A pet stylist, also commonly referred to as a pet groomer, is a person who is responsible for maintaining the appearance of animals. Dog owners tend to use stylist services more than other pet owners, but cats may also require the services. Pet stylists typically work on an animal’s fur, nails, or ears to keep the pet looking as neat and clean as possible.
One of the most common responsibilities for a pet stylist is cutting and styling pets’ hair or fur. Long-haired pets may require frequent trimmings to keep their fur manageable and to prevent excessive shedding. Electric clippers are generally used to cut pets’ hair, so a stylist must be properly trained on how to safely handle to clippers to prevent injuring a pet during the process. A pet owner may also opt to visit a professional to have his or her pet’s fur styled in a novelty fashion or even temporarily dyed.
Pet stylists are also generally trained to safely cut the nails of pets. Overgrown nails may put a pet at risk of not only scratching people, but also of the nails getting snagged and breaking, which could cause a possible sore or infection. Pet owners may not feel comfortable trimming their pets’ nails at home if they don’t have proper equipment or knowledge of the correct technique. A pet stylist may be hired to trim the pet’s nails safely, plus he or she will generally be experienced enough to be able to cut the nails even if the pet won’t remain still.
Another typical job duty for a pet stylist is to clean an animal’s ears. He or she will remove any dirt or debris from inside the pet’s ears, which a pet owner may not have the skills or patience for. Stylists may also be trained to look for basic signs of injuries or infections inside the pets’ ears and can recommend a pet owner to consult with a veterinarian if any symptoms are present.
A pet stylist may work at a variety of places. The majority of stylists tend to work at grooming parlors, either corporate or locally owned. Some may choose to work independently and provide house calls to clients in order to make the appointment for convenient for the pet owner or to keep the pet calm and in its familiar surroundings.
There is generally no required educational path for aspiring pet stylists. They typically begin their careers with hands-on experience by learning from other stylists as apprentices. Some associations do offer classes so a person can get a grooming certification, but it is typically not a requirement.