Your Easy Guide to Opening a Dog-grooming Business

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No offense to the other animals, but dogs are the most popular in the United States today. According to Statista, from 2019 to 2020, over 60 million Americans had kept a dog for a pet.

And these humans often treat their pets as a family. This explains why dog grooming businesses are on the rise across the country. But how do you get started with this lucrative idea?

  1. Location

As most people say, “Location, location, location.” You can have the best service in the world, but if your customers find it hard to find you or even park their car, they are more likely to get their service someplace more convenient.

But how do you find the best location for your dog grooming salon?

  • Short Distance Away from Customers: On average, customers are willing to travel no more than 20 minutes for their needs. Therefore, an ideal location for your business shouldn’t take more than one hour’s drive from where most of your customers live or work.
  • High-traffic Area: It should be with many dogs and their owners, especially if you offer regular grooming services. This way, customers can do other things like shopping while waiting.
  • Enough Space: You are not running a boutique here. You need ample space for people to move around, a place for the kennels, tables, bathing areas, and even a reception or lounge area for your guests and their puppies.
  1. Equipment and Supplies Needed

Your dog grooming business will need to have several pieces of equipment and supplies before you can provide the services that your customers need. You will particularly need enough space for these items, as well as proper drainage and ventilation.

These include:

  • Kennels – two to three kennels per groomer depending on the breed of dogs being handled
  • Shampoo – a minimum of three different types for all dogs: shredder, non-shredder, and regular pet shampoo
  • Blades – at least one variety per dog breed
  • Dog-grooming shears – a minimum of three types: thinning, grooming, straight, curved, stainless steel, etc.
  • Nail clippers and grinders
  • styptic powder or pencil
  • Towels and cotton swabs
  • Brushes: slicker brush, curry comb/brush, metal Greyhound comb/brush, pin brush (for long coats)
  • Toothbrush
  • Cloths
  1. Cost of Business

The startup costs vary depending on your location, size of space, equipment, and supplies you will need, etc.

For example, in the United States, the average price for commercial rent is between $8 and $23 per square foot. The financial requirements also vary depending on how much working capital you can afford or how much bank financing you can get.

You will need to invest in your equipment and supplies, including grooming tables and chairs (which cost $78 to $500 each), kennels that would set you back by $700 to $2,800 per unit, and the usual grooming tools.

  1. Services Offered

What services do you plan to offer your customers? Be sure to specialize in one or two dog breed types rather than trying to handle all breeds. This will make it easier for you to master the skills necessary for grooming these breeds without causing too much frustration.

You might be able to start with the following services:

  • Nail clipping and filing
  • Ear cleaning
  • Teeth brushing
  • Hair trimming/shaping for certain breeds like shih tzus or poodles
  1. Licenses and Regulations

Before opening your doors to customers, ensure that you have all the proper permits and licenses in place. You’ll need a business license for your location, along with local health department certification if required by your city or county.

But you also need to work with your state’s department of agriculture to obtain the proper licenses for grooming pets. Take a look at this information from Connecticut, for instance. Either way, open your doors only when you are sure that all the requirements have been met.

  1. Staff

Your dog grooming business will need a staff of at least three to four people, depending on the number of customers your shop gets per day. In hiring employees for this type of business, look for these qualities:

  • Compassion for pets
  • Knowledge of pet behavior, especially dogs
  • Quick-paced personality
  • Customer service skills

Look for someone who can work in a team, communicate well with others, follow directions, and multitask. You may also want to hire someone who can help with bookkeeping, inventory control, or other administrative work.

Starting a dog grooming business can prove to be both fun and profitable. You can work with pets, provide people with an important service, and make money in the process. But to succeed, you need to plan well. This simple guide will help you get started.


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