Category

Career Advice

How to Become a Dog Trainer: A Step-by-Step Guide

How to become a dog trainer Feature Image

Dream of a career in professional dog training? We’re here to tell you EXACTLY how to become a dog trainer in less than a year!

Read on as we answer some of the most frequently asked questions pertaining to this career path. Plus, we’ll break down 5 key steps for getting started AND tell you all about QC Pet Studies‘ brand-new Dog Training certification course.

So, on that note, let’s jump right in, shall we?

How Long Does it Take to Become a Dog Trainer?

The length of time it’ll take you to start a career as a dog groomer will ultimately depend on the type of training you choose to get. Some courses will run for a handful of weeks, whereas others can take months.

Typically, though, you’re going to want to look for a slightly longer course. There’s a lot that goes into being a dog trainer – and a program that’s only a few weeks long likely won’t teach you everything you need to know to do the job properly.

We’ll go more in-depth about your educational options a little later in this article!

What Qualifications Do You Need to Be a Dog Trainer?

Here’s the thing: technically, you don’t “need” any type of certification in order to call yourself a dog trainer. However, you’ll be making a BIG mistake if you choose to forego a proper education.

You see, this is the kind of field where a lot of things can go really, really wrong if you aren’t adequately prepared. After all, you’re going to be working with living, breathing creatures – and not all of them are going to be happy about it. While many dogs will be gentle and well-mannered, others may be anxious, scared, or defensive.

If you don’t know what you’re doing, you’ll not only be putting your own safety at risk… You could also be putting the safety of the dogs AND their owners at risk, too. And we know you don’t want that!

How to become a dog trainer in-post image 1

Key Skills Needed for a Career in Dog Training

Obviously, if you want to know how to work as a dog trainer, you’re going to need to know, well, how to train dogs. On paper, that seems like a no-brainer. In reality, however, it’s a bit more complicated than that.

Here’s a handful of examples of just SOME of the knowledge you’ll need to possess:

  • The guiding principles of dog training;
  • Fundamentals of safe training;
  • Ethology;
  • The stages of development, as well as socialization stages;
  • Canine communication;
  • Calming signals and fear responses;
  • Problem solving;
  • Learning theory (and how to apply it);
  • How to work with anxious and/or disobedient dogs, etc.

Furthermore, you’re going to need some of softer skills required for this type of career, too. For example, since you’ll often be working with pet owners, you’ll need to ensure that your people skills are on point. As part of this, you should be an excellent communicator; capable of explaining everything in a way non-dog trainers can understand.

On the flipside, you’ll also need to be good at listening. Each client will be coming to you for a purpose, and with a distinct goal in mind. It’ll be your job to help them achieve this goal as best as possible… and the only way you can do this is by hearing their needs and identifying where the areas of improvement are.

From there, you’ll be able to determine the correct course of action, and help teach them how to put that plan into practice.

Can You Make a Living Being a Dog Trainer?

ABSOLUTELY!

In the beginning of your career, it’ll take time to gain some traction and build your list of clientele. However, so long as you’re passionate about what you do and willing to put in the effort, this can totally become a full-time career… And it can definitely pay the bills, too!

Take QC Pet Studies’ amazing instructor, Kim Cooper, for example. Kim’s been professionally training dogs for the past 35 years, and teaching dog owners how to train their pups for 29 of those years! Her business, Best Friends Dog Training, is located in Ottawa, Canada. Throughout her lucrative career as a dog trainer, Kim has:

  • Certified 4 search and rescue (SAR) dogs to Ontario Provincial Police standards! For reference, only 20 dogs have ever achieved this certification – and Kim is proud to have coached 14 of them, and partner to 4!
  • Gotten certified as a Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) Canine Search Specialist! This makes Kim 1 of only 2 Canadians to ever achieve this certification.
  • Founded the Ottawa Valley SAR Dog Association
  • Also became the Founding Director of the Ontario SAR Volunteer Association
  • Gotten featured in CBC’s Podcast, “Someone Knows Something”, as well as in National Geographic’s, “Finding Dial”.
  • Earned countless dog training awards!
  • And SO much more!

These are all examples of career goals YOU can achieve, too! Of course, if you wish to focus your career primarily on helping dog owners to train their furry friends, then that’s okay, too!

Either way, one thing’s for sure: with the right drive, you can make this your full-time, long-term job.

How to become a dog trainer in-post image 3

Salary Expectations

It’s important to understand that there’s no “one-size-fits-all” salary for a dog trainer. Your income will depend on:

  • Where you live
  • Local competitors
  • Demand for dog training services in your area
  • Whether you’re booking clients full-time vs. part-time
  • Whether you’re running your own business or working for an established company
  • The efforts you put into marketing, client acquisition/retention, social media, your business website, etc.
  • The types of dog training services you offer, etc.

That said, I can give you some general figures to help you get a better idea of possible salary ranges, depending on your location…

  • United States: Between approx. $14,000 USD and $69,000 USD per year. (Source: ZipRecruiter)
  • Canada: Between approx. $33,000 CAD to $72,000 CAD per year. (Source: Glassdoor)
  • United Kingdom: Between approx. £20,000 GBP to £26,000 GBP per year. (Source: Payscale)
  • Australia: Between approx. $40,000 AUD to $60,000 AUD per year. (Source: Salary Expert)
  • New Zealand: Between approx. $39,000 NZD to $50,000 NZD per year. (Source: Careers.govt.nz)

How to Become a Dog Trainer in 5 Easy Steps

Now that you know what it takes to be a dog trainer, how can you actually become one? Follow these 5 steps and you’ll be well on your way!

Step One: Get Trained and Professional Certified

Okay, now it’s time to circle back to your schooling. Without a doubt, this is the best possible place to start if you want to launch a successful career.

It’s up to YOU to decide whether you wish to pursue your dog training education online or in-person. Keep in mind that in light of the ongoing COVID pandemic, a brick-and-mortar institution might not be the safest environment to be in right now. Furthermore (and in general), in-person schooling is often much more expensive than its online counterpart – and offers way less flexibility for you.

Either way, when conducting your research into the various schooling options at your disposal, we encourage you to be very thorough! In particular, it’s critical that whichever program you decide to go with meets the following criteria:

  • The school in question is properly accredited and recognized (such as with the Better Business Bureau).
  • Moreover, the school’s courses are internationally-recognized – as are the certifications provided upon graduation.
  • The school has a proper business website that contains full course breakdowns, student/graduate testimonials, and correct contact information. Bonus points if the institution is also on social media as well!
  • You’re able to contact the school’s Support Team… and they actually take the time to talk with you and adequately answer your questions!
  • Their dog training program offers a legitimate certification + designation once you graduate.
  • You’ll be getting your money’s worth! This means that the program isn’t simply comprised of multiple choice quizzes and flimsy text material. Instead, the course curriculum should be content-rich AND ensure real-world, hands-on training assignments with actual dogs.
Back view of dog talking to dog friends in video conference. Group of dogs having an online meeting in video call using a laptop. Labradoodle and boxer dog chatting online. Pets using a computer.

QC Pet Studies’ Dog Training Course

Fun fact: QC Pet Studies meets ALL of the above criteria – and then some!

For starters, QC has been a pioneer of online learning since 1984. We’re internationally-recognized and hold a solid A+ ranking with the Better Business Bureau. Additionally, we pride ourselves on our incredible Student Support Team, available 7 days a week and with one goal in mind: to make YOUR student experience the best it can possibly be!

Our brand-new Dog Training Course has been meticulously crafted. We ensure that you’ll learn everything you need to know in order to launch a successful, long-term career in the pets industry. This 8-unit program offers countless textbooks, instructional videos, and hands-on assignments.

Plus, in the final unit of the course, we’ll even help you prepare for the Certified Professional Dog Trainer (CPDT) exam. By taking – and passing – this exam, you’ll further your qualifications AND career by adding an additional certification from the Certification Council for Professional Dog Trainers!

Why You Should Take This Course

On top of everything I’ve just discussed above, there are even more reasons why this is the dog training program you’ve been looking for!

Firstly, it’s 100% self-paced. When you first enroll, you’ll be given 2 full years to complete your course. However, you have complete and total freedom to use as much (or as little) of that time as you need! This means that YOU get to decide how long it’ll take for you to become a dog trainer.

Secondly, we not only offer competitive tuition; we also offer a budget-friendly payment plan. Yes, you can absolutely pay your full tuition upfront. Heck, we’ll even knock $400 OFF your total if you choose to do so. That said, if you’d prefer a slightly cheaper option, you can simply pay a small deposit at the time of enrollment. After that, your balance will be broken up into 18 affordable installments, which you’ll pay off on a monthly basis.

The best part?

Once you graduate, you’ll receive an internationally-recognized International Dog Training Professional™ (IDTP™) certification AND official designation! In turn, you can then add these to your resume, which will be sure to impress clients!

Want to learn even more about QC’s Dog Training Course? Click here for the full details and get started today!

Step Two: Practice, Practice, Practice!

Dog training is one of those fields where the more real-world experience you get, the better. And while your dog training course with QC Pet Studies will help you dip your toes in the water, you shouldn’t go into your career thinking that that’ll be enough.

On the contrary, you’ll NEVER be able to get enough experience!

So, as much as possible, practice all those invaluable skills you’ve learned. In the beginning of your career, it may be a bit tricky to attract legit, paying clients. As such, one thing we strongly recommend is maximizing your personal network. If you have any friends or family who could use some help training their dog(s), offer your services for free.

How to become a dog trainer in-post image 4

Sure, you won’t get paid for these jobs. But the experience you’ll get from them will be just as beneficial! Not only will you get the opportunity to hone your skill-set, you’ll be able to start developing your professional portfolio.

Moreover, your friends and family can then provide you with positive testimonials. These reviews on your website and social media will be worth their weight in gold!

Step Three: Decide On Your Career Path

If you want to be successful as a dog trainer, it’ll benefit you to approach your career with a clear idea of what you want it to look like. So, before you go trying to bite off more than you can chew, sit down first and map out your trajectory.

For instance, would you prefer to join an existing dog training company, or would you like to start your own business? Do you want to do this full-time, or as a side job? Where would you like to see your career as a dog trainer in a year from now? What about in 3 years, 5 years, and beyond?

Furthermore, if you want to launch your own business, consider the following questions:

  • What would you like to name your business, and what will you need to do in order to get that name registered?
  • What do you want your brand to be?
  • Who will be your target audience/ideal clientele?
  • What dog training services do you want to offer?
  • Would you prefer to offer your services in-person, virtually, or a combination of both?
  • Do you want to offer one-on-one training classes? How about group lessons?
  • Are you interested in specializing in certain types of dogs (e.g. dogs with behavioral issues, dogs with special needs, dogs with anxiety, etc.) or would you like to help train ALL types of dogs?
  • How much effort are you willing to put into your social media presence?
  • Furthermore, what about your online marketing?

Remember: the better prepared you are, the likelier you’ll be to become successful!

Step Four: Market Your Dog Training Services

If you get hired by an existing company, chances are, they’ll have someone already in charge of marketing. For this reason, I’m going to focus here on some tips and tricks for marketing your own business. After all, if you decide to go this route, it’ll be up to YOU to get your name out there!

And make no mistake, marketing your business efficiently will be FUNDAMENTAL to your success!

In-Person Marketing

A good place to begin your marketing efforts is to start local. Build up the buzz for your business in your own area, before you trying conquering the entire world. Luckily, there are all sorts of ways you can market yourself in-person:

  • Hang up business fliers around town.
  • Get in touch with your fellow professionals (e.g. pet stores, dog groomers, dog walkers, animal rescues, veterinarians, etc.) and see if they’d be willing to help promote your business.
  • See if you can get an ad for your dog training business printed in the local newspaper, mentioned on local radio stations, etc.
  • Get involved in local events and see if you can provide your services there.
  • Volunteer your time and skill-set to charities, not-for-profits, human societies, animal shelters, etc.
Professional dog training class

Online Marketing

When it comes to business-savvy marketing strategies, never forget the value of the digital world as well! We all live online nowadays, so a HUGE portion of your marketing should be done via the internet.

Not sure what’s at your disposal?

Here are just some of the ways you can market yourself online:

  • Get active on popular social media sites, such as Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Pinterest, TikTok, YouTube, and LinkedIn.
  • Create a professional website for your business.
  • Start your very own blog and post high-quality, SEO-friendly content.
  • Invest in paid ads, etc.

Word-Of-Mouth Referrals

Word-of-mouth will always have its place in the world of business marketing. In some cases, it can be the most effective way of attracting new, long-lasting clients. After all, when a trusted individual recommends you to their own friends, family, colleagues, etc., those people are more inclined to look into your business and give you a try.

With that in mind, don’t be afraid to ask your inner circle to recommend you to others. Chances are, they’ll be more than happy to help. Additionally, whenever you work with a new client, there’s no harm in asking them to refer you to anyone they know who might be in need of a professional dog trainer.

Just be sure to use your best discretion with this. Obviously, if the experience didn’t go the way you planned and/or they seemed unsatisfied, it wouldn’t be the wisest move to ask them for a referral. However, if a client seems happy with the services you’ve provided, they’ll probably be more than willing to rave about you!

Step Five: Network with Shelters, Pet Stores, and Breeders

In general, networking will be one of your BEST friends as you become a dog trainer. Plus, it’ll serve you well throughout the entirety of your career.

The more people on the pets industry that you get to know (and establish a positive reputation with), the likelier you’ll be to attract clientele. This is because your network can help refer customers your way, make you aware of job opportunities you might not have otherwise known about, etc.

As such, always be willing to proactively network with anyone and EVERYONE you can within the industry. Yes, this even means fellow dog trainers. Although they can be considered your “competition”, they’re also your allies.

Other experts you should definitely network with include animal shelters, pet stores, and dog breeders. Firstly, your training services could prove useful for their own operations. For instance, by lending your expertise to animal shelters, you can potentially increase the chances of those dogs getting adopted.

On the other hand, local pet stores might be in need of someone to help run training programs offered by their company. This could be a chance for you to hire yourself out as a contract expert!

Not to mention, networking with these specific businesses can also generate even more client referrals for you. Take dog breeders, for instance. Every individual who purchases a pup from them can be one new client they refer to you, to help these new dog owners get their puppy properly trained.

Our point is: get out there and build your network. It’s never too early to start that important step. One way or another, your network WILL help you advance your career at some point. That much we can guarantee.

How to become a dog trainer last in-post image

Now that you know how to become a dog trainer, it’s time to get started! Enroll with QC Pet Studies today!

The Best Dog Grooming Tools Every Groomer Needs

The best dog grooming tools Feature Image

If you dream of being a professional groomer, you probably want to know what the best dog grooming tools are to stock your kit with. Well, look no further, because we’ve put together a list of 15 awesome supplies you can add to your upcoming Christmas list!

QC Pet Studies’ Dog Grooming Tools

First thing’s first: if you haven’t already gotten professional grooming training, this is the #1 step you’ll want to take! After all, it’ll be next to impossible for you to book regular clients and make this a full-time career without a solid education and the right credentials under your belt.

And when it comes to reputable dog grooming training, QC Pet Studies has everything you’ve been looking for!

QC is accredited by the Better Business Bureau and holds a solid A+ ranking on their website. All of our training is offered entirely online, so you can complete your studies right from the comfort of home. Moreover, it’s done entirely at YOUR preferred pace. This means that while you’ll get a full 2 years to finish your program, you can graduate in as little or as much of that time as you need.

The Dog Grooming Course

Undoubtedly, QC Pet Studies’ most popular program is the Dog Grooming Course. In this 5-part course, you’ll learn all about:

  • Fundamental grooming concepts;
  • Health and safety;
  • Basic dog anatomy;
  • Canine behavior;
  • Skincare;
  • Tools of the trade;
  • Proper grooming techniques;
  • How to work with a wide variety of breeds and breed standards;
  • Business knowledge;
  • And so much more!

In addition to the practical knowledge you’ll acquire, you’ll also be given tons of hands-on training, too. Since we want to help you be as prepared for this as possible, this is why QC actually provides you with a FREE starter grooming kit as part of your course materials!

The best dog grooming tools, QC Pet Studies starter groomer kit

The Dog Grooming Tools You’ll Receive

As a student of QC’s Dog Grooming Course, you’ll receive – as part of your tuition – the following dog grooming tools:

  • A WAHL ARCO 5-in-1 Cordless Clipper with 8 stainless steel snap-on combs
  • 3 pairs of professional 440C Steel Grooming Scissors
  • Professional-grade combs, coat tools, and nail clippers – including a slicker brush, greyhound comb, fine-tooth comb, undercoat rake, and more.

Thanks to these complimentary supplies, you’ll be able to start the beginnings of your professional grooming kit with top-notch tools! Not to mention, as soon as you graduate from this course, you’ll also be able to add an official International Dog Grooming Professional (IDGP) certification + designation to your resume!

Did you know that we’ve also put together the ultimate step-by-step guide on becoming a dog groomer? Check it out here for everything you need to know to start the career of your dreams!

15 of The Best Dog Grooming Tools You Need to Buy ASAP!

Okay, now it’s time to get down to business! Below, we’ve put together a list of 15 popular, high-quality dog grooming tools every professional groomer needs to have in their arsenal.

For your convenience, we’ve also included links to where you can purchase them on Amazon. All product images have also been sourced from each item’s respective Amazon webpage.

The best dog grooming tools Gimars 4CR Stainless Steel Safety Round Tip 6 in 1 Professional Dog Grooming Scissors Kit

$28.79 USD

Fun fact: these tools are actually one of “Amazon’s Choice”. Amazon gives this label to specific products when they believe them to be the best option for specific keywords. Dog grooming tools marked as “Amazon’s Choice” tend to have a low return rate and higher overall rankings from purchasers.

These scissors have been dipped in a ceramic coating and, according to Amazon’s website, “suffer 60 process carefully polishing and grinding”. As a result, the blades won’t rust and can be easily cleaned. Furthermore, this 6-in-1 dog grooming scissor set is “ergonomically-designed for holding comfortability”.

This is extremely important, since you’ll likely be using them for prolonged periods of time. So, it’s good to know you won’t get any nasty hand cramps while working!

oneisall Dog Shaver Clippers Low Noise Rechargeable Cordless Electric Quiet Hair Clippers Set for Dogs Cats Pets

$32.99 USD

These “ultra quiet and low vibration design” clippers are regarded as an Amazon “Best Seller”. This means that this product sells at the highest level and has the most positive reviews for its respective category on the website.

Oneisall’s clippers come with a built-in, rechargeable Li-ion battery. The blades themselves (both fixed and moving) are upgrade stainless steel and good for long-term use. Switching out and/or cleaning the blades is also a breeze, which is always a plus!

With this set, you’ll receive 6 guard combs: 3mm, 6mm, 9mm, 12mm, 15mm, and 18mm. Thus, you’ll be able to tend to any length of hair with precision and ease!

With over 50,700 reviews and an overall rating of 4.5 stars, the proof is in the pudding: your professional grooming kit NEEDS these amazing clippers!

The best dog grooming tools in-post image 4, neabot P1 Pro Pet Grooming Kit & Vacuum Suction 99% Pet Hair, Professional Grooming Clippers with 5 Proven Grooming Tools for Dogs Cats and Other Animals

$159.00 USD

You’ll definitely be getting a bang for your buck when you see everything that actually comes with this amazing purchase!

Firstly, with these clippers, you’ll receive 5 tried-and-true grooming tools:

  1. Grooming brush
  2. Deshedding brush
  3. Electric clipper
  4. Nozzle head
  5. Cleaning brush

Additionally, you’ll also get the grooming vacuum, which is said to collect as much as 99% of the animal’s hair while you’re brushing and/or trimming it! Groomer’s Lung is a very real concern for professional groomers, so this invaluable tool will allow you to work in peace – without the fair of fur, dander, or debris getting ingested throughout the process.

Pat Your Pet Deshedding Brush - Double-Sided Undercoat Rake for Dogs & Cats - Shedding and Dematting Tool for Grooming

$17.99 USD

This deshedding brush has a wonderful dual-head design. As stated on Amazon’s product page, you can “use the 9-teeth side of this dog and cat brush for smooth dematting, and the 17-teeth side for quick coat thinning and deshedding.”

Since the teeth on this brush are rounded, you can also be ensured that your clients’ dogs won’t feel any pain when using this brush to get their coats all silky-smooth! Finished with an easy-to-grip handle, this brush is said to be good for coats of ALL lengths and kinds.

The best dog grooming tools image 7, Grimgrow's Home Hair Waterproof Clipper Portable Electric USB Rechargeable Pet Grooming Tools Low Noise Shaver Cordless Trimmer for Small and Large Pets

$16.99 USD

In terms of convenience, this clipper from Grimgrow offers it all! It comes with detachable ceramic blades, and its lightweight design makes the product extremely maneuverable. Despite its powerful motor, this clipper is actually quite quiet.

The best part? It’s IPX7 water resistant and USB rechargeable. With a battery life of approx. 90 minutes (when fully charged), this handy dog grooming tool will quickly become a staple favorite!

SHELANDY Pet Grooming arm with clamp for Large and Small Dogs - 35 inch Height Adjustable and Free Two No Sit Haunch Holder

$39.50 USD

If you want to run your very own dog grooming business, having a trustworthy grooming arm for your grooming table will be critical! And with a 4.5-star overall ranking and over 5,000 raving reviews, this grooming arm by SHELANDY couldn’t come more highly recommended!

The arm itself can be adjusted as high as 35 inches and can be clamped safely to tables as thick as 1.96 inches. The large loops are 22 inches and 26 inches in length, whereas the smaller small loop is 22 inches long.

If you’re brand-new to installing grooming arms, don’t worry! Amazon lists the full installation instructions right on their product page.

Go Pet Club Pet Dog Grooming Table with Arm, 30-Inch

$78.00 USD

Now, what about a grooming table itself? If you’ve been on the hunt for one for your business, this product by Go Pet Club is EXACTLY what you’ve been looking for!

This grooming table is 30 inches long, 18 inches wide, and 32 inches in height. According to Amazon, it features “strong goal post-style legs with rubber capped feet, ensuring the table does not slip. [It also includes] sturdy aluminum adjustable grooming arm with clamp, [which] extends to 40″ high.”

Thanks to its goal post-style legs, you can easily fold up and transport this table if you offer mobile and/or in-home grooming services to clients. Not to mention, its rust-proof materials and advanced coating ensure that this grooming table will serve you well for many years to come!

The best dog grooming tools image 9, UNUSUALKEY Dog Hair Dryer,Pet Grooming Hair,2 in 1 Portable Home Pet Care,Hair Styling Grooming for Medium Small Large Dogs Cat,Low Noise,2Heat &Wind Speed

$26.99 USD

Dryers can sometimes scare dogs – but with this awesome design by UNUSUALKEY, the drying process no longer needs to be a frightening one!

With its 2-in-1 functionality, you can dry and brush your client’s dog at the same time. Its adjustable heat and wind speed setting allows you to effortlessly avoid unwanted burns, as well as tailor the drying process to the dog’s particular coat. And since this dryer “adopts a noiseless design” (with a working noise lower than 65Db), you can guarantee a smoother and more comfortable experience for everyone involved.

GLADOG Professional Grooming Scissors for Dogs with Safety Round Tips, 4 in 1 Dog Grooming Scissors Set, Sharp and Durable Pet Grooming Shears for Dogs and Cats

$22.99 USD

In this incredible kit, you’ll receive a:

  • 6.5-inch thinning shear, curved scissor, and straight scissor
  • Pet comb
  • Cleaning cloth
  • Black leather case

All of the scissors have round-end tips, ensuring for maximum safety while grooming your clients’ precious pets. Plus, as these ergonomic tools are made of 4CR Titanium Coated Stainless Steel, you’ll get a “sharp and durable” cut without unnecessarily tugging on the dog’s hair.

It’s also worth noting that there’s a no-risk, 90-day-back money guarantee with this product! GLADOG offers a 100% refund policy for any unsatisfied customers.

The best dog grooming tools image 11, Poodle Pet Dematting Fur Rake Comb Brush Tool - with Long 2.5 Inches Steel Safety Blades for Detangling Matted or Knotted Undercoat Hair

$14.99 USD

This rake comb brush is the PERFECT grooming tool for dogs with long hair! In fact, this brush can also be used on cats, rabbits, and even horses!

Stated to be “the #1 dematting comb”, this tool by Poodle Pet will allow you to gently and easily “remove knots, matted spots, and tangles from coats”. The steel blades are 2.5 inches long, making it an excellent rake to use for undercoat brushing.

Since Pet Poodle uses rust-proof stainless steel and top-grade rubber, this brush is guaranteed to have a long lifespan in your professional grooming kit. Plus, its easy-grip handle and wavy ridges will make wielding this tool a breeze!

Hertzko Self-Cleaning Slicker Brush for Dogs and Cats - Pet Grooming Dematting Brush Easily Removes Mats, Tangles, and Loose Fur from The Pet’s Coat

$9.30 USD

Another one of Amazon’s Best Sellers, this is a top-grade slicker brush worthy of being added to your professional groomer kit. According to Amazon, this brush “gently removes loose hair and eliminates tangles, knots, dander, and trapped dirt”. Furthermore, the brushing motion also massages the animal’s skin; encouraging healthy circulation while providing a relaxing, comforting sensation!

This slicker brush by Hertzko is easy to clean, durable, and comfortable to use. Hertzko also offers a 100% customer satisfaction guarantee, which is definitely an added bonus!

The best dog grooming tools image 13, gonicc Dog & Cat Pets Nail Clippers and Trimmers - with Safety Guard to Avoid Over Cutting, Free Nail File, Razor Sharp Blade - Professional Grooming

$15.95 USD

In terms of nail clippers out there, this product by Gonicc is not only an Amazon Best Seller, but the highest rated nail clippers on the site! For reference, they hold a strong 4.5-star rating and currently have over 35,800 reviews from verified buyers.

These non-slip nail clippers are lightweight and ergonomically designed, without sacrificing strength or durability. Its sharp, stainless steel blades will make tending to your clients’ dogs’ nails a simple task. That said, it still comes with a safety stop blade, thus decreasing your chances of cutting the quick.

Dremel PawControl Dog Nail Grinder and Trimmer- Safe & Humane Pet Grooming Tool Kit- Cordless & Rechargeable Claw Grooming Kit for Dogs, Cats

$49.97 USD

Sometimes, you’ll encounter a skittish dog who flat-out refuses to let you cut their nails with nail clippers. Other times, you’ll want to polish and smooth out the nails after using a pair of clippers.

Either way, a professional groomer should always have a reliable nail grinder/filer in their repertoire!

This product by Dremel is not only one of “Amazon’s Choice” – it also holds a 4.5-star rating and currently has over 8,000 ratings. Its safe nail guard “features a 45 degree paw guide for optimal nail trimming angle and dust collection”. With its 9-piece accessory set, there’ll be multiple grooming and nail grinding options at your disposal.

When you purchase this kit, you’ll receive a:

  • 7760 4V Li-on cordless pet nail groomer
  • 9-piece accessories
  • USB charging cable and power adaptor
  • User manual, quick start guide
  • 2 year card
  • And a 5V power adaptor
The best dog grooming tools image 15, Dog Clippers, Cordless Cat and Small Dogs Clipper, Low Noise Electric Pet Trimmer, Dog Grooming Clippers for Trimming The Hair Around Paws, Eyes, Ears, Face

$18.88 USD

When it comes to key tools, your professional grooming kit NEEDS to have a pair of clippers that can tend to the more precise areas on a dog’s body. After all, when cleaning up hair around the eyes, ears, paws, and sanitary areas, a larger, bulkier pair of clippers isn’t going to cut it.

(Ba-dum-tss.)

Luckily, this affordable clipper from Ruri will meet every single one of your needs! Weighing a mere 0.24 pounds and standing no more than 8.19 inches tall, this lightweight grooming tool will help you tend to even the smallest curves and crevices on a dog’s body.

Plus, with its “super mute motor”, it won’t emit any loud, unsettling noises while you work so close to the dog’s face or rear. As you’ll see, it helps makes the grooming process a walk in the park!

(Okay, we’ll stop with the dog-based puns now.)

The best dog grooming tools image 17, Teamoy Pet Grooming Tote, Dog Grooming Supplies Organzier Bag for Grooming Shears, Deshedding Tool, Towels, Shampoo and More

$33.99 USD

If you intend to travel to clients and/or ever provide your grooming services outside of a salon (or your home), you’re going to need something well-organized to transport all of your tools in!

This tote by Teamoy offers large capacity, standing at 11.1 inches high, 10 inches long, and 6.5 inches wide. Moreover, it also provides a number of pockets capable of neatly holding your scissors, clippers, shampoos, towels, gloves, etc. Since this bag is made of durable nylon material, it’ll last you for a really long time, too.

Plus, it looks super stylish – which never hurts!

Which of the 15 dog grooming tools listed in this article do YOU want most?

Tell us in the comments below. Happy shopping, groomers!

Now that you have an idea of the best dog grooming tools to include your kit, it’s time to get professionally trained and certified first! Enroll with QC Pet Studies today and book your first paying client in less than a year!

How to Start Your Own Pet Care Business

How to start your own pet care business Feature Image

Want to know how to start your own pet care business?

Then you’ve come to the right place, because that’s exactly what we’re here to talk about today!

Read on as we break down how to build a pet care business, be your own boss, and find success in the pet industry while doing something you truly love!

How Much Money Can You Make Owning a Pet Business?

Okay, first thing’s first: will the profit of building and running a pet care business be worth your time and effort?

The short answer is YES!

The slightly longer answer is that it’ll ultimately depend on you – and the amount of work you’re willing to put into your business. Logically, minimal effort will result in minimal success. Give it your all, on the other hand, and this endeavor will be a very prosperous one for you.

Pet Care Business Salary Examples

Obviously, another thing to keep in mind is that there are different types of pet care businesses out there. A dog grooming business, for example, can potentially make different money than a dog walking business.

Here are some of the general salary ranges for a few of the most popular pet business options out there:

Pet Groomer

  • United States: Between approx. $15,500 USD to $59,500 USD per year (Source: ZipRecruiter)
  • Canada: Between approx. $27,500 CAD to $40,500 CAD per year (Source: Talent.com)
  • United Kingdom: Between approx. £14,000 GBP to £29,000 GBP per year (Source: Glassdoor)
  • Australia: Between approx. $40,000 AUD to $46,500 AUD per year (Source: Salary Expert)

Dog Trainer

  • United States: Between approx. $14,000 USD to $69,000 USD per year (Source: ZipRecruiter)
  • Canada: Between approx. $33,000 CAD to $72,000 CAD per year (Source: Glassdoor)
  • United Kingdom: Between approx. £19,000 GBP to £49,000 GBP per year (Source: PayScale)
  • Australia: Between approx. $40,000 AUD to $76,000 AUD per year (Source: PayScale)

Dog Walker

  • United States: Between approx. $24,600 USD to $33,000 USD per year (Source: Talent.com)
  • Canada: Between approx. $26,000 CAD to $98,000 CAD per year (Source: Glassdoor)
  • United Kingdom: Between approx. £13,000 GBP to £35,000 GBP per year (Source: PayScale)
  • Australia: Between approx. $37,000 AUD to $53,000 AUD per year (Source: PayScale)

Kennels and Pet Boarding

  • United States: Between approx. $26,000 USD to $97,000 USD per year (Source: PayScale)
  • Canada: Between approx. $32,000 CAD per year to $42,000 CAD per year (Source: PayScale)
  • United Kingdom: Between approx. £14,000 GBP to £21,000 GBP per year (Source: PayScale)
  • Australia: Between approx. $35,000 AUD to $52,000 AUD per year (Source: PayScale)
How to start your own pet care business in-post image 1

Key Factors That Will Impact Your Income

There are a number of additional things that can affect the type of profit your pet care business makes as well. Some of these factors include (but are not limited to):

  • Professional experience, certification(s), and overall qualifications in your field;
  • Where you live (i.e., big town vs. small city);
  • The demand for your business services in your area;
  • Local competitors offering the same (or similar) services;
  • Your target audience and how you market your business towards them;
  • The way you market your business in general;
  • Your willingness to network;
  • How active you are online;
  • The level of customer service your business provides;
  • Your self-discipline, drive, and patience;
  • The amount of effort you’re willing to put into your business, etc.

So, as you start a business in the pet industry, it’s important to keep the above list in mind. This way, you’ll have a clearer idea of the level of success your business can achieve – and what you’ll need to do in order to achieve it.

Now it’s time to break down how to actually start your own pet care business. Here are 7 steps to walk you through the process!

Step One: Decide on Your Pet Care Business

If you want to know how to have a successful pet business, the smartest place to start is to first decide what type of business you want to run. So, sit down with a piece of paper and a pen, and brainstorm what it is you’d actually like to do!

For example, would you be happiest grooming animals? Walking dogs? Running a pet daycare?

No matter which route you decide upon, there will obviously be pros and cons. This is just life, regardless of any job. For instance, some of the most common pros and cons to the career paths mentioned above include:

Pet Grooming

Pros

  • Lots of physical exercise
  • Get to work with animals on a daily basis
  • Get to work with animals of all ages, breeds, etc.
  • Most of the job will be spent between just you and your clients’ pets
  • Extremely rewarding environment
  • Fun atmosphere
  • You can be your own boss
  • You’ll learn all sorts of incredible grooming techniques/knowledge
  • It’s easy to gain repeat clients, build your network, and get positive referrals
Cons

  • Sometimes, you’ll be working long hours (so you’re feet will likely be sore by the end of your shift)
  • Grooming dogs can be quite physically demanding
  • You may need to work on weekends or evenings in order to accommodate your clients’ schedules
  • You’ll be expected to work with/handle all sorts of dog temperaments – even the less-than-ideal ones
  • There are the risks of occupational health hazards for both you and the dogs
  • You’ll need to invest in the start-up costs if you choose to launch your own business

Dog Walking

Pros

  • Lots of physical exercise
  • Get to work with dogs on a daily basis
  • You can work with dogs of all ages, breeds, etc.
  • There can be LOTS of flexibility with this career path, especially in terms of the days/hours you want to work
  • The majority of your shifts will be spent solely with your clients’ dogs
  • Lots of independence
  • Fun atmosphere
  • Again, you can be your own boss
  • It’s easy to gain repeat clients, build your network, and get customer referrals
Cons

  • Your clients will still expect you to walk their dogs, even during inclement weather (i.e. rain or snow)
  • You’ll need to put in the effort to build up a regular client roster before you can expect to see a steady income
  • You may need to work on weekends or evenings in order to accommodate your clients’ schedules
  • There’s no real way around it – you’re more than likely going to need to pick up poop
  • Sometimes, you’ll need to work with/handle disobedient pups, dogs with an attitude, etc.
  • You’ll need to invest in the start-up costs and marketing efforts, should you choose to launch your own dog walking business
Dog walker enjoying with dogs while walking outdoors.

Pet Daycare

Pros

  • Let’s say it again for those in the back: you’ll get to be your own boss!
  • Get to work with animals on a daily basis
  • Opportunity to hire your own employees as your daycare business expands
  • If your space allows it, you can expand your business services in order to help pets in need (e.g. foster pets, animals looking for adoption, strays, etc.)
  • There can be LOTS of flexibility with this career path, especially in terms of the days/hours you want to operate your business
  • Lots of independence
  • Fun atmosphere
  • Endless opportunities to acquire repeat clients, build your network, and get customer referrals
Cons

  • If you want your business to be successful, you may need to invest long hours into this endeavor – especially at the beginning of your journey
  • You’ll need to secure and invest in a physical location for your pet daycare
  • Plus, you’ll need to factor in additional start-up costs for your business as well (e.g. insurance, etc.)
  • Running a pet daycare can sometimes be very demanding, both physically and mentally
  • The more times of day + days of the week you’re open, the more clients you’ll cater to – this means that you may need to work evenings and/or weekends
  • Moreover, your business may need to operate on holidays as well

Pro Tip: We’ve put together a list of 22 lucrative pet business ideas that ANYONE can start. Check it out here – you never know, it may wind up inspiring you and helping you decide which path you’d like to take!

Step Two: Set Up Your Business Bank Account and Licenses

Once you’ve ironed out the type of pet care business you want to start, the next step will be doing some research and figuring out whether you’ll need specific types of licenses in order to operate it legally.

For instance, does your area require any specific permits or licenses in order to run your type of business? Will you need to obtain anything in order to open up (and run) a physical location? What about insurance?

The answers to these questions will vary based on location. Thus, it’s important for you to do as much detective work as possible. As a result, you’ll know exactly what’s required where you live and how you can go about obtaining it.

Oh, and don’t forget to set up a separate, business bank account! This way, you can track your transactions, have a clear and concise paper trail, and properly manage all expenditures. If you’re unsure how to go about setting this bank account up, visit your local branch and set up an appointment with one of your bank’s experts.

They’ll be able to sit down with you and help walk you through the process!

How to start your own pet care business article in-post image 3

Step Three: Create a Pet Care Business Plan

The clearer your game plan is, the better your chances will be for success. This is why it’s critical that before you actually launch your pet care business, you first map out exactly what your want your business plan to look like.

Here are some questions that can help you iron out what your goals are:

  • How many clients do you want?
  • Who is your target clientele?
  • What can you do to attract and market yourself to potential customers?
  • What are your income goals?
  • Do you want to operate this business part-time or full-time?
  • What do you want your business brand to be and how will you build it accordingly?
  • Where and how would you like to market your pet care business?
  • Do you intend to operate your business from home, or would you eventually like to open a physical business location?
  • How do you intend to retain customers and increase your chances of business referrals?
  • Where would you like to see your business in 1 year? 3 years? 5 years?
    • What steps will you need to take in order to meet these goals by your designated timeframes?

Step Four: Get Certified

Many of the different pet care businesses you can open won’t technically require any form of professional training/certification. But if you DON’T get it, it’ll be significantly harder for your business to achieve any sort of success or longevity.

The fact is, backing your business with a proper education, certification, and reputable designation will be the single best way for you to thrive.

Why? Because in one way or another, prospective clients will want to see that you actually know what you’re doing. If your goal is to work as a dog groomer or trainer, for instance, then you should absolutely complete a dog grooming or dog training certification course first.

If you’d like to open a dog walking business or pet daycare, on the other hand, even completing some sort of business program will give customers more assurance that you’re the real deal. Clients won’t want to book with you if they can’t trust that you and your business are the best of the best.

Proper training and certification will alleviate these concerns and prove to potential customers that you’re worth their time, money, and trust!

Did you know that QC Pet Studies offers a self-paced, online Dog Grooming certification course? Learn all about it here and enroll today!

A man working at home during home office with a red and happy welsh corgi pembroke dog

Step Five: Create a Website for Your New Business

Once your pet care business is officially launched, it’s time to get your business seen by the masses. So, how can you go about doing this?

The first step is to set up an official website. Your domain name should be the same as the name you legally register for your business. Importantly, your website should look professional and clean, rather than clumsy and unorganized.

On this site, ensure that your portfolio is easy to find, since prospective clients will want to browse it. Additional information you should include on your website includes (but is not limited to):

  • An “About Me” page that tells people about you, your qualifications, and your certification(s)
  • A list of your business services (as well as service rates, should you wish to provide those publicly as well)
  • Client reviews
  • Your contact information
  • Hours of operation
  • Working links to all of your social media
  • An online booking option
  • Important policies and/or clauses (i.e. cancellation policies, refunds, etc.)

Never built your own website before? This informative article by Website Builder Expert offers a list of 10 FREE website builders at your disposal!

Step Six: Get on Social Media

Next, it’ll be equally as important for you to get your pet care business seen on social media. After all, everyone and their grandmother uses social media these days! It’s undoubtedly one of the smartest ways to meet others in the industry and attract clients. Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest, TikTok, Twitter, and YouTube are just some of the popular platforms you can build a presence on.

Here are some useful tips to keep in mind when setting up accounts on your chosen social media platforms:

  • As much as possible, your social media handles should be the same as your registered business name.
  • Just as your website will provide links to your social media accounts, so too should your social media channels link viewers back to your main website.
  • The aesthetic of your social media platforms (e.g. what you post, color schemes, how you speak, etc.) should always accurately reflect your brand.
  • Post often and always try to share original content.
    • Pro Tip: If you’re a busy bee, we recommend utilizing scheduling apps such as Later or Hootsuite to post your content ahead of time and/or in bulk.
  • Try to find new, fresh angles for your posts. You don’t want to be the same as all the other pet care businesses out there, or your channel(s) won’t be as memorable!
  • If there are specific people in the industry you’d like to connect with, follow them and regularly leave encouraging comments on their posts. This’ll make them more likely to do the same with you.
  • Whenever someone takes the time to engage with your posts and/or message you, make sure to get back to them in a timely manner.
  • Last but definitely not least: use your social media channels as another marketing tool to showcase your portfolio and promote your pet care business!
How to start your own pet care business in-post image 5

Step Seven: Market Your Pet Care Business!

Marketing your pet care business will be an ongoing effort – and for good reason! Should you consistently market your business properly, you’ll forever have an influx of new clientele. In turn, this will continue to increase your profits, provide you with endless raving testimonials, and further improve your overall brand appeal.

The beauty with this is that there are endless marketing strategies at your disposal. It all depends on how much you’re willing to put into your business, as well as how creative you feel like getting.

Some of the ways you can choose to market your pet care business include:

  • Host an official business launch event in your area
  • Online (via social media, for example)
  • Through paid advertisements (e.g. Facebook ads, Instagram ads, Google ads, etc.)
  • Organic marketing (a.k.a. digital marketing that does not include paid ads)
  • Email campaigns
  • Pair up with local pet stores (as well as other relevant businesses in your area) and have them promote you within their own establishments
  • Put up flyers around your town or city
  • Promote your pet care business at dog parks
  • Provide complimentary services to your friends and family at the beginning of your career
  • Take part in stylized photoshoots to obtain high-quality images for your portfolio, website, and social media
  • Attend industry events, get-togethers, etc.
  • Join online networks
  • Become a subject-matter expert for other pet care businesses and write for their blogs/publications
  • If your budget allows for it, do giveaways or sweepstakes on your social media platforms
  • Develop an attractive client retention program

No matter how you choose to get your business seen, the priority is making sure you do so in the first place. Your pet care business can be the best in the world – but if no one knows it exists, it won’t be very successful in the long run.

So, as you embark upon this exciting adventure, just make sure to keep all of the above in mind. With the right strategies in place, there’ll be nothing capable of holding you back!

Ready to get your pet care business started? Enroll in QC Pet Studies’ online Dog Grooming Course and take advantage of the FREE business section included within this self-paced program! In less than one year, you’ll learn everything you need to not only become a dog groomer, but also launch and run ANY type of pet business!

22 Lucrative Pet Business Ideas Anyone Can Start

Pet business ideas article Feature Image

Dream of working with animals for a living? You’re in luck, because there are all sorts of pet business ideas out there. Let’s take a look at 22 possible career paths you can pursue right away!

Is Starting a Pet Business Profitable?

First thing’s first: you need to know whether this endeavor will actually be worth your time. After all, if your efforts won’t lead to results (or a livable income), it could still make for a great passion project – but not so much a realistic, full-time job.

The good news is, you can absolutely make a great profit off of starting your very own pet business! The key is how much work you’re willing to put into it.

Like with starting any business, it’s important to keep in mind that it’ll take time to make the profit you’re looking for. When first launching your business, you’ll be an unknown name in the industry. This means it’ll be up to you to get it off the ground, promote yourself, gain in-field experience, and attract clientele.

Furthermore, you’ll need to be good at budgeting. There are many overhead costs that come with running your own business, and improper investments could wind up draining more money than you’re making. This is why, to give you the best chances of success, we strongly recommend getting some form of business training before you jump straight into opening up shop.

In a nutshell: if you’re someone who lacks motivation and self-discipline, these goals will be difficult to achieve. However, if you know that you’d be willing to do whatever it takes to make your dreams a reality, then starting a pet business is the perfect option for you… and it can definitely become extremely profitable!

22 Pet Business Ideas You Can Pursue

So, what possible career paths are out there for you? Let’s take a look!

1. Pet Grooming

As a professional groomer, you’ll help pets look their absolute best! You’ll be responsible for everything from clipping nails, to giving baths, to doing haircuts, to treating skin conditions, to deshedding and de-matting coats, and SO much more.

Moreover, there are tons of specializations and niches within this particular career path. For instance, you can:

  • Work in a grooming salon;
  • Own your own salon;
  • Start a mobile grooming business;
  • Work as a freelance groomer;
  • Specialize in grooming for dogs, cats, etc.;
  • Specialize in competition grooming;
  • Target your grooming services for animals in need (i.e. at shelters);
  • And more!
Pet business ideas article, in-post image 1, dog grooming

2. Dog Walking

When lockdowns were in full effect, dog owners had the privilege of being at home with their furry family members on a daily basis. But now that life is returning back to normal, more people are no longer working from home. As such, they need someone to help take their dogs out for walks while they’re gone.

This is where you can come in! As a professional dog walker, you can arrange the best days and times to come pick up your clients’ dogs, provide them with some exercise and socialization, and give them a much-needed potty break. This job can be extremely flexible (if you would prefer to only work certain days and/or between certain times), or you can book as often as you want.

There will always be dog owners who need this service, so the high demand will NEVER be going anywhere!

Pro Tip: Want to gain some experience first and/or build your clientele BEFORE starting an actual dog walking business? There are plenty of apps out there that can get you regular work in this field, such as Rover.

3. Pet Sitting

The nice thing about pet sitting services is that they can be as broad or as narrow as you want them to be. For instance, you could offer to watch your clients’ pets at your own home or within theirs. Additionally, you could strictly offer to sit during the day, on weekdays, or on weekends.

On the other hand, if you wanted to make this your full-time career, you could offer to pet sit 7 days a week, at any hour of the day, as well as overnight.

As a rule of thumb, the more options you can offer pet owners, the better your chances will be at getting bookings. But if this is something you’d rather do part-time, or paired with another pet business, the flexibility is also there to fit your sitting services within your preferred schedule.

4. Pet Photography

If you’re good with a camera, perhaps the perfect pet business ideas for you is to take pictures of animals for a living! There are all sorts of reasons why clients seek out pet photographers, such as:

  • Holiday-themed photoshoots (i.e. Christmas cards);
  • Animal marketing ads;
  • Family portraits;
  • Photos of shelter animals, to help increase their chances of adoption, etc.;
  • End-of-life memories;
  • Pet portraits for special occasions (i.e. a birthday present);
  • And more!

5. Handmade Clothing and Accessories

When it comes to pet owners, there’s a market out there for everything – and that includes the demographic who like to dress up their pets! As a maker of homemade animal clothing, you can create anything from casual attire (e.g. shirts, pajamas, etc.) to holiday-specific clothing (e.g. Halloween costumes, Christmas clothes, etc.).

Moreover, you can choose to specialize in clothing for certain breeds and/or sizes, or tailor your services to any dog, regardless of size. Plus, if your business were to offer custom orders for clients, this could also be a major selling point!

Cute little ginger kitten wearing warm knitted sweater is sleeping on the white carpet

6. Organic Pet Treats

These days, there are more pet treats out there than you could shake a stick at. But many contain unwanted additives and questionable ingredients. For owners who prefer to feed their pets organic, natural diets, these types of foods are therefore off limits.

This also means that these animal owners are likely on the lookout for a healthy, homemade alternative!

So, if you enjoy baking and working with food, why not use your skills to offer the yummiest, healthiest treats on the market? This blog article offers 7 ideas to get the ball rolling. From there, use your imagination and creativity to whip up the types of treats YOU would want to feed your own pet… and then offer them to the world!

7. Handmade Toys

Some people have a natural knack for DIY projects and handy work. If you fall into this category, then perhaps the perfect pet business idea for you is to handmake toys for a living!

This particular job path also provides ample room to get creative, as the toys you create can be of any size, shape, color, or theme you want them to be. Not to mention, if you make toys for different varieties of pets (i.e. dogs, cats, rabbits, ferrets, hamsters, rats, etc.), you’ll be able to cater to a much larger clientele.

Moreover, you can even take your business one step further by creating handmade toys for exotic pets, too. There are plenty of people with post-bellied pigs, sugar gliders, etc. who may find it trickier to shop for toys for their unique pet. Since the options are more limited, your business could be the very thing they’ve been looking for!

8. Dog Training

You’re probably familiar with the saying, “It’s never to late to teach an old dog new tricks”.

This train of thought can be applied to all dogs of any age. New dog owners may need some expert help with training their young puppy. Others may have adopted an older dog with behavioral issues that need correcting. Whatever the reason may be, this is a career path with a high demand and many different types of clientele.

If you’re patient, have good communication skills, and possess a way with dogs of all temperaments, starting your very own dog training business could be the most rewarding option out there for you.

Did you know that QC Pet Studies is releasing a self-paced, online Dog Training Course in the coming months? It’s true! Make sure to stay tuned for more details, so you can enroll in this certification course the moment it launches!

9. Pet Daycare

This career path is similar to pet sitting, with a few important changes. With pet sitting, you could be watching one animal at a time, or one client’s pets. When you have your own pet daycare, you’ll likely be babysitting multiple pets for multiple clients at the same time.

If you excel at multi-tasking, have ideas for how to fill the days and keep all these animals occupied, and would love nothing more than to be surrounded by dogs and/or cats every day, then this is DEFINITELY the pet business idea for you!

Pro Tip: If you don’t have any prior experience watching over a handful of animals at once, perhaps starting as a sitter would be the best choice. That would allow you to dip your toes in the water and hone your skills; preparing you to look after more animals once you progress to opening up your own daycare.

Pet business ideas article in-post image 3, doggy daycare

10. Pet Boarding

Kennels can be extremely expensive, especially if owners need to go out of town for an extended length of time. For those on a budget, this can make such an option unaffordable. By starting your own pet boarding business, you can corner this market and attract a LOT of interested clients!

This type of career endeavor would likely require an investment on your part, as you’d more than likely need to own your own facility in order to safely, properly, and legally board the animals. The one tricky thing to keep in mind is that there are zoning laws to consider.

If interested in this pet business idea our recommendation would be to first research your local laws and legislations. If zoning restrictions or bylaws that’ll prevent you from pursuing this career path, it’s better to know that sooner rather than later.

11. Animal Blogger/Writer

Do you love to write? If so, another pet business idea is to start your very own animal blog! You can take this one step further by also lending your writing skills and expert insights to other businesses’ blogs and publications.

Freelance writing can be an awesome way to make a decent income – especially since you can set your own rates. The more your work is published, the more clients you can secure going forward. On the other hand, if you’d prefer to write strictly for your own blog, this would be a idea best paired with an additional business service.

Not sure how to develop your own blog? This article will teach you everything you need to know to get started!

13. Pet Training for Film and Television

Earlier, we took a look at dog training services for pet owners. However, there’s another similar business you can start for yourself, which specializes in pet training for the media.

Off the top of your head, can you count how many times you’ve seen an animal in a movie, on TV, or in a commercial? Probably not, since it’s a pretty regular thing. Well, someone is responsible for training these animals for the big (and small) screen – and that someone could be YOU!

Again, this is the type of advanced job where previous experience would do you a world of good. So, maybe start your career as a professional trainer by working with pet owners, and then move higher up the ladder to work with all those furry movie stars.

14. Pet Product Tester

Before animal food, accessories, toys, grooming tools, etc. can be released to the general public, they first need to be tested. After all, how else will these brands know if their products are truly effective?

Your pet business can be geared entirely towards helping these other businesses iron out their merchandise before they hit the shelves. For obvious reasons, we encourage you to have your own pet if you want to pursue this career path. Just make sure that whatever you’re testing out on your animal doesn’t put them in harm’s way!

15. Open Your Own Pet Store

While there are all sorts of mega chains out there, many animal owners prefer to shop for their pet’s essentials a little more close to home. By that, I mean locally, with store owners they can meet and get to know face-to-face.

It goes without saying that in order to open your own pet store, you’ll need to be willing to invest in this endeavor. After all, you’ll need to secure a location and then stock it up with products. That said, if the demand is high where you live, and you strategically tailor your shop to meet the demographic’s needs, this could be a very fruitful prospect for you!

Portrait of cute dog near different variation of goods for animals in pet store

16. Pet Massage Therapy

Humans aren’t the only ones that need some R&R! Animals, too, can experience bone, muscle, and/or joint issues that could greatly benefit from professional massage therapy. You could even expand on this business by offering additional complementary services, such as hydrotherapy, acupuncture, and homeopathy therapy.

Obviously, this is the sort of career path that requires ample training and education first. If you’re already experienced in massage therapy (as well as any of the added services mentioned above) and have been looking for something new, this pet business idea might just be what you’ve been looking for. Otherwise, if you’re brand-new to the concept, you’ll need to put some time and money into your certification training first.

17. Poop Scooping

I know, it’s not the most luxurious of jobs – but it needs to be done! This is a pet business idea that can easily be paired with a dog walking career. That said, it doesn’t have to be either.

All you’ll need in order to operate a poop scooping business are shovels, gloves, waste containers, a vehicle (so you can transport the waste), and somewhere you’re allowed to legally dispose of the poop.

In terms of demand, you could offer your services to any of the following clientele:

  • Pet owners who need their yards cleaned up;
  • Dog walking clients;
  • Dog parks;
  • Veterinary clinics;
  • Kennels/boarding facilities;
  • Grooming salons;
  • Pet daycares, etc.

18. Travel Agent for Pets

This one might sound a little silly, but hear me out. There are an abundance of reasons why an animal may need to be transported by plane, train, boat, or what-have-you. For instance, they may have been adopted and need to be shipped in from another country. Their owner(s) may be moving or going on vacation, and they’re coming along for the adventure.

This is where a pet travel agent comes in handy. You could help individual clients and organizations alike safely and legally get the animals from Point A to Point B. This could include handling the animal’s documentation, securing the method by which they’ll be traveling, schedule their departure and arrival, aid in making the journey as stress-free as possible, etc.

19. Social Media Manager for Pet Celebrities

Doug the Pug, Pudgy the Chihuahua, Juniper the Fox, Jill the Squirrel… These are just some of the countless animals that have gone viral and gained a mass following on social media. And while the social media accounts for a lot of these animals is run by their owners themselves, some are run by skilled social media professionals.

This is where you and your pet business can come in! If you know how to manage and run a thriving social media channel, your services could come in handy for owners who have a famous pet – but not as much time to spend online every day.

Curious Sugar Glider pet on keyboard with hand grabing.

20. Social Media Personality and Pet Expert

Speaking of social media, another pet business idea is to make a big name for yourself online! As we discussed earlier, you could run your own blog – but there are tons of other things you can do to build on this, too.

For instance, you could start a YouTube channel and/or TikTok account. You could grow a huge following on Instagram, Twitter, and/or Facebook. You could even attract followers on platforms such as Pinterest, or start a podcast.

With the right strategies, persistence, and unique content, you could become the next big face in terms of popular pet personalities!

21. Pet Food

Earlier, we talked about how you could build a pet business around making homemade treats. But if you wanted to take this one step further, why not branch out and make homemade pet food in general?

There’s no shortage of people out there who prefer to feed their pets all-natural diets, from trusted sources. By keeping your homemade pet food organic, and containing only natural ingredients, you could make quite the name for yourself in this popular corner of the industry!

22. Open Your Own Cat Café

Seriously, is there anything better than enjoying a nice, hot coffee while being surrounded by adorable cats? Cat cafés have become wildly popular over the last decade or so, as many consider them to be the BEST hangout spots. Having been to several myself, I can confirm that this sentiment is 100% true.

Keep in mind that you’ll need to invest in a commercial property for your café’s location, as well as any applicable licenses your local area requires in order for you to run this establishment. However, once you have everything up and running, it won’t take long for your business to take off and start turning a nice profit!

Plus, this particular job path offers an incredible opportunity to make real change in these animals’ lives. Although you can work independently, you could also pair up with animal shelters as well. This way, the cats hanging around in your café are adoptable ones; provided with the special opportunity of finding their forever homes when they meet your clients.

Talk about a win-win situation!

Pet business ideas article in-post image 6

What’s The Best Pet Business Idea to Start?

Ultimately, the pet business idea that speaks loudest to YOU will depend on your own passions and goals. Just remember that as we discussed earlier, it’s critical that you get yourself some business training, regardless of which plan you decide to pursue.

At QC Pet Studies, our self-paced, online Dog Grooming Course comes with an entire unit devoted to business training! So, if dog grooming is a career you’d be interested in, you can rest easy knowing that in addition to learning how to groom, you’ll also be taught everything you need to know to launch AND run a thriving business.

That said, the knowledge and skills taught in the business unit can be applied to ANY pet business idea you wish to pursue! For example, you’ll discover how to:

  • Name your business and get it legally registered;
  • Build your business’s brand;
  • Develop your official website;
  • Build your professional portfolio;
  • Network;
  • Attract and retain clients;
  • Implement proper marketing strategies;
  • Provide exceptional customer service each and every time;
  • And SO much more!

So, do you know what sort of pet business YOU want to open? Let us know in the comments below!

Enroll with QC Pet Studies today and launch your very own pet business in as little as 9-12 months!

How to Become a Dog Groomer Step-By-Step

How to become a dog groomer article Feature Image

If you’re reading this article, it’s probably because you absolutely LOVE dogs and want to know how to become a dog groomer professionally. Luckily, you’ve come to the right place!

I’m willing to bet that you have a ton of questions about this new, exciting career path. If so, then look no further, because we’ve answered ALL of them for you in this article.

Let’s dive in, shall we?

What Qualifications Do You Need to Become a Dog Groomer?

The short answer to this question is: it depends on where you live. Some cities, States, provinces, etc. will require you to have professional certification training in order to work in licensed salons. Other areas might not require anything other than a high school diploma.

But the longer answer – and I cannot stress this enough – is that despite this, proper training is always a MUST in this field of work!

Think about it: you’ll be handling a living, breathing creature. Moreover, you’ll need to work with sharp tools and use them on these animals. If you don’t actually know what you’re doing, things can not only go wrong quickly – they can become downright dangerous.

Furthermore, your clients are going to expect you to be trained. For the vast majority of them, their dogs are their family. As such, they’ll only want to book with groomers that can truly TRUST to take proper care of their pet. If you aren’t trained, you’ll be passed over more often than not.

For these reasons, we’re of the strong opinion that professional dog groomers need to be properly educated and certified in order to work. Luckily, more and more cities are getting with the program and making this mandatory. Hopefully, one day it’ll be like that everywhere!

How Do You Train to Be a Dog Groomer?

There are 2 popular options for how an aspiring groomer can gain the necessary training needed to work professionally. The first is to do an apprenticeship or on-the-job training. Here, you would shadow an experienced groomer for a period of time; learning the ropes with the help of your mentor.

Alternately, some salons provide training from the ground up. This way, they can get you to the salon’s standards by the time you finish your training. In this scenario, you’d likely be learning the specific techniques and standards set within that particular establishment.

The second is to complete an accredited dog grooming certification course. These days, there are countless options for how you can pursue this education. In-person training is definitely an option, but so is online schooling. We’ll cover this more a little later in the article!

Technically, there’s also a third option (if you so choose), which is to do BOTH. By all means, you can complete a professional course and follow that up by completing an apprenticeship, too. This route is by no means mandatory. But hey, nothing wrong with being a powerhouse by the time you start working solo, right?

How to become a dog groomer article in-post image 1

How Long Does it Take to Become a Dog Groomer?

The amount of time it’ll take to start working as a dog groomer depends on where and how you obtain your professional training.

If you choose to apprentice with an experienced groomer/mentor, your training can last approx. 6-10 weeks. Sometimes, depending on the salon, your apprenticeship can take anywhere from 12-18 months to complete. If you’re hired by a salon and they provide in-house training, this can last for several months, on average.

Should you decide to pursue a professional certification course (which is the path we most recommend), your training duration will depend on the institution. Some schools offer programs that take only a handful of weeks to complete, while others can take upwards of a year.

Keep in mind, though, that when it comes to your training, it’s important NOT to cut any corners. Just because you’re eager to get started as a dog groomer doesn’t mean you should automatically run to a course that’s only a few weeks long.

After all, will you be honestly be able to learn the same amount of skills and knowledge in just a few weeks, compared to what you’d learn in a year’s time? If this is the career path you really want to pursue for the long-term, you should be passionate about learning things the right way.

This means taking the necessary time needed to properly hone your craft. Only then can you truly call yourself a grooming master!

Did you know that QC Pet Studies’ online training takes, on average, 9-12 months to complete? However, since our Dog Grooming Course is 100% self-paced, you can complete your studies on YOUR time and graduate in as little or as much time as you need!

What are The Disadvantages of Being a Dog Groomer?

Look, I’ll be real with you: if the idea of working with dogs on a daily basis appeals to you, then you’ll find no greater joy than pursuing a career as a dog groomer.

But that doesn’t mean it’s an easy job.

On the contrary, being a groomer can be incredibly demanding. You’ll work long hours and be on your feet for the majority of them. By the time your shifts end, your feet will probably be pretty sore (so, a nice, hot bath at the end of the day will feel like heaven for you).

There are also occupational hazards and safety risks to consider, too – both for you and the dogs.

Occupation Hazards for Dog Groomers

Some clients will be bringing in nervous, anxious, or stressed-out dogs. Especially if it’s their first time being alone with you, these types of dogs could go on the defense and feel like they need to protect themselves.

This is basically my gentle way of saying that while bites and scratches won’t be a regular part of your day, they could happen once in a blue moon. Chances are, it’ll happen at least once – or, if nothing else, an attempt by the dog will be made. So, you need to be prepared for this, both physically and emotionally.

There’s also your bodily health to keep in mind. Groomer’s lung, for example, is a very real thing. This is particularly a potential risk if your grooming career spans over a lengthy period of time, and if the proper precautions are not taken on your part.

(Don’t let this freak you out, though. It’s super easy to take the right safety measures – such as wearing a face mask and cleaning your work station regularly – and prevent groomer’s lung from ever affecting you.)

Occupational Hazards for Dogs

In a grooming environment, there’s a LOT that can go wrong if you aren’t adequately prepared. Again, this all circles back to why proper training as a groomer is so critical.

Potential hazards can range anywhere from mild, minor incidents (e.g. an accidental cut or knick while clipping them), to more extreme emergencies (e.g. accidental self-hanging on the grooming table).

Not to sound dramatic or anything, but when clients are leaving their dogs in your hands, you’re quite literally responsible for their lives for as long as they’re in your care. By getting a proper education, you’ll know how to keep them safe at all times. If an emergency happens, you’ll be equipped to handle it accordingly.

If you’re not trained, however… Well, we don’t even want to think about what could potentially happen in the event of an occupational hazard.

Two dog groomers working on dogs in professional salon

So, now that you know what it takes to be a dog groomer, how can you actually start your career as a dog groomer?

These 6 steps to walk you through the process!

Step One: Learn EVERYTHING You Can About Dog Grooming

Because you’re reading this article, you’ve already started Step One – hooray! From here, keep absorbing as much as you possibly can about the industry, as well as the ins and outs of professional grooming.

Here are some suggestions for how you can do more research about the dog grooming world:

  • Read grooming articles and publications;
  • Watch grooming videos (there are TONS on YouTube and TikTok, for example);
  • Find groomers on social media whose work you admire, follow them, and see how they run their businesses;
  • Use Google to see what the most relevant search inquiries are for those in your area who are looking for dog grooming services;
  • To build off this, conduct some Google research to get a better idea of what the demand for groomers is like where you live;
  • Check out the other groomers in your area (a.k.a. your local competition) and learn more about their businesses, target clientele, etc.;
  • Start brainstorming the kind of career YOU want for yourself (i.e. do you want to work for a salon? Start your own business? If the latter, what do you want your business to look like? Etc.).

Step Two: Get Certified as a Professional Dog Groomer

Okay, now it’s time to decide whether you want to pursue your professional training online or through a brick-and-mortar school. When making this choice, it’s important to keep in mind a few key things…

In-Person Grooming School

On average, brick-and-mortar dog grooming courses can take anywhere from a couple months to a year to finish. The obvious pro of in-person schooling is that you’ll be surrounded by your fellow peers, as well as your instructor.

However, there are also some cons to consider as well. For example, you’ll have to pay a much higher tuition rate for a much less personalized learning environment.

Furthermore, you’ll have no choice but to work at everyone else’s pace. If the course is 18 months long in total, you won’t be able to graduate any sooner than that. Not to mention, you’ll be expected to abide by the strict schedule the school sets for you. This means you’ll never have the flexibility to miss a class!

Online Grooming School

On the other hand, distance learning (a.k.a. online learning) has become the preferred method of education over recent years. This has especially been the case over the course of the COVID-19 pandemic. Why?

First, your tuition will be a lot more affordable and suitable for any budget. This is because there’s no physical campus or building to maintain. Second, because it’s just you and your tutor, you’re guaranteed a customized learning experienced that’s tailored specifically for YOU, your needs, and your career goals.

Additionally, the right online dog grooming course – such as the one offered by QC Pet Studies – will be 100% self-paced, as I mentioned earlier. As a result, you’ll never have to commit to deadlines or the need to travel. Yes, this means that you can become a dog groomer while you sit on the couch in your jammies!

(Although, when the time comes for your hands-on training, you might want to change. Up to you, though!)

How to become a dog groomer article in-post image 3

QC Pet Studies’ Dog Grooming Course

QC Pet Studies‘ Dog Grooming Course is 5-part course that you can complete in as little as 9-12 months. This program provides textbook learning, instructional videos, quizzes, and more hands-on training than you could shake a stick at.

If I tried to list everything you’ll learn in this course, we’d be here all day! However, here’s a condensed list to give you an idea of the skills you’ll acquire:

  • Fundamental concepts of dog grooming;
  • Health and safety;
  • Basic dog anatomy;
  • Skincare issues;
  • Canine  behavior;
  • Prep work;
  • How to execute a groom from start to finish;
  • Breed standards and how to work on dogs of various breeds;
  • How to launch your very own grooming business and find long-term success in the industry;
  • And SO much more!

Once you graduate, you’ll walk away with an internationally-recognized International Dog Grooming Professional (IDGP) certification AND designation that you can proudly add to your resume.

And we guarantee, all of your future clients and/or employers will be completely impressed by this accreditation!

Want to hear what graduates of QC Pet Studies have had to say about our Dog Grooming Course? Check out their Features here on our blog!

What to Expect as a Student of QC Pet Studies

Once enrolled, QC Pet Studies gives you a full 2 years to finish your dog grooming training. But remember, our online learning environment is 100% self-paced! Thus, you can choose how much (or how little) of that time you’ll actually need in order to graduate.

As a frame of reference, many of our alumni found that they were able to graduate in as little as 9-12 months by simply dedicating 1-2 hours per week on their courses. But if you’re able to commit more time per week to your training, you could very well graduate even sooner than that!

Within 1-2 days of enrolling in your course, you’ll receive the login details for QC’s Online Student Center. From here, you’ll have access to all of your digital course textbooks, instructional videos, quizzes, assignments, and more. Now, if you’re someone who prefers having physical course materials to learn from, don’t worry – QC will mail those out to you, too! You’ll receive them within 1-2 weeks.

Oh, and since our Dog Grooming Course comes with a FREE starter grooming kit, we’ll also deliver that to you at no extra charge, too!

Another perk of QC Pet Studies’ dog groomer training is that your tutor is a real-world industry expert with years of experience. After you submit each unit, your assigned tutor will rigorously review your work with a fine-toothed comb. Then they’ll submit your grades, as well as thorough audio feedback. You’ll be able to use this feedback to better recognize where your current strengths and weaknesses are!

If all of this weren’t already awesome enough, we also offer a 21-Day Money-Back Guarantee! You can learn more about this here. Basically, we want to make the decision to pursue the career of your dreams as simple and pain-free for you as possible!

A dog groomer dries a bichon maltese dog with a hair dryer.

Step Three: Get Certified in Pet First Aid and CPR

By now, it’s no secret that knowing First Aid for dogs is just as important for your career as knowing how to groom. After all, you’ll need to be prepared for anything and everything that can go wrong during an appointment. First Aid training makes all the difference between a good groomer and an exceptional one.

This is exactly why, when you enroll in QC’s Dog Grooming Course, we encourage you to obtain First Aid and CPR skills… at NO additional cost! That’s right: when you take our Dog Grooming Course, we also throw in our First Aid Course absolutely FREE!

In this 2-unit program, you’ll learn all about:

  • Building your First Aid kit;
  • Setting up a safe and functional workspace;
  • Correctly assessing a dog’s health and checking vitals;
  • Preventing injuries, accidents, bites, scratches, and more;
  • Properly responding to emergency situations;
  • When to recommend veterinary care;
  • Assessing the severity of a wound;
  • The steps involved in creating an emergency plan;
  • Performing CPR and rescue breathing techniques;
  • Artificial respiration;
  • How to help a choking dog;
  • Wound care;
  • Handling dehydration, heatstroke, heart attacks, seizures, cysts, parasites, burns, bruises, etc.
  • And more!

The best part? Once you complete this course, you’ll earn an internationally-certified First Aid for Groomers certificate!

Not only will this additional training increase your overall confidence in your abilities – it’ll assure your clients all the more that their dog is being looked after by the best of the best!

Want to learn even more about our First Aid Course? QC Pet Studies’ student, Camille Torkornoo, reveals 3 of the most IMPORTANT skills you’ll acquire from this program!

Step Four: Practice, Practice, Practice!

If you want to know how to work as a dog groomer, here’s one of the most important tips I can give you: all of the textbook knowledge in the world won’t matter if you don’t ultimately know how to apply it in real life.

This is one of those jobs where hands-on training is fundamental. Understanding how to groom a dog in theory is completely different than legitimately doing it on a living, breathing dog. For this reason, you should get as much real-world exposure as humanly possible before you begin booking paying clients!

The good news is, your certification course will get your foot in the door. As part of your assignments, you’ll be tasked with finding different dogs of different breeds and sizes to groom. From there, don’t be afraid to maximize your personal network.

How many friends and/or family members do you know who have dogs? These are ALL people who might potentially be willing to let you practice your newfound skill-set on their pooches! Other ways to gain practice can also include:

  • Practice what you’ve learned on your own dog(s), if applicable;
  • Offering complimentary grooming services at the start of your career;
  • Volunteering your expertise at dog shelters, charity events, etc.;
  • Taking part in a pro bono photoshoot, in which you groom a dog for free in exchange for high-quality images you can use in your professional portfolio;
  • Joining local, relevant groups on social media and proposing your services for other members to see, etc.
How to become a dog groomer article in-post image 5

Step Five: Get On The Job Dog Grooming Training

Remember earlier, when I mentioned that you can absolutely do an apprenticeship after completing your certification training? Here’s why this would be a smart career move:

There’s never a downside to learning from someone who’s been in this industry long enough to earn their stripes. Yes, your dog grooming course will teach you all you need to know to launch a lucrative career. But there’s no way you’ll begin your career already knowing everything.

For this reason, shadowing a mentor and being taken under their wing (or paw, if you appreciate good puns) can be the very thing that takes your professional training and kicks it up another notch! Entering the professional world can be a bit daunting at first. But when you do so under the watchful eye of a seasoned expert, the whole experience can be a lot easier to navigate.

So, do some digging and reach out to different groomers in your area. There’s no harm in asking whether they’d be willing to bring on an apprentice and show you the ropes. So long as you approach the matter in a humble, professional way, you might very well be surprised by the positive response you get in return!

Whether you want to join an existing grooming team of launch a business of your very own, the experience and insight you’ll gain from an apprenticeship will DRASTICALLY increase your likelihood of achieving success in the long run.

Step Six: Network and Ask for Referrals!

Networking will be your BEST FRIEND as you become a dog groomer – especially at the beginning of your career, while you’re still an unknown name. The grooming industry is a pretty tight-knit community. As such, it won’t take long for you to meet and/or become acquainted with other groomers in your area, as well as dog walkers, doggy daycares, pet stores, dog owners, etc.

These are ALL people and/or businesses that can potentially help you gain clientele!

Now, you might be thinking, “But wait, why would I become friends with other dog groomers? Aren’t they my competition?”

Yes… But that definitely does NOT this mean they aren’t also allies. Your grooming career will be much better off if you establish positive connections with others in the community (even your competitors) than if you tried to go at things solo.

After all, through networking, you’ll be increasing your chances of getting referrals. Dog walkers can refer you to their clients; as can pet stores, daycare owners, etc. Even other groomers can potentially send customers your way, if their own schedules are completely booked. The important thing here is that they need to trust that you’d do the same for them, if the shoe were ever on the other foot.

In the end, you’ll have a longer, more fruitful career if you maximize genuine networking opportunities with as many people as possible.

How to become a dog groomer article, last in-post image, professional groomer headshot in salon

Ready to begin the career you’ve always wanted? Enroll with QC Pet Studies today and become a dog groomer in less than a year!

3 Dog Grooming Complaints and How to Handle Them

Dog grooming complaints article, Aug 13 2021, Feature Image

As a professional groomer, you’ll sometimes hear dog grooming complaints from unhappy customers. That’s just a reality in this line of work! What’s important is how you choose to handle these complaints.

Luckily, QC Pet Studies graduate and industry expert, Casey Bechard, is here to help.

Today, Casey breaks down 3 common client complaints. Moreover, she’ll reveal the RIGHT way to respond to them. This way, you can properly mitigate the situation – and hopefully turn an unsatisfied client back into a happy one!

A Reality of The Job: Dog Grooming Complaints

I would be completely lying if I said I never, ever got one complaint from a client. And you know what? There’s absolutely no shame in getting one, because it will happen at some point or another throughout your career.

After all, we are human. We’re not perfect! Sometimes, I think clients forget that we make mistakes, same as everyone else. But one thing they don’t always know is that complaints can actually help us in the long run.

They really do, trust me. Personally speaking, I have grown SO much as a groomer because of what clients have said to me. If ever a dog grooming client voices a complaint, the key is not to simply shrug them off.

(Well, I mean, sometimes you will. It’ll depend on the nature of the complaint, of course.)

But for the most part, you need to embrace complaints and see them as constructive feedback. Only then can you use them as a way to better yourself.

Today, I’m going to discuss a few experiences I’ve personally had in my dog grooming career so far. Hopefully these experiences – and how I handled them – will help YOU if (or when) you run into a similar dilemma.

3 Dog Grooming Complaints and How to Handle Them Properly

Complaint #1: “You sent my dog home injured!”

This is a complaint that probably won’t be all that common for you, but you’ll more than likely hear it at least once. In this situation, the owner thinks that you’ve injured their dog during the grooming appointment.

For example, one time I groomed a Shih-Tzu pup, same as I’ve done many times before. There were absolutely no issues during the groom, nor where there any issues after it. In fact, the dog was happily running around while waiting for the owner to come back.

However, a few days later, the shop got an email from the owner. In it, they stated that I’d cut her dog by her private parts. Moreover, she was disappointed that no one had told her that her dog had this cut.

She also stated that she was going to be bringing her dog to the vet because she was in pain. I remember her asking in the email, “How did we not tell her, because clearly her dog was in pain?”

How I Handle This Complaint

So, when I had a minute, I simply started writing her back. I told her that I was sorry to hear about her dog and how uncomfortable she was. However, I stressed that if I had accidentally cut her dog during the groom (which I know I didn’t), I definitely would have let her know.

After all, that’s not something we try and keep from owners. On the contrary, we ensure to inform them of anything like that immediately. Afterwards, I went on to say that she was fine after the groom as well, as well as the fact that there were no issues present at that time whatsoever.

PRO TIP: Notice that I wrote in a very professional manner that I didn’t injure her dog. Furthermore, I made it clear that if ever I were to make such a mistake, I’d have admitted it and let her know. If you know you didn’t do anything wrong in a situation like this, stand up for yourself. Trust that you did the right thing.

The Aftermath

Not long after, I received another email back from my client. In it, she apologized and admitted that she figured out that it was all just razor burn. Her dog had been licking it raw and that’s why it looked worse than it was.

It actually worked out for the best, because I wasn’t aware that this dog got bad razor burn sometimes. As a result, I was able to add it into her file so I could be mindful of that next time.

So you see, if I had admitted to something I hadn’t done, this whole situation would have had a very different outcome. My client’s pup could’ve continued getting bad razor burn because I wouldn’t have known it was a potential issue.

My point is, there are ways to stand your ground and be nice about it! I get that she was upset in the first email. But as you see, all I had to do was explain my side of the story, along with what I’d seen, and it all turned out fine in the end.

Want to ensure you’re fully equipped to handle all possible injuries and/or emergencies on the job? Take your dog grooming skill-set to the next level by enrolling in QC Pet Studies’ First Aid for Groomers Course!

Dog grooming complaints article, Aug 13 2021, in-post image 2

Complaint #2: “You didn’t groom my dog perfectly!”

Sometimes, you’ll have brand-new clients coming in for their very first dog grooming appointment with you. Now and then, some people may start going off about how the last groomer did this and that, and how unhappy they were.

As you can imagine, this can be quit intimidating. Some clients are looking for a PERFECT groom – and honestly, there isn’t one because it doesn’t exist. There are some people that you just can’t make happy. Such is life.

But as always, it’s still your job to try your best! So, listen to everything they’re saying. From there, approach the groom based on your understanding of what it is they want. If you have any questions or are unclear about something, don’t hesitate to ask!

Based on my personal experience, when these types of clients come to pick up their dog afterwards, they’ll gush about how cute it looks and how they like it. However, within a couple of days, our salon might get a call about how they actually hate the groom.

Despite their initial, positive reaction, it’s not, in fact, what they wanted.

(Sigh.)

How I Handle This Complaint

From here, I’d simply ask if there’s anything I can do to fix what they don’t like. Similarly, I’ll ask if there’s any additional info I should know this time around. This way, I can avoid doing it again the next time.

Believe it or not, a lot of time, that client will just wind up saying something along the lines of, “No, I just wanted to let you know.”

This is the point when I’ll say, “Okay, thanks for calling. If that’s everything, I must get back to my client (a.k.a. the dog I am grooming).” Then I’ll leave it at that.

Most the time, you won’t hear back again from a person that doesn’t like your cut. They’ll simply not return for future business. In this industry, get the odd person who seems to have something negative to say something about everything sometimes comes with the territory.

This is fine – but these are the types of customers I recommend shrugging off and not letting ruin your day. After all, there’s not much you can do about it after the fact. You did the best job you could, and you tried everything in your power to remedy the situation.

Ultimately, THAT’S what matters!

Tibetan terrier dog getting washed at dog wash in stainless steel bathtub, selective focus

Complaint #3: “You didn’t stop my dog’s shedding!”

With dog grooming, you not only give dogs haircut. You also groom bigger dogs that just need a good brushing. At my shop, we call this a de-shedding treatment.

We use special shampoo, brush the dog in the tub, blow-dry them, and then brush them even more once they’re all dry. Essentially, we’re getting all that extra dead undercoat off the pup.

But the thing is, they’ll most likely still be shedding a bit. After all, dogs shed. That never completely stops, and it’s just part of having a dog.

Plus, if it’s the dog’s first time getting the treatment done, it’ll most likely shed a bit more because their hair follicles aren’t used to the treatment. So, that’s definitely something to keep in mind, too.

How I Handle This Complaint

A surprising amount of clients will wind up complaining a few days later, after their dog has seen us. Why? Because they’re unhappy that their dog is still shedding.

Well, yes… They will continue to shed. Because they’re dogs.

The goal is to reduce the amount of shedding, so that it’s less than it was before the grooming appointment. However, it won’t stop it entirely. In the face of this kind of dog grooming complaint, I’ll simply tell the customer this.

Some of the time, they want us to re- brush their dog because they think it shouldn’t be shedding hair at all. Of course, I can do that – and I will, if that’s what they want. However, it’s still very important to try and instill in their minds the fact that their dog will continue shedding.

Simply put: that’s what their dog does when they have an undercoat. Clients will typically be a lot happier with grooming results once they have a realistic understanding of what to expect.

I hope this article can help you in the future, as you navigate your way around dog grooming client complaints. Just stick to your gut and believe in yourself. Tell the truth always, and above all else, just have fun grooming!

Become a professionally trained and certified dog grooming expert in less than 1 year by enrolling with QC Pet Studies today!

A Day in the Life of a Dog Groomer

Day in the life of a dog groomer article, Aug 06 2021, Feature Image

Dream of a career in professional grooming? QC Pet Studies graduate, April Costigan, is here to show you what a day in the life of a dog groomer looks like! This way, you’ll know exactly what to expect!

Day in the life of a dog groomer article, Aug 06 2021, April Costigan headshot

Breaking Down a Day in the Life of a Dog Groomer

The life of a dog groomer is very glamorous. It involves non-stop hobnobbing with famous people and money just falling out of our sequined bags. Also, the flash of the “puparazzi” cameras going off in our face is constant.

No, I’m just kidding! 😝

While it may not be that exciting, a day in the life of a dog groomer is still pretty adventurous – and definitely rewarding! I own my own business and have my own studio. As a result, I get to manage my own time. There’s a lot of work involved, though.

So, if you’re interested in knowing what it’s truly like to be a professional dog groomer, then let me tell you how a typical day goes for me!

The Start of My Day as a Dog Groomer

First Thing’s First…

Each morning, I check my schedule so I can prepare myself for what I’ll be doing that day. On an average day, I groom 5 dogs and work a 10-hour day. Some days, I’ll only groom 3 really big, hairy dogs, since those take longer. Other days, I can groom 6 really small dogs, so long as they don’t have complicated coats or requested cuts.

In the life of a dog groomer, it’s important to always prepare yourself for what’s to come. My grooming day begins at 7:00 a.m. Since I own my own studio, I arrange my schedule so that when one dog is arriving, the last one is departing. My day usually ends at 5:00 p.m. – and no, I do not take a lunch break. (Although that’s mostly just due to personal preference.)

Getting My Grooming Space Ready

Once I know what’s on my schedule for the day, I’ll prepare my grooming space. First, I lay out all the tools I’ll be needing; making sure I have plenty of shampoo prepared. I buy the big, concentrated gallon jugs and dilute the shampoo with water for the proper mixture.

Next, I get fresh water bowls ready and put my own dogs in a separate pen that’s just for them. They always like to be in the same area that I’m in, which keeps them happy and quiet.

Finally, I turn on some nice music. I tend to pick something that entertains me, but does not aggravate the dogs. Music adds a level of relaxation for me, which transfers to the dogs I work on. It’s really very pleasant!

Relaxed, sleeping dog listening to music through headphones

My First Client of the Day

I greet my first client at 7:00 a.m. If they are a new client, I have them sign a grooming contract. This grants me permission to groom their dog. Next, they fill out an additional form which gives me their name, address, and phone number. Moreover, this same form provides me with information about their dog, such as the contact details for their veterinarian (in case of an emergency).

Afterwards, we have a brief conversation about how they would like their dog groomed. Then the client departs and their dog stays with me. I always begin with a nice “before” picture of the dog and text it to my client. This is because I like for them to have a visual of their dog before he/she is groomed.

Day in the life of a dog groomer article, Aug 06 2021, April portfolio 1

Starting with The Prep Work

We then get started with all the prep work first. For example. some of this work will include:

  • Trimming the dog’s toenails
  • Cleaning their ears
  • Trimming the hair out of the footpads
  • Completing a sanitary trim
  • Thoroughly brushing the dog out in order to remove any mats or debris stuck in the coat

After this, we head for the tub. I like to send a second photo to my client of their dog before or after the bath. Personally, I think it’s helpful to keep the client updated on where we’re currently at in the grooming process.

I like to make it extra cute, too. So, I sometimes wrap the dog in a towel and make her look extra snuggly. My clients love these types of photos. After all, who can resist those great, big eyes and soggy little face?!

April portfolio image 2

Once bath-time is over, it’s time to blow dry the dog by hand. Personally, I NEVER cage dry a dog. Instead, I take the time to ensure that all the curl is blown out of curly coats. Plus, I ensure all the extra hair is blown out of shedding coats.

Admittedly, this process can be quite messy! So, while I do this, I have my vacuum cleaner nearby. This way, I can quickly suck up extra hair that just keeps circulating around in the air during the blow drying process.

I like a clean shop, so I sometimes need to vacuum 8 times per day! While this may sound a bit tedious, it’s still critical. Maintaining a clean space is essential to staying healthy and being more efficient in my work.

The Styling Stage

Once dry, I start working on styling the dog’s coat. Importantly, I make sure to keep a close eye on the time. Each of my grooming packages have a set amount of time assigned to them. Thus, I must complete all my tasks in a timely manner. In my experience, I’ve found that most grooms take approximately 2 hours to complete.

After I’ve finished, I take a couple more photos. The first one is an “after” photo of the dog on the grooming table, in a similar position as the original “before” shot. This is so my client can see the drastic difference in how their dog looks after grooming, compared to how they looked at the start.

April portfolio image 5, after groom shot

The second photo I take is a “glamor shot”. I do this for a couple of reasons.  Firstly, many of my clients post their dog’s grooming experience on Facebook or other social media sites. I feel that if I provide them with a really cute photo, they’re more likely to use the one I took, instead of one that may not be as cute. Having my clients share my photos online, and reference my business and me, is free advertising!

Secondly, I like to have photos that I can use on my own website. I find that if I ask my clients if I can use their dog’s photo in an advertising campaign, many of them are so excited that they readily agree. It’s just good marketing. I mean, look at Hazel in the shot below. Can you believe how stinkin’ cute she is?!

Day in the life of a dog groomer article, Aug 06 2021, in-post image 6

I text these last two photos together, with a quick note that tells my client that their dog is ready. Rarely do I have a client that picks up a dog late. So, as one dog is departing, my next dog arrives.

Once the first client has paid their bill and picked up their dog, the next client has dropped their dog off. As soon as that client has filled out any necessary paperwork and has also departed, I’m ready to work on my next dog.

Moving Onto the Next Dog Groom

Before I actually start, I do take my own dogs out for a quick potty break. Of course, my client’s dog is welcome to come, too. Once everyone is back inside, I make sure to quickly clean my equipment. This way, my scissors, clipper blades, combs, and table are all sanitized and ready for the next groom. This only takes about 3-5 minutes, so be sure to take that time to clean your equipment between appointments!

I go through the above process about 5 times throughout my day, in order to accommodate my 5 dogs. As I mentioned earlier, I don’t take a lunch break. That said, when I let my dogs out for potty breaks, I do have a quick snack. After all, it’s important that I don’t get too hungry during the day!

At the End of My Day as a Dog Groomer…

…it’s time to do my administrative work. I’m running a legitimate, licensed business. As such, it’s critical that I always keep accurate books. I go to my office and enter new clients into my bookkeeping software. I’ll also create invoices for the clients of the day and record how they paid for their service (i.e. credit card, e-transfer, cash, check, etc.).

Next, I prepare any cash for deposit via an ATM machine. I make a bulk deposit once a week. All other forms of payment can be completed electronically. Moreover, once a month, I reconcile my checking account with the statement from the bank.

Near the end of my day, I’ll also make supply purchases online and record those purchases in my books as well. I pay my quarterly taxes for both State and Federal income taxes, and I try to stay on top of supply inventory needs for my studio.

Close up cropped image young woman calculating monthly expenses, managing budget, entering data in computer application, sitting at table full of papers, loan documents, invoices, utility bills.

And There You Have It: A Typical Day in the Life of a Dog Groomer!

That’s it – this is what a day in the life of a dog groomer looks like for me! 🙂

I won’t lie, i’s a lot of hard work. Sometimes, my back is aching by the end of my shift. My knees hurt from kneeling on the floor, in order to get the best angle for trimming little doggie necks. Usually, I have hair in my eyes.

However, I love EVERY minute of it! It’s my dream job, and I’m very happy that I get to have a career doing something I’m so passionate about. I love my doggy clients (and their humans are pretty awesome, too).

I hope YOU enjoy dog grooming as much as I do. After all, if you don’t, you’re not doing it right! 😉

Ready to start your journey? Become a professional dog groomer in less than 1 year by enrolling with QC Pet Studies today!

How to Build Your First Dog Grooming Starter Kit!

Dog grooming starter kit article, July 23 2021, Feature Image

New to the industry and putting together your dog grooming starter kit for the first time? You’ve come to the right place! Join QC Pet Studies graduate and expert groomer, Casey Bechard, as she shares some tips and tricks to help you get started!

When you’re first starting out as a dog groomer, knowing which tools to use can be difficult. Personally, when I first began my career, I experimented with a lot of different tools. Over time, I found ones that I loved. On the other hand, I also found ones I didn’t love – and that wished I hadn’t spent money on.

So, if you’re brand-new to this industry and putting together your dog grooming starter kit for the first time, you’re in luck. This blog is all about just that! As we dive in, just keep in mind that all of what I’m about to say is based on personal preference, as well as my own subjective experience. Some of the tools that’ve worked for me at the start might not work for you. Think of the following tips as something I hope can help you out – but don’t think of them as gospel.

Ultimately, what works best and gets the job done will be up to you and you alone!

Building My Dog Grooming Starter Kit: Tools I Like and Dislike

QC Pet Studies’ Grooming Kit

When you sign up for QC Pet Studies’ Dog Grooming Course, they’ll actually send you a dog grooming starter kit to help you in your training. This kit (and its shipment) is included as part of your course tuition, which I found extremely helpful! Furthermore, this kit was very good for me because it gave me a good introduction to staple tools of the trade.

By practicing with QC’s tools, I could better decide whether or not they were the best fit for me – a.k.a. if I’d want to use them in my professional career or not. By extension, this kit also helped me decide what sorts of other tools I was interested in trying out.

There were definitely some tools provided in QC’s kit that I thoroughly enjoyed using. For example, I loved the thinners and the handheld clipper. In fact, to this day, I still use those thinners! However, I’ve had to invest in a new handheld clipper because I overused the other one.

QC Pet Studies dog grooming starter kit

Adding to My Dog Grooming Starter Kit

The rest of my most-used tools, I first ordered so I could give them a try. Hands-down, my most favorite comb in my kit is a Greyhound Comb. I’m completely OBSESSED with it and use it for every groom! (Speaking of which, I should probably get another one to add to my collection!)

Truth be told, I have so many combs in my grooming tool kit that I never use. Why? Because, in my opinion, none of them compare to this one. I also invested in 2 new pairs of curved scissors. They’re a bit bigger than the ones QC Pet Studies gave me, which I actually prefer. I’ve found that these larger ones do slicker work, and the length of the tool makes the scissoring go faster.

Other Personal Recommendations

If you only buy one tool for your dog grooming starter kit, though, then I recommend investing in a Chris Christensen Slicker Brush. You won’t regret it, I promise! These brushes are great for those curly-coated breeds. Moreover, they’re the absolute best at getting out knots.

I use mine every day and it’s worth the money! Now, I got the smaller size of the two (they come in either medium or large). But if you have the budget, I highly recommend buying the bigger one. I sure wish I did – and I definitely plan on purchasing it eventually! All of my other slicker brushes simply don’t compare to this one. Of course, I do use the other ones for certain looks I’m trying to achieve. But if I’m being totally honest, I mostly pick up my CC Slicker Brush 99% of the time!

Groomer brushing dog with Greyhound comb

A Tool You Can Skip in Your Dog Grooming Starter Kit

Ever heard of the Furminator brush? Chances are, anyone with a furry pet probably has. It’s quite a popular tool, particularly for pet owners to use at home. If you happen to be a fan of it, that’s awesome. I’m not here to knock it in any way. All I’m saying is that it’s not a tool I’d personally recommend for your dog grooming starter kit.

I’ve tried using it before and I’m just not a fan. Based on my experience, I found this brush to be way too sharp. As a result, it was all to easy to leave marks on the dogs and irritate their skin. A lot of times, if clients use that brush at home, they’ll come in complaining that their dogs have red marks and sores on their skin. I’ll ask what kind of brush they used at home. Almost always, it was the Furminator. So, I try to avoid this tool – and I tell my clients to do the same.

2 Tips to Keep in Mind

Firstly, if you have other groomers around you, try to see what tools they’re using on a regular basis. You can then go from there, try those tools for yourself, and see if you’d like to invest in them for your dog grooming starter kit. Importantly, I always recommend testing out a tool before putting too much money into it. So many times, I’ve seen groomers purchasing all these new, expensive tools without knowing if they like them or not. Lo and behold, they get them, try them out, and discover that they were nothing but a waste of money!

Secondly, if you’re ever unsure about a certain tool, read its online reviews before buying it. I’ve found this to be extremely helpful, and it’s prevented me from spending unnecessary cash a number of times. Furthermore, don’t hesitate to shop around! Look at a bunch of different websites in order to find better deals. Who knows, you might even find a better quality version of an item you’re interested in.

Having options is NEVER a bad thing!

Dog gets hair cut at Pet Spa Grooming Salon. Closeup of Dog. The dog is trimmed with scissors. Gray background. groomer concept

In Conclusion

As a professional groomer, having a mastery of the different tools you’re using on your clients’ pups is a MUST. Some brushes may be sharper and harsher than others. Certain scissors won’t do the same job as other scissors. If you’re grooming a dog that has lots of lumps and bumps, only the right tool will allow for a safe, careful result. My point is, it’s critical that you truly know what you’re doing and which tools to work with at all times.

I hope this blog will prove useful as you go forth and put together your dog grooming starter kit! If you use the tips I’ve provided above, I promise you won’t go wrong with the tools you’ve picked! I know it can be fun shopping for all the new and exciting gizmos and gadgets. Just remember that you won’t have everything you want (or need) overnight. That said, I promise you will get there. Have fun trying them out and I hope you can find some amazing tools!

Happy grooming!

Enroll in QC Pet Studies’ self-paced, online Dog Grooming Course and receive YOUR dog grooming starter kit in the mail in as little as 1-2 weeks!

How Do I Find the RIGHT Dog Grooming School Near Me?

Dog grooming school near me article, July 16 2021, Feature Image

If you’re reading this article, it’s probably because you’ve decided to finally turn your dream of becoming a professional dog groomer into a reality. First of all, congratulations! You’ve just taken the most important step, so you should definitely be proud of yourself. But now you might be wondering: “Where should I get my certification training? How do I find the right dog grooming school near me?”

Here’s the good news: you’ve come to the right place! Today, that’s exactly what we’re here to discuss. So, find a comfy place to put your feet up. In less time than it’d take to watch one episode of your favorite show on Netflix, I’m going to tell you EVERYTHING you need to know in order to get your dream career started in the right direction!

The Importance of Dog Grooming School

In the world of professional dog grooming, you absolutely need to be a subject-matter expert. The only way to truly become a subject-matter expert is to get the necessary experience and credentials under their belt. Not only will dog grooming school give you this necessary skill-set; it’ll dramatically increase your chances of booking clients, since they’ll be better able to trust their precious dogs being left in your care.

Think of it this way: would you go get an operation performed on you by a guy whose medical “training” consisted solely of watching YouTube videos? Probably not.

(And if so, I definitely have some questions I need answered…)

The reality is, clients expect the same standard from the dog groomers they choose to pay and work with. After all, their dogs are more than just dogs – they’re beloved and valued members of the family. Thus, expectations will be high – and rightfully so. If a client ever has the choice between hiring a groomer with a professional certification, versus hiring a groomer without one, they will ALWAYS choose the person with training.

Trust me, your best bet for long-term success is to get a reputable certification.

Dog grooming school near me article, July 16 2021, in-post image

“So, How Can I Find the Right Dog Grooming School Near Me?”

Now that you understand why dog grooming school is so important, the next step is to decide which school you should be training with. Luckily, there are countless options at your disposal, both in terms of online and brick-and-mortar programs. But with so many choices, it can be easily to feel a little overwhelmed. With so much information available, how can you truly know which dog grooming school near you is the right fit?

Ultimately, it all boils down to you! What’s your preferred learning style/preferences? What are the goals you have for your career as a groomer?

Here are a few questions I recommend answering, in order to help you narrow down your educational needs:

  • Do you prefer to learn in a physical classroom? Or would you rather learn from the comfort of home?
  • How flexible is your schedule? Can you commit to set classroom hours every week? Or do you need more flexibility and would prefer to set your own study schedule?
  • What’s your budget for dog grooming school? Can you afford to pay the full tuition upfront, or would you benefit from a monthly payment plan?
  • What type of dog groomer do you want to be? For instance, do you want to work within an existing salon? Start your own business? Provide mobile services?
  • Is there a certain amount of time by which you’d prefer to graduate from dog grooming school and have your certification in hand?
  • Consider your short AND long-term career goals as a groomer. What would the dog grooming school’s training need to look like in order to help you achieve these goals?

By going through each question and answering them honestly, you’ll be able to make the first important decision: whether you want to attend a physical or an online dog grooming school.

In-Person Dog Grooming School

For some, brick-and-mortar schools are the only way to go. If you’re considering this route, all the power to you! If you put “dog grooming school near me” into any search engine, such as Google, you’ll be able to see which institutions are in or around your local area.

However, it’s important that you consider every aspect of this decision. One perk is that you’ll be surrounded by your peers, in addition to your instructor. Working alongside others – especially after a year and a half of isolation – is undoubtedly tempting. Moreover, some people prefer to abide by a strict, set schedule. If you thrive on routine, it’s easy to understand why in-person training would be so appealing to you.

That being said, there are also some downsides to consider as well. For starters, tuition for a brick-and-mortar school is typically much pricier than that of an online dog grooming school. A fair chunk of your money won’t be going towards you or your actual training. Rather, it’ll go towards helping the institution with overhead costs (i.e. building maintenance and staff salaries).

Secondly, you’ll need to complete your training at the same pace as everyone else. So, if you’d prefer to graduate in less than one year, but the course is exactly one year long, you’re basically out of luck. You’ll need to wait it out and stick to the pace of your peers.

Moreover, in-person schools offer a LOT less flexibility. For example, if you have an emergency and can’t make class that day? That’s unfortunate – but also too bad. What if you have a practical test schedule on the same day that your boss is asking you to come into work? Well, it’ll be on you to figure things out, compromise, and shift your schedule around.

In a nutshell, it’ll be your responsibility (and yours alone) to adjust to the school’s schedule – not the other way around.

What About an Online Dog Grooming School?

Depending on where you live, it can be tricky to find a high-quality dog grooming school near you. This is one of the major benefits of online schooling – you have a lot more options available to you, and all of them can be done entirely from the comfort of home!

If the COVID pandemic has taught us anything, it’s that we’re all capable of adapting our lives to the digital world. Distanced learning has been around – and a popular option – for years. But over the course of 2020 alone, it became the single most prominent form of education. We all quickly discovered that online learning offers the exact same high-quality education, but with a LOT more personalized, flexible, and comfortable experience.

No, you won’t be sitting in the same classroom as your peers or your instructor. This is a downside for some people. That being said, the right online dog grooming school will still provide many ways for you to connect and network with fellow students, graduates, tutors, etc. This way, the absence of physical interactions is barely noticed!

For example, QC Pet Studies is incredible active on social media, and many of our students and alumni have connected through there. Additionally, we also provide an Online Student Center that you have unlimited access to, even after you graduate. The latter has become especially popular, as the QC community is easily able to come together, ask questions, swap experiences, and give insightful industry advice.

Tuition, Pace, and Flexibility

Let’s revisit the 3 downsides we just looked at for brick-and-mortar dog grooming schools. The beauty of an online grooming school is that NONE of these apply!

Firstly, the cost of your training will be substantially cheaper with an online school. This is because there’s no physical campus to take care of or maintain. Furthermore, many online dog grooming schools – such as QC Pet Studies – will ensure to give you the most for your money. Practically everything you need will be included and provided to you within your course’s tuition fee. As a result, you won’t need to pay any additional costs for your course materials, a physical copy of your materials, your starter kit, shipping fees for those materials, etc.

Next, there’s the pace of online learning. With QC Pet Studies, for instance, our courses are 100% self-paced! From the day you enroll, you get 2 full years to completed your training. That said, you can use as little or as much of that time as you need. There are no deadlines for assignments, quizzes, or units. In fact, many of our graduates have found that by simply devoting 1-2 hours per week on their training, they were able to graduate and earn their internationally-recognized certification in less than 1 year.

I don’t know about you – but to me, this definitely sounds manageable for ANY schedule or lifestyle!

Lastly, online dog grooming school offers a level of flexibility you simply won’t be able to find anywhere else. Since there’s no pressure to travel to or attend in-person classes, you can complete all of your training from literally anywhere you want. Moreover, you can work on your studies at any time of the day.

Want to get some readings done in the middle of the night while in your jammies? You can do that! Feel like watching an instructional video while sitting in your car in-between errands? You can do that, too!

Hands-On Experience

And just because your training is online doesn’t mean you won’t still get all sorts of invaluable hands-on experience. QC’s Dog Grooming Course, for example, will have you performing real-life grooms on all sorts of dog breeds in every single unit!

Beautiful apricot pet labradoodle calmly going through hair cutting in grooming salon. Professional groomer carefully handle with dog.

So, What Are You Waiting For?

Now that you’re interested in exploring distance learning, it’s time to put on your detective hat and do some digging! My first recommendation would be to check out these 6 shady red flags to avoid when researching online dog grooming schools. Afterwards, feel free to check out this awesome review of QC Pet Studies by our very own graduate, April Costigan!

Got any questions or comments? Tell us in the comments below! And as always, thank you so much for reading. 🙂

Start your training with QC Pet Studies today and book your very first client in less than 1 year!

5 Reasons Why Professional Training Will Boost Your Dog Groomer Salary

Dog groomer salary article, July 2 2021, Feature Image

Looking for ways to boost your dog groomer salary? If you haven’t done so already, this is your sign to get professional certification training!

Why will a proper grooming education better your business and help you increase your income? QC Pet Studies graduate and industry expert, April Costigan, is here to tell you! Read on to discover 5 critical reasons why you absolutely MUST get professionally certified!

Dog groomer salary article, July 02 2021, April Costigan headshot

Why I Became a Professional Dog Groomer

When I first contemplated learning more about grooming dogs professionally, I was working in an animal shelter. Each week, we took in a large number of stray dogs. Additionally, we also took in transferred dogs from other shelters, as well as relinquished dogs from families that could no longer care for them.

Many of these dogs arrived in the worst possible conditions! They’d have matted coats or were just plain filthy. I quickly learned how to clean them up and make them more comfortable. Eventually, I began to wonder if I could perform these services professionally. But before I made any concrete decisions, I first wanted to know what a dog groomer salary actually looks like…

Researching The Dog Groomer Salary

I did a little online research, specific to my area. During this research, I discovered that there was a wide range of hourly rates – from minimum wage for bathers, to $17/hour for dog groomers working for large pet supply outlets.

Finding a specific dollar amount for a dog groomer’s salary proved rather difficult, as many locations were vague in their job descriptions. I then discovered that – at least in my area – the salary offered at boutique shops was based on how many dogs a groomer could complete in a day. That’s when I decided that if I wanted to pursue this career path (and I really did), I’d have to come up with a plan that would offer a sustainable income for me.

I wanted to know how I could do quality work and get paid a quality dog groomer salary. The answer was to obtain a legitimate grooming certification!

Cocker Spaniel getting groomed on grooming table

5 Reasons a Professional Certification will Boost Your Dog Groomer Salary

You may be asking yourself, “Why do I need a certification?”

Well, I can give you FIVE excellent reasons why taking the time to learn how to properly groom a dog will allow you to be paid a much higher rate!

1. Trust

When you obtain a professional certification, you’ll be able to earn and retain new client business based on your advanced skill-set. For example, in QC Pet Studies’ Dog Grooming Course, you’ll discover SO much more about dog grooming than you already do. In less than a year, you’ll know everything you need in order to work at a professional standard… and have an internationally recognized certification to add to your resume, too!

As a graduate of this course myself, I can tell you that it’s a truly outstanding training program. QC Pet Studies will prepare you to become a top-quality, reliable, and trustworthy groomer. After all, that’s the number one thing your clients will want from you: to know that you’re taking excellent care of their beloved dog.

Moreover, they’ll be able to trust that you’ll produce the look they actually want for their dog. Dog parents WILL pay a little higher rate for this level of confidence!

2. Dependability

With a certification under your belt, your clients will depend on you to groom their dog completely and efficiently. Furthermore, they’ll schedule their dog’s regular appointments in advance. As a result, happy clients will fill up your grooming calendar and make good use of your time. Satisfied repeat customers are key to increasing the dog groomer salary!

Dog groomer salary in-post image for article, groomer and owner tending to puppy getting groomed at salon

3. Referrals

When you have happy clients, they talk about you and your qualifications – including your reputable certification. In turn, when you produce awesome results and make their dog stand out at the dog park, that’s free advertising! Dog owners love to talk about their dogs.

By the same extension, when they have a groomer that they love, they’ll likely refer you to their friends and family. Speaking from experience, I get 40% of my new business from referrals alone. And of course, more bookings means a better dog groomer salary!

4. Certification Seal

When you graduate from QC Pet Studies, they’ll provide you with a physical copy of your internationally recognized certification. But that’s not all! You’ll also get an electronic image of QC’s International Dog Grooming Professional seal, too. You can then showcase this certification seal on all your printed media, as well as your business website.

Nothing gives me more pride than to have this seal on my marketing materials!  It’s proof that I know what I’m doing, even if a person has never seen my work before. This little seal is a BIG deal and allows me to charge more for my work.  That equates to a larger dog groomer salary!

5. Advice and Recommendations

As a professional dog groomer, I am a resource for my clients. I’m regularly asked what can be done about itchy skin, dry coats, chapped noses or paws, and tear stains. These are just a few topics of information I like to be ready to answer questions about.

QC Pet Studies prepares you to become the “go-to” person when questions pop up about how to properly care for a dog’s coat. Your expertise will allow you to educate your clients on the brushes they should be using at home, how often their dog should be brushed, how tear stains can be eliminated, etc.

Just keep in mind that I never give medical advice. As dog groomers, we’re qualified to do many things – but that’s not one of them. That being said, if I find that a dog has an ear infection, an injury to their paw, or a lump that wasn’t present the last time I groomed them, I immediately take a photo and send it to the owner. My clients appreciate that I’m always on the lookout for odd things they may not have noticed.

I adore these dogs, too. So, if I suggest that a visit to the vet may be in order, my clients know that it’s because I’m a caring and compassionate person. You see, it comes back to trust. My clients trust that I am working at the front line of their dog’s health. People appreciate that and often give me tips for letting them know that something needs to be addressed.

While you can’t always rely on this as part of your dog groomer salary, it’s definitely a nice added perk to keep in mind!

Your Dog Groomer Salary: Conclusion

I could easily come up with five more reasons why professional training will boost your dog groomer salary, but I think I’ve made my point. If you want to be able to charge more for your work, then you must do really GREAT work.

The convenience of QC Pet Studies’ online training will catapult your dog grooming career! It’ll give you all the skills and information you need to get moving in the right direction. If you have a passion for dog grooming, then you can use that same drive to obtain professional training. Trust me, you’ll be glad you did it!

Volunteer getting kiss from dog at animal shelter

Bonus: Food for Thought

I still work part-time for the animal shelter, but it’s not because I have to. Rather, it’s because I want to. After all, even homeless dogs want to look and feel good. If you want to gain more experience and add to your portfolio, I highly suggest volunteering at a dog shelter. Offer your grooming services to homeless dogs. No, there’s no money in it – but it’s very rewarding work!

The dogs you groom will be so grateful to you for spending quality time with them; doting on them, caring for them as individuals, and making them feel important. Many of them have not been loved for a long time, or have lost the ones that did love them. A lot of these dogs are heartbroken, scared, or just plain confused.

I know you are a compassionate person. You wouldn’t want to be a dog groomer if you weren’t! So, while you improve things for yourself, help a dog that needs you, too. You can make a world of difference for them!

Boost your dog groomer salary in as little as 9-12 months by getting trained and certified with QC Pet Studies!