To say the world is a little loopy these days is an understatement. It’s difficult to imagine that we’ve all been socially distancing for only a few weeks. It feels like we’ve been at this for six months already!
But while staying at home isn’t fun for most, it’s also the least we can do to help our healthcare workers fight this pandemic. Last week, we discussed how you can maximize your time at home by taking dog grooming classes to get your professional certification.
Today, we’re going to discuss how you can complete your online dog grooming courses safely from the comfort of your own home.
Studying at home
For the theoretical portion of your online grooming classes, safely studying from home is very simple:
- Read your course books
- Watch instructional videos
- Take lots of notes
- Keep your workspace tidy
In the best interest of keeping things sanitary, always remember to regularly clean commonly-used surfaces and objects. This would include keyboards, remote controls, pens, desks, etc.
1 – Quizzes and written assignments
These types of assignments are more common in the early units of your dog grooming classes. This is where you’ll learn the theoretical parts of dog grooming.
These assignments can be done from your home, using the same tools and safety practices you use when studying.
2 – Case Studies
Case-study assignments are mostly used in the business section of the course. For these, you’ll need to do industry research.
Right now, it’s best to ONLY conduct this research online! Avoid consulting with other professionals or businesses in-person. Yes, some of your research might be more difficult, if many businesses are closed.
But this could also mean the business owners are bored at home, too! If there’s someone you want to consult for your schoolwork, try to reach out on social media. That being said, if you do this, be ready to take no for an answer.
3 – Practical Assignments
Your practical grooming assignments are the ones where you’ll actually work on your skills. These assignments include practicing different individual skills, and completing various elements of the grooming process. You’ll need to record these on video, so your tutor can review your technique and provide helpful feedback.
Here are some ways to safely complete these assignments:
- Don’t ask someone else to film your work. Use a tripod or stable surface to secure your camera, and film your work yourself if you can.
- If you do need another person to help you, remember to stay at least six feet apart. You may want to wear protective equipment as well.
- If the assignment asks you to use a dog, try to use your own dog as much as you can. Many assignments don’t require a specific breed.
- Use your at-home grooming equipment. Don’t go out to self-grooming stations or salons if you’re under a stay-at-home order/quarantine.
There WILL be some assignments where you’ll be required to groom a specific breed or type of dog. Normally, it would be easy enough to use a friend’s dog, or go to a local rescue and give one of their fosters a bit of a pampering session.
These days, though, that can be risky.
The good news is, dogs can’t carry the coronavirus. The bad news is that if you borrow a dog, you’re probably going to have to be in contact with other humans who can spread the virus.
But there are still ways you can keep everyone safe! Here are a few suggestions:
- Don’t borrow dogs from anyone who’s sick. The same goes for anyone who’s recently been exposed to someone who’s sick.
- Don’t borrow dogs if you’re sick, or if you’ve recently been exposed to someone who is sick.
- Try to find owners who will allow you to take their dog to your home to do the groom. Don’t groom dogs in other people’s homes. Likewise, don’t allow the dog’s owner to linger in your home while you’re working.
- Try to avoid travelling long distances. Borrowing a dog from down the street is safer than travelling across the city for a dog.
- When picking up or dropping off a dog, see if you can make the exchange outside. This is safer than going into someone’s house, or inviting someone into your home.
- If possible, bring a leash from your house. This way, you don’t have to handle a leash that’s been recently touched by someone else.
- Wash your hands before picking up the dog, and again after you’ve dropped them off.
Taking Care of Yourself
This is a great time to focus on your future career goals! With proper planning and precautions, you can safely complete your dog groomer classes from home. When this is all behind us, you’ll be ready to launch a new business.
That said, remember that at the end of the day, NOTHING is more important than your health.
Things are changing quickly, and we all need to adapt every day. If you don’t feel safe working on strangers’ dogs, it’s perfectly okay to take a break from that part of your studies. Focus on your own dog, or spend your time practicing your techniques in other creative ways.
Keep in mind that your mental health is just as important! It’s okay not to be okay these days. For some people, taking classes is a great way to focus on something positive during these uncertain times.
But for others, an online course is just another source of stress. If you’re in this second group, it’s okay to take a break and focus on your own wellbeing.
We’re all rooting for you!