17 Pros and Cons of Being a Dog Groomer

When you love being around dogs, you can have some fun by being a dog groomer.

You’ll have the chance to bathe them, give them haircuts, and take care of all of their grooming needs.

Whether you choose to work for yourself or for an organization, it can be highly rewarding.

Be sure that you understand both the pros and cons of being a dog groomer so that you can decide if it’s the career for you.

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Pros of Being a Dog Groomer

Some breeds just need to be bathed while others will need comprehensive grooming.

You’ll be responsible for doing everything from snipping to shaving to grinding nails.

As you learn about the different breeds and the many opportunities that exist as a dog groomer, you can explore the many cons.

Be Your Own Boss

Once you go through the necessary training, you can choose to be your own boss.

This will allow you to set the pricing, set the services that you offer, and even set the breeds that you will work with.

Additionally, you’ll have the ability to set the days and times of when you’ll work.

Enjoy Flexible Hours

There is quite a bit of flexibility in the hours that you’ll work as a dog groomer.

Many people will prefer to drop their dogs off in your care until you say that they are ready.

This will make it easy for you to have some flexibility.

Choose the days you want to work and how late into the day you’ll accept clients.

Work with Dogs of All Sizes

Being a dog groomer can be a lot of fun because of all of the different dogs that you’ll meet on a regular basis.

You may meet 100-pound Labradors, 5-pound chihuahuas, and dogs of every other size.

As you learn about the different breeds, you’ll find that each of them has its own list of grooming demands.

You may even find that you have a talent with a few specific breeds.

Interact with People Regularly

Dog grooming is something that people schedule on a regular basis.

As such, you’ll start to develop a relationship with your clients.

You’ll get to interact with them, find out about the different things that they want, and even recommend new and exciting grooming services to them (which can also boost your revenue stream).

Clients are often your best source of new business, too.

Keep your clients happy and they’ll recommend you to the entire dog community.

Get Started Easily

Dog grooming is often in high demand as many groomers limit their client size so that they don’t become overwhelmed.

As such, you can get started in the career after a short apprenticeship of approximately 12 to 18 months.

You don’t need a college degree and, really, as long as you can prove your skills, no one cares what kind of education you have.

Lots of Job Opportunities

There are countless job opportunities available, depending on where you live.

You can choose to go into business yourself, work for a veterinary clinic, a pet store, or even a local dog groomer where they need multiple groomers.

Even if you’re just getting started, you can take on a basic task such as dog washing so that you can start to learn more about the craft.

Earnings Can Be Substantial

Typically, dog groomers will earn approximately 50 percent of whatever the services cost.

As such, the more work you can get in a day, the more earnings you can make as a dog groomer.

If you work for yourself, the sky is the limit in terms of earnings.

Though the Bureau of Labor Statistics estimates that the median salary in the U.S. for dog groomers is $30,079.

If you work for someone else, you will likely earn by the hour.

You Can Work from (Almost) Anywhere

You’ll have the ability to choose the kind of environment you want to work in.

Some dog groomers choose to work in a traditional doggy spa or grooming location.

Mobile grooming buses are becoming more popular, which means you would travel to your client’s home to offer the grooming services.

With the right licensing and equipment, you can even set up in your own home for convenience.

Learn About the Hottest Trends

There are a lot of different trends when it comes to dog grooming – and you can be at the forefront of it all.

You can learn about new ways that poodles are wearing their ‘do and you can even help dog owners to discover such things as coat carving, sculpting, and even fur dying.

It’s a chance for you to help dogs look as stylish as they can be and be as artistic as clients will allow you to be.

Cons of Being a Dog Groomer

Being a dog groomer can be a lot of fun, but you’re also going to be dealing with a variety of tasks that can be smelly, dirty, and simply unpleasant.

Knowing all of the cons with the tasks you will have to perform, and the general demands of the job will help you to know if you’re prepared to deal with it all.

Spend a Lot of Time on Your Feet

You’re bound to spend a lot of time on your feet when you’re grooming dogs.

Depending on the breed, you may have to spend quite a bit of time in awkward positions to reach all that needs to be cleaned and trimmed, too.

You’ll want to invest in comfortable shoes so that you don’t end up with back problems.

Time in Apprenticeship Results in Low Earnings

The time you spend as an apprentice could take months, especially depending on how quickly you pick up various techniques.

Most of the time, you’re going to earn significantly less during the apprenticeship simply because you have to be monitored.

The longer you spend learning, the longer it will take you to reach your full earning potential.

It Can Take a While to Get Established

When you first get started on your own, it can take a while to establish a client base.

You may find that you have to offer some grooming for free or at drastically reduced rates so that you can prove that you have the skills.

As more clients learn about what you can do, you will become more established within the community.

Prepare for Some Heavy Lifting

Not all dogs are lightweight.

When you are bathing and grooming a dog, you will need to be able to lift them into the tub, onto the grooming table, and more.

If you are open to grooming all breeds of dogs, you may work with some dogs that are 100+ pounds.

You’ll need to be able to lift them on your own or have various forms of equipment that will assist you – which can be an expensive investment.

Not All Dogs are Friendly

Many dog owners hire groomers to do the grooming because their dogs don’t respond well to the grooming process.

Dogs may growl, snarl, or even try to bite you.

It’s important that you have an even temperament around the dogs.

Even then, some dogs are going to be aggressive when you try to wet them down or use loud clippers and grinders around them.

Some Dogs Require “Extra” Grooming

Various breeds will require other forms of grooming services.

This includes everything from cleaning out a tail “pocket” on an English Bulldog to expressing the anal glands of a Toy Poodle.

You may also have to do some sanitary trims and more.

As you do all of this, it can be a dirty and smelly job that is less than pleasant.

The only upside is that you can usually charge extra for these “extra” services.

You’ll Have to Deal with Demanding Clients

You will always have clients who demand perfection from you.

It’s a lot like what hairstylists have to do for humans.

Especially if you have a client with an AKC dog or a show dog, they will have a long list of specifics for you to follow.

You’ll want to make sure that your customer service skills are strong so that you don’t lose clients along the way.

You’ll Work Weekends

Most dog owners work during the week.

They’ll want to utilize their weekends in order to get their dogs groomed.

As such, you’ll need to be prepared to work on the weekends so that you can maintain an acceptable number of clients.

Without working weekends, your earning potential may suffer significantly.

Should You Become a Dog Groomer?

Dog groomers have flexible hours and the ability to learn about all sorts of different breeds.

The amount of education to get into the field is minimal in comparison to many other careers.

Sure, some of the work isn’t glamorous, but you can have fun if you set your mind to it.

Talk to some dog groomers and watch them in action to decide if this is the career path you want to follow.

Pros and Cons of Being a Dog Groomer – Summary Table

Pros of Being a Dog Groomer Cons of Being a Dog Groomer
Be Your Own Boss Spend a Lot of Time on Your Feet
Enjoy Flexible Hours Time in Apprenticeship Results in Low Earnings
Work with Dogs of All Sizes It Can Take a While to Get Established
Interact with People Regularly Prepare for Some Heavy Lifting
Get Started Easily Not All Dogs are Friendly
Lots of Job Opportunities Some Dogs Require “Extra” Grooming
Earnings Can Be Substantial You’ll Have to Deal with Demanding Clients
You Can Work from (Almost) Anywhere You’ll Work Weekends
Learn About the Hottest Trends