Do I Need a Certificate to Be a Dog Groomer? (Solved & Explained!)

In general, there is no specific certificate or license necessary to become a professional dog groomer. However, although no certifications are required, the knowledge, skills, and professional credentials that you will gain during a grooming certification course can help you build your business and customer trust. Some areas may also require a dog grooming facility to acquire a business license.

The rest of the article will detail what a dog grooming career is like, how you can break into this career, what certifications you may get and how they may help you, and what skills are necessary to be successful.

What does a dog groomer do?

Dog groomers provide a wide variety of cosmetic services for dogs. The most common tasks include bathing, brushing, trimming, and styling a dog’s coat, brushing his teeth, trimming his nails, cleaning his ears, and providing excellent customer service to both pups and their owners.

How much do dog groomers make?

As a freelance dog groomer, your prices can be whatever you decide to set them to.

In the USA, according to Comparably, the salaries of dog groomers range from $10,239 to $243,610, with a median salary of $43,651. In the UK, according to GroomArts Academy, the average salary for a dog groomer is around £22,000.

What is a freelance dog groomer?

A freelance worker is an individual who earns money on a per job basis. Freelancers are not employees of any one specific business, and they are therefore free to accept clients from anywhere at any time.

As a freelancer, you individually contract your work out to clients of your choosing, rather than working for a specific dog grooming company.

Do I need a business license as a freelancer?

Although you do not need a dog grooming license, you may need a business license to operate as a freelancer. The standards for this vary by country, state, and even city, so you should be sure to look into the requirements for your specific area when you are preparing for business ownership.

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How do I become a dog groomer?

There are several ways to enter a dog grooming career. Since you do not need a grooming license, you are able to start up your business and begin advertising whenever you like.

However, earning a professional dog grooming certification may be beneficial to you and can help your business grow.

Why should I get a dog grooming certificate?

Although a dog grooming certificate is not required to become a dog groomer, passing a certification exam will ensure that your skills are up to par with the other groomers in your area.

Not only will you confirm that you know how to groom dogs to a professional standard, but the certification you will earn is an excellent way to set your services apart from the other freelance groomers you will be competing with.

How can I prepare for a dog grooming certification exam?

Preparing for a certification exam is no easy task. The best thing you can do is gain experience.

You can do this by taking a dog grooming course, such as the courses you can find at You can also gain experience by acting as an apprentice or assistant for a more experienced dog groomer, or by practicing on your own pup or your friends’.

Once you are ready to take your exam, seek out an organization such as the National Dog Groomers Association of America (NDGAA) or the Canadian Professional Pet Stylists (CPPS) which offer standardized exams.

Is a dog grooming certificate worth it?

Again, a dog grooming certificate is not necessary to become a groomer. You will learn just as much or more on the job as you will in a course.

The difference is how long it will take you to learn. If you want to get your business started quickly and begin with a certification that will allow your clients to trust you right away, then getting a certificate is the way to go.

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If you are fine with working your way up the ladder more slowly as an apprentice, then there may be no need to get a certificate.

Where can I work as a freelance dog groomer?

As a freelancer, you can work out of your home, a rented salon, or even your own dog grooming van. There are many different options!

Some freelance dog groomers prefer to do house calls, traveling to each client’s house to provide their services. Others will set up a salon inside your own home or van.

What is a dog grooming van?

Mobile pet grooming is growing increasingly popular. It is when a van is entirely equipped with all the same amenities as a salon, including bathing station, dryer, and grooming table.

These vehicles even come equipped with hot water heaters to ensure that your dog’s bath water is the perfect temperature. They are convenient because you can travel directly to your client’s door.

How can I get a dog grooming van?

There are several different ways to get your hands on a dog grooming van. If you are handy with vehicles, it is possible to customize a van yourself to include all the necessary amenities for your dog grooming business.

You can also hire someone to do this customization for you, or you can purchase a van already fully equipped from a company like Wag’n’Tails, which sells vehicles specifically for mobile pet care professionals.

What do I need to know as a dog groomer?

Besides learning how to bathe dogs and trim their hair, there is lots of specialized information that can only help you as a dog groomer. For example, Arielle Pardes points out that one of the most important things to know for proper grooming is what a dog was bred to do.

Poodles were bred to be sporting and hunting dogs, and the pom-poms on their hips are designed to keep their joints warm in cold water. You would not want to shave off a sporting poodle’s hip fur!

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Should I learn animal first aid and CPR?

Animal first aid and CPR are crucial skills for you to have as a groomer. Although most of your clients will probably be healthy, happy pups with caring owners, there is always the chance that a dog will come to you in distress or with health issues.

You can become certified for animal CPR via the American Red Cross’s 35-minute online course. This course will teach you how to check for vital signs and provide first aid to both dogs and cats.