Top 10 Reasons to Become a Dog Groomer

Groomer trimming a dog's nails
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Professional dog grooming is a rapidly expanding industry that provides steady employment for many animal lovers. Are you considering a career as a professional dog groomer? Here are some of the top reasons that candidates are drawn to this particular career path:

1. Working With Dogs on a Daily Basis

Dog groomers get to work with dogs every day, which is certainly a big incentive for dog lovers! This is a job with a high level of hands-on contact. Groomers can also work exclusively with a particular breed of interest if they so choose.

2. Promoting Pet Health

Groomers provide valuable health related services such as trimming nails, bathing, cleaning ears, and checking for skin conditions.They can inform the owner of any unusual changes or observable problems with a pet’s health so that they can be brought to the attention of a qualified veterinarian.

3. Flexible Schedule

Groomers have the luxury of setting any work schedule that they desire. While many groomers primarily work traditional office hours, some choose to work part time or travel the show circuit.

4. Lifetime of Learning

Groomers are always learning new techniques and skills, whether this is from practical experience, learning from other groomers, or going to training clinics and trade shows. New equipment is always being brought to the marketplace, and top groomers tend to take advantage of innovations that are designed to improve work quality and efficiency.

5. Good Salary

Dog groomers can set their own prices for the different types of cuts they perform (with prices based on the amount of time involved and the technical difficulty of the specific cut). Experienced groomers with a solid client base can demand top dollar for their services. Show groomers working at the national level can earn extremely high pay for each cut completed.

6. Ability to Specialize

Individual groomers can focus on providing services for a few specific breeds (or in some cases just one particular breed of choice). Alternatively, they may provide services to broader categories such as working group breeds or toy breeds. Some groomers specialize even further, providing grooming services exclusively to those in the dog show industry (a particularly lucrative option if the groomer has the requisite level of skill).

7. Limited Educational Commitment

Dog groomers can learn the basics of the trade in a relatively short period of time. Some salons will train groomers on the job, but there are also many professional training programs that cover the necessary skills within a few weeks or months of intensive practice. While certification is not necessary to pursue this career path, there are several certification options that can enhance the groomer’s professional credentials.

8. Client Interaction

Groomers tend to enjoy working with both pets and people, and they certainly have the opportunity to interact with both in this career path. Promoting good client relations can be a key aspect of a groomer’s success. Pet owners may become good friends with their pet’s groomer (much in the same way they tend to become friends with their own hairstylist). This can lead to valuable referrals and connections in the local business area.

9. Steady Demand for Grooming Services

The 2014 survey conducted by the American Pet Product Association (APPA) indicated that the pet industry was responsible for $58.5 million in annual spending in the United States. The pet services portion of the industry, which includes pet grooming, was responsible for $4.73 billion of that total. Spending on pet services is one of the fastest growing aspects of the industry, and this translates to excellent opportunities for dog groomers and other pet service providers.

10. Great Small Business Opportunity

Dog grooming is an extremely accessible option for those wishing to be self-employed. A groomer can open their own salon (or become an independent contractor within an established salon) with a fairly reasonable investment of funds for basic equipment and advertising. Another option that has been growing in popularity is the mobile dog grooming salon, where the groomer purchases a specially outfitted van and travels to client homes to perform grooming services.