Dog groomers maintain the condition of dogs’ coats through regular bathing, drying, trimming and clipping. Dog grooming also involves the health of dogs by clipping claws, cleaning teeth and ears, and treating parasites.
Dog groomers may groom dogs to clients' preference, or to breed standards ahead of shows.
Dog groomers also advise owners on their dog's grooming, diet and coat care.
A Dog Groomer's Day
Typically, an average day for a dog groomer will include bathing dogs (shampooing and drying the dog's coat) as well as shaping or trimming, depending on the needs of the owner and/or the breed.
There is always an element of pet care and comforting involved in dog grooming, as many dogs may be unused to being groomed, so patience and an affinity for animals is key.
Pathways into dog grooming
Whilst you don't need a formal qualification to become a dog groomer, it's intricate work and most grooming salons will want to see that you have had some prior experience and training when it comes to dog grooming.
There are a number of different qualification levels available to you if you want to learn more about dog grooming, including:
How much can I earn as a dog groomer?
The average annual salary for full-time dog groomers is £18,244 per year for those working full time. Part-time, the average salary for dog groomers is roughly £9,740 for both men and women.
£13,000 - £20,000
What's the working environment like for a dog groomer?
Dog groomers employed in a salon may work a 35-hour week, Monday to Saturday (with one day off in the week). Self-employed groomers may work longer hours, with the UK government website suggesting that dog groomers work an average maximum of 40 hours per week (around the same as the national average). There are also opportunities for part-time work in dog-grooming, especially if you look to branch out into your own business or want to run a mobile dog-grooming service. Groomers may work in a shop, their own home or the owner’s home.
Most groomers wear protective clothing and gloves. The work may not be suitable for people with allergies to animals or shampoos. The work can be quite physically demanding especially with larger breeds so confidence in handling and comforting dogs will be necessary.
What does it take to become a dog groomer?
To be a dog groomer you should:
- have a love of animals
- be able to handle dogs firmly but gently
- be able to calm and control nervous dogs
- be good at working with your hands
- work with patience, care and attention to detail
- have good communication and customer care skills
- have business skills if self-employed.
There are no rigid entry requirements, however, it does help to have experience handling dogs. You can get experience through voluntary work with dogs like dog-sitting and working with them in kennels or doing an animal care course at a college or training centre.
Dog groomer career opportunities
Opportunities for dog groomers are increasing. There are around 3,000 grooming salons, as well as mobile groomers who visit owners' homes. Work is also available in grooming facilities attached to some pet shops, garden centres and kennels.
Dog Grooming courses
Looking for inspiration? Here are our most popular courses right now: