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Comprehensive Guide to Become a Professional Dog Groomer

Dogs are cute, cuddly creatures loved by a large portion of the populace. The increased ownership of dogs has led to an increase in demand for dog groomers. A dog groomer is someone who hygienically cleans and cares for a dog. Since dog grooming is rising in such high demand, one cannot help but wonder, how to become a dog groomer?

How Do Dog Groomers Work?

Most of us really get curious regardig these professional groomers. What do dog groomers do? Dog grooming is not an easy chore. Professional dog groomers follow the below-given steps to give every dog the proper care they need:

#1 Talking to the Client

As a dog groomer, it is important to communicate with the client. Thus, it is the first step to understand on how to become a dog groomer. The client knows whether they want the hair completely cut, the length of the nails, etc. Once the client clarifies exactly how they want their dog groomed, the groomer moves on to the next step.

#2 Inspecting the Dog

Before taking action, groomers usually place the dog on a table and study them carefully. Each dog is different, and each has its own special needs. Examining the dog carefully allows a groomer to decide which tools will be best for that certain dog.

#3 Grooming

After the inspection of how to groom a dog, the actual process begins by first brushing the dog’s fur. Dog’s ears are cleaned and checked for any signs of infection. Then, the dog’s coat is properly cleaned using the best professional dog grooming shampoo and soap. The best puppy shampoo and conditioner or soap used in grooming is special and changes based on the dog’s skin condition. After the bath, they have to trim the hair as requested by the client.

#4 Trimming and Brushing

A continuation of grooming, the groomer trims the hair covering the eyes of the dog using the best dog brush. They also have to trim the hair covering the ears and feet. A dog-specific toothpaste is used to brush and keep the dog’s teeth clean. On that note of oral hygiene, one will always prefer the best toothbrush for dogs.

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#5 Keeping the Dog Calm

Some dogs get quite nervous when they go for grooming. In situations like these, it is up to the groomer to create a relaxed environment for the dog. Each dog’s behavior is different, and a groomer should be ready to deal with many kinds of dog temperaments.

While the things mentioned above are the basic tasks a groomer performs, he also has to take care of a few other things. The hygiene of dog grooming tools and the office, the physical ability to stand and lift dogs for many hours, and expert knowledge of canines are the things to name a few. All these qualities help make a successful dog grooming business.

What are the Dog Grooming Requirements?

A dog groomer is required to maintain the physical appearance of many breeds. To become a dog groomer, a person has to have a certain level of education and dog grooming apprenticeship. Following some of the crucial dog grooming requirements:

#1 Educational Criteria

There are no set of dog grooming education requirements. That said, companies and employers prefer those applicants who at least have a high school diploma.

#2 Apprenticeship

To become a proper dog groomer, one must undergo an apprenticeship program. In this program, an apprentice learns to trim properly, bathe, and clean canines under the direct supervision of an expert dog groomer. These dog grooming training programs usually last about 7-10 weeks.

#3 Grooming Schools

In the US, there exist about 50 state-approved grooming schools. These schools offer training programs lasting about 3-18 weeks. Some of these programs also offer on-the-job training, allowing one to skip the apprenticeship process entirely.

EducationHigh School Diploma (Preferred not compulsory)
ApprenticeshipEither On-the-job training through grooming schools or apprenticeship in a dog grooming facility

How to Get Dog Grooming Certification?

Getting a dog grooming certification is voluntary, and not mandatory. Two organizations have done this certification:

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#1 International Professional Groomers Incorporation

This organization offers a very difficult certification program. During the program, a candidate has to pass 4 written exams and 5 demonstrations. If candidates score 70% or higher during the program, they are awarded the ‘International Model of Pets Grooming Distinction.’ Candidates who score 86% or higher are entitled to ‘International Certified Master Groomers’.

#2 National Dog Groomers Association of America

Another option to get certification from a certified authority is the National Dog Groomers Association of America. This certificate is given by attending several workshops and showcasing practical skills. The candidate must also pass several written exams to get this certification.

What is the Process of Becoming a Dog Groomer?

#1 Basic Requirement

Dog grooming as a job doesn’t have a high barrier to entry. Anyone who has gone through the apprenticeship program or done on-the-job training (through grooming schools) can become a dog groomer. But in practice, this is far from enough for becoming a dog groomer.

#2 Employer Preference

Employers in dog grooming facilities usually prefer those with a high school diploma. While this is not a requirement, they recommended that one should at least have a high school diploma so that it is easier to find a job.

#3 Getting Certification

The benefits of getting a certification cannot be understated. Since dog grooming is relatively easy to get into, it is hard to stand out. Getting a certification is not only a sign of a groomer’s skill, but it also helps ease the mind of customers. Certification helps in building a solid customer base and a successful grooming business.

#4 Starting your Own Dog Grooming Business

Starting a dog or puppy grooming business is a hefty investment, especially in the tools department. Tools like a dog grooming table, bathtub, scissors, nail clippers, and dryers are needed to start the business. Using a perfect pet claw trimmer, it is easy to cut dog nails. Other consumables like shampoo, soap, and conditioners are required per the clients’ requests.


With an average salary of about $35,000 per annum, dog grooming is an easy job/business to get into but hard to stand out in. A high school diploma and a dog groomer license (given by an official certifying authority) will make the task of finding a job/starting a business a lot easier.