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A Dog Groomer Career? 14 Pros & Cons

Disclosure:This post may contain affiliate links that pay me a commission. As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases. Full disclaimer here.

Are you contemplating a dog groomer career? The dog industry is certainly an area that has a growing market and an associated growing demand for dog grooming services.

If you are a dog lover and you are happy to work with dogs other than your own, as well as happy to communicate with other dog owners, then a dog groomer career could be just what you are looking for.

Pros and Cons of Being a Dog Groomer

A dog groomer career has much to offer as a profession but let’s look at both the advantages as well as the disadvantages along with the usual requirements for dog grooming jobs. Then you can be in a better position to make an informed judgement about whether or not this is a career path for you.

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Advantages of Being a Dog Groomer

  1. Own Boss
    • A Dog Groomer career can allow you to be your own boss if you set up your own salon in a center or at home. Similarly, if you decide on a mobile dog grooming business, then you can be in charge of your day and how you want to schedule your appointments. The pet groomer salary, when working as your own boss, can be quite decent.
  2. Flexibility
    • You can determine how many hours per day and how many days per week you would like to work. This is particularly useful if you need to navigate school hours and other parenting responsibilities. Flexibility is often mentioned in discussions about the appeal of a dog groomer career.
  3. Work with Animals
  4. Wider Community Interaction
    • You get to meet many people in your area. Your repeat customers will become welcome contacts every month or so when they return for their next grooming appointment.
    • Whilst it is true that a Dog Groomer career requires that you work predominantly with animals, you will still have ample interaction with people via phone bookings, visits, queries and the like.
  5. Easy Entry
    • A Dog Groomer career is one that doesn’t require a lengthy and costly university degree. Some groomers establish their business without any formal education at all, although a course of some description is definitely advisable and certainly some experience and observation of seasoned groomers is desirable before starting a dog grooming business of your own.
  6. Dog Grooming Courses
    • There are many dog grooming courses available of varying lengths and costs. This means that you can analyze your current level of expertise in dog grooming (if any) and then select a dog grooming school that will take you from where you are to the desired level of proficiency.
      It pays to do some research so that you can find a course at a cost that you can afford.
    • For example, there are some excellent grooming courses listed on the American Kennel Club site. As you can see, there are several specialisations that you can explore in order to become more of an expert in your chosen Dog Groomer career.

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Disadvantages of a Dog Grooming Career

  1. Demanding Work
    • This is not the career for someone who prefers a more sedentary day, although it is possible to set up your grooming table so that you can sit for some of the clipping. Generally speaking though, you will be doing a lot of bending and lifting.
  2. On Your Feet
    • This point really goes hand-in-hand with the previous point. You will need to be reasonably physically fit to sustain the amount of time that you need to be standing.
  3. Have to Work to a Schedule
    • Whilst one of the advantages listed above is that you can set your own hours, you will still need to follow am appointment schedule. This will necessitate being ready to start work when your 1st appointment arrives and being able to work to a time estimate so that your customers are not kept waiting too long when they return to collect their pets.
  4. Dog Temperaments
    • You will need to work with different dog breeds and temperaments. This will require knowledge of breed dog grooming, breed tendencies and some knowledge of dog psychology (affiliate link) so that you can settle an anxious dog or pacify an angry dog.
  5. Long Hours
    • Generally speaking, most dog groomers will tell you that you can expect long hours once your clientele grows. Growth of your customer base is, of course, what you want to see happen. You want to have many customers so that your business becomes viable. However, along with that growth comes the longer hours to accommodate all of your clientele. You could however, once you reach that stage, consider taking on an assistant.
  6. Weekend Work
    • Dog Groomers often need to work weekends and later hours to accommodate pet owners’ hours. Saturday is always a favorite request from owners and you will also  get people wanting to go home after work and collect their pet to take him for a grooming.
  7. Certificates & Licenses
    • Owners will be more at ease if they can see that you are certified as a groomer.
    • You will need to check with your local government body to find out what is required to practice as a dog groomer. This varies from country to country and from state to state.
  8. Insurances
    • You will need to research the type of insurance that you should take out to protect yourself once you set yourself up in business.

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No doubt there are a number of other pros and cons that readers will think of with respect to becoming a dog groomer, but this list will give you some points to think about when deciding if a  dog grooming career is for you. I look forward to some of these being shared via the comments section below.  

Average Dog Grooming Salary

So how much does a dog groomer make, in your state or other countries?

It goes without saying that anyone considering a new career would be interested in finding out if it can lead to a lucrative job. In this case, of course, we are talking about a Dog Groomers salary.

Those thinking of embarking on this career path nearly always ask questions such as:

  • How much do dog groomers make a week?
  • How much do dog groomers make a year?
  • How much do pet groomers make if working with other pets in addition to dogs?

Now, of course, you will want to take into account the kind of income you could expect to make if working in your particular area because rates do differ from locality to locality. This is why we have included a salary calculator on our Dog Groomer Salary post.

Naturally the self employed dog groomer salary will differ considerably from that of an apprentice or an employed stylist.

The calculator allows you to specify your own country as well as the time frame. For example, you might be interested in the Dog Groomer salary Australia wide or in a specific state. You can easily check these localised figures, just as quickly as you can check on Dog Grooming salaries in the U.S. Of course the calculator allows you to look up other careers so that you can make a comparison with the average Dog Groomer wages in your area.

How I Make Six Figures Playing with Dog Hair: 10 Step Guide to Start Your Pet Grooming Business

Is Dog Grooming a Good Career For You?

If you have considered the above points and made the decision to proceed then your next steps would be figuring out how to become a dog groomer.

How to Start a Home-based Pet Grooming Business, 3rd (Home-Based Business Series)

In particular, some thought should be given to the following points:

  1. Choose the right dog grooming business model that suits your personality, preferred work schedule and budget. For example, you might have a preference to be on the go rather than work in just one location. In that case, you might want to get some tips on how to become a mobile dog groomer (affiliate link).
  2. If you prefer to be your own boss, then you would need to establish a sound dog grooming business plan.
  3. If you would rather work for someone else, you could look around for salons offering apprentice dog grooming jobs.
  4. Regardless of the grooming job type, it will be essential to acquire basic and then advanced dog groomer skills. This can be done via a face-to-face course, in-salon training via an apprenticeship or by enrolling in one of the more reputable online courses.

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As you can see, this article looked at many dog groomer career pros and cons.

You might be wondering why I have listed more disadvantages than advantages but that is a quantitative rather than a qualitative measure.

It is good to be forewarned about any downsides to any undertaking. Then you can be sure, if you decide to proceed, that this is the right choice for you.

When you look at the list of disadvantages, then you can see that they are manageable, particularly if you have received good tuition from a dog grooming course.

~ Janine ~


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