Animal lovers and youngsters are looking for job opportunities where they get to interact with animals, especially dogs throughout the day. While many choose to volunteer at shelters and veterinary services, grooming is an option open to such job seekers.
As a dog groomer, one can work at the kennels, shelters, grooming pets while house visiting, or have a mobile grooming service available and also work at the veterinary service. Typically, dog groomers do not need formal education to operate, although it is recommended. What is crucial for such people though is good animal handling skills, patience and physical strength to handle difficult and anxious dogs.
What certifications can one get?
There are certifications you can get if you are interested in grooming as a profession. More animal care and grooming certifications are available for people looking to work in this field. The basic courses cover basic bathing and brushing programs.
Inspiring candidates can sign up with the National Groomer Association of Canada (NGAC) or National Dog Groomers Association of America, and participate in grooming courses that cover the topics that are pertinent, such as:
- Products available for bathing dogs of different breeds
- Medicated shampoos for skin problems
- Different types of coats and special handling
- Nail clipping and ear cleaning and understanding the common problems you can face while grooming a dog.
- Building a rapport with the animals and body language
- Safety measures and handling nervous and anxious animals
- Professional techniques for quality grooming
- Security for entrance and escaping dogs
- First aid kits
- Grooming posture and muzzles for aggressive dogs
- Understanding how dog packs work and why
- Equipment and kenneling safety measures
These are the only basics, but you will get an opportunity to cover many other topics that are more comprehensive depending on the course you enroll for. Hands-on training is encouraged and a student fares better when they are working with a shelter or handling dogs and animals on a regular basis.
There are also other institutes that provide extensive training that is covered over a few months. A dog grooming school offers full-time courses for people who are looking for extensive knowledge with an innate understanding of every aspect and handling they can expect. The courses offered by these institutes and associations are all approved by many kennel clubs. There are also courses available online, like the International Career School (ICS) that offers a short, two-month course to cover the basics of dog and cat grooming.
After certification, you can proceed with voluntary licensing for the National Agency of Pet Grooming School and be a licensed bather. Both clients and animals have a long memory of mistreatments or problems faced during the activity, and to be a successful dog groomer, you will have to find ways to calm the dogs and handle them during the grooming session.
It is a common misconception that handling pets and animals for grooming is a simple task. A lot goes into each bath and grooming session, and it is complicated further by the fact that every animal has its quirks. Working with animals can be extremely rewarding and this profession is slowly making headway and increasingly becoming a popular profession for many.