Grooming Franchise

Starting a New Career I Easy Steps on Becoming a Dog Groomer

Are you considering the options involved on how to become a dog groomer? This particular career pathway is opening up for individuals to get involved in an exciting new business. It’s not as straightforward as breaking into other careers. Read through these tips to find the best place for you to get started as a pet groomer.

The Fundamentals on How to Become a Dog Groomer

Pampering dogs and treating them like a human is a trendy move these days. The pet grooming industry is swelling and the growth is not expected to slow down anytime soon. Since 1994, pet spending has grown over 290% from $17 billion to $66.75 billion. The pet service segment is sharing this growth making up $5.76 billion dollars being spent on pet spa luxury. This signals a transition from dogs being tied up outside—left to sleep in the dog house—to becoming the center of attention with their own stroller and matching tiara.

With more consumers jumping at the chance to spoil their pets comes more opportunities to help them do this. Any groomer will tell you if you love animals, then this is the profession for you! Working alongside adorable pups in your own space is an amazing experience. Every day stinky dogs get dropped off—groomers work their magic—and clients pick up a stunningly clean furball.

Breaking into this industry is difficult. Like any profession, you need to know the fundamentals before you can jump in and start giving dogs haircuts. There are basically two ways to become a dog groomer. The first is to get an apprenticeship with a successful dog groomer who is willing to help teach you the craft. You can do this by getting a job as a bather, then work your way up to groomer. Along the way, you can learn valuable hands-on information. The other pathway is to go through a certification or diploma course at an accredited school. Schools offer courses in everything you will need to know to become a dog groomer like animal behavior, styling techniques, and shop management.

Consider Your Health

Before diving into a career choice you need to do a self-evaluation of your own health. Dog grooming can be messy and laborious. Groomers must be able to clip & grinds nails, express anal glands, dodge dog bites, get soaking wet, and be able to lift heavy dogs from a tub to a grooming table. Without the right equipment, groomers are susceptible to infected bumps on their arms and hands from embedded dog particles. Groomers can also get pink eye a few times a year from dog hairs ingrained around the eyeballs. The reward for this sometimes messy work is working with animals and the tips you collect from satisfied clients.

If you have asthma, arthritis, or pet allergies this might seriously inhibit you from being able to work as a dog groomer. A capable groomer needs to have an adequate amount of strength and stamina to care for numerous dogs each day.

Find Professional Space

Whether considering working for a pet grooming salon, acquiring a mobile dog grooming truck, or working from home—you will have to secure a professional space to work.

Your space must be equipped with certain supplies you will need to start. You will also want to make sure you have the right equipment needed for grooming dogs en masse. Having these things will make your life as a groomer much easier and cleaner. Grooming equipment can be a little expensive so know what investments you will need to make. Private groomers spend around $500-$700 to maintain their equipment. $400 for shears. $200 for clippers, and blades run around $30 each.

Grooming Table W/ Grooming Arm

  • Tub w/Shower Head Attachment
  • Manual Scissors/Shears
  • Electric Fur Clippers w/Blades
  • Nail Clippers/Dremel
  • Non-Heat Blow Dryer
  • Kennels
  • Pet Shampoo/Conditioner
  • De-Matting Tools
  • Pet Ramp
  • Clipper Vacuum

If you are thinking about a brick-and-mortar salon you will need to find an advantageous location. A storefront with high visibility, lots of foot traffic, that is also next to other local small businesses is an ideal location.

Insurance & Permits

Depending on the legislation in your area, will determine what kind of insurance and permits you will need to operate as a dog groomer. Many groomers opt out of doggie day care services because of the insurance costs and obtaining a kennel license can be problematic. Owning a pet grooming salon is more streamline than owning a doggie day care but you will still need to do your homework.

Property damage insurance can run anywhere from $200 to $600 a month and is essential when caring for live animals. Liability insurance is also necessary. Even the most seasoned dog groomers risk the chance of accidentally injuring an animal. To protect yourself and your future clients, you should consider tailoring a commercial/general liability insurance package. This could be a lifesaver.

Research insurance packages thoroughly to get the best protection and least expensive deal.


To become a dog groomer you are not required to have any formal schooling. The industry is actually pretty unregulated—meaning you do not have to obtain a license to groom pets. However, those with zero experience will need to learn the basics to bolster their resume. Building up a client list will be next to impossible if you don’t know what you’re doing and you are risking injuring an animal without proper training.

Attending a professional grooming school teaches you skills like animal behavior & control, safety practices, breed coat characteristics, identifying skin conditions, parasite prevention, and bathing procedures. Getting a diploma or certification is helpful and legitimizes your grooming business.

You can also consider membership and certification from the National Association of Professional Creative Groomers or National Groomers Association. Like many unregulated industries, the grooming industry tends to police itself.  Being a member of a few grooming organizations keeps you in the know within the industry.

Some Tips to Remember

Understand Individual Breeds’ Needs. As a dog groomer, you will need to know the traits of different breeds coat-textures and attributes. Grooming isn’t just about pulling off the look, trimming a dog’s fur needs to benefit their health too. For instance, the hunting and sporting dogs like Poodles have poms on their hips to keep joints warm in cold weather. Knowing that each dog’s haircut has a purpose can help you identify the best methods of grooming.

Stay Calm. Dogs are intuitive creatures and will pick up on your nervousness. If you are tense, a dog will mirror this behavior. This will make controlling the dog during a haircut much harder. Grooming takes precision to keep animals safe so you will need to learn techniques to stay calm and keep the pets you’re working with calm too. Some groomers bring their own dog into the room to sleep and relax. When your client’s dog sees another dog relaxing in that environment—they will settle down too.

You Will Have To Work With Aggressive Or Timid Dogs. Not every dog you work with is going to be a cakewalk. Some rescued dogs come from a difficult past and will bite or nip at you. Timid dogs are equally challenging. A dog that fights you tooth-and-nail through the entire process will force you to think abstractly to find methods to help them calm down. Sometimes it’s just having a loving touch. Senior dogs who are arthritic with limited mobility are also tough clients. As you gain experience you will get better at handling the more challenging haircuts.

Ridiculous Requests. Know that when you work with someone’s pets you might as well be working with their children. Some people can be very particular when it comes to their pets. They have every right to be and you will need to understand and carry out their wishes for their dog—no matter how ridiculous it might seem.

Owning Your Own Pet Franchise

Going into business alone is time-consuming and can be precarious even with a strong professional skill set. Think about owning a franchise. With the support of a franchisor who provides the resources and guidance for success you don’t have to make the investment alone. Splash and Dash is a franchise company that invests in their shop owners as much as shop owners invest in them—a partnership.

For more information click here.

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Top 5 Online Dog Grooming Schools Every SD Owner Should Know About

Five Best Online Dog Grooming Schools

Do you feel the calling to work with animals? Becoming a pet groomer is an awarding and creative career that is actually much easier to break into than you might think. There are a few options to get started. You can find a veteran dog groomer and see if they would be open to an apprenticeship. You can attend a dog grooming school to get a diploma or certification.  Or, for those looking for an convenient transition into the industry, a dog grooming school online might be the best bet.

Technically you don’t need a diploma or a certification to practice pet grooming. However, in an industry where you are working alongside animals, and their sometimes very particular pet owners, pursuing a professional diploma or certification program is an advantage you will want to consider. Having an accredited school on your resume combined with experience will help legitimize you as a groomer. It will be much easier to get clients or find a career in a pet spa after completing a program. Since the industry is unregulated—licensing is not required—any accredited school can create their own certification standards.

Depending on your situation, you will need to choose which program you want to attend. There are full online programs. Or blended programs that feature some on-site training and some online courses. A typical dog grooming school online will focus on pet salon maintenance, dog handling, and using professional pet grooming equipment. Courses will cover specific grooming needs of each breed, popular cuts, and grooming techniques like hand-stripping, scissoring, carding, and deshedding. The majority of programs take around are three months to complete.

Penn Foster Online

Penn Foster College is highly sought after because the program is nationally and regionally accredited program. For some, a certification at Penn Foster is reputable and is an impressive bullet point on a pet groomer’s resume.

Penn Foster’s online courses offer information on understanding canine anatomy, personalities, behavior, and more. The curriculum is broken down into 7 segments with corresponding modules. You will learn to groom all dog breeds from mixed breeds to Poodles. Penn Foster’s courses also cover the business side of grooming. Provided by the school are grooming tools; a universal comb, dog nail trimmers, and slicker brush are supplied for use in the program.

The course can be completed in two months and tuition is $519.

ABC Online

ABC, or animal behavior college has an extensive blended curriculum. The program combines online courses with hands-on training. Courses review safe grooming techniques, use of tools, and how to maintain a calm grooming environment.

A complete grooming toolkit is also provided with 40 professional grooming tools including: clippers, blades, shears, brushes, combs, shampoo, and conditioner. This helps propel dog groomers into a career.

The way it works is, you first complete the online portion of the program before moving on to the hands-on training component. The ‘externship’ is an 100-hour hands-on training experience at a grooming salon. The curriculum has 11 stages, and after a final exam, you will also be certified in Pet CPR and First aid.

Completion of the program varies and tuition is $3,799.

Basics & Beyond

This isn’t quite a dog grooming school online but it offers the same premise. Instead of completing online modules you receive the course in the mail which is mostly delivered through DVDs. This schooling is recommended for entrepreneurs who want to start a grooming business. Basics & Beyond offers a thorough education in animal grooming, shop setup, and information about the grooming industry.

Students send in before-and-after pictures with written detailed explanations of their grooming work that will be graded on a rubric. At the end of the course, your certification is provided.

The course costs $325 + $15 S&H.

JKL Grooming

This online grooming school is very flexible and is great for groomers who are already working but want to pursue certification to bolster their career and those who want to break into the industry. There are two online pathways to take at JKL.

The first option is the Internationally Accredited Diploma course. This dog grooming course is a six month home study program with assistance with a practicum for hands-on training, and a final examination. The Certificate Dog Grooming courses is a three-month academic course without the practicum work. An ideal applicant should have at least one year’s experience grooming for this program.  

The total course cost for the diploma course is between $894-$1914. The certificate program costs $524.

Online Grooming School

Getting a certification through the online grooming school overseen by the parent company INC—a pet grooming salon, and online and on-site pet grooming school. Using their digital schooling format is the equivalent of attending classes in their facilities in California from the comfort of your own home.

A certification included becoming a “Certified Pet Hygienists & Certified Pet Groomer.” Courses can either be sent to your house in DVD format or streamed online.


If you are pursuing a career in the lively pet grooming industry, online courses might be your best option. Learning how to properly groom a dog is an in-depth experience. You need to have a firm but gentle touch and be able to soothe and handle nervous animals. Of course, this not all. You will also need to master the various aesthetic techniques to be able to groom a dog not only to the industry standard but to the wishes of your client.

Attending a dog grooming school online is your first step!


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