With Crufts showcasing the demand for pampered pets, we’re thinking this week about the world of dog grooming. Taking care of man’s best friend has a long history. The Romans clipped their poodles to look like lions and lithographs from Elizabethan times show dogs being sheared. Today, with around 8.5 million dogs in the UK alone, there’s a fast-growing market for shampooing, clipping and coat-shaping services. If you’re looking for a flexible new career, this practical profession could be for you.
What does a dog groomer do?
Grooming is about more than just keeping pets looking polished; it’s also vital for their health. Brushing removes dirt, encourages blood circulation and reduces shedding. Without regular attention, coats can become matted, which can cause painful skin conditions. It’s important that dogs visit an expert frequently to check for problems such as ticks, infections and injuries. Every breed is different and dogs with longer coats need treatment on a more regular basis. Day-to-day groomers shampoo fur, blow-dry and trim hair, cut nails and clean ears.
What skills do you need to become a dog groomer?
Washing and clipping dogs can be messy and unpredictable, so a real love for working with animals is essential. To become a dog groomer, you’ll need the stamina to stay active throughout the day and the patience to handle canine clients that don’t want to stay still. Communication is key because it’s important to establish the temperament of each dog and be ready to reassure an anxious pet. Central to the role is fantastic customer service and it’s common to build a client base through word-of-mouth recommendations. Owners expect attention to detail and a personal approach.
How do you become a dog groomer?
To start working towards your new career, you can grow your skills through an online qualification. If you’re looking for a dog grooming school online, Stonebridge is a leading provider of adaptable dog grooming courses. Catering for complete novices, or anyone looking to update their knowledge, we’ve helped thousands of students to take on exciting employment challenges.
Our introductory dog grooming course will equip you with all the information you need to become a dog groomer and set up your own business. You’ll find out more about health and safety in the workplace and selecting your equipment. Develop an understanding of the protective clothing required when washing pets and easy ways for groomers to maintain a clean environment.
Take an in-depth look at anatomy and health issues such as skin diseases and parasites, and ensure that you know how to avoid injuries during grooming. The course covers choosing the right shampoo, keeping a dog comfortably restrained and preparing a coat before bathing. You’ll study different ways of drying, alongside the importance of paying attention to teeth, eyes, ears and claws. Canine coats come in a wide range of different lengths and textures and this dog grooming qualification will teach you how to brush and trim a variety of breeds.
The study programme explores topics in a hands-on way, enabling you to learn dog grooming techniques and practice at home. Unlike traditional dog grooming classes, our course makes it simple to train in your own time. Benefit from a free clipper kit and the advice of a dedicated personal tutor.
Before completing your studies, you’ll discover how to create a business and follow regulations. The syllabus also suggests strategies for advertising dog grooming services, giving you the confidence to go out and promote your brand.
Where can you take your career?
Being professionally trained allows you to become a dog groomer and design a career that works for you. At a salon, dog grooming assistants start on a salary of £13,000 to £14,000, with the potential to earn £20,000 per annum after a few years. Many Stonebridge students go on to become self-employed and offer mobile services. You can charge between £25 and £70 for each client as your reputation grows. Dog grooming qualifications provide scope to continue to expand your business or even set up your own salon. You may decide to widen your target audience and start grooming other animals or tap into the market for selling pet products and accessories.
As your career progresses, you could go into training and pass your knowledge on. Alternatively, if you have a passion for working with animals, opportunities for moving around in the industry are endless. Further study could see you take on a role in veterinary care, dog walking, or zoo keeping.
Setting up a dog grooming company
Pursuing dog grooming as a career means that you can choose your own working hours and as your business expands, you’ll directly benefit. If starting from scratch doesn’t suit you, some established dog grooming companies provide franchise opportunities, enabling you to use a recognised brand name.
If you’re self-employed, you’ll need to decide whether to rent a premises, use your own home or travel to see clients. Starting costs are often low and in most cases, you can be a sole trader, without the need for extra staff. To become a dog groomer and have long-term success, you must write a business plan and monitor progress. Advertising, working out pricing and organising your diary are crucial. With the support of our dog grooming qualification, you’ll not only have the skills to excel at a role you enjoy, but the business know-how to make money.
Be inspired by a Stonebridge graduate, who has since taken her dog grooming business from strength to strength.