dog groomer

How to become a dog groomer

What does a dog groomer do?

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.

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. There are opportunities for part-time work.

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.

Some qualified, experienced groomers move into training.

Further information

If you would like to learn more about becoming a dog groomer that does not appear on Hotcourses, further information can be found below.

British Dog Groomers' Association
Pet Care Trust
Bedford Business Centre
170 Mile Road
MK42 9TW
Tel: 08700 624400

Animal Care College
Ascot House
High Street
Tel: 0870 730 8433

Lantra House
Stoneleigh Park
Nr Coventry
Tel: 0845 707 8007

Lantra career advice sites:






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