How to Become a Dog Groomer in California

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How to Become a Dog Groomer in California

Few occupations allow you to spend as much time with animals as you’d like.

One of them is that of a dog groomer.

After reading this guide, you’ll know what you have to do to become a pet groomer in California.


Being an animal lover is already an indicator for you to consider a dog groomer career.

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You should also like to take care of animals or hair styling in general.

These are some further traits that qualify you for this position:

  • Good communication skills
  • Stamina, to be able to control animals and to stand for extended periods
  • Being calm
  • Having compassion
  • Being detail-oriented

Just like hair stylists, pet groomers also need to perfect their skills.

As a dog groomer, you should be willing to improve and stay updated with the latest trends, methods, and technologies implemented in the field.

You can do all of this by participating in various workshops, reading magazines, and checking out the work of other groomers.

Job Description and Duties

Some dog groomers specialize in taking care of certain dog breeds, though the majority of groomers will work with all dogs and even with cats.

These professionals play an important role in the animals’ health, as they don’t only wash and style their coats.

The animal’s health is maintained by making sure that:

  • No water or styling products get in the animal’s ears, eyes or mouth while bathing or styling
  • The knotted hair is carefully removed
  • The animal doesn’t get injured while being sheared
  • Appropriate techniques for the type of animal are being used
  • The nails are cut without injuring the animal

Accidents can happen during a grooming session, and the person in charge should know what they must do to stop bleeding and prevent infections.

As a pet groomer, you’ll also be responsible for cleaning the tools and the area you used, making sure the tools are always sharp and in a good functioning state.

Education and Licensing

California doesn’t require professional pet groomers to get special education.

Most employers in this state will however look for someone who obtained a high school diploma or GED.

It is best for dog groomers to get trained as they’ll learn more about:

  • Dog grooming
  • Cat grooming
  • Basic knowledge about cats and dogs
  • Pre-grooming procedures
  • Dog personality based on their breed
  • The code of conduct for these professionals

Most of the curriculum focuses on dogs.

During the programs, you’re expected to complete your written assignments and pass your skill assessments.

There are some programs offered online and some that last as little as two months.

Those enrolling in some of the programs available may even receive nail clippers and a pair of shearing scissors.

Salary Information

You should probably start searching for a job with one of these companies while still training:

  • A humane society,
  • Vet clinics,
  • Pet stores
  • Dog kennels

Currently in California dog groomers earn on average $38,758 per year.

You can earn more than the state average income in cities like San Jose, San Francisco, and Oakland.

Annual Salary Range:
Annual Salary by Location:
Location Avg. Annual Salary
Los Angeles $39,060
San Diego $37,306
San Jose $43,546
San Francisco $43,477
Fresno $34,767
Sacramento $37,505
Long Beach $38,688
Oakland $41,117
Bakersfield $37,266
Anaheim $38,775

Additional Information

You’ll encounter many people who are grooming dogs as a part-time, second job.

This occupation can also turn into a career or a stand-alone business.

USA Dog Grooming by State

One Comment
  1. Avatar for Thomas Thomas

    Thanks for this information. I’m thinking about going into the industry and it has given me some ideas about some places where I can volunteer to get started learning even. Before my formal training.

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