How To Become A Dog Groomer In Ontario? (2024)

As a Dog or Pet Groomer, you are providing an essential service to many busy pet owners, and clients without enough information to care for the newest addition to their families.

To become a Dog Groomer in Ontario, there is no mandatory level of education required, neither do you need a fancy licence or certificate – just come as you are, with enough practice, and knowledge about dogs in general. If you do not have the requisite knowledge or experience, you can opt for some voluntary in-person or self-paced online courses.

You need to love dogs, enjoy customer service roles, and read extensively on pet health conditions. Feedback from the individual you’re communicating with is essential in every human relationship, but here, you will be applying your skills (patience inclusive), without hopes of getting direct feedback.

How To Become A Dog Groomer In Ontario

To become a Dog Groomer, you should have a high school diploma or an equivalent certification, at least.

Even though a University degree is not necessary, you can choose to take university courses based on the basics of animal science, biology, CPR, anatomy, canine anatomy, chemistry, business, and other related courses. Knowledge of these courses will amp up the demand for your skills in the grooming business. You should have basic grooming skills such as fur trimming, fun bath times, applying for topical medicine, analyzing the prevalent skin conditions, and adaptability to different surroundings.

You can apply for and take courses through the National Groomer Association of Canada (NGAC). These courses can be in-person, remote, or hybrid (a combination of in-person, and remote). These courses will teach you how to style coats for dogs, the differences between breeds, fur trimming, emotional intelligence for dogs, appropriate dog accessories, how to use dog grooming tools, dog training and behaviour, and how to start a dog grooming business or apply for a Dog Groomer role.

Gain a lot of helpful experience. You can apply for an apprenticeship programme (through the grooming school you attend, or as an individual practitioner), that involves working with dogs and learning the skills needed to become a groomer.

You can start as a dog bather, attend classes and training on how to use grooming tools, and incorporate various grooming techniques to groom different breeds of dogs. Then, you can slowly make your way up the ladder, and work as an in-salon grooming assistant.

If you’re starting on your own, and without the help of courses, you can get practical experience by approaching an expert dog groomer that is easily accessible to you.

Get certified as a Dog Groomer in Ontario

Getting certification will open up more job opportunities for you, give you an edge boost over your competition, make you more attractive to potential clients, and will look good in your portfolio.

To qualify for a certificate from The National Groomer Association of Canada, you must pass a written test and a practical exam. Certification will be awarded according to your final examination scores; the higher your scores, the higher your level of certification. The levels available include the Canadian Canine Bather Technician, Canadian Canine Intermediate Stylist Technician, Canadian Canine Stylist, and The Canadian Canine Master Stylist. The certification with an individual specialization in sporting, or non-sporting breeds.

What Skills Do I Need To Be A Dog Groomer in Ontario?

You will be working directly with veterinarians, animal breeders, animal health technologists, and technicians. You will need:

  1. The ability to build relationships with pets. You need a lot of energy to create bonds with the dogs to make sure they feel safe and comfortable.
  2. You need a human level of communication (appointment booking, conflict, and complaint resolution), and an animal level of communication (body language, verbal, and eye commands).
  3. You will need strong organisational skills, to keep detailed records of clients’ requests and dogs’ needs. You must work quickly and efficiently to finish grooming sessions on the schedule.
  4. You will need to carefully monitor dogs’ behaviour, check thoroughly for injuries or health problems, and pay rapt attention to clients’ instructions on how to care for their dogs.

How Long Does It Take To Become A Dog Groomer In Ontario?

The answer to this depends on your chosen route into the profession. You can develop your knowledge and gain the essential skills at your own pace, or complete an apprenticeship programme between 12 and 18 months.


How Much Can I Earn As A Dog Groomer In Ontario?

Being a Dog Groomer is not as easy as it sounds, or looks. So, after overcoming a lot of hurdles, and providing quality services, It’s time to look forward to your paycheck.

In Ontario, the average annual pay for a Dog Groomer is $33,817 per year; approximately $16.26 per hour, $650 per week, or $2,818 a month.

Typically, you can earn as low as $15,962, or as high as $58,527 per annum (after taxes). The varying pay scale suggests that there will be increased pay based on skill level, location, years of experience, and many opportunities for career advancement and growth.

Due to the covid regulations, more work opportunities have opened up for Dog Groomers in Ontario. Now, you can work as a Head Of Dog Groomer, Pet Life Worker, Work From Home Dog Groomer, and Work From Home Pet Supply Plus.

As a Head Of Dog Groomer, you can earn up to $59,478 per year or $28.60 per hour.

Working as a Pet Life Worker will earn you $56,037 per annum, or approximately $26.94 per hour.

If you choose to offer work from home services as a Dog Groomer, you can earn as high as $53,940 a year, or $25.93 per hour, while a Work From Home Pet Groomer will earn $51,874 per annum, or $24.94 an hour.

You can also earn about $51,545 a year, or $24.78 per hour, as a Work From Home Pet Supply Plus in Ontario.

All the services you will render will incorporate a basic groom, which includes a bath, fur or coat conditioning, and an assessment of the current skin condition of the dogs.

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