How to Start a Dog Grooming Business

How to Start a Dog Grooming Business

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When considering starting a new small business, the secret is to choose something you really love doing. So if you’re a dog lover, then starting your own dog grooming business might be a rewarding option. With the mobile pet grooming trend really catching on, this might give you lots of new opportunities.

People adore their pets so much that they’ll spare no expense when it comes to taking care of them. For this reason, there’s never been a better time to get into the dog grooming business. That said, here’s how to start a dog grooming business from scratch!

What Makes a Good Grooming Business Owner?

In addition to dog grooming knowledge, here are the abilities and skills that can help you start a successful dog grooming business.

  1. Excellent pet and people skills. As a pet groomer, you’re expected to communicate well with pet owners (clients) and manage to meet their expectations.
  2. Ability to read the body language of a dog and identify warning signs in volatile dogs.
  3. Highly confident dealing with animals (especially as some animals may get aggressive when nervous)
  4. Compassion. Not all dogs enjoy getting a trim. To be a good groomer, you need to have empathy for the pets and the resolve to entice reluctant dogs to get groomed. 
  5. Animal health knowledge. Pet groomers should have a good knowledge of animal health so they can identify visible signs of skin irritations, rashes, and parasites.
  6. Good business sense. As an industry professional, you need various business skills, including a solid work ethic and a proactive mindset to generate business. 

Dog Grooming Tools That You’ll Need 

In your dog grooming business, you’ll need a few tools to maximize your profits and ensure that you service a wide range of clients.

Here’s a list of essential dog grooming tools you’ll want at the ready when you finally open your doors:

  • Dog grooming table
  • Combs
  • Bathing skin
  • Blaster dryer/dryer
  • Clippers 
  • Nail clippers
  • Consumables like conditioners, shampoo, and detangling sprays
  • Eye and ear cleaning kit
  • Stripping knife
  • Brushes
  • Grooming shears
  • Dental supplies 
  • Cages
  • Towels
  • Treats
  • Tubs

Check out similar businesses to find out what tools they have that you think might be useful in your own business. Then consider your budget while comparing prices from a variety of suppliers.  

How to Start a Dog Grooming Business from Home

The most inexpensive way to start your dog grooming service is by running it from your own home. 

In addition to an array of scissors, clippers, brushes, conditioners, and shampoos, you need a washtub and grooming table. Check the zoning laws in your state to see if running the business from your home is permitted. If it’s not, either buy or rent a building for a dog grooming salon or take the mobile dog grooming route. 

How to Start a Mobile Dog Grooming Business

Get Experience

Before you start any business, it’s essential to work in the business and gain enough training and experience to improve your skills and competence. You can do so in several ways, from working for another dog groomer to apprenticeships with reputable groomers or formal training that brings in certification. 

This approach provides a number of benefits: You’ll know the challenges, pros and cons, and opportunities that exist in the industry; you’ll get additional support and contacts from people in the business and; you can launch your business on a solid footing, especially if you want to obtain certification. 

Work Out The Cost of Equipment


Starting a mobile dog grooming service can be quite costly. In fact, when you add up the costs, you might decide to hold off until you’ve got enough money in your account.

Determine Insurance and Licensing Requirements

Find out what sort of business permits, licenses, and insurance are required in your particular area. Check with your country, town, or city government offices to find out what’s required.

You can also check with your local chamber of commerce. As well as specific liability and any other required insurance, think about vehicle insurance. If possible, consult a business lawyer before starting your business.

Costs Involved

While day-to-day expenses are much lower, start-up costs may be high. You should begin by investing in a mobile dog grooming vehicle. Make sure to consider your facility requirements and options when choosing what type of vehicle to buy.

Vehicle requirements include:

  • Sink
  • Dryer
  • Proper flooring and ventilation
  • Table (preferably with lift)
  • Washing space
  • Proper lighting
  • Water tank
  • Water heater
  • Waste containers (both liquid and solid)
  • Power generator 

Depending on your budget, a mobile dog grooming vehicle can cost anywhere from $10,000 to $100,000. Cheaper options include hitch-on trailers and vans, the former of which are more expensive. 

Marketing Your Dog Grooming Business

Once you’ve sorted out the financial, logistical, and legal side of your business, it’s time to promote it and make that dough!

Traditional advertising by the use of direct mailing or radio ads can reach lots of people, but they’re costly. Since you’re just getting started, be sure to keep your marketing strategy simple. 

Give out flyers at dog walking parks or visit doggy daycare services and vet clinics to create relationships with the staff and owners. Their recommendation can bring you plenty of business.   

Create logos and other forms of branding for your business, then create a site to provide customers with information to show them why your dog grooming business is the best in town. 

Make use of social media and create a following on platforms such as Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter to share events, news, coupons and a consistent stream of cute dog memes. Encourage clients to leave reviews on your Facebook page, and make the most of your growing audience as your posts are shared.

Should I Start My Own Dog Grooming Business?

Starting and running a dog grooming service is no easy task. But it’s an amazing opportunity to pair your love for dogs with a real, lucrative career. Not to mention the fact that you’ll get wagging tails from lovely pets every day!

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