How do I Become a Mobile Pet Groomer? (with pictures)

Ron Marr
Ron Marr
A groomed mastiff.
A groomed mastiff.

Mobile pet grooming is an increasingly popular service in an increasingly busy society. While many pet owners wish to provide their animals with the same care afforded to other family members, arranging the pick-up and drop-off of a cat or dog at a grooming salon can become a logistical nightmare. A mobile pet groomer solves this problem by coming to a pet owner’s residence, providing baths, cuts, styles, toenail-trimming, and a variety of other services in a specially customized van or truck.

Pet groomers and stylists should be prepared to treat animals that have ticks and other problems.
Pet groomers and stylists should be prepared to treat animals that have ticks and other problems.

Before you can become a mobile pet groomer, you must first be adept at the basics of animal grooming. This requires time, experience, and more than a little cash. You will need basic equipment, such as shears, brushes, combs, clippers, a tub, animal-sized dryers, and a grooming table. Attending some sort of grooming school is a great way to learn the basics, but a better approach is to work under an experienced groomer at a quality facility.

Brushing is typically part of a mobile pet groomer's work.
Brushing is typically part of a mobile pet groomer's work.

Hands-on experience is the best way to learn to groom animals, and after you’ve learned the basics, you’ll likely find that friends and relatives will let you practice on their pets. When you are ready to go out on your own, set the groundwork by making yourself known to veterinarians, boarding kennels, pet stores, and every organization you can find that deals in dogs or cats. Further, study and learn about the hairstyles and temperaments of different breeds. An English sheepdog or mastiff will require a far different approach and cut than a beagle or poodle.

Electronic clippers may be used to trim a dog's fur.
Electronic clippers may be used to trim a dog's fur.

With this knowledge, you are now ready to become a mobile pet groomer. The good news is that your services will be in high demand. The bad news is that the business requires a substantial investment. To become a mobile pet groomer you will need a customized vehicle – either a truck or van – that is loaded with equipment.

Included should be a tub that will handle very large breeds, equipped with a movable shelf that you can lower or raise depending on the size of the dog. Your vehicle will need both fresh and gray water tanks, a powerful vent that will not choke on hair, dirt, and dander, and some sort of climate control system to account for both hot and cold weather. The vehicle should possess a powerful generator and auxiliary batteries to power your equipment. To become a mobile pet groomer, you should have equipment that will allow the pet owner to trust your professionalism. You’ll need good lighting, as well as plenty of headroom and storage space.

A pet groomer may clip a dog's nails.
A pet groomer may clip a dog's nails.

The price of a new mobile grooming van prohibits many people from entering into the profession. A customized van, with the bare necessities, will run a minimum – new – of $50,000 to $80,000 US Dollars (USD). If you shop around, you might be able to find a used van in the $30,000 USD range. In other words, to become a mobile pet groomer, you must view your venture as a long-term investment. You should also plan to spend plenty of time on the road.

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Discussion Comments

anon360194

About 90 percent of grooming rigs, whether a trailer or van/truck are self contained for tools, supplies, equipment, HVAC, plumbing and electrical. Some businesses use 100 percent generator power, 100 percent battery power, combo generator and battery power, or combo generator and shoreline (extension cord to customer home). It all depends on how the rig is configured, as well as the preference of the groomer.

Some groomers shoreline for both water and electrical but this is rare. As a pet owner, if you have any concerns about power or water usage ask the groomer very specific questions either during their free consult, or over the phone before booking an initial appointment.

anon291720

Get yourself a generator. It is much easier to hook up than plugging in and blowing the owner's circuit breakers.

anon280427

No they do not. Most grooming vans are equipped with their own electricity, water and dirty water setups.

anon127689

do the mobile groomers use your electricity for their clippers and hair dryers when they come to your house?

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    • A groomed mastiff.
      A groomed mastiff.
    • Pet groomers and stylists should be prepared to treat animals that have ticks and other problems.
      Pet groomers and stylists should be prepared to treat animals that have ticks and other problems.
    • Brushing is typically part of a mobile pet groomer's work.
      Brushing is typically part of a mobile pet groomer's work.
    • Electronic clippers may be used to trim a dog's fur.
      Electronic clippers may be used to trim a dog's fur.
    • A pet groomer may clip a dog's nails.
      A pet groomer may clip a dog's nails.
    • Practice grooming friends' and relatives' pets can help one become a mobile pet groomer.
      Practice grooming friends' and relatives' pets can help one become a mobile pet groomer.
    • Mobile pet groomers come to the homes of customers to take care of pets.
      Mobile pet groomers come to the homes of customers to take care of pets.
    • Lint rollers can be used to remove loose hair from a shedding pet.
      Lint rollers can be used to remove loose hair from a shedding pet.