A new report released by The Conference Board and reported on by Bloomberg and iheartdogs.com indicates that pet-related careers will grow faster than teaching positions in the next ten years. If you’ve considered being a dog groomer, now is a great time to get into the profession. How do you know if it’s right for you?
Directly from groomers Eika S.R. Haas with Purrrfect Paws, LLC; Cindy Disiena at Day in the life of a groomer and animal lover; and Corrie Mae Bentley; with some of my own thoughts after 12 years in the profession, here are the pros and cons of being a groomer.
Disiena says: “I’ve learned how to notice signs of stress in dogs and take steps to ensure that their experiences are good. I’ve learned to change the way I groom and my pet clients are happier and less stressed when they go home and are happier coming back.”
Haas enjoys the challenge of creating beautiful grooms that meet the requirements of the owner and the needs of the pet, making a decent living working for herself, and helping clients strengthen their bond with their furry family members. She also loves “teaching puppies how to become well-behaved adults while being groomed – including puppy kisses, which are the best!” She values educating clients about health problems that concern pets and encouraging them to see their vet.
I loved spending the day working with mostly dogs instead of people, getting to be a little bit creative, and not being stuck behind a desk all day. The smiles on people’s faces when they pick up their freshly-groomed family member were so rewarding!
Haas dislikes “hair slivers in the most unusual areas. Clients that don’t respect my time – no shows, late arrivals. Repetitive injuries and arthritis. Not enough time in the day or enough energy to get other things done. The frustration and sadness of seeing pets that have been neglected and abused or who are not getting appropriate veterinary care.”
Bentley is frustrated by “holes in your arm and a lack of talking to people.”
For Disiena, it’s “the stress that the pets go through while grooming. I have found that in our industry pets are stressed through the grooming process and very little is done to recognize the signs. We as groomers are not taught these things during our training.” It’s something that’s best learned by experience and compassion.
For me, the frustration of dealing with people who either didn’t know or didn’t care about the best ways to maintain their dogs between appointments or who waited too long, sometimes a year or longer, in between appointments was very difficult. Compassion fatigue takes a very real toll. I was also tired of hurting all the time and being forced to shower straight after work. Unless you plan to own your own business, there isn’t much room to grow.
Being a groomer isn’t right for everybody, but it’s an amazing career for people with patience and passion.