Is a dog grooming career for you? 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 & Cons of Being a Dog Groomer
A dog grooming career has much to offer as a profession but let’s look at both the advantages as well as the disadvantages. Then you to make an informed judgement about whether or not this is the career path for you.
Advantages of Being a Dog Groomer:
- Own Boss
- You can 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.
- 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.
- Work with Animals
- Wider Community Interaction
- You get to know a lot more people in your area. Your repeat customers will become welcome contacts every month or so when they return for the next grooming.
- Whilst it is true that, as a dog groomer, you work predominantly with animals, you will still have ample interaction with people via phone bookings, visits, queries and the like.
- Easy Entry
- This is one career 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.
- 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 the course that will take you from where you are to the desired level of proficiency. If you are selective then this can be at a cost that you can afford.
- For example, there are some excellent grooming courses listed on the American Kennel Club site.
Disadvantages of a Dog Grooming Career:
- 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.
- 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.
- Have to Work to a Schedule
- Whilst one of the advantages listed above was that you can set your own hours, once you have decided on your preferred routine, then you will have to follow your booking 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.
- 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 so that you can settle an anxious dog or pacify an angry dog.
- 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 fit them all in. You could however, once you reach that stage, consider taking on an assistant.
- 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 come home after work and collect their pet to take him for a grooming.
- 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.
- You will need to research the type of insurance that you should take out to protect yourself once you set yourself up in business.
At the moment, I have listed more disadvantages than advantages but that is a quantitative rather than qualitative measure.
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.
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.
And of course you will want to take into account the kind of income you could expect in your area by using the salary calculator found on our Dog Groomer Salary post. If you have considered the above points and made the decision to proceed then your next steps would be to:
- Choose the right dog grooming business model that suits your personality, preferred work schedule and budget
- Put in place a sound dog grooming business plan.
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 an idea when deciding if a dog grooming career is for you. I look forward to some of these being shared via the comments.
~ DGCO ~