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How to start your own dog grooming business

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by Startacus Admin

What services do you plan to provide?

Dog grooming is laden with ambiguity. Before you put your plan into motion you should solidify the services which you plan to provide and undertake any additional training which you may need. Some of the services that you could provide are:

  • Washing
  • Hair clipping
  • Nail Clipping                                                                                         Another Satisfied Customer
  • Flea / tick treatments
  • Trimming hair into specific styles
  • Preparing pedigree dogs for show

The most important thing when deciding what services you would like to provide is whether you are confident in your abilities to carry them out to a professional standard.

Animal Welfare

You must ensure that you have a sound and detailed working knowlege of animal welfare legislation and understand that under the Animal Welfare Act, you are ultimately responsible for the safety and well being of the animals in your care.

What Skills and qualifications

As we mentioned at the beginning of the article there are no essential qualifications needed to operate as a dog groomer. However, as is the case with many such roles, there are a number of competency based qualifications which will help develop you skills and lend your business a higher level of professionalism. These qualifications are usually administered by City and Guilds and cover all the skills you will need to become a successful dog groomer, whether you are currently at a beginer, intermediate or experienced level.

Aside from these professional qualifications there are a number key skills and attributes which could come in very useful whilst starting your own dog grooming service.

  • Grooming experience - ok - this is an obvious one, but it’s worth mentioning that starting a dog grooming business requires more expertise than simply having washed and clipped your own dog a couple of times. Being inexperienced can cause unnecessary stress to the pet which you are dealing with and could even pose an injury risk to them.
  • You must be ‘good with animals’- if you are not someone who has a particular affinity with or affection for dogs it will be abundantly apparent to your customers. Although this seems a rather ‘wishy-washy’ skill it is one that will make a real difference to the trust which pet owners place in you.
  • Some level of business acumen - as is the case with any business it is important that you have at least a basic level of business ‘know-how’ so that you can handle the day-to-day administrative tasks of the business.

Do you need insurance?

A cute puppy to motivate you!Yes, you do. If you are running your business from home you may think that such things as ’business insurance’ are beyond the realms of your requirement, but this simply isn't the case.

Every business has an insurance requirement and this is especially the case when it comes to dealing with people’s pets. The strength of feeling on the part of pet owners should something go wrong whilst their pet is in your care can lead to legal action against you and your business. Because of the quite specific problems which could arise (such as a dog picking up an illness whilst in your care) you should try to obtain cover from a provider which specialises in (or has significant experience of ) dealing with animal related businesses.

You will need both public liability insurance and professional indemnity insurance to ensure that you are fully covered in the cases of accidents or other unexpected situations.

If you are still thinking of starting your own dog grooming business, good luck and don’t forget to check out our fab business toolkit which has got loads of the essential info you will need on concept, planning, research, development, finance, design, marketing and legal issues.


Published on: 22nd August 2014, and information correct for UK audience at time of publication. 

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Published on: 22nd August 2014

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