Pet Groomer

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Pet Groomer


How would you like to spend a few hours being pampered, getting a shampoo, professional cut, maybe even a new style? A clean shave, your nails clipped and shaped, your entire body massaged and cleaned? How would you feel if you didn't even have to pay? Of course, in order to get treatment on someone else's ticket, you must be a dog. Or a cat, or some other sort of pet.

That's right, pets have groomers who shampoo, brush, bathe, trim, clip, dry, and cuddle them to improve and maintain their hygiene, comfort, and appearance. They use a variety of tools, including brushes, special scissors, and shampoos that kill external parasites.

While most pets that come to groomers are dogs and cats, there are exceptions. Any pet can use grooming, and it is up to the pet groomer to know how to treat each and every one. They must be sure they understand the particulars about each breed of dog or cat. Some animals have different fur qualities, while others might be more prone to infections. Pet groomers must love all animals, and be willing to work with each and every one, from the family cat that ran through a burr patch to the show dog who is groomed regularly in preparation for competitions.

Show animals are often the hardest animals to groom, because of the high standards of the pet owners and the importance of appearance in the dog's success. However, these animals can also be the most fun to work with, especially when groomers get to turn an unremarkable scruff into a gleaming, pristine show animal.

Pet groomers also work to educate their clients about potential health problems and things to avoid in the future. While they cannot prescribe medication or psychological analysis on the animals, pet groomers have a lot of experience with many, many animals of differing species, ages, and temperaments. They are well-rounded when it comes to the world of pets.
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Penn Foster College
Earn your AVMA-CVTEA fully accredited Veterinary Technician Associate Degree online from Penn Foster College.
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  Average Earnings  
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  Interests and Skills  
Pet groomers should be physically fit and free of allergies to animals. It is essential that they enjoy working closely with animals, and feel comfortable touching them and cleaning up after them. They must be patient, gentle, and quiet, with an artistic flair. Pet groomers should be a good communicators with humans as well as animals, and sthey need to be responsible, tactful, and trustworthy. Good hand/eye coordination, as well as manual dexterity are two essential skills for pet groomers. Finally they should be organized, and have a head for business.

  Typical Tasks  
  • Answer inquiries from the public regarding services
  • Schedule appointments and record owner information
  • Record each animal's name, sex, breed and disposition, and any information about health problems
  • Discuss grooming requirements and desired styles with pet owners
  • Bathe, cut, comb, style and blow-dry the coats of pets
  • Clip claws
  • Clean pets' ears
  • Maintain equipment
  • Advertise services
  • Supervise assistants and look after other administrative duties
  • The typical day for a pet groomer involves a lot of close interaction with all sorts of animals. Pet groomers must bathe, clip, and shave animals who may be dirty, disheveled, and have gone without a bath in months, or they may only give a well-groomed dog a trim. Dog groomers also must keep careful records of all services rendered. They meet many people, all of whom are animal lovers, and don't get to travel much, unless they work with farm animals or do house calls, in which case they travel all around their communities.

  Workplaces, Employers and Industries  
  • Pet groomers work in a variety of locations, and are usually self-employed. Some work out of shops, with all the equipment there in one facility, while others work out of their own homes. Some work in veterinary clinics, boarding kennels, and at group-run grooming shops. Some choose to bring their equipment to the clients' homes. All environments include getting dirty or wet, being exposed to unpleasant odours, restraining, lifting, and carrying animals and cages, being exposed to insect pests such as fleas and ticks, and being bitten or scratched. They tend to do their work alone, or with an assistant, and usually work some evenings and weekends when the pet owners are free to make the appointments.

  Long Term Career Potential  
Pet groomers can open their own shop, or start up a chain of dog grooming salons. They can train to work as animal trainers, or take some college courses to work as veterinary technicians. They can even return to school and become veterinarians. They can also get into working with humans in cosmetology and hair styling.

  Educational Paths  
There is no set path to follow to obtain work as a pet groomer. Some salons and private schools do provide training, but it is important for pet groomers to ensure they will be learning all that they will need to know. Programs can take from two months to two years. Another way for prospective pet groomers to obtain experience is to become is to become the assistant to an established groomer where they can learn as they work.

Prospective pet groomers are strongly advised to discuss training options with practicing pet groomers before choosing a training route. Regardless of how they choose to train, it is a good idea to volunteer to work with animals, at a clinic, an animal shelter, or other animal environment. Also consider taking a few courses in animal science, business, and management. Some pet groomers may also consider certification. For example, the National Dog Groomers Association of America, Inc. offers the national certified master groomer program.

Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, Occupational Outlook Handbook, 2014-15 Edition,
Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, Occupational Employment Statistics, 2002,

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Penn Foster College
Earn your AVMA-CVTEA fully accredited Veterinary Technician Associate Degree online from Penn Foster College.
Programs Offered:
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