A pet groomer is a person who provides grooming to domestic pets such as cats and dogs. Groomers may do a number of tasks required to take care of pets, some of which require more skill and technical know-how than others. Groomers can work in pet stores, vets offices, mobile grooming facilities, or start their own businesses.
Many pet groomers receive certification from a professional grooming school. Others work as assistants to experienced pet groomers to learn the business from the ground up. Those with professional qualifications may find it easier to get their first job.
A pet groomer may do a number of different tasks for dogs or cats. Common tasks include shaving dogs, cutting dogs' coats into appropriate styles, brushing dogs, brushing cats, or cutting animals' nails. Some groomers also do less pleasant tasks, such as emptying dogs' anal glands when the dogs are brought in for grooming.
Some dogs and cats are not receptive to grooming. Cats may scratch, and dogs may also exhibit fear or defensive behavior. An experienced pet groomer must become good at both restraining dogs or cats, and at having a comforting manner to put the animals at ease.
Dogs or cats are usually placed on a grooming table so the pet groomer can do his work. This table contains restraints to help keep the animal in place to protect both the pet and the groomer. The groomer must know how to get the animal on the table and into the restraints.
Once the pet is secured properly, the pet groomer must perform the service(s) requested by the owner. This can be a relatively simple and straightforward procedure, such as trimming nails. Even when trimming nails, however, a groomer must be careful not to cut the "quick" or the sensitive part of the dogs nails that have nerve endings, which can bleed.
Some groomers perform specialty services for clients. These services can include dying a dog a certain color, or even putting nail polish on a dog's nails. Professional groomers also shape dogs into appropriate cuts designed for their breed.
Groomers are necessary for those who show dogs. Certain breeds, such as a poodle, must be trimmed and shaped in a specific way, and a groomer must be familiar with breed standards and American Kennel Club (AKC) rules. Even groomers who work with regular house pets that are not show dogs must be familiar with how to safely shape a dog's fur so the dog's skin remains protected.