How to Become a Dog Groomer In Texas

If there’s one thing that’s certain, people love their pets. They want to see them healthy, cared for, and happy. Being able to help dogs look and feel their best is a rewarding career, and becoming a dog groomer offers just that. To become a dog groomer in Texas, you need the right combination of interpersonal, technical, and client management skills to succeed.

In this guide, we’ll give an overview of how to become a dog groomer in Plano, TX, including what skills and qualifications you’ll need, how to get certified or licensed as a groomer, and the job prospects and salary expectations for this career. Keep in mind, we offer one of the most comprehensive dog grooming school experiences right here, at Hound Therapy.

Job Description and Duties of Dog Groomers

Pet groomers are a crucial part of the animal care industry. They are responsible for providing professional grooming services necessary to enhance the pet’s physical appearance, improve hygiene, and most importantly, improve the overall health and wellness of dogs. They do everything from brushing and bathing to trimming fur, cutting nails, and cleaning ear wax.

The duties of a dog groomer involve more than just the aesthetic aspects of grooming. They must be knowledgeable in recognizing potential health issues and counsel owners on the proper care and hygiene for their pets. A groomer’s daily duties and responsibilities include:

  • Bathing, shampooing, conditioning, and drying pets
  • Brushing and combing pet’s fur 
  • Shaving, trimming, and styling pet hair according to customer’s preferences
  • Maintaining pet hygiene by brushing teeth, cleaning ears, and clipping nails
  • Moving dogs between kennels and grooming areas
  • Preparing and maintaining grooming tools and materials
  • Educating customers on pet care and hygiene practices
  • Maintaining a clean workstation by sanitizing and disinfecting
  • Inspecting pets for any skin, coat, or health issues
  • Giving basic health checks such as heart rate and temperature
  • Detecting unhealthy fur, fleas, ticks, and matting
  • Dematting and detangling fur as needed
  • Providing flea and tick treatments 
  • Registering and booking appointments
  • Recordkeeping of all services provided 

skills required to become a dog groomer in texas

Skills and Experience Needed

There are certain skills needed to become a dog groomer. You can gain these skills through a combination of hands-on experience, class instruction, and reading up on the subject. Patience, creativity, problem-solving, and perhaps love for animals are essential attributes of a groomer. You will need to develop a combination of technical and interpersonal skills to succeed as a dog groomer. 

On the technical side, you need to be comfortable with tools, have a good eye for detail, and know how to groom different breeds of dogs. 

On the interpersonal side, you need to be calm and patient with animals, have excellent customer service skills, and understand how to handle difficult owners. The following list of technical and interpersonal skills are essential for success in a dog grooming career:

Technical Skills: 

  • Knowledge of the anatomy, behavior, and needs of dogs
  • Ability to effectively use grooming tools and equipment 
  • Familiarity with different dog breeds and coat types
  • Attention to detail when it comes to coat trimming and styling
  • Ability to work with different types of dogs, including those who are anxious or aggressive
  • Understanding of basic health checks and animal first aid
  • Knowledge of basic nutrition and diet
  • Ability to lift animals weighing over 50 pounds
  • Understanding of pet safety regulations
  • Ability to correctly read and follow product instructions 
  • Proficiency in basic computer skills

Interpersonal Skills:

  • Ability to remain calm and patient with animals 
  • Strong customer service and communication skills 
  • The ability to build relationships with pets, owners, and veterinarians
  • The ability to recognize the signs of stress in animals 
  • Understand how to handle difficult pet owners
  • Ability to stand on your feet for long periods in high-stress situations
  • Reliability and punctuality when it comes to appointments 
  • Ability to work independently with minimal supervision

how to become a pet groomer

Suggested Requirements to Become Dog Groomer

There’s no set roadmap or specific educational requirements to become a dog groomer in Plano, TX. However, a course or certification in basic dog grooming, or hands-on experience, is typically necessary. Training professionally means your clients and their dogs can rely on the quality of service they will receive. Typical ways you can gain the necessary experience and knowledge are: 

Take a professional dog grooming course: These courses teach the basics of grooming, such as brushing, bathing, and trimming techniques. They also cover basic dog anatomy, health and safety procedures, as well as the business end of being a dog groomer. 

Get hands-on experience through an apprenticeship: This is a great way to learn the ropes and get to know the different tools and techniques associated with grooming. 

Get certified: Although not required, certification shows potential clients that you have a professional level of expertise. For those interested in receiving professional certifications, the National Dog Groomers Association of America (NDGAA) and the American Kennel Club (AKC) are two excellent organizations that provide comprehensive certification programs.

Pet grooming business in Texas does not require a license from the state. However, groomers in Plano are expected to understand and follow all Texas laws, ordinances, and guidelines relating to animal care. This includes following any applicable grooming standards set by the Plano Animal Services division, and any local animal control centers. 

Overall, when looking to become a dog groomer in Plano, TX, the best way to start is to sign up for a professional course or certification program. Hound Therapy Dog Grooming Academy in Plano offers complete dog grooming certification classes and hands-on apprenticeships. 

grooming job prospect in arms

Job Prospects and Typical Working Hours

For those in the dog grooming profession, there is an array of opportunities to choose from when selecting their ideal workplace. You can either set up a business of your own or work in an existing independent salon or a pet chain. Another option is to have a mobile converted van and travel to your customer’s locations. And if you are lucky to have a garden shed, you can transform it into a luxury dog spa, right at your home. 

As a solo dog groomer in Plano, TX, you get to determine your daily work hours and the number of dogs to attend to each day. With this opportunity, you can select the clients of your choice, decide how much time to spend with each one, and charge whatever rate suits you best. This means you have the freedom to make your own decisions and a great sense of accomplishment, as your success will depend on you and how hard you work. 

woman and dog bonding through training for pet grooming certification

When you work with an existing business, you get the chance to interact with other groomers and gain valuable tips and tricks. Working for a chain or an independent salon also ensures stability in terms of salary although you will most likely be limited to 9-5 working hours. Part-time and full-time hours are available depending on the business you work with.

While both career paths come with their own benefits and drawbacks, the most important thing is to ensure you choose a path that allows you to provide exemplary service, while enjoying the art of grooming. You will have to think over factors such as your desired workload, the amount of money you want to make, and finally how much work satisfaction you look forward to. 

Salary and Potential Pay 

As of Mar 8, 2023, the average salary for a dog groomer (according to ZipRecruiter) in Plano is $38,374 a year. This translates to approximately $18.45 an hour, or the equivalent of $3,197 a month or $737 a week. 

The amount of money you can make as a dog groomer depends on the type of services that you provide, the number of clients your service, and the fees you charge. Additionally, many businesses also offer bonuses or benefits such as health insurance and paid holidays that could further increase your earnings. 

Dog groomers typically earn tips from their customers, which can vary depending on the quality of service they provide. Tips usually range from 10 to 20% of the service cost. Therefore, a groomer could easily earn an extra $20 -$30 a day on top of their base pay. 

Options for Dog Grooming Training 

Those wishing to become dog groomers can obtain the necessary skills by undergoing a range of training courses. These include online and video courses, grooming school academies, or traditional hands-on programs.

Online/Video Courses:

These are convenient and cost-effective options for obtaining the foundational skills required to become a groomer. Many of these courses also offer certificates that prove your knowledge and enhance your employability in the field. This option is the ideal selection for professionals who are already proficient in the field and want to brush up on their skills. 

School Academy

For those who want to become professionals and gain a deeper understanding of the art, enrolling in a grooming school academy is the right choice. School programs cover topics such as dog behavior, anatomy, grooming techniques, and even business management. They provide education and mentorship in the field and also offer internships to practice grooming.

Hands-On/On-The-Job Training

Many pet salons, veterinary clinics, and pet stores offer on-the-job training programs for those wishing to become groomers. These provide valuable real-world practice and knowledge about the daily operations of a grooming business, as well as the technical skills required to groom animals. Working in a grooming environment will also allow students to learn from experienced professionals, which can help to improve their own skills and gain knowledge of how different breeds should be groomed.

Grooming job resources

Helpful Resources to Consider

National Dog Groomers Association of America (NDGAA): 

The NDGAA is a non-profit organization that promotes the professionalization of dog grooming. It provides certification and education programs, as well as networking opportunities for dog groomers. The organization endeavors to elevate the image of the grooming industry and provide the essential knowledge, skills, and business practices needed by groomers.

To become a member and obtain certification from the NDGAA, applicants must pass an exam after completing their training program. NDGAA charges an additional fee of $95 for registration

American Kennel Club (AKC): 

The AKC provides extensive information on dog breeds and how to groom them. It also provides a list of approved grooming schools and offers certification programs for dog groomers. The AKC also has an annual Groom Expo, which provides educational sessions and seminars on the latest grooming trends. 

International Professional Groomers, Inc. (IPG): 

IPG is a professional grooming education and certification organization that offers courses for groomers of all levels, from beginner to advanced. IPG puts an emphasis on safety, quality of service, and customer satisfaction. They provide both written/online courses and hands-on/in-person training opportunities, including intensive courses and certification programs.