• Post Reply Bookmark Topic Watch Topic
  • New Topic
permaculture forums growies critters building homesteading energy monies kitchen purity ungarbage community wilderness fiber arts art permaculture artisans regional education experiences global resources the cider press projects digital market permies.com private forums all forums
this forum made possible by our volunteer staff, including ...
master stewards:
  • Nicole Alderman
  • r ranson
  • Anne Miller
  • paul wheaton
stewards:
  • Jocelyn Campbell
  • Mike Jay Haasl
  • Burra Maluca
garden masters:
  • James Freyr
  • Joylynn Hardesty
  • Steve Thorn
  • Greg Martin
gardeners:
  • Carla Burke
  • Dave Burton
  • Pearl Sutton

Dog grooming- frugality and potential rural income source

 
Posts: 79
Location: Ontario - zone 5b
48
forest garden foraging tiny house books bike bee
  • Likes 3
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
I have a poodle. She needs to be groomed every 1-2 months, and starting costs where I live are $90+/ groom for a medium to large dog. So let's assume $100. Assuming I groom her every 2 months, and have her for, hopefully more than, 10 years, that's $6000 + over the life of dog. Now imagine if I had 2 dogs, or wanted her face kept trimmed every 2 weeks, or a more fancy hair cut, or.... yikes!

But, I knew this, and still got a poodle. Why? I have a 20 yr old professional grade dog clipper set i was given by a relative, that was in use for 13 yrs or so for home grooming a poodles mix.  With extra blades, it would probably cost $250 CAD new. Still works great, long ago paid for itself. I bought about $150 of other misc grooming stuff, like a grooming arm, brushes, shampoo, nail clippers, and more attachments, and don't anticipate ever having to take her to a groomer. So far I have groomed her 3x, plus done her face another few times and am probably already ahead :).

I have been shocked to discover how easy dog grooming can be. I am on my third full groom and my dog looks better than some I have seen who go to groomers. I get a lot of compliments from people asking where I get her groomed.  It took about 5 hrs last time, including breaks to watch YouTube videos on how to do it , as I was trying a new style ( and figuring out how to diassemble and reassemble the clippers), and bathing, blow drying, and brushing. I actually enjoy doing it, and can give her fancy cuts i wouldnt pay for.  As always with dogs, patience and training is key. The nice thing is, you don't have to do it all in one day. If you want to do this, definitely get a professional grade clipper set. I tried someone else's home grade clipper... it was hard to work with, and nowhere near as durable.

This could probably pretty easily be an at home business- check local licensing, of course. I have a relative who pays $10-15 every few months to have her dogs nails trimmed. It takes me 10 min with a $15 set of clippers to do the same. I know other people who pay just to have their dogs brushed out during shedding season, or just for a bath.

In the small rural town I grew up in, groomers are in huge demand.  Booked solid for weeks in advance, though they usually only groom a few days a week. I would seriously suggest this as a possible income source if you are good with dogs and want a part time at home job. Some people would drive 2-3 hrs to get their dog into a groomer. In Canada, I priced out everything I could generously imagine wanting to start would be about $1500 plus a decent vacuum  cleaner, old towels, etc. You could get by starting with a lot less. You could be seriously pro with more (professional hydraulic table, professional tub, etc). Assuming $1500 startup costs,  grooming 5 dogs/wk at an average of $50/dog(some just bath/nails, some full groom)... payback period of 6 weeks for the equipment. Obviously, you would need some practice first, and to drum up a clientele.

I won't be doing it any time soon, as I live in an apartment and work too many hours already, but... I didn't see this idea on here, so hope this helps someone.
 
gardener
Posts: 2225
Location: latitude 47 N.W. montana zone 6A
278
cat pig rocket stoves
  • Likes 1
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Hi Catie;  Excellent business idea!   My wife and I have raised Persian cats for over 20 years. We do all our own grooming.    

Cats are quite a bit harder than dogs so I wouldn't recommend them to anyone, but dogs... yes, most are well behaved and will sit or stand easily for a cut.

Working for the public can be trying at times, always have a disclaimer about the quality of the cut versus the behavior of the animal.

Simply learning to trim nails and give baths is a big step in the rite direction.
 
pollinator
Posts: 161
Location: Charlotte, Tennessee
40
goat forest garden chicken
  • Likes 2
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
I have a standard poodle. Just took her for grooming yesterday, and it was $65 plus tip. But I've definitely spent as much as $100 plus tip. I don't think I would want to groom for a living, but I keep telling myself that I need to buy the equipment and do it myself. Thanks for the push, Catie. I did groom our last standard, but that was in the 90s, when my back was younger. :-)
 
Catie George
Posts: 79
Location: Ontario - zone 5b
48
forest garden foraging tiny house books bike bee
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Yikes, Thomas, cat grooming! My mother has a cat that purrs and comes running when it hears clippers. She loves having her rear end clipped. Any other cat... I am not that brave.

Erica, i have no idea what stuff you may still have, but the breeder suggested I get clip on metal combs for my clippers. Made it fast to get a finish other than 'scalped dog', and to blend ( long on legs, short on body, etc).  It was also cheaper than buying a bunch of different blades, and a little harder to accidentally cut the dog. A clamp on grooming arm and noose is also really helpful, I didn't have it the first time I tried, and it was much easier/faster with it, because it limits how far away she can turn from the clippers. I think the modern clippers are a lot lighter than my 20 yr old set, and probably than those in the 90s too. For the first 2 grooms I did face and feet one day, rest of dog a few days or a week later which made it easier on me and the wiggly puppy.
 
Erica Colmenares
pollinator
Posts: 161
Location: Charlotte, Tennessee
40
goat forest garden chicken
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator

Catie George wrote:

Erica, i have no idea what stuff you may still have, but the breeder suggested I get clip on metal combs for my clippers. Made it fast to get a finish other than 'scalped dog', and to blend ( long on legs, short on body, etc).  It was also cheaper than buying a bunch of different blades, and a little harder to accidentally cut the dog. A clamp on grooming arm and noose is also really helpful, I didn't have it the first time I tried, and it was much easier/faster with it, because it limits how far away she can turn from the clippers. I think the modern clippers are a lot lighter than my 20 yr old set, and probably than those in the 90s too. For the first 2 grooms I did face and feet one day, rest of dog a few days or a week later which made it easier on me and the wiggly puppy.



Thanks for this info, Catie. I don't have anything left from before, as I didn't know I'd get another poodle. This one was a rescue, from a family member who started collecting dogs and then realized, oh, they take time and money!
 
gardener
Posts: 2748
Location: Central Oklahoma (zone 7a)
589
forest garden trees woodworking
  • Likes 1
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
We have country dogs -- we trim their nails, brush them as needed, bathe them if they roll in horse poop or road kill, cut burrs out of their fur, and otherwise leave grooming to them and to the pack mama, an old 90lb black lab with a ferocious nibble-bite and a heavy front paw to hold down struggling victims who won't sit still for her ministrations.  It's an hour's drive to a groomer and we just don't have that kind of time or cash.  (Obviously we also don't have grooming-intensive breeds.)

That said, lots of people do spend that time/money.  So much so that there are at least two different people "locally" (I don't know where they base, but it can't be far from here) who have brightly painted school-bus type mobile dog-grooming parlors.  They simply show up on the regular in a Walmart parking lot near me, or in some other visible public place, open the door, put out an awning, and post their availability on all the local facebook groups, and (presumably) on their own facebook pages.  They seem busy, and they aren't cheap either.  I don't know how they have their vans equipped, but they are externally well-painted and in good repair; these are not hillbilly operations.
 
Nothing? Or something? Like this tiny ad:
skiddable shower
https://permies.com/t/39038/permaculture-projects/skiddable-shower
  • Post Reply Bookmark Topic Watch Topic
  • New Topic
Boost this thread!