your physical health and strength

Because it is such a physically demanding role, that involves picking up pets and other physical activities, you’ll need to think seriously about whether you are up to the task. Remember to take health factors such as asthma, arthritis, and pet allergies into account. Upon reflection, you may find that this isn’t really the job for you.

A spaniel at the groomers.

3. How to become a dog groomer – your premises

Do you have enough space to open a pet grooming service? You’ll also need to make sure that your premises are suitable for this kind of business. Ideally, they should include tiled floors, adequate plumbing, easy access to bathroom facilities, and strategically-located power outlets, among other things. Hygiene and safety are essential for any business.

4. Training

You don’t need a license or formal training to become a dog groomer. In fact, many groomers learn on the job. However, we would recommend seeking professional training and certification to give you more recognition and credibility on the market. That way, you can offer your four-legged clients a safer, more efficient and professional service.

You can find many online courses, as well as further education and vocational schools that offer full dog groomer training and certification.

Some of the things you’ll learn include:

  • Animal behavior and control
  • Safety procedures
  • Breed-specific characteristics and types of pets
  • Recognizing health conditions that need veterinary attention
  • How to recognize skin complaints
  • Recognizing specific parasites such as ticks and fleas
  • Bathing techniques
  • Combing and brushing
  • Drying and cutting fur
  • Obtaining and using suitable grooming products
A dog at the dog groomer.

5. How to become a dog groomer – grooming supplies and equipment

Before you get started, you’ll need to stock up on certain supplies and equipment so that you have everything you need for your dog grooming practice. Look for the following materials:

  • At least one grooming table
  • A bathtub with shower head accessory
  • Scissors and manual clippers
  • Electric hair clippers
  • Nail clippers
  • Hairdryers
  • A dog crate or kennel
  • Pet shampoo and conditioners
  • Brushes and combs
  • Harnesses
  • Muzzles
  • Storage shelves
  • Bows and ribbons

6. Research business licenses and permits

While some countries don’t require a vocational license, your city might require you to obtain a business permit. Seek advice from your local government offices to find out exactly what you need. Your local Chamber of Commerce is also a good place to ask.

7. How to become a dog groomer – get insurance

Insurance is essential. Even the most skilled, careful, and responsible dog groomers can have accidents. And no one can predict whether an animal is going to have an allergic reaction to one of the products. Many things can go wrong, so it’s best to be prepared.

You’ll need to do some research into what kind of insurance your business will need. As dog grooming is quite a niche business with a substantial risk of accidents and injuries, it’s important to get the right insurance coverage.

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