Careers in Dog Grooming blog post

Discover a World of Opportunities: Careers in Dog Grooming

Dog grooming is an often overlooked yet vitally important aspect of pet care, especially in the UK where dogs are not just pets but members of the family. With a growing pet industry and an increasing number of people recognising the importance of proper pet care, careers in dog grooming offer a fulfilling and viable option for those passionate about animals.

If you’re passionate about dogs and considering a career in dog grooming, completing a dog grooming qualification with The College of Animal Welfare can be a great path to open a door to a variety of exciting career opportunities.

What does a dog groomer do?

First, let’s explore the role of a dog groomer. A dog groomer’s primary role is to maintain a dog’s appearance, which includes bathing, cutting fur, trimming nails, cleaning ears, and ensuring overall hygiene. Beyond the basics, groomers often need to know how to handle various dog breeds and temperaments, understand skin and coat health, and sometimes even recognise signs of health issues that require veterinary attention.

Why consider a career in dog grooming?

  1. Growing Demand: The pet care industry continues to flourish, with more owners investing in professional grooming services for their dogs. This growth translates to job security and ample opportunities for those entering the field.
  2. Flexibility: Dog grooming can offer a flexible schedule, with options to work in different settings such as pet salons, veterinary clinics, or mobile grooming services. Many groomers also choose to start their own businesses, setting their schedules and rules.
  3. Emotional Rewards: For those who love animals, the daily interaction with dogs and the ability to improve their wellbeing and appearance can be highly rewarding. Happy pets and grateful owners make the job incredibly fulfilling.
  4. Continuous Learning: The field requires groomers to stay updated with the latest grooming techniques and health practices. This ongoing learning process can be highly engaging for those who enjoy evolving in their careers.

Career paths in dog grooming

Professional Dog Groomer

Starting as a professional dog groomer is the most direct route following your qualification. You can choose to work in a pet salon, veterinary clinic, or pet store that offers grooming services. With experience, you may advance to a senior groomer position or specialise in grooming specific breeds.

Mobile Dog Groomer

For those who love the idea of being their own boss, mobile dog grooming could be the perfect fit. As a mobile groomer, you’ll travel to clients’ homes, offering convenient services right at their doorsteps. This career option offers flexibility and a personal touch that can really help you build a loyal customer base.

Salon Owner

If you have an entrepreneurial spirit, owning a dog grooming salon could be a thrilling challenge. As a salon owner, you not only perform grooming services but also manage business operations, including staff management, marketing, and financial planning. This role requires a blend of grooming expertise and business acumen.

Dog Grooming Instructor

With substantial experience and a passion for teaching, you could become a dog grooming instructor. Many aspiring groomers need guidance and training, and who better to provide this than someone with real-world experience? Instructors can work in vocational schools, private grooming schools, or even online platforms.

Show Grooming Specialist

For those with a flair for creativity and competition, specializing in show grooming can be an exciting niche. Show groomers prepare dogs for competitions, focusing on perfecting their appearance according to specific breed standards. This requires a keen eye for detail and a deep understanding of different breeds’ grooming needs.

Product Sales and Development

Knowledgeable groomers can also venture into the pet care product industry, working in sales, marketing, or even product development, creating or promoting grooming products like shampoos, brushes, and clippers.

Animal Welfare and Therapy

Some groomers apply their skills in therapeutic settings, helping to rehabilitate rescued animals or working in animal therapy programs, where grooming is used as a form of animal care and comfort.

Getting started in dog grooming

Education and Training

While formal education isn’t strictly necessary, professional courses are highly recommended. Numerous institutions across the UK, such as The College of Animal Welfare, offer programmes in dog grooming, which typically cover both theoretical knowledge and practical skills. These courses can also help in gaining certification from recognised grooming institutions, an added credential that can significantly boost employability.

Hands-On Experience

Starting as an apprentice in a grooming salon or volunteering at animal shelters can provide invaluable practical experience. Hands-on practice is crucial for honing skills and understanding the nuanced needs of different dog breeds and personalities.


Achieving a certification, such as those offered by The College of Animal Welfare and City & Guilds, is beneficial. These certifications not only enhance your skills but also assure potential clients and employers of your professionalism and commitment to animal welfare.

What next?

A qualification in dog grooming offers more than just the skills to groom dogs; it opens up a spectrum of career opportunities that can satisfy various interests and lifestyle preferences. Whether you choose the path of entrepreneurship, education, or specialize in a niche sector, each avenue offers the chance to deepen your love for dogs while building a fulfilling and sustainable career.

Ready to start your journey in dog grooming? Visit The College of Animal Welfare’s dog grooming courses page to learn more about how you can turn your passion for pets into a rewarding profession.