In the United States, dog ownership has increased from 68 million in 2000 to 78 million in 2012. This is according to the IPPTS Dog Grooming Industry Report 2017, a report that also looks at the growth and career outlook for the year.
An encouraging takeaway from the report, for current and aspiring dog groomers, is the fact that spending on pets has increased. More money is being spent per pet than at any other time. This is largely as a result of pet owners seeking additional grooming services for their dogs and this would be across the whole spectrum of different breeds that require grooming on a regular basis.
So as you can see, the dog grooming industry overall has experienced consistent growth. This comes as no surprise given the increased number of people owning dogs. It is interesting to note however that not only is dog ownership on the rise but the amount spent per dog has increased. A trend like this has created golden opportunities for startup dog groomers to jump in and for existing dog grooming businesses to expand.
A Few Concerns for the Dog Grooming Industry
Not every aspect of this growth as been positive.
There have been a few concerns voiced by industry experts and observers., especially in the absence of industry regulataion.
There are those who are worried that this growth trend has led to some unqualified people setting themselves up as groomers and then putting profit over quality of service. For instance, there have been scattered reports of injury or mistreatment of dogs as a consequence.
This has caused concern among many pet owners regarding the safety of their pets when looking for reputable grooming salons.
Perhaps one contributing factor is the fact that at the moment it is very easy for anyone to startup a grooming service. The grooming industry up until now has allowed for a very smooth transition from self-starter to established salon owner without the need for recognized qualifications. So anyone with a pair of grooming scissors and a dog brush could basically start calling themselves a dog groomer even in the absence of adequate dog groomer training.
Dog Grooming Regulation & Dog Grooming Certification
Now, up until now, the ease of setting up as a groomer has also been a major plus for the multitude of skilled and ethical people out there who love to work with dogs as a career.
However, there is now a push in some states to regulate the industry. In New Jersey, for example, as pointed out in the report, there is a proposed bill that would impose certain requirements on aspiring dog groomers.
Dog grooming certification is more and more desired.
Pet Grooming Classes
There is no shortage of locations where pet grooming can be undertaken. If you are interested you could consider the following as a means to learn to groom dogs:
- Dog grooming apprenticeships with established grooming salons.
- Pet grooming classes face to face – refer to US pet grooming schools listings here.
For example, the American School of Dog Grooming has received very good reviews.
And then there is the chain of Petsmart dog grooming schools. With any chain, always check the individual outlet because so often quality is determined by the manager of an organization.
- Colleges and Organization offering pet grooming certificate courses.
- A dog grooming school online – it would be advisable to follow up such a course with some in-salon experience
Make sure that the organization offering your training also issues pet grooming certification on completion.
Opportunities for Professional Dog Groomers
But, there are plenty of opportunities available in the industry for well-intentioned people. The current upward trend in ownership and investment in pets presents not just an opportunity to do what you love, but also a chance to earn a solid income.
If you are confident you can provide high quality services with care and passion, there are many options you can pursue from a store-front business to a home-based service to a mobile grooming startup.
I frequently come across the question:
How much do dog groomers make?
According to this 2017 report, many dog groomers record earnings of around $50,000 after paying for all expenses. However, there is also a wide range of salaries recorded elsewhere depending on years of experience and location. You might find it useful to look at an interactive salary calculator available via this post that discusses how much dog groomers can make.
Dog Groomer Training and Qualifications
For those dog groomers who really want to succeed in this industry, they need to do more than simply open up a store front business.
As concerns on pet safety grow, pet owners are more likely to opt for dog groomers who have formal qualifications and training.
The report strongly recommends that dog groomers enroll in an appropriate program to gain the right skills for their job.
There are several colleges and organizations that provide hands-on training in dog grooming.
Check whether there are any dog grooming services offered by a college near you.
Additionally, consider getting some experience by working alongside a dog grooming professional for some time. This will add to your skills and knowledge.
When you are finally ready to set out with your own business, expect to work hard and long. You will also have to exercise a lot of patience and care. Despite what you see on the surface, the dog grooming profession is not an easy business but it has its rewards.
You can download the IPPTS Dog Grooming Industry Report 2017 here.