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October 21, 2022
Britain is a nation of dog lovers, and for many people, there’s no lengths to which they won’t go to keep their treasured pooch fit, healthy and pampered.
It’s no surprise, therefore, that dog grooming is booming. All over the country, enterprising people are taking full advantage of the surge in demand for grooming and related activities. So, if you love dogs, you love taking care of them and you’re looking for a career opportunity, there’s never been a better time to become a skilled, trained groomer.
In this guide, we’ll look at all the key qualifications for dog grooming you can get, the most important skills you’ll need, salary expectations, and why you shouldn’t overlook dog grooming insurance.
There is no official legal requirement to gain any dog grooming qualifications. However, that doesn’t mean to say that it can’t be extremely valuable to get them, as it makes it more likely that you can get a job with a dog grooming company or attract more customers if you decide to go down the self-employed route.
If looking at dog grooming courses for beginners, then expect to take between one and three months to get a recognised City & Guilds qualification, either at Level 2 or Level 3. There are many different courses available, and we recommend finding one that is fully accredited with the PIF (Pet Industry Federation). That will give you the best chance of getting the training you need.
For less formal support, training and education, it may also be worth exploring what the British Dog Groomers’ Association (also part of the PIF) has to offer.
If you’re just starting out in the dog grooming world, then you’ll most likely be employed as a junior or apprentice with an established business. According to the National Careers Service, dog groomers will typically start on relatively low wages, but can work their way up to around £20,000 per year in time.
Where you can start to earn a lot more money is when you have the experience and skills to branch out on your own and go self-employed. Your earnings will then be tied to how much you charge per hour, less tax and operating expenses. In the UK at present, typical rates for freelance dog groomers generally run at around £20-30 per hour, prices varying depending on location, the size and condition of each dog, and its general temperament. However, it’s entirely possible to earn substantially more than this: top-quality groomers are known to charge as much as £80 an hour.
You should also be aware that most owners take their dogs for grooming at evenings and weekends because they’re at work during the day, and so you should expect to work less sociable hours as a matter of routine.
Dog grooming is a very specific job that demands a certain level of skills. Most importantly, you need the right attitude: it can be a decidedly unglamorous job and not every day will be like Crufts.
Of course, pets will misbehave. You may well get bitten, and they may well go to the toilet on you, so you’ll need the right mentality to keep dogs calm and shrug off any incidents. You’ll also need to feel comfortable around other people’s pets, and comfortable communicating with demanding owners: sometimes it isn’t always the dogs that are highly strung…
If you’re self-employed, you’ll also have lots of responsibilities to consider from a business perspective, including understanding typical costs. For example, you’ll need to build a compelling website full of high-quality images and videos of your work and create a presence on social media so you become known in your area and develop a following. You’ll also have a number of administrative duties to fulfil, such as registering and self-assessing your tax to HMRC, organising your schedule, managing your finances and expenses, and arranging good-quality insurance cover.
If a dog owner comes to you and wants you to groom their dog, they will have the basic expectation that you will care for their dog as much as they do. This means behaving with the very highest standards of diligence and professionalism. However, no human being is perfect, and sometimes things can, and will, go wrong.
It’s in these situations that having professional dog grooming insurance in place is absolutely vital, especially one that is tailored to the specifics of your work. You should look for a comprehensive policy that brings together many different types of cover, including (but not necessarily limited to):
– Public Liability Insurance: if you accidentally injure someone or damage property in the course of your work, this cover takes care of any legal costs incurred if you find yourself in court as a result
– Care, Custody and Control: if an animal under your care is lost, becomes ill or is injured, this type of insurance covers any compensation that becomes due to the owner
– Specialist Equipment: your valuable equipment, from grooming tables to cutting kit, can all be covered in the event of loss, theft or damage. If you’re intending to operate as a mobile groomer, you should ensure your vehicle is adequately covered, too
At Protectivity, we provide a variety of comprehensive packages for every type of dog groomer at every level of experience. Incorporating public liability cover, protection for up to £30,000 of specialist equipment, and up to £100,000 of Care, Custody and Control cover, it can deliver reassurance and confidence for you and owners alike.
Take a closer look at all of our dog grooming insurance options here.