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With demand hitting nearly $80 billion in 2018 and pet grooming representing over $6.4 billion of that, now is a great time to become a dog groomer. But do you choose a corporate pet store, or a small business? Are there any benefits or advantages to working with an independent groomeran independent groomer?

If you’re considering a career as a dog groomer, here are some important reasons why signing on with an independent grooming business beats working at a pet store chain.

More Flexibility

Most independent groomers offer their employees more freedom than a corporate pet store. More than just the relaxed, familial nature of a small business, these establishments are flexible in ways that can be quite attractive for employees.

For example, an independent groomer will typically have more leeway in the hours that groomers can work, or even the days of the week they work. Additionally, they tend to be free from the stodgy corporate structure and policies that can be a headache for most groomers.

If you want more than traditional hours and corporate policies, try working with a small grooming business.

Better Client Interaction

It’s no secret that groomers love working with animals, but many groomers also forge relationships and friendships with the owners of these pets. Most dog and cat owners are so appreciative of the work that groomers do that they become just like family.

Just like a trusted hair stylist, many groomers become friends with their clients. However, this type of interaction is often lost at a large pet store chain, since these corporations are focused more on efficiency and maximizing the utilization of resources than with the bonds between groomers and owners. 

Increased Pay

Big pet store chains aren’t necessarily looking for the best groomers. They just need a name on a schedule and a body on the floor. At these types of places, groomers are seen as entry-level employees, and are paid as such.

The same thinking doesn’t apply at an independent groomer. Small businesses often live and die by their reputation for service and quality, so they only want the best and the brightest to represent them - and they’re willing to pay for it. Additionally, independent groomers may offer incentives - like tips and commission - that major chains do not.

Running With a Pack

Since small businesses want to hire the best employees, chances are that working at one of these businesses mean that your “work family” will be of a different breed than your compatriots at a corporate pet store. What’s more, most small businesses look to expand and grow their business, meaning there will be increased opportunity for you if you prove yourself. 

If you want to be more than just a rank-and-file employee, and a chance for personal advancement as well as being part of an entrepreneurial team, then an independent groomer is for you.

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Dogfather Mobile Pet Grooming


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8:00 am-5:00 pm


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**Later hours, Sunday appointments, Emergency calls all available for additional charges and based on availability.
Photo of the Remarkables mountain range in Queenstown, New Zealand.

Photo of the Remarkables mountain range in Queenstown, New Zealand.