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How to Prepare for a Career in Pet Grooming

Do you love animals?   Do you have pets that you enjoy taking care of?    Do you enjoy pampering your pets?   If so, you'd probably enjoy a career in pet grooming.  A pet groomer helps keep animals looking their best by shampooing, giving hair cuts, cutting nails and going the extra mile to make pets look and smell great.  


If this kind of job sounds like something you'd enjoy, we've put together following career guide to help you on your way (adapted from the article How To Become A Pet Groomer).


1. Preparation for a career as a pet groomer begins with an innate love for animals combines with training and skill. High school students who are business oriented, with a compassionate, insightful nature fair well in a career as pet groomer. Participating in courses like: English, biology, business mathematics, psychology, and physical education during high school often assists students in preparing for a career as a pet groomer. Additionally, volunteering within or gaining part time employment at an animal shelter, humane society, private veterinary practice, or boarding kennel allows an individual to gain experience with animals.



2. Pet groomers often gain experience through on the job training, apprenticeships, online programs, trade or vocational schools, or certificate programs. There is no formal standard of required education for pet groomers. On the job training through apprenticeship programs allow individuals to master skills necessary to perform as a pet groomer. Informal apprenticeships require a 6 to 10 week long training program and instill skills necessary to work as a pet groomer. Apprenticeship programs begin with simpler tasks, like shampooing pets, cleaning tools and equipment, maintaining safe and sanitary grooming salons, and basic duties. Students then advance to more difficult tasks, like properly restraining or muzzling pets, operating grooming equipment, and identifying skin disorders. Students who master skills acquired through apprentice programs often gain employment within private veterinary offices, kennels, animal shelters, or operate private grooming salons.



3. Many trade or vocational schools or courses offered by online colleges allow students to attain career diplomas. State licensed grooming schools offer programs lasting 2 to 18 weeks to train individuals for a career as a pet groomer. Courses in dog and cat anatomy, dog and cat health care, introduction to dog and cat handling, basic grooming procedures, pet bathing, pet behavior and personality, grooming animals possessing behavior challenges, and identifying skin disorders. Most grooming schools include tools needed for grooming purposes like nail trimmers, brushes, electric clippers, grooming scissors, and combs. Students who complete a state licensed pet grooming program are generally qualified to advance into more specialized programs or work as a pet groomer.



4. A 1000 hour training program offered through an online program or vocational school allows students to master skills necessary to become a a highly qualified professional pet groomer. Training programs certified by the International Association of Pet Designers allow students to gain specialized skills. Courses in salon organization and layout, accident prevention and safety, proper identification and use of tools and equipment, First Aid and CPR for people and pets, breed identification, animal body language and behavior, use of muzzles for personal and pet safety, anatomy and range of motion, trimming nails, preclipping and body clipping, benefits and methods for dremeling nails, ear hair plucking, trimming sanitary areas, proper shampoo and bathing techniques, ear cleaning and deodorizing, expressing anal glands, proper use of air dryers, skin problem identification, safe handling and bathing cats, flea and tick identification and removal, trimming for various breeds, building a portfolio for finished work, wet shedding techniques, pricing services, client relations, marketing and advertising techniques, and creative coloring. Students who complete intensive 1000 hour training programs can operate their own pet grooming salons or work within various facilities as pet groomers. 



5. The National Dog Groomers Association of America of America offers certification for skilled groomers after demonstrating practical skills and successfully passing two written examinations.

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