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Pet Grooming 101: How To Become A Pet Groomer?

Luke Fitzpatrick

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If hanging out with pets all day sounds like the perfect idea, embrace it, and find a career in the pet industry. While some people choose to become a dog walker, pet trainer, or veterinarian, another rewarding career is pet or dog grooming. 

Work your magic on dogs, cats, rabbits, or even guinea pigs. Start and manage your own business or work for someone else. Choose to take on the role on a full-time, part-time or casual basis. But remember, you need to start from the bottom and work your way up. 

Being a pet groomer

The wonderful thing about being a pet groomer is that there is a lot of interaction, so for animal lovers, it’s heaven on earth. Pet groomers handle lots of different breeds as well so there’s variety. The main responsibilities of a pet groomer include:

  • Bathing and clipping dogs either to breed-specific standard or to the owner’s specifications
  • Detangling 
  • Drying and brushing the coat
  • Checking for any skin conditions
  • Trimming nails
  • Cleaning teeth and ears 
  • Any other special requests made by the owner 

What’s most important about a pet groomer though is that with regular grooming comes regular health check-ups, meaning throughout the process, you’re ensuring the animal is in tip-top shape, decreasing the chances of the animal suffering from health problems. 

Also, for those who like to be a bit creative, some grooming allows for artistic services, including coloring the pet’s fur, painting the pet’s nails, or popping some bows or ribbons on the coat. 

Becoming a pet groomer

Before starting the relevant qualification courses, it’s important to ensure you’re the right person for the job. You will need to have a good work ethic because grooming can be a difficult, but definitely a rewarding job. 

You’ll also need to be reasonably fit and healthy because groomers need to bend, stand, and move around all day. You’ll need to be ready and willing to learn. It’s a highly-trained job and there’s always more to learn as you go along. 

Finally, it’s probably best that you’re not too squeamish and that you have a pretty calm demeanor. Dealing with animal feces, urine and slobber is a normal day at the office, and animals feed off human emotions so if you’re easily stressed, it can make the job a tad difficult. 

Career progression

There are a few steps required to become a pet groomer. Here’s a fresh look at what you need to do if you’re considering becoming a pet groomer and looking for a new career to embark on.

  1. The first step is to become familiar with animals. If you have a dog or cat at home, practice on them. And remember, there are some things you can do to make your pet more comfortable with grooming. If you don’t have your own pet, there are some home grooming courses you can do. 
  2. Certificate III/Grooming technician. This will teach participants how to brush, bathe, Demat, shampoo, and condition, and dry a pet. It also covers clipping skills. Participants will be able to operate a mobile dog washing service or take on a salon assistant role. Some courses also cover how to deal with clients, the needs of different breeds, what equipment is required, how to work at commercial speeds, what diseases to look out for, as well as record keeping and waste management. 
  3. A licensed or professional pet groomer. At this stage, you’ll learn about styling pets and how it may differ between breeds, how to use different types of scissors to create smooth and velvety finishes, higher-level workplace health and safety considerations, and also how to manage the competition. 
  4. A master groomer or salon manager. This is the final level. It would be expected that you would be able to compete in dog grooming competitions or manage your own salon. As a master groomer, it’s also a possibility to specialize in a specific breed of cat or dog. 

Can you make it?

Pet grooming can be a very rewarding career, but there is a lot of hard work involved and you must be committed to learning. It’s also pretty important that you love animals because you will be around them all day, every day. 

The wonderful thing about pet grooming is that while it’s a functional job where you’ll help to improve animal welfare, it’s also a wonderful creative outlet where you can work your artistic magic on the animals you treat. 

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