If you have an inner passion for dogs and cats, you may consider working in the field of pet grooming. My passion for pets stems back to my childhood though life took me in another direction for a while. The deep infatuation with pets, however, was so ingrained that when I adopted a little dog that would require regular grooming, I knew that was my calling. I had a full time job and studied part-time to be a pet groomer. I was certified in a little over a year to start a career that has turned out to be the most fulfilling part of my life.
Pets are an integral part of the family unit and the responsible pet parent has great concerns about the health and outer appearance of their dogs and cats. Becoming a pet groomer can include many career choices in the pet field from working in a grooming shop, at a shelter and/or kennel, veterinarians office, a groom and board for dogs, possibly a pet sitter and even opening your own shop. When you study to be a groomer, you learn far more than just cutting tons of dog hair in various styles. Studies will include the anatomy of a dog and cat (though most grooming involves dogs more than cats). You will learn dog behavior and a complete study of the common pests such as fleas, ticks and other nuisance pests that are detrimental to the health of pets. Cats do require some grooming as well, especially the long-haired cats. The cat that is brought in for grooming will need special handling and care which you will learn as part of the pet grooming courses.
You will cover a vast array of medical issues that can affect pets’ skin and coat, ears, eyes and teeth. As a dog groomer it is necessary for you to recognize any concerns that your dog may have since many pet parents are not aware of what may exist under the fur and within the ears and mouths of their beloved pets. You will be brushing, combing, thinning, clipping and shaping dogs’ coats. You will also be clipping dogs’ nails and cleaning ears as well as brushing teeth. Other duties will include dips and shampoos for flea and pest control as well as special medical shampoos to handle any skin disorders.
Certification in the field of grooming is not always required by law in your state. Check your local ordinances. Being certified does however provide you a more professional status in the eyes of pet parents who entrust their pets into your care. A great deal of patience and appreciation for animals is necessary as you will encounter some nervous, fidgety, scared and aggressive clients. There are some courses available on-line but to actually get a true feeling for working with animals, you would appreciate a one-on-one course while working on actual dogs and cats that need a little sprucing up. A variety of schools for dog grooming can be found at http://www.groomingschool.com/schools.htm. An endless source of information from learning guides to grooming tools can be found at http://www.petgroomer.com/.
Being a groomer is very rewarding and your clients will be the only ones that truly appreciate, love and kiss you in return for the attention you give them. Gaining the trust and respect of their pet parents is of utmost importance as well. A personal relationship with both your clients and their pet parents makes for a successful dog grooming career.