How to Become a Dog Groomer

Why Would You Want to Become a Dog Groomer?

How to become a dog groomer is a question that most dog lovers ask. Dog grooming is not something that you will wake up one day and start doing! You will want to become a pet groomer if you are passionate about pets like dogs. Here, you will need to get some dog grooming training to become a professional.

What are the Responsibilities of a Dog Groomer?

Dog grooming is not just about interacting with dogs! It comes with responsibilities. Dog groomers are supposed to perform the following roles:

  • Ask your client how he/she wants his/her dog to be groomed.
  • Inform the dog owner of any skin problems of the dog or any abnormality seen on the dog’s skin.
  • Clean the ears and the nails. For the longer nails, clip them.
  • Cut the dog’s hair/fur and shape it according to the client’s preference.
  • Depending on the skin’s condition of the dog, use specific shampoos and soaps for bathing it.
  • Dry the dogs and brush their fleece.
  • Style the fur to the desired form.
  • Cleaning and sanitizing tools like shears and combs.
  • Scheduling appointments.

What are the Qualities of a Successful Groomer?

Grooming dogs is a profession just like any other. It has become so popular, and to be a successful dog groomer, you need to possess the following qualities:

Great Customer Care Skills

If you hope to be a successful dog groomer, your customer service skills are fundamental. You will spend most of your hours with the dogs, but this does not mean that you won’t interact with the owners of the dogs. For instance, communication is vital when you want to know the exact cut needed by the owner for a particular dog.

Each time a client visits your salon, you should make them feel treasured and appreciated. Assure them that their pet is going to be safe in your hands. Your client should be satisfied by how you handle them. 

You will know you are doing the right thing when you get referrals. Positive reviews will also make you get more clients, which is good for your business. To have a more profitable business, ensure you have excellent customer service skills.


Grooming for dogs may be an activity that is not pleasing at some point. Some dogs react negatively when having a cut. At this juncture, they will not cooperate to get the business done. You may end up getting frustrated, and this may not help the dog at all. 

You need to be calm throughout the process. Remember, you are trying to keep your business flourishing.

Grooming Knowledge

Quite a few cuts require that you have great talent when it comes to scissor work and layering. As a dog groomer, you should make cuts that go hand in hand with specific breeds. You can improve your skills by working with grooming professionals who are experienced. Alternatively, you can attend a pet grooming school.

It would be best if you got acquainted with the various techniques of cutting different types of hair. More experience will come when you work on more dogs.

Knowledge of Dog Anatomy and Health

During dog grooming, it is not just about haircuts and nail clipping! You need to check on visible symptoms of health issues—for example, skin irritation, parasites, or other infections. 

Only a knowledgeable groomer will tell whether there is a health problem with the dog.

Get to learn the common health problems to tell a healthy dog from an ill one. If a dog has health problems, inform the owner to visit a veterinarian. Also, dog anatomy will make you know where specific cuts need to be made. Some anatomical places are not designated for cuts.

Ability to Manage Temperamental Dogs

Dogs have different behavioral concerns. A good dog groomer needs to know dog behaviors and how to manage those with behavioral issues. Some dogs may react after being subjected to the grooming table for prolonged periods; some may become restless when in new environments.

A groomer should be keen to notice the changes and create a suitable environment for the dog.

Good Business Sense

You need to understand that grooming is an income-generating venture. You will execute your skills well when you have your salon. You should know how to schedule appointments, buy supplies, manage expenses, and learn about accounting work. Marketing skills are also essential, and you must possess them.

Physical abilities

You will spend most of your time standing while lifting the dogs. So, you will need to be physically strong and have stamina.

Which Tools are Required to Start a Dog Grooming Business?

Below is a list of the essential tools that you need to start a dog grooming business:

  • A bathing tub for dogs.
  • Harnesses.
  • Bows and Ribbons.
  • Storage shelves.
  • Dryers.
  • Nail clippers.
  • Hair clippers and Scissors.
  • A grooming table.
  • Combs and Brushes.
  • Conditioners and Shampoos for the pets.

A Short Guide on How to Become a Dog Groomer

You don’t necessarily need a formal education to become a dog groomer. But, to be highly marketable, you need at least a High School Diploma. To become a dog groomer, you need the following requirements:

Pursue a relevant educational course

There are grooming schools that offer classes on essential aspects of how to groom a dog. How long does it take to become a dog groomer? It will only take you a few weeks to complete the courses. You can choose to learn via online platforms or attend physical classes. The courses offered will help you get the necessary skills.

Gain practical experience

The theory part of learning is good. However, it would help if you put it into practice. Your grooming school may have programs that include working with dogs and learning skills like styling, cleaning, and identifying skin problems.

Do the practical part by assisting expert dog groomers in their work and subsequently getting on-job training in the process. In the end, you will have learned a lot. Practical experience is the most important part of training.

Get Certification

How to become a certified dog groomer is an important step you need to understand. For you to have a booming business in dog grooming, you need to be certified. The certification program includes a written exam. You will also need to demonstrate practical skills. After that, you will be approved after passing the exam.

How to become a dog groomer in Ohio involves the same steps; in Ohio, you will be required to attend any of the following schools: Cleveland Grooming Academy, The Happy Pets Academy, or Diamond Cut Dog Grooming School.

Where Do Dog Groomers Work?

There are different places that dog groomers can offer their services. Here are the various sites where dog groomers can work:

Pet salons and stores

A dog groomer can work in pet salons and stores. Dog groomers are employed to offer dog grooming services.

Dog grooming parlor

As stated before, dog grooming is a business. A dog groomer may set up a grooming parlor and attend directly to clients. To start the company, you will require some training and certification. Get a sneak peek of the types of haircuts you will do by reading our article on 12 Popular Poodle Haircuts.

Mobile pet grooming salon

With technology, a lot of businesses are conducted via the internet. As a dog groomer, all you will need are the required tools set up in a trailer or a van. Ensure you comply with the business rules and regulations of the local authorities.

How Does a Dog Groomer Handle an Emergency Situation?

Not all days are the same. There are days when as a dog groomer, you may run into accidents or emergencies. Here are some emergencies and how you can deal with them:

You get bitten

When attending to a dog, it might get nervous and bite you. You need to quickly wash the wound with water and soap, apply hydrogen peroxide on the injury, and then cover it with a bandage. You can use antibiotic creams every day. In case it was a deep cut, seek medical attention!

A fire break-out in the salon

You can try to maintain a safe working environment, but you can not prevent some occurrences. An example is when there is a fire in the salon. In case of fire, evacuate every human being and animal.

It would be good to have a plan that shows where the emergency exits are and what you should do in case of fire. Most importantly, keep emergency numbers in different places of the salon. This is important since if anything happens while you are away, your workers can call for help.

Health Crisis in a Dog

As a dog groomer, you need to be careful to notice when a dog is unwell. You need a first aid kit to help you with seizures, heart attacks, or other issues. Before you administer any medicine, ensure you get instructions from a veterinarian. If you have learned some first aid, administer it as you await communication from a veterinary doctor.

Dog fight

At some point, dogs may fight and may hurt each other. Ensure you are monitoring them so that they don’t engage in fights. If they still resist, separate them as fast as possible. Give each one of them much space while monitoring them.

The most crucial point is that you need to have an insurance plan. In cases of damages caused by accidents, the insurance plan will cater to them.

Petco Grooming’s Certification Process

How to become a dog groomer at PetCo involves the following: For the certification process, you will need to go through a 20-week course that involves the following:

Weeks 1-2

  • Online training that is based on salon and safety standards.
  • Observing in a salon.

Weeks 3-4

  • Learn about bathing and drying methods.
  • Learn about how to engage with your customer.
  • Train how to brush different types of hair.
  • Learn how to clean ears and cut nails.
  • Start bathing dogs under supervision.

Weeks 5-8

  • More bathing of dogs and building relationships with clients.
  • Learn ways of handling different coat types and lengths.

Weeks 9-14

  • Learn how to clip different breed patterns.
  • Training with a certified mentor from Petco.

Weeks 15-19

  • You will be given a minimum of 100 grooming services to tackle. This will be under supervision.
  • Perfect the art of styling.

Week 20

  • Evaluate the types of trims in different kinds of coats.
  • You must pass the haircutting for a poodle, sporting dog, and terrier.

The Benefits of a Career as a Dog Groomer

Apart from getting a good income, dog grooming comes with other benefits. Discussed below are some of them:


Dog grooming is not just about working in one place! It is flexible in such a way that you can also do in-house grooming. The career gives you a chance to create your perfect job!

Opportunities to learn

As much as you will learn during your training, learning does not stop there. You will get more experience as you continue to handle dogs. Confidence in you will hence be built because you will acquire more skills.

It’s profitable

The demand for dog grooming is on the rise. Anyone who owns a dog will want to take care of it. This means on your side, and there will be a good salary.

Promotion of Animal Health

The services you provide as a dog groomer include bathing, nail care, and disease control, especially in the dogs’ skin. Once you notice a dog is unwell, you need to let the owner inform a veterinarian. By doing all these, you will be promoting animal health.

Interaction with the customer

Dog groomers work with dogs and their owners at the same time. Good customer relationships contribute to the growth of the business; referrals make the business grow. Referrals will only happen if you have a good relationship with your clients.

Limited educational commitment

To be a dog groomer, you don’t need to study for long. The training takes a short time. Also, some certifications may help you in your career as a dog groomer.

Variety of jobs

As a dog groomer, there are several jobs that you can choose from. For instance, you can work as a:

  • Groomer in a private salon.
  • Pet care salon manager.
  • Groomer in a Veterinary Office.
  • Groomer in a big store.
  • Groomer in a small chain of salons.
  • Mobile/Online groomer.


From the discussed points above, it is clear that dog grooming is required by most people that have dogs as pets. There is a high demand for dog groomers. So, if you love dogs, you can get the training and the certification and get ready to begin your career as a dog groomer. Generally, animal grooming is a thriving industry.