How to Start a Dog Grooming Business

Perhaps you want to start a dog grooming business or maybe you are wondering about how to be a dog groomer- either way you could start an exciting and a rewarding career. We believe that your choice to start a dog groomer business is one of the smartest decisions you can make as far as job security and an outlook for a bright future is concerned.

Dog grooming is one of the evergreen careers in which you will never be facing a shoratge of work no matter the economic conditions of people who own pet dogs. People will always keep pets and will always need to have them groomed. Pet spending doesn’t drop even during hard times.

Dog grooming skills are always in demand and never become obsolete or outdated. Don’t think that if you become a dog groomer that you are limited in your job choice. Your skills can be used in a number of different capacities. If you dream of taking your career all the way to the top and owning your own dog grooming salon-do it! Your salary as a dog groomer will vary depending on your skill level, the training you receive, and the career path you take. But consider all the other opportunities you have as trained pet groomer:

  • Instead of owning the salon you can work for the person who does.
  • Purchase a dog grooming franchise.
  • Many pet stores, including some of the big chains, offer on site dog grooming and hire groomers.
  • Animal shelters always need groomers.
  • Many veterinary offices have an on site groomer for their clients.
  • Join the mobile pet groomer industry.
  • Specialize as a show dog groomer.
  • Many kennels, training facilities, and dog activity businesses hire on site groomers.
  • Work as a dog groomer’s assistant.

The first step in your journey to become a dog groomer is to plan your pet grooming training path. You have choices here. First, research dog grooming schools. This is probably the best route to go if you are positive that becoming a pet groomer is right for you. If you are not ready to commit the time and money yet and just want to test the water, consider online dog grooming courses. If you want to eventually become a dog groomer working in the higher skill and pay levels, you will still want to attend a quality grooming school. But dog grooming home study can give you the basics in order to assist or apprentice an experienced groomer and lay the foundation for further advancement.

At this point dog grooming is considered a vocational career and is not a degree program. Most grooming schools do not need to be accredited or sanctioned by their state or federal government. As you research various grooming schools you will see many differences in length of program, courses offered, tuition fees, and study hours required. Keep in mind that just as job and career choices for groomers vary, so does the cost and quality of dog grooming schools.

In very general terms, dog grooming schools require about 300-600 hours of training, lasting from approximately 10-16 weeks. Tuition can range from $1000 to $6000. Some schools include your grooming tools in the cost, others require you purchase them separately, which runs about $1000. Some schools offer financing, while others do not. If possible, do not base your choice of school solely on your location. You really need to compare different schools to get a feel for which offer the most quality education that you can afford. If one school seems perfect for you and your circumstances allow, consider a temporary move to attend.

Here’s some of the topics covered when studying how to become a dog groomer:

  • Basic combing, brushing dematting, bathing, and drying techniques.
  • Ear, eye, and rectal cleaning.
  • Nail clipping.
  • Equipment familiarity and handling.
  • Scissoring and clipping skills.
  • Types of breeds and their signature cuts.
  • Cat grooming.
  • Dog and cat anatomy and behavioral study.
  • Pet first aid.
  • General business skills.

After completion of your training, most grooming schools award you a certificate of completion and some even help with job placement. Although it’s not required to become a dog groomer, some pros go on to earn certification from one of the national dog grooming associations.

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