According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, job openings in the pet grooming industry are increasing every year, with 65,000 job openings projected each year over the next decade.
The American Pet Products Association also reported that Americans spent around $104 billion on pets in 2020.
With pet ownership increasing, especially in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, the pet care industry is experiencing impressive growth. It is reported that about 90 million American households own a pet, with dogs accounting for two-thirds of that number.
The pet industry has been consistently growing since the 1980s, no matter the state of the economy. It’s been dubbed recession-proof, and pet grooming is some of the fastest-growing segments in the industry.
Local Pet Salon Keeping Up In Demand
Dirty Dog Spa, a local pet salon in West Forest, North Carolina, is experiencing record numbers of clients.
Vanessa Davis, the owner of the dog spa, said the demand for appointments in November 2021 has skyrocketed. “All of these blue spaces are our clients. I feel very blessed”, pinpointing the bookings on their calendar.
“The holiday season quadruples the demand. You can definitely tell a lot of new pet parents in this area, and I’m sure all over,” she added.
Many new employees in the spa came from the food and beverage industry. One such employee is Haylie McCollough, who started in the grooming industry several weeks ago. She said that because of the pandemic, “the service industry has become very unreliable, so a lot of people are starting to transition out of it.”
She also preferred dog grooming to veterinarian study, saying, “I’ve always had a really strong love for dogs but didn’t think the veterinarian field thought too depressing, so I thought, why not dog grooming? That’s a little more positive.”
Dirty Dogs Spa also doubles as a school, and Davis said that her students rose to about a dozen compared to pre-pandemic years. She opened another salon in October 2021 and has doubled the size of her current spa.
Professional dog grooming services vary from groomer to groomer and can include shampooing, nail trimming, and fur maintenance. Some may extend their services, such as flea baths, fur de-matting, and anal gland expression.
They usually work in grooming salons, but veterinary clinics, pet stores, kennels, and doggie daycare facilities also offer these services. Mobile grooming trucks are also a quickly growing trend making it easier and more convenient for pet owners, as well as providing less stress for dogs.
According to a study, the median professional groomer’s salary annually is $30,000, with new groomers making half of that.
The industry is expected to grow at least 22% in the next decade, which is much faster than other occupations.
And, it is much more than just good looks, according to the American Kennel Club. Daily grooming helps to maintain healthy skin and nails, plus the handling during the grooming allows early detection of serious health concerns like lumps from cancer and many skin diseases.