There is so much more to being a dog groomer than simply bathing dogs. Any dog groomer worth their salt has invested time to learn the many aspects of safely caring for dogs hygienically.
They understand canine anatomy, diseases, skin conditions and the various parasites dogs can contract. How to implement safety and first aid measures, pre-treatment, bathing and drying techniques and grooming styles. They can confidently assess ear, eye, teeth, feet and bum health. Plus, they understand the varied care and grooming requirements for different breeds.
They also understand the properties of, and appropriate use of the chemicals used in grooming. And they know the time to seek or refer clients onto external pet health professionals when health issues are identified.
While dog grooming is an excellent career choice for dog lovers, you must also be dedicated to safeguarding canine health. Recognising what’s best for the dogs in your care and ensuring owners understand how to keep them healthy at home.
Essential Qualities of a Dog Groomer
While being fond of dogs tends to be a given for dog groomers, other traits that are essential in this career include:
Patience and a Calm Nature
Dogs sense our energy, so when you’re calm, they typically are as well. If you’re stressed or nervous while trying to care for them, they’ll sense your agitation and reflect this behaviour. Making it extremely difficult for you to treat them successfully and gain their trust.
There will also be many dogs that are fearful of the grooming process. Perhaps becoming frightened or skittish when people touch sensitive areas like their paws or ears. It’s your job to welcome them calmly and reassure them so they can relax. You’ll need to find the balance between being firm and gentle, so you and they can have a pleasant experience.
Physical Ability and Stamina
Dog grooming requires plenty of physical ability and stamina. You will be lifting dogs big and small onto the table and in and out of baths. Plus, holding them still during treatment. It is certainly a profession that keeps you on your feet and active for most of the day.
Numeracy, Administrative and Business Management Skills
Tallying up treatments and taking payments from clients is a day to day occurrence. So too is organising client profiles and making notes of any behaviours, conditions or allergies.
If you’re a self-employed dog groomer, that requires further numeracy and administrative skills. Not to mention other business management tasks like marketing, assessing competitors and the need for grooming services in your area.
Customer Service and Interpersonal Skills
Most dog owners treat their pups like family. So, putting them in your hands requires a high level of trust.
Keeping both human and canine clients happy at all times can be difficult. If the dog is skittish and appears to have had an unpleasant time, the owner may react negatively. Should the owner ask for unreasonable or inappropriate treatments, it’s your job to manage the situation.
This could be anything from enforcing the need to shave an unsavable matted coat, to necessitating sedation before treatment. You’ll need to be able to communicate effectively with both dogs and their owners. Ensuring requests are met only if it is in the best interest of the dog.
Dog grooming businesses are built on word of mouth and reviews. Pet owners feel passionately about the service you provide so your customer service ability is essential to your success.
Becoming a professional dog groomer creates a wealth of options in terms of how you choose to work. Depending on your goals and preferences, you can design a career that caters to your lifestyle. Those who are self-employed can dictate the hours they work. Which can be a great benefit if you have a family or other existing commitments.
Set Up A Home Business
If you have space, you could work out of your home and get your clients to come to you. This can be an excellent low cost start-up or even long-term option if it works for you.
Set Up A Mobile Business
This allows you to still benefit from lower operating costs and the freedom to choose when you work. The added benefit is it’s a way more convenient option for your clients. Being mobile allows you to go to them and take away any added logistical pressure for your customers. It also enables you to offer your services to a wider area.
Set Up Your Own Salon
Setting up your own salon provides great exposure and the chance to really build your business, though costs are higher. However, you have the authority and space to add on additional items and services. Perhaps widening the scope of the animals you groom and selling pet products and accessories.
Work for An Established Company
Alternatively, you can work within already established businesses. Larger chain pet stores offer progression and even franchise opportunities. Smaller grooming business can also provide management opportunities and take the stress away from running your own business.
With experience, you could even explore training opportunities and educate others in grooming services.
How to Become a Dog Groomer
There aren’t any specified requirements for becoming a dog groomer. Many people get into the profession through apprenticeships or on the job training.
However, as is often the case, having qualifications evidences your learning and understanding. And with the many aspects and complexities that arise in dog grooming, it’s wise to learn about them beforehand.
Not only will you stand out to employers and be able to set up your own business, you’ll be confident. Taking the time to get qualified can be the difference in you immediately making a positive lasting impression on clients.
A great way of doing this is by taking an online course. These allow you the freedom of studying around your current job and commitments. Aside from flexible study, these courses equip you to hit the ground running the minute you qualify.
For instance, these Dog Grooming Professional and Advanced courses teach you everything you need to become a successful groomer. From the equipment you need to get started to the different approaches to fur types, breeds and age of dogs. Not to mention the essentials for running a successful grooming business like business planning, insurance, finance, legalities and advertising.
These courses aren’t just beneficial for aspiring groomers, the knowledge and skills taught are highly valuable to other animal professions. Kennel workers, breeders and veterinary workers among others can gain further insight into dog care, passing advice onto pet owners.
If you’re interested in gaining professionals skills in dog grooming, consider studying with learndirect. As a UK leading distance learning provider, you can be assured of the quality of our online courses.