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How To Become A Certified Dog Groomer

How To Become A Certified Dog Groomer

To become licensed in the dog grooming industry, you will need to have appropriate training, dog groomer certification and grooming experience — and we can offer you the chance to become a certified master groomer.

Ever wondered how to become a certified dog groomer and spend your day in the company of your favorite four-legged friends? Training to be a certified pet groomer can make for a fantastic career, involving you in animal welfare and helping you earn a living by grooming dogs and other animals.

While many dog groomers choose to specialize in dogs only, other pet groomers branch out and choose to work across a variety of species. Whatever your choice, you can choose a dog grooming career that suits your lifestyle and needs — part time, full time, and casual dog grooming positions are widely advertised. And, for the entrepreneurial minded, there is the opportunity to run your own mobile dog grooming business.

Career paths for professional groomers are varied. Those in animal grooming can find employment as retail groomers for large pet stores or they can go the freelance dog groomer route. Some might choose to expand into other, similar careers as a dog trainer or professional pet handler, while some might decide to go on to train as a veterinary assistant.

Why invest in learning how to become a certified dog groomer?

Whatever path you choose, the key is to get the basics in place first before building specialist knowledge. Take your first step to being a certified dog groomer today by enrolling in the dog grooming courses that most appeal to you.

What makes a good dog groomer?

Besides an obvious affinity with animals and grooming skills, successful dog groomers share some common traits:

  • A commitment to hard work.
  • A reasonable level of physical fitness.
  • An eagerness to learn, as there are many different aspects of pet grooming, from the different breeds of dogs to coat types.
  • An ability to relate to people from all different walks of life. Every pet owner will want their pet to be treated well and you’ll need to be able to get along with them as well as their pet.

These traits alone won’t guarantee success. The final element that you need is quality training that gives you the authority and confidence to be a successful dog groomer. However, a formal education is not necessarily needed. Anything that you don’t learn on your course will be picked up during ‘on the job’ training.

What is the average dog groomer salary?

The average salary for a dog groomer is dependent on several factors. These include experience, expertise, and commissions that may be available in some circumstances. However, the median salary for dog and pet groomers in the United States is around $30,074 annually, while in Australia the median pet groomer salary is $43,000.

Many in the profession see the opportunity to grow incomes beyond these levels by and owning and operating their own grooming salons. Some also choose to skill up via training courses or by doing an apprenticeship program, so they can offer more expert services to their client base.

What are the pros and cons of running a pet grooming business?

Pet grooming represents an excellent opportunity for a small business, because many pet owners who adore their pets neither have the time or knowhow to adequately groom dogs or other animals they may have.

The pros of running a pet and dog grooming business

If the idea of owning a pet grooming business appeals to you, then it pays to examine the pros and cons of running such a business. Here are some of the benefits in becoming a certified dog groomer. Some of the benefits include the following:

  • Flexibility — you can choose to run your dog or pet grooming business from home or you can run it from a shop front. Or, you could even sublet space within another pet-related business which isn’t a competitor.
  • Pet grooming is an ideal mobile business, particularly if you can repurpose a vehicle that you already own.
  • You can make it what you want it to be. It could be a handy job on the side that offers extra income, or if you invest enough time and energy to build a large client base, it could totally change your job outlook by becoming a full-time undertaking.
  • The market for pet grooming or dog grooming specifically is huge, and there are multiple ways you can tap into the market. If, for example, you sublet space from a pet-focussed business, you will have prospective customers walking past your business daily, who will be encouraged to book a grooming appointment. You can also network with other stores to build your client base.
  • The business model offers opportunities to “bolt on” additional products and services. Easy add-ons include pet sitting and dog walking, while more specialist services might include animal behavior and dog obedience classes.
  • And, if you love animals and you’ve always dreamed of pet careers, then this business is perfect for you.

The cons of running a pet grooming business

If you are curious about how to become a certified dog groomer, you are likely very keen to start your own business. But, you must be aware that every business model has some pitfalls. If you’re serious about building a dog grooming or a pet grooming business, you need to be aware of what they could be and prepare for them in advance.

  • Startup costs are the first hurdle to overcome. A professional dog groomer will need to stock sufficient premium supplies suitable for a variety of breeds of all sizes. Some equipment like tables or bathtubs can cost hundreds of dollars. Budget accordingly.
  • Loving animals isn’t enough. You need to have the experience and know how to be comfortable with many pets and breeds as well as possess the necessary grooming skills. Some existing businesses may only hire people who are formally trained, while others will want to see a cover letter with proof of experience. Gaining dog grooming certification from online dog grooming training programs will give you the confidence you need to apply.
  • Demographics will have a large impact upon the size of your market. Dog grooming services are appealing in more affluent neighborhoods where people have disposable income.
  • Business insurance will be required to guard against liability.
  • It takes some time to build up a large enough base of clients to generate a full-time income. The key is to recognize this, work diligently to a plan, and celebrate the steady growth that comes with persistent hard work.

How to establish a dog grooming business?

One of the most popular business models is the mobile dog grooming business. It is possible to start up a mobile dog grooming business for yourself by following some key steps. These include and are not limited to the following:

Establish work experience in dog grooming

If you want to build a reputable business, you will need to have real experience grooming a variety of dogs. One of the best ways to do this is to gain hands-on experience with an existing grooming service.

Getting work as a grooming assistant at an established dog grooming business is also valuable as it gives you an opportunity to gain an insight into the day-to-day running of this type of business.

You can also gain experience working with animals in roles working with veterinary services or as a pet sitter or dog trainer. Any of these roles will help you gain experience in dog handling and help you understand canine behavior.

Establish a dog grooming business structure

You need to set the legal groundwork before opening your mobile dog grooming business. It is a good idea to seek professional advice about the business structure that best suits your circumstances. There are pros and cons of choosing a sole proprietorship, company, or business partnership — getting this right from the get-go will help you to maximize your business productivity.

Investigating local bylaws before commencing business is advisable. That way, you can obtain all necessary permits that may be required to legally operate a mobile dog grooming business in your selected area of business. Business insurance and motor vehicle insurance should also be investigated and will have to be obtained in most instances.

Purchase a vehicle and dog grooming equipment

It’s only logical that a mobile business is going to require a means of being mobile. Most mobile dog groomers use specially converted vans or trailers. These vehicles are usually fitted with a generator, electrical outlets, lighting, grooming tables, running water, and a bathtub. Naturally, all conversions must meet national and/or state standards.

They will also need to be equipped with all the necessary grooming tools such as clippers, scissors, shampoos, and all the other tools necessary.

Map out your operating area

A mobile business by its very nature will be most profitable within a certain radius of its central point. It is critical, therefore, to clearly identify the boundaries within which your business will operate.

It may be viable for you to incorporate a nearby town in your operations, or you may find it more profitable to concentrate your dog grooming business activities to several suburbs within a large metropolitan area.

Whatever your choice, you can leverage your mobile business’ profitability by allocating appointments to specific local areas on selected days of the week.

Careful planning can allow you to structure your business around visiting high-density areas like apartments and office complexes, to provide dog grooming services to multiple clients from one specific point regularly on a specific day of the week or month.

Price your dog grooming services

Mobile dog grooming is a service of convenience and should be priced accordingly. And, you’ll need to factor in add-on costs of fuel and vehicle maintenance. The one-size-fits-all pricing model won’t work in a practical sense, as different dog breeds will have different coat types that require different cuts, so appointment times will differ.

The final factor you need to take into consideration is the existing competition already operating in the area. You will have to price your service to be competitive with them.

Advertising your dog grooming business

For your business to be successful, you have to let people know about the services that you offer. The beauty of a mobile dog grooming business is that you have a mobile billboard at your disposal — the mobile grooming vehicle itself. Make use of this advertising space by prominently featuring your business logo and contact details on the vehicle.

You can expand your advertising reach by utilizing local bulletin boards with other animal-focussed businesses like vet clinics, animal shelters, and pet shops, as well as taking advantage of community billboards and directories.

How to start your dog grooming career?


While a mobile dog grooming career is attractive, it isn’t the only possibility when it comes to pursuing a pet grooming career. For those wondering how to become a certified dog groomer, you need to take note of some important key steps required when venturing down this path.

Get training on how to become a certified dog groomer

Dog grooming takes time to learn. You need to find and allocate the appropriate hours to learn, practice, and perfect your craft.

If you are trying to manage a full-time job and/or a family and are considering a career change or looking for a second income, you will need to carefully consider how to balance your working and leisure time with the pursuit of your new career.

Take a look at a groomer job description and find out what’s expected of you. Then, look to online schools and at different dog grooming courses online. These are likely to be the best option for people trying to fit a continuing education around work or family commitments.

Get educated on dog grooming

Dog grooming doesn’t just happen. You need to learn the correct ways of grooming, as well as the intricacies of particular breeds. If you are considering starting your own business, you’ll need to seek out important career info and become familiar with the fundamentals of business management.

Once again, online dog grooming schools are likely to be your best bet. If you opt to take on a certificate program, you’ll be taught all of the fundamentals, rather than having to seek out the information by yourself.

Practice perfecting your new dog grooming skills

Like everything worth doing, you need to practice your skills to get better. From the moment you start learning the new grooming skills, you should take every chance you get to practice them.

There is no better way to improve than to get hands-on experience. Initially, every dog grooming activity you undertake will be a new experience as you come to terms with the different grooming strategies needed for each breed and different dogs' fur.

You can start by offering your services to family and friends, as long as you make clear to them what your level of experience is before you start a grooming session. And don’t stop there – your local animal shelter may welcome your offer to groom dogs, so long as you are clear about your experience level.

Use your networking skills in the dog grooming industry

There are plenty of opportunities to network within the animal welfare industry. Dog shows, animal shelters, pet stores, and dog training clubs all present possibilities for you to connect with dog owners and people within the industry.

Wherever you connect with dog owners, simply mention that you are starting up a dog grooming business, and give them your business card. Make every effort to attend networking events like trade shows. Talking with as many people as possible is essential.

Make use of local pet businesses in your neighborhood

Many animal-focused businesses employ pet groomers casually or on a permanent basis. Connect with local business owners and inquire if their customers have a need for pet grooming services. You never know what this could lead to.


What are the best courses and resources for becoming a dog groomer?

There are many different options available for you to learn dog grooming. One of the best options is to sign up to an online training school with a trusted course provider. The advantages of taking an online course are that:

  • You can work at your own pace without being subject to course timetables.
  • They are very cost effective.
  • They’re accessible at any time of the day or night.

Courses for Success provides participants with the skills and knowledge necessary to have a successful career in the pet grooming industry, by a dog grooming certification online. Certification can be a great advantage, whether you’re looking at a job description with specific requirements or considering starting up your own pet grooming business.

All dog grooming courses provided by Courses for Success have been designed and structured by professionals within the industry.

What will students learn?

All of the pet grooming courses provided by Courses for Success have comprehensive training on all aspects of the pet grooming industry, starting with an understanding of the safety measures required when taking care of a dog. Other subjects include how to groom dogs according to the breed, age, and wellbeing of the dog that you are caring for, as well as other, related articles.

You’ll have access to all the education and training necessary to confidently and professionally carry out the grooming process. You will receive instruction on all aspects of dog care from proper brush and comb use right through to how to effectively understand dogs.

This thorough grounding in dog grooming and care is backed up by usable advice designed to help you master the basics of setting up your business. These foundations are then built upon by further modules detailing the equipment used within the dog grooming industry and a thorough look at the wide range of dog grooming techniques and procedures needed to service dogs of various sizes and coat types.

Choose the course that best suits your needs

No matter what your skills or time horizon are, Courses for Success has a variety of online dog grooming courses to suit your needs.

Certificate in Dog Grooming Professional Online Course

This comprehensive 12 module course is suitable for anyone looking to gain greater knowledge of dog grooming.

The course covers: safety, business basics, getting started, anatomy and health, pre-bath preparation, bathing, drying, “ears, eyes, feet, teeth and bum,” smooth and medium coats, long coats, wiry coats, and curly coats.

This is a great entry-level course for people looking to become dog groomers. It will enable you to competently bathe, brush, de-mat, shampoo, condition and dry a pet, as well as being able to professionally care for various dog coats. At the conclusion of the course, you will receive a certificate of completion.

Certificate in Pet Grooming Advanced Online Course

This is perhaps most suitable for people looking to advance training they received at a dog grooming school. It could also help those hoping to get into a veterinary assistant school off the back of their current career in pet grooming.

It takes learners beyond dog grooming so that they can offer additional services for other small pets like cats. You can expect to learn topics that include:

  • Skin anatomy and common diseases – skin structure and functions as well as bacterial, fungal, nutritional and congenital diseases and tumors.
  • Identify and be able to treat different types of parasites.
  • Dentistry, including knowledge of animal teeth, how to prevent dental disease and how to scale and clean teeth.
  • Puppy grooming.
  • Aging dogs — knowledge of the steps you need to take to keep an older dog safe when grooming, and the different trims that can improve an older dog’s life.
  • Cat grooming — how to bath, clip and groom a cat safely.
  • Other small pet grooming, such as rabbits and guinea pigs, including bathing, trimming and fly strike.
  • Poodles — develop an understanding of poodles and be able to recognize how to trim a poodle’s coat into different styles as required. Capably trim ears, body, beards, tails, and moustaches, as well as learning how to give a poodle a shaped top knot.
  • Specific modules on other common dog breeds including the Yorkshire Terrier, the schnauzer, the West Highland White Terrier and the English Springer Spaniel.

This course explains the different grooming styles most appropriate for some of the more challenging dog breeds, and equips you with the knowledge necessary to care for other small pets.

Certificate In Dog Grooming Professional Advanced Level 4 Online Course

This next level course details the finer aspects of dog grooming. This comprehensive 13 module course will give you instruction in:

  • Specific details on dog grooming for difficult breeds including poodles, Yorkshire Terriers, Schnauzers, Airedales, Bichon Frises, West Highland White Terriers, and English Springer Spaniels.
  • Skincare — anatomy, disease, allergies, and tumors.
  • Identifying and treating common parasites like ticks and fleas.
  • Dentistry includes preventative care, diseases, scraping, brushing, and diet.
  • Puppy care including useful advice that you as a groomer can give to a puppy owner.
  • Grooming and caring for older dogs.
  • The care of feet including foot clipping and foot washing.

At the conclusion of this course, you will be provided with a certificate detailing your achievement and your dog grooming skills. Each specific course has a specific focus. One way of getting a complete education in dog grooming is to purchase a bundled education package.

Dog Grooming Online Bundle, 3 Certificate Courses

This package takes three certificate courses and bundles them together as a complete dog grooming education package. The three courses bundled together are:

  • Dog grooming: Learn To Be A Professional Dog Groomer — perfect entry-level course for the complete beginner looking to start a new career in dog grooming.
  • Canine business: Explicitly Created For Those Who Work In Canine Care — ideal for dog lovers looking to work in the canine business.
  • Pet care business: Set Up Your Own Exciting New Pet Care Venture — valuable course that can be applied to set up a dog grooming business.

All online courses can be completed at the learner’s own pace and lifetime access is available.

Become a dog groomer today

If you’ve been wondering how to become a certified dog groomer then hopefully this article has made it clearer for you. Start an enjoyable career working with dogs and other small animals, as a career in dog grooming could be the right choice for you.

With Courses for Success, you have the opportunity to get a certificate in dog grooming from the comfort of your own house. Take the first step towards this rewarding career today by enrolling in a dog grooming online course, and turn your love of dogs into new success stories.

Why Courses for Success?

Courses for Success offers over 10,000 online courses, all of which aim to help you in your personal development and career progression. Not only that, but you can also study them anywhere and at any time, and take them at your own pace, too.

You don’t need career diplomas or specific experience to get started. With every course we offer created to be as accessible as possible, you can be sure that all of them, from our coding courses and trading courses to design courses and developer courses, will help to boost your prospects, no matter who you are.

Beyond just the education itself, students will be issued with a certificate online after successful completion of each of the learning courses they do. Our dog grooming courses are no exception. Our dog groomer skills certificates are recognized by industry leaders. You could really make a name for yourself in the pet business space by signing up for a Courses for Success short course.

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