How To Become A Certified Dog Groomer

How to become a certified dog groomer

Becoming licensed in the dog grooming industry, you will need to have the appropriate training and requirements - and we offer you the chance to become a certified dog groomer! Ever wondered how to become a certified dog groomer and spend your day in the company of our favorite four-legged friends? Dog Grooming can be a fantastic career, involving you in animal welfare as well as earning a living grooming, not just dogs, but other animals as well.  While many dog groomers choose to specialize in dogs only, other pet groomers branch out and choose to work across a variety of species. Whatever your choice, you can choose a dog grooming career that suits your lifestyle and needs – part time, full time and casual dog grooming positions are widely advertised. While for the entrepreneurial minded, the opportunity exists to run your own mobile dog grooming business.

Career pathways for dog groomers are varied.  Dog groomers can find employment as retail groomers for large pet stores, pet stylists, groomers for animal shelters; professional pet handlers or they can go the freelance groomer route.

Why invest in learning how to become a certified dog groomer

Whatever pathway you choose, the key is to get the basics in place first before building specialist knowledge.

Take your first step to being a certified Dog Groomer today by enrolling in the dog grooming courses that most appeal to you.

What makes a good dog groomer?

Besides an obvious affinity with animals, successful dog groomers share some common traits.

  • A commitment to hard work

  • A reasonable level of physical fitness.

  • An eagerness to learn as pet grooming takes a commitment to learn many aspects of pet care.

  • An ability to relate to people from all different walks of life as every pet owner will want their pet to be treated very well and you’ll need to be able to get along with them as well as their pet.

These traits alone won’t guarantee success.  The final element that you need is quality training that gives you the authority and confidence to be a successful dog groomer.

Dog Groomer Salary

A standard dog groomer salary is dependant on several factors.  These include experience, expertise and commissions that may be available in some circumstances.   The median salary for dog and pet groomers in the United States is around the $30,074 annually while in Australia the median pet groomer salary is $43000.  Many in the profession see the opportunity to grow incomes beyond these levels by and owning and operating their own dog grooming business.

The Pros and Cons of Running a Pet Grooming Business

Pet grooming represents an excellent opportunity for a small business because many pet owners while adoring their pets simply neither have the time or know how to groom their pets.

If the idea of owning a pet grooming business appeals to you then it pays to examine the pros and cons of running such a business.

We don’t only show you how to become a certified dog groomer but also why!

Pros of Running Pet Grooming Business and dog grooming

Benefits include:

  • Flexibility – you can choose to run your dog or pet grooming business from home or you can run it from a shop front. Or you could even sublet space within another pet-related business which isn’t a competitor.

  • Pet grooming is an ideal mobile business particularly if you can re-purpose a vehicle that you already own.

  • You can make it what you want it to be. It could be a handy job on the side that offers an extra income, or if you invest enough time and energy to build a large client base, it could become a lucrative full-time job.

  • If you love animals then this business is perfect for you.

  • The market for pet grooming or dog grooming specifically is huge and there are multiple ways you tap into the market.  When subletting space from pet-focussed business, you will have prospective customers walking past your business daily. You can also network with other stores to build your client base.

  • The business model offers opportunities to “bolt on” additional products and services.  Easy add-ons include pet sitting and dog walking.

The Cons of Running a Pet Grooming Business

Because you are curious about how to become a certified dog groomer, you are likely very keen to start your own business. But you must be aware that every business model has some pitfalls. If you’re serious about building a dog grooming or a pet grooming business, you need to be aware of what they could be and prepare for them in advance.

  • Start-up costs are the first hurdle to overcome. A professional dog groomer will need to stock sufficient premium supplies suitable for a variety of breeds of all sizes. Some equipment like tables or bathtubs can cost hundreds of dollars.  Budget accordingly.

  • Loving animals isn’t enough. You need to have the experience and know how to be comfortable with many pets and breeds as well as possess the necessary grooming skills. Gaining dog grooming certification will give you the confidence that you do indeed have that knowledge.

  • Demographics will have a large impact upon the size of your market.  Dog grooming s appealing to more affluent neighborhoods with disposable income.

  • Business insurance will be required to guard against liability.

  • It takes some time to build up a large enough base of clients to generate a full-time income. The key s to recognize this, work diligently to a plan and celebrate the steady growth that comes with persistent hard work.                  

One of the most popular business models is the mobile dog grooming business          

It is possible to start up a mobile dog grooming business for yourself by following some key steps. These are -:

Establish working experience in dog grooming:

If you want to build a reputable business you want to have had real experience grooming a variety of dogs.  One of the best ways to do this is to gain hands-on experience with an existing grooming service. Getting work with an established dog grooming business is also valuable as it gives you an opportunity to gain an insight into the day to day running of this type of business.
You can also gain experience working with animals in roles working with veterinary services or as a pet sitter or dog trainer.  Any of these roles will help you gain experience in dog handling as well as understanding canine behavior.

Establish a dog grooming business structure:

You need to do the legal groundwork before opening your mobile dog grooming business.  It is a good idea to seek professional advice about the business structure that best suits your circumstances.   There are pros and cons of choosing a sole proprietorship, company or business partnership – getting this right from the get-go will help you to maximize your business productivity.
Investigating local bylaws before commencing business is advisable.  That way you can obtain all necessary permits that may be required to legally operate a mobile dog grooming business in your selected area of business. Business insurance and motor vehicle insurance should also be investigated and obtained in most instances.

Purchase Mobile Vehicle & Dog Grooming Equipment

It’s only logical that a mobile business is going to require a means of being mobile.  Most mobile dog groomers use specially converted vans or trailers. These vehicles are usually fitted with a generator, electrical outlets, lighting, grooming tables, running water, and a bathtub. Naturally, all conversions must meet National and/or State standards.  These vans will need to be equipped with all the necessary grooming tools such as clippers, scissors, shampoos, and all the other tools necessary.

Map out your operating grooming area:

A mobile business by its very nature will be most profitable within a certain radius of its central point.  Its critical, therefore, clearly identify the boundaries within your business will operate. It may be viable for you to incorporate a nearby town in your operations or you may find it more profitable to concentrate your dog grooming business activities to several suburbs within a large metropolitan area.  Whatever your choice, you can leverage your mobile business’ profitability by allocating appointments to specific local areas on selected days of the week.
Careful planning can allow you to structure your business around visiting high-density areas like apartments and office complexes, to provide dog grooming services to multiple clients from one specific point on regularly on a specific day of the week or month.

Price Your Dog Grooming Services:

Mobile dog grooming is offering a service of convenience and should be priced accordingly.  You need to factor in add-on costs of fuel and vehicle maintenance. The one size fits all pricing model won’t work in a practical sense as different dog breeds will have particular cuts and times will differ in appointment times. The final factor you need to take into consideration is the existing competition already operating in the area and you will have to price your service to be competitive with them.

Advertising your dog grooming industry:

For your business to be successful, you have to let people know about the service that you are offering.  The beauty of a mobile dog grooming business is that its a local business and you have a mobile billboard at your disposal - the mobile grooming vehicle itself. Make use of this mobile advertising space by prominently featuring your business logo and contact details on the vehicle.
You can expand your advertising reach by utilizing local bulletin boards on other animal focussed businesses like vet clinics, animal shelters or pet shops, as well as taking advantage of community billboards and directories.

How to Start Your Dog Grooming Career

While the Mobile Dog grooming career is attractive it isn’t the only possibility when it comes to pursuing a pet grooming career.  For those wondering how to become a certified dog groomer, you need to take note of some important key steps required when venturing down this path.

Allocate the time to get training on how to become a certified dog groomer.

Dog grooming takes time to learn.  You need to find and allocate the appropriate hours to learn, practice and perfect your craft.  
If you are trying to manage a full-time job and/or a family and are considering a career change or looking for a second income, you might need to carefully consider how you balance your working and leisure time with the pursuit of your new career.

Get educated on dog grooming.

Dog grooming doesn’t just happen.  You need to learn the correct ways of grooming as well as the intricacies of particular breeds.  If you are considering starting your own business, you’ll need to become familiar with the fundamentals of business management.

Practice perfecting your new dog grooming skills.

Like everything worth doing, you need to practice your learned skills to get progressively better.  From the moment you start learning the new grooming skills, you should take every chance you get to practice them.  There is no better way to improve your skills than to get hands-on experience. Initially, every dog grooming activity you undertake will be a new experience as you come to terms with the different grooming strategies needed for each breed.  You can start by offering your services to family and friends as long as you make to clear to them what your level of experience is. Don’t stop there – your local animal shelter may welcome your offer to groom dogs so long as you are clear about your experience level.

Use your networking skills in the dog grooming industry.

There are plenty of opportunities to network within the animal welfare industry.  Dog shows, animal shelters, pet stores and dog training clubs all present possibilities to connect with dog owners and people within the industry.  Wherever you connect with dog owners, simply mention that you are starting up a dog grooming business, and give you’re your business card. Make every effort to attend networking events like trade shows. Talking with as many people as possible is essential.  

Make use of local pet businesses in your neighborhood for dog grooming opportunities.

Many animal-focused businesses employ pet groomers casually or on a permanent basis.   Connect with local business owners and inquire if their customers have a need for pet grooming services.  You never know what this could lead to.

Best Courses and Resources to become a Dog Groomer

There are many different options available for people to learn dog grooming.  One of the best options available is to take an online course from a reputable course provider.

The advantages of taking an online course are that

  • you can work at your own pace without being subject to course timetables

  • Very cost effective

  • Easily accessible at any time of day or night

Courses For Success provides participants with the skills and knowledge necessary to have a successful career in the pet grooming industry as well as obtaining a dog grooming certification online.  Certification can be a great advantage when considering starting up your own pet grooming business.

All dog grooming courses provided by Courses for Success have been designed and structured by professionals within the industry.

What will students learn?

All of the pet grooming courses provided by Courses for Success have comprehensive training on all aspects of the pet grooming industry. Starting with an understanding of the safety measures required when taking care of a dog. Subjects covered include how to adjust care according to the breed, age, and wellbeing of the dog that you are caring for. You’ll have access to all the education and training necessary to confidently and professionally carry out the grooming process.  You will receive instruction on all aspects of dog care from proper brush and comb use right through to how to effectively understand dogs.

This thorough grounding in dog grooming and care is backed up by useable advice designed to help you master the basics of setting up your business.

These foundations are then built upon by further modules detailing the equipment used within the dog grooming industry and a thorough look at the wide range of dog grooming techniques and procedures needed to service a wide range of dogs of various sizes, and coat types.   

Choose the course that best suits your needs

Certificate in Dog Grooming Professional Online Course

This comprehensive twelve module course is suitable for anyone looking to gain greater knowledge of dog grooming.

The course covers safety, business basics, getting started, anatomy and health, pre-bath preparation, bathing, drying, “ears, eyes, feet, teeth and bum,” smooth and medium coats, long coats, wiry coats, and curly coats.

This is a great entry-level course for people looking to become dog groomers. It will enable you to competently bath, brush, de-mat, shampoo, condition and dry a pet, as well as being able to professionally care for various dog coats.


At the conclusion of the course, you will receive a certificate of completion.

Certificate in Pet Grooming Advanced Online Course

Perhaps suitable for people looking to advance beyond dog grooming and offer additional services for other small pets like cats

What to expect when learning on how to become a certified dog groomer

  • Skin anatomy and common diseases – skin structure and functions as well as bacterial, fungal, nutritional and congenital diseases and tumors.

  • Identify and be able to treat different types of parasites.

  • Dentistry including knowledge of animal teeth, how to prevent dental disease and how to scale and clean teeth.

  • Puppy grooming

  • Aging dogs – knowledge of the steps to keeping an older dog safe when grooming and the different trims that can improve an older dog’s life.

  • Cat grooming – how to bath clip and groom a cat safely.

  • Other small pet grooming – including rabbits and guinea pigs – bathing, trimming and fly strike.

  • Poodles – develop an understanding of poodles and be able to recognize how to trim a poodle’s coat into different styles as required. Capably trim ears, body, beards, tails, and mustaches as well as learning how to give a poodle a shaped top knot.

  • Specific modules on other common dog breeds including the Yorkshire Terrier, the schnauzer, the West Highland White Terrier and the English Springer Spaniel.

This course explains the different grooming style most appropriate for some of the more challenging dog breeds as well as equipping you with the knowledge necessary to care for other smaller pets

Certificate In Dog Grooming Professional Advanced Level 4 Online Course

This next level course details the finer aspects of dog grooming.  This comprehensive thirteen module course will give you instruction in:

  • Specific details on dog grooming for difficult breeds including poodles, Yorkshire Terriers, Schnauzers, Airedales, Bichon Frises, West Highland White Terriers, and English Springer Spaniels.

  • Skincare – anatomy, disease, allergies, and tumors.

  • Identifying and treating common parasites like Tics and Fleas

  • Dentistry including preventative care, diseases, scraping, brushing, and diet.

  • Puppy care including useful advice that you as a groomer can give to a puppy owner.

  • Grooming and caring for older dogs.

  • The care of feet including foot clipping and foot washing.

At the conclusion of this course, you will be provided with a certificate detailing your achievement and your dog grooming skills.

Each specific course has a specific focus.   One way of getting a complete education in dog grooming is to purchase a bundled education package.

Dog Grooming Online Bundle, 3 Certificate Courses

This package takes 3 certificate courses and bundles them together as a complete dog grooming education package.

The 3 courses bundled together are

  • Dog Grooming: Learn To Be A Professional Dog Groomer  - perfect entry-level course for the complete beginner looking to start a new career in dog grooming.

  • Canine Business: Explicitly Created For Those Who Work In Canine Care – ideal for dog lovers looking to work in the canine business.

  • Pet Care Business: Set Up Your Own Exciting New Pet Care Venture – valuable course that can be applied to set up a dog grooming business

All online courses can be completed at the learner’s own pace and lifetime access is available.


If you’ve been wondering how to become a certified dog groomer then hopefully this article has made it clearer for you. Start an enjoyable career working with dogs and other small animals, as a career in dog grooming could be the right choice for you. You now have the opportunity to get a certificate with dog grooming courses, available right from your house. Take the first step to this rewarding career today by enrolling in a dog grooming online course today and become one of the best dog groomers around.


The CFS Team
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