Dog Grooming Career Options

So you love aniamls and dream of a career that allows you to work with dogs every day.  You've decided that becoming a dog groomer is the right path for you and have graduated with your Dog Grooming Diploma.  What next I hear you say?  How will you turn your love of animals and your newfound skills into a profitable and rewarding career.  There are a number of choices available to you and exploring all options will be the key to your success.

Grooming From a Home Garage

Setting up a salon in your garage or a specifically adapted room in your home is the next best thing to having a fully-fledged grooming salon. Your mini salon will be a great way to have a static salon environment yet not have the problems or commitment associated with dedicating an entire building or shop to the role.

The set up and creation of this type of environment will depend on your available space, plumbing and other utilities. Initial financial outlay will also depend on how conducive the environment is to the changes required.

Pros of working from home

Clearly working from home has lots of benefits, including low travel and maintenance costs as well as flexibility to work on your own timeframe and not be dictated by traffic or poor weather conditions.  In addition, running a dog grooming salon from home means that you won't need to pay rent or commit to an expensive lease and may also reveive some tax relief by running a small business from home.

Negatives of working from home

The negative aspects of dog grooming from home are few. There will of course be increased utility bills and the fact that it could feel like you're always at work. There is also the matter of choosing and preparing a very specific area for dog grooming purposes which dependant on your available space may mean you need to invest money into adapting a room or garage.

Mobile Dog Grooming

With mobile dog grooming using a van becoming increasingly popular dog groomers that work from a just a bag, filled with all of the necessary kit, is less common than it once was. This role is still very much an option though and is particularly beneficial for a start-up business that has a smaller initial financial outlay.

This role is one of much travel yet means that everyday you will get to see new places and meet different clients. The variation includes both the act of working in people’s homes and using their ablution facilities to wash the dog before carrying out the styling process with your own equipment.

Taking mobile dog grooming one step further, entails using a specially equipt dog grooming van.  The van includes all of the equpment, the bath and the grooming table and is used outside of the clients home.  Vans can be purchased already fit for purpose, adapted by the groomer or aquired as part of a franchise package.

The other option with this particular choice is to move between kennels and other professional canine establishments carrying out grooming in bulk over one or two days a week. This can be achieved via rental of a table or being hired by the establishment. Finally there is the option to offer grooming for formal dog shows when there is the opportunity.

Pros of mobile dog grooming

When simply setting up as an old fashioned mobile groomer, with just your bag of equipment and using the owners facilities, the most obvious positive point is the minimal set up cost. The only thing that a new groomer will need to purchase for this type of role is the basic kit described in module one listed in the course outline of the dog grooming diploma.

Another plus point for this choice is the generous possibility for variation. With the choice to rent a table, visit a rescue centre or travel around to customer homes there is plenty of scope for change for this particular option.

If you decide to take mobile dog grooming one step further and invest in a equipped van you'll not only be saving money on renting a premise but will be at the forefront of the way the dog grooming industry is heading.  With your customers leading busy lives, having a reliable dog groomer with all the neccesary equipment come to their house will set you apart from other local grooming salons.  

Negatives of mobile dog grooming

The negative areas for this choice are actually very few and mostly related to physical problems. For those without a mobile grooming van, the lack of a solid or convenient grooming area can quickly become frustrating, as can the packing and unpacking of kit, whilst the need to carry heavy kit can be a problem for those with joint or back issues. Your dog grooming tools can also become damaged in transit leading to an increased need to replace some items and sharpen scissors and blades.

Clearly the cost of owning and setting up a mobile dog wash van needs to be considered as well as the potential impact of poor weather or road accidents.  You'll also need to consider any parking restrictions when booking in customers to ensure you have somewhere safe to carry out your work.  One other consideration, for the more social dog groomers out there is that mobile dog grooming vans are often very small so it's unlikely you'll be able to hire a work colleague.

Setting Up A Grooming Salon

This is a option that will require a lot of consideration and set-up right from the start. Unless a fully functioning salon is purchased which is already perfect in layout and great working order then a groom room will need a lot of work.

The actual role is one of a traditional job, however your business will revolve soley around you and your skills, especially during the initial set up stage. Your grooming salon will be a workplace, away from the home and there may even be space to employ another groomer or rent out a table to earn some extra income. The other option to this type of salon is to rent a room in a kennels or similar establishment and transform it to a permanent grooming salon in the same way.

Pros of setting up a grooming salon

If you have the funds to invest and want to establish a larger business, this type of venture can lead to a very lucrative successful business.  A salon gives a professional appearance with some dog owners choosing a grooming salon over a mobile groomer for this reason.  Another plus is that you will likely be able to employ or work with other groomers allowing some great social contact that you might miss out on with a home or mobile dog grooming business.  You'll also find that with a grooming salon the extra space will allow for a holding area.  This measn that dogs can be dropped off a bit early or picked up a little late allowing you to groom a greater number of dogs each day.

Negative of setting up a grooming salon

The main negatives of this option are finanical ones.  You will need to commit to a set rental period or purchase a property and then meet all the legal requirements of running the establishment.  Adaptaptions will likely be required which may be costly and timely, meaning there may be a delay before the business begins generating an income.


So there you have it, three exciting options open to a newly qualifed Dog Groomer.  If working in the dog grooming industry is something that you've always dreamed of doing, but felt like it was out of your reach then think again.  If you are dedicated and motivated towards achieving your dream then you are likely the perfect student for us!  Over 300 students have studied to achieve their Dog Grooming Diploma's, sharing their success stories and inspiring one another along the way in our student Facebook group.  Our students gallery showcases just a snippit of our students work, but to find out more and learn how the practical tasks work, download our FREE course guide today.