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The sad-eyed matted mess of a dog was hard to recognize as a cocker spaniel. His blonde fur looked like a thick filthy carpet. Large clumps of tangled hair hung from his ears and covered his eyes. Balls of dirty fur encased his feet, making it difficult for him to walk. He desperately needed my help. I am a professional pet groomer. I help dogs and cats look and feel great. Helping animals is a very rewarding experience. Not only do I help them look their best, I bond with them and soothe their fears by gaining their trust. There's nothing like seeing a dejected matted dog turn into a wellgroomed, prancing bundle of joy. If you love animals, especially dogs and cats, choosing a career in pet grooming may be just right for you. Pet grooming has a lot of positive aspects to it: 1. It's an interesting and satisfying job. In every city in every state there is a need for professional pet groomers. Many dog owners don't have the time to spend combing out their long-haired dogs. Many long-haired dogs appreciate a short clip in the summer, and their owners appreciate the ease in brushing the shorter hair. Bathing a large dog can be difficult for an owner to accomplish at home. Being able to take that large dog to a groomer who has all the necessary equipment is an appealing option. 2. You'll meet and learn to recognize many different breeds of dogs and the styles of haircuts unique to each of these breeds. For instance, the poodle has several different ways to wear its hair. There is the puppy clip, the Royal Dutch clip and the summer clip, to name a few. This variety of clips adds spice to grooming because it enables you to show your artistic side. 3. You'll learn to understand the body language of pets, too. You may need to talk calmly to help a nervous dog relax, or move slowly to reassure a fearful dog. Some dogs don't like their feet handled - this is another time taking things slow works well. Once you understand the body language of dogs and cats, you'll feel almost like you're reading their minds. Soon you'll develop a good working relationship with the animals you groom and enjoy each even more. 4. In time you could look forward to opening your own grooming business, but initially you'll want to work for someone in a grooming shop to gain experience. Some day you may even want to buy a grooming van and become a mobile pet groomer, going to individual homes to groom pets. In considering any new career, you will also need to think about the cons:

1. There will be times when you may get bit by a dog or cat, usually because it is afraid or doesn't like its feet handled or something of that nature. I have never been seriously bitten in the 20 plus years I have been grooming. I have found having patience and reading body language will significantly lessen the chance of that happening. 2. Being a pet groomer takes patience. You will be working with animals that don't know you at first, may have never been groomed before, and don't understand what's going on. Even when you are frustrated and tired, you need to keep in mind that the dog or cat you are working with is someone's loved pet. 3. Grooming dogs and cats can be a dirty job, as in dealing with the cocker spaniel that was badly matted, filthy and flea-infested. You may encounter skin problems such as mange or ringworm or even worse, but these situations are rare. 4. Over time, grooming pets may cause problems in joints, such as carpal tunnel syndrome from using grooming scissors a lot or neck and back problems from all the bending and twisting. Using correct posture and proper procedures when working on and lifting dogs may help prevent this. If you think pet grooming is the career you'd like to pursue, here are some ways to get started: 1. Start out as a bather for a grooming shop and get on-the-job training from a professional groomer willing to train you. This may take longer than going to a school, but it is a possibility for those who may not be able to afford actual schooling. 2. Attend a pet grooming school. There may be one in your area you can attend while living at home. Or you can research schools online. Schooling usually only takes a few months. Most of these grooming schools offer financial assistance and will help you find a job upon graduating. Some even provide student housing with pets allowed. And did you know there is such a thing as creative grooming? Some schools, such as The International Academy of Pet Design, make grooming even more fun by teaching how to be artistic with clipping designs in hair coats. 3. Take a home study course. You can find them online with some research. This type of course can even be started while you're still in high school. Being a pet groomer can be fun, exciting and very rewarding. It can be an alternative to spending years in college. Once you release that cocker spaniel from underneath all of that matted hair, get licks of gratitude, and watch him run around in happy freedom, you'll know you have made a positive difference in his life. And in your own.

Karleen Lindsey has been a professional pet groomer for many years. To learn more about pet grooming and other jobs working with animals, visit Find Jobs With Animals

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==== ==== Learn How To become a Certified Pet Groomer just click here: ==== ====

Pet Grooming Can Be A Fun And Profitable Career  

If you love pets and are looking for a fun career then this may be for you: