Happy New Year! With 2018 just beginning, there’s never been a better time to set some seriously exciting New Year’s resolutions for your dog grooming career. While it’s great to have aspirations and ideas for the year ahead, setting out concrete, attainable resolutions will ensure that you get motivated and down to business in the year ahead.

Stick with us as we run through four resolutions that professional dog groomers can really benefit from, including learning new techniques and passing on your knowledge, as well as making key industry connections that will impact your career for years to come. Read on and get motivated for the year ahead!

Keep learning

As a certified dog groomer, you know that the safety of dogs rests in your capable hands on a daily basis. And you didn’t learn the proper techniques and knowledge overnight! A dog grooming course is the best possible way to gain the training you need to both succeed in the industry and make sure that every pup you meet gets the best possible treatment. If you obtained a dog groomer certification, congratulations – this was likely a long, challenging journey but you saw it through. However, this doesn’t mean that the learning should stop. In fact, it’s just one of the steps in your dog grooming career!

woman working on dog grooming course with dog at computer

Never underestimate the value of your certification, but keep in mind that professional dog groomers also need to work hard and stay up-to-date on the latest grooming products and trends, understand product safety, anticipate a dog’s needs, and know which techniques to use on different breeds. This is what will set you apart from your fellow dog groomers, and it’s not a difficult New Year’s resolution to keep, either! We recommend spending some time each week or month reading helpful books on different breeds and standards, attending workshops, and watching helpful videos. These are easy to find online, and you’ll soon find that your clients trust your expertise and recommendations when it comes to employing new techniques and trying out trends.

Stay positive

No one ever said that professional dog grooming was easy. It’s not! You’re inevitably going to have unpredictable furry clients, equipment troubles, and dog owners who question your judgment (sometimes, all within the same day!). However, feeling stressed and negative is not going to help matters, and will actually make situations even worse. In 2018, why not put a spin on how you approach challenging situations? Change your inner dialogue and the way in which you cope with less-than-ideal days and weeks – instead of blurting out that you can’t find a particular tool in your dog grooming kit and that you’re overwhelmed, try stating that you’ve misplaced a tool, and make a note to stock up on multiples of the same tool when you have a chance.

A professional dog groomer’s days can be very busy and stressful, so it’s important to recognize the tone you’re using both with yourself and your clients, and aim to be as positive as possible. You’ll feel much calmer and more in control as a result, and you’ll likely enjoy your dog grooming career even more!

Try setting one or two goals for yourself per week with this particular resolution, and be patient. If you’re used to a negative self-dialogue, it will take time to change your thinking and the way you articulate situations. With some practice, however, you’ll get to a point where you’re much more positive than negative, and checking in with yourself at the end of each week will ensure you stay on track.

Educate owners

A dog groomer’s role revolves around the care of their furry clients, but you also have a unique responsibility to ensure that the dog’s owners understand how to best care for their pups. Unfortunately, you can’t be around all the time, and even though you may see dogs once or twice a month, they need to be well cared for at all times.

This is why it’s so important to educate dog owners! This is particularly tricky, as owners are not trained in best practices, as you are, and you can only hope that they’ll be receptive to your advice. When grooming a dog, be sure to keep the lines of communication open with its owner and explain to them why you’re using certain techniques — one of the most common mistakes made by dog groomers is the inability to communicate their own standard practices and what they will be working on throughout the appointment. The last thing you want is to surprise a dog owner with an additional bill, so make sure they know what’s happening and what they could potentially be charged for.

For example, encourage dog owners to brush their dogs a few times a week, and don’t be afraid to show them the best possible ways of doing so. This will keep the dog’s fur healthy, soft and shiny. Another recommendation you can confidently make to dog owners is the type of food they’re feeding their pups – focus on fruits, veggies, cooked meats, and raw and natural foods when suggesting pet food brands. These will keep dogs healthy and active, and impact their skin and fur. And believe us, your clients will be more than happy to receive these recommendations from you, the expert!

Seek out dog grooming associations

If you’re a certified dog groomer, you probably want to grow your career as quickly as possible. This means making industry connections, increasing your clientele, and eventually starting your own business. With a fresh year on the horizon, it’s time to start networking, and a great way to do so is by looking into local or national grooming associations. We mentioned earlier that a great way to stand out from your fellow dog groomers is to ensure you’re up-to-date on techniques and trends, and membership in a dog grooming association will help you do just that, while also setting you apart from other dog groomers.

certified dog groomer working on poodle

Although many associations require an annual fee to maintain membership, this is an excellent investment for 2018 — as part of an association, you’ll be given access to further education, networking, conferences, seminars, grooming shows, and more. You’ll also meet a great deal of other groomers, meaning that you can make friends in the same field and secure key industry connections that could have a profound impact on your career going forward. Check out our list of dog grooming certification associations that are worth joining, and make the best decision for your dog grooming career.

It’s important to know what dog owners look for in a professional groomer – read on for some key qualities, and take notes!

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