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What would you say to someone interested in becoming a pet groomer?

Groomer's Choice caught up with members of the dog grooming community and asked "What would you say to someone interested in becoming a pet groomer?" Here's what they said:

"It takes a certain type of person to be a dog groomer. Like many service jobs, it requires a skill to perform on a living, moving animal. With that being said, my job is my favorite thing in my life. It does not feel like I am even working. I sincerely enjoy going to work every day, and I am so fortunate to find a passion and career so early in my life." - Logan Rago

"DO IT! But be prepared for body aches, pee, poop, drool and ‘Karens.’ If you can handle that, you will find your gratitude." - Jacque Opp 

"I would say to work under someone and see if you like it first!" - Natalia Flores

"Start at the bottom, learn and keep learning. And make sure you have a good team around you to help you keep growing and learning." - Pearl Sharpe

"Do as much training and get as much experience as you can! And take the time to LEARN! There are so many different things involved, and every dog is so different – physically and mentally. Start small and keep educating yourself because there is always something to learn. Knowledge is success!" - Kirsten Althouse

“It's hard work, but it's most definitely a rewarding job! I would recommend starting slow and learning anything and everything you can. Don't rush the process, and always be proud of your work!” -  Elizabeth Layne

“It is not for the faint of heart. You must have lots of passion and compassion.” - Kristie Stewart

“Try it yourself in a quiet space first, without distractions or tons of stimulation, and see if you enjoy the process. If you enjoy the process - even if the results aren't your fave - you've got something!’ – Elly Linam

“Be kind. Be patient. It’s hard work, but it's worth it if you love it.” – Miranda Alonzo

“It's not all fluffy and cute all the time. You have to be ready for bites, scratches and any bodily fluid you can possibly think of that could come from them.” – Brandy Fink

“Find a mentor. Find someone who is where you want to be in your career and stay under their wing.” - Lashonda Geffrard

“DO IT, but only if you are serious about it and love animals. Unfortunately, you have people who can pump out grooms but never connect with the animals, and that’s so unfair. Always take any chance to continue your education, because knowledge is what sets you apart from other groomers. I will be here for you if you have any questions or need help with anything at all. We are in a very underrated career and sometimes you will feel as though you are not making a difference, but my dear, if you choose to become a dog groomer, I promise with the right tools, help and knowledge, you will never enjoy yourself more than you do when you are doing what you love.” – Bethany Pate

“Don’t be intimidated because it’s new and there’s so much to learn. Be enthused and excited because there’s so much to learn and all the time you need to learn to do it.” – Brianna Davis

“My advice is to start off as being a bather or grooming assistant at a shop before investing any money into grooming school. It’s a great way to gain hands on experience and to see firsthand everything that groomers do day to day.” – Breanna Salas

“I have friends who are interested in becoming groomers, and I tell them to really make sure it's what they want to do before making the commitment. It's a lifelong relationship you build, not just with your client but their pet as well. It's not just a 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. job. You really want to be sure pets are what you want to work with and can handle. They’re not like humans but more like toddlers, and if you can't handle children, then pets aren't the right fit for you.” - Valerie Dela Pena

“I would say it’s a very rewarding, challenging and uplifting career and to learn from as many different people as possible because every groomer has something different to offer in style and technique.” - Vivian Thornton 

“Try it! Always strive to learn more. Stay humble, but also stay proud of your progress. You did that, not anyone else. Reach out and make connections. There are so many wonderful people in this industry who want to help make it better by educating others.” – Marci Wanta

“Check with your local shops to see if you can start as a bather. It will give you a good understanding of what the grooming process entails. Watch webinars/videos regarding animal behavior or safe handling for animals. There are lots of factors that play into grooming other than giving the dog a bath and a haircut. It can be labor intensive and hard work at times, but totally worth it.” – Kelsey Walter

“To have a passion for the animals has to always be first. It’s all about making the dogs feel and look good after a spa day.” – Tara Hanson

“I would say eat well and exercise regularly. This job is wonderful, but it is extremely labor intensive.’ - Jazmin Negrete

“I would say do it! The days can be long and stressful, but it’s totally worth it. There is nothing more rewarding to me than helping a pet look and feel their best. Most importantly, don't forget to build the relationship with clients. Just spending an extra few minutes talking to them will increase their trust in you and gain a loyal client.” – Christina Shealy

“To anyone who is interested in becoming a groomer, there is no substitute for hands-on learning. I recommend groomers in training reach out to local shelters and rescues to make pups beautiful and improve their handling and grooming skills, and you get to make a difference. Also, when it comes to handling dogs, at some point you will get bit, but never take it personal or get discouraged. They can't speak to tell us what’s wrong.” – Tiffany Zankovich


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