How to become a dog groomer

In this article we will look into how to become a dog groomer. Are you looking for a change of career in the New Year? Do you enjoy playing with dogs? Well, then you could consider becoming a dog groomer, you can get paid for interacting with dogs all day long! It might seem like an easy task, but there are a few technical points to figure out before setting up a dog grooming business. Before we jump into how to become a dog groomer, there are a few considerations we need to look at first.

Things to think about before becoming a dog groomer

Step one is a love for animals, mixed with lots of patience. You need to be able to keep calm when a dog gets feisty and be able to calm it down as well. If you want to just make money from a dog grooming salon, then rather consider finding a partner who is passionate about dogs.

Before you just rent out a space and open up a dog grooming salon, you need to do a bit of market research in your area to be aware of your competition. If you can come up with a unique angle, such as a mobile dog grooming unit, you could maybe gain more customers.

If you want to become a dog groomer, you need to be in tiptop shape. It is a very physically demanding job. You need lots of stamina and strength to manage a full day of dog grooming, hauling dogs in and out of washing basins. Again, if you have enough capital to start off with, you could hire someone to help you with all the heavy lifting and dirty work.

Make sure you don’t have any hidden allergies that you are unaware of, if you will be doing the hands-on work. Sometimes you can be fine with one type of dog hair, but another can trigger a reaction. Or if you struggle with asthma, remember that you will be exposed to lots of dirt and loose hair floating in the air.

If you are considering becoming a dog groomer, you could also consider going to an established dog grooming salon and asking the owner if he or she would be willing to share with you their journey to success. This should give you a good idea of what it entails to become a dog groomer.

When picking a space to set up your dog grooming salon, try to find a place with water-resistant flooring, such as a tile floor. A good plumbing infrastructure is also crucial. You will need to maintain a high level of safety and cleanliness at all times.

Training to become a dog groomer

When you are investigating how to become a dog groomer, an effortless way to gain your training, is to consider online courses. The following are the top five online resources that you can consider:

How to become a dog groomerYou don’t need a formal license to become a dog groomer, but it is helpful to get a few tips and tricks from the professionals to make your dog grooming career less complicated. For safety reasons it is advisable to invest in basic training, even it is just via an online course. People are very protective over their pets, so you need to take the job seriously.

A Day in the Life: Pet Groomer – a handy YouTube video clip to watch before you decide to embark on a dog grooming career path.

The legal side

Make sure you enquire from your local municipality about all the technical paperwork that you need to sort out to register your business, such as permits and licenses. You can visit your city’s local chamber of commerce office for this.

You also need to take out sufficient insurance to cover you in case of any unforeseen emergencies, not only the general building insurance, but also to cover you in case any problems arise with the grooming process. When a little squirming creature is involved, unfortunately mishaps are bound to happen or a dog might have an allergic reaction to your grooming products.

Special liability insurance can be tailored for this unique business. Because this is a speciality business, you need to make sure that you understand all the legal matters pertaining to it. An insurance company will be able to guide you in the process to activate the right type of insurance.

How to become a dog groomer in five easy steps

To sum up the process of becoming a dog groomer, the following is an easy process you can follow to make sure you have everything in place for your new career.

Step 1:

Do your market research to open your dog grooming salon in the right location, ensuring that there will be enough customers to sustain your business. Otherwise, consider going the mobile dog grooming route. Your options will also be determined by the capital investment you have available to open your new business.

Step 2:

Decide which training course you are going to use to equip yourself. As mentioned above, you don’t need any formal qualifications to become a dog groomer, but you do need to make sure that you understand all the technical details of for instance handling a dog while grooming and how to cut the dog’s hair properly.

Tip: an effortless way to get access to an unending flow of doggy customers for your new dog grooming salon, is to team up with a local veterinarian. You can offer the vet’s clients a little bit of discount and in return you have the stamp of approval of a vet that will reassure new customers that your business is legit.

Step 3:

You need lots of practice to become an expert dog groomer. Make sure you gain the experience before promoting your business. One way of doing this, is to consider first working as a dog grooming assistant before opening up your own business. If you are serious about becoming a dog groomer, you will realize that expert grooming skills don’t happen overnight. Rather take the time to gain the experience to ensure that your business will be a big success.

An alternative way to gain the experience, is to offer your services for free to friends and family, explaining to them that you need to practice your skills. Just make sure that you warn them that you might mess up their precious poodle’s hairdo.

Step 4:

Continue to sharpen your skills even after opening a dog grooming salon. You need to keep track of the latest grooming tools and techniques. The National Dog Groomers Association of America (NDGAA) regularly hosts grooming workshops that you can attend to tweak your skills. You can also purchase the NDGAA breed profiles study kit to ensure that you are up to date with the latest doggy styling trends.

Step 5:

Even though you don’t need a professional degree to open a dog grooming salon, earning certification from an institution such as the NDGAA will add more credibility to your salon. There are two stages of certification: a National Certified Groomer and a National Certified Master Groomer. You will need to complete a written exam as well as practical grooming tests to qualify.

Supplies Tick-off list:
• Grooming table with a grooming arm
• A tub with a shower attachment
• Shear and a scissor
• Electric hair clipper
• Nail-clipper
• Dryer
• Cage
• Pet-friendly shampoos
• Comb and brush
• De-matting tools
• Muzzle and harness
• Ramp or pet step
• Grooming station for tools
• Vacuum
• Ribbons and bows

Take it to the next level

The dog grooming industry is booming. People are passionate about their pets, willing to invest lots of money to make their doggy family members look good. You could transform your dog grooming salon into a dog grooming spa! Offer add-on treatments such as “peticures”, aromatherapy and massages treatments to create a unique experience for your customers.

Best of luck to you!

Now that you have a better idea of how to become a dog groomer, you can start setting up your business plan and embark on a new career for a new year. Make sure that you create a holistic business approach to set up your dog grooming salon, keeping in mind that it will take a while to acquire a regular client base. Otherwise, if you are passionate about dog grooming but can’t afford to start your own business, you can consider joining an existing salon to live out your passion.