Careers for Animal Lovers: Groomer

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I love dogs and dogs love me. I have 2 specific favorites but lots and lots of dogs agree I’m a dog’s best friend. When I was visiting a friend recently her Chihuahua wouldn’t leave the comfortable position she found curled up on my chest no matter how many times I tried to set her somewhere else. Anywhere I go that has a dog it’s like that.


Do you have the same sort of animal magnetism? If so and you’re looking for a new career where you could be your own boss or even want to find something to just pick up some money on the side, consider a career in pet grooming. Only do it if you really love dogs though, not if they just love you.


As a dog groomer you’re going to have to start small. Build your experience and clientele and then you can charge more. At first you might even want to comp a few cuts for friends’ pets just to get the practice.


Boost your confidence and credibility which will also boost your earning potential by taking a training class. Classes allow you to get hands on experience and learn about the ins and outs of grooming from someone who’s been there. You’ll learn the business side as well as how to style and handle different breeds.


Once you’ve learned how to groom Spot you’ll need to find a spot to do it. Grooming businesses can be run from your home, a storefront or on the go in a van or at clients’ homes. You’ll also need to get equipment, supplies and licenses.


Sometimes it’s easier to get in on a franchise instead of starting from the ground up. Research what groups offer opportunities in your area and what upfront investment is required. Support and recognition are both good reasons for teaming with a franchise but not all are going to be a good fit.


If you decide to do it on your own, make sure you have a business plan and that you budget for advertising beyond simply posting ads on Craigslist. It’s true in almost every business that you have to spend money to make money and grooming is no different. No one will be able to use your services if they have no idea you’re offering them so get your name out there.


Think outside of the box of typical treats that groomers offer and give your clients more. More services, more supplies and more reasons to keep coming back will increase the chances of making your business a success.


  • Create and offer custom pet products on a site like
  • Find artisans who craft specialty shampoos and soaps that make the pets smell so pleasurable their owners bring them back to be re-scented regularly
  • Team up with a friend who does human hair and nails and offer a combo package for pets and people.
  • Stock and sell homemade treats that your canine clients are wild about


The number of pet owners is only increasing and the summer months are exceptionally busy for groomers. Don’t wait. Go ahead and get your groom on.


How do you spoil your pet rotten?


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