Santa Clarita CA— Evthoxia Moustaka’s always knew she wanted a career helping animals but was not sure in what capacity. After earning a Bachelor of Arts degree in English and working as an animal science teacher one summer, her career path became clear; she would become a certified pet groomer. After many hours of research, Evthoxia enrolled in Animal Behavior College’s (ABC) Grooming Instruction Program (GIP). She graduated and was certified in 2016 and is an Animal Behavior Certified Pet Groomer (ABCPG).
“From the moment I contacted ABC, I knew its pet grooming program was the best,” Evthoxia recalled. “I am not one who is afraid of hard work or afraid to do whatever it takes to be successful. So, when the college set the bar high, I barreled through it all and completed the entire program in 8 months.”
In 2017, Evthoxia accepted a mobile pet grooming job for the Aussie Pet Mobile franchise in Stamford, Connecticut, where she is currently the head groomer. She visits pet owners’ homes in Fairfield County to groom their dogs. Her services are in such demand that her appointment book is filled for the rest of the year.
“When I initially applied at Aussie, I didn’t believe I was ready for mobile grooming. I believed I needed more years of experience working in a grooming shop to pay my dues to the grooming gods, so to speak,” Evthoxia laughed. “I’m glad I didn’t wait because I love my job and look forward to getting into the van each day and making my dogs look fabulous!”
Busy pet owners and homebound seniors have driven the increased demand for mobile pet groomers. Many enjoy the convenience of having grooming services for their four-legged companions brought to their doorstep and are willing to pay more for it. On average, mobile grooming costs anywhere from $70 to $90 (depending on the region of the country) with some groomers charging an additional convenience fee of $10 to $15. But despite the additional costs, mobile grooming is also ideal for pets who become aggressive, anxious and stressed when traveling in vehicles.
“My absolute favorite part of mobile grooming is the freedom and solitude. Grooming one dog at a time and not having other dogs around creates a relaxing atmosphere for both of us,” Evthoxia said. “I’ve found that dogs both young and old and even dogs who used to hate being groomed [in a salon] now enjoy the experience.”
Pet ownership is on the rise in the U.S. with dogs leading the way, according to the AVMA 2017-2018 Pet Ownership & Demographics SourceBook. In fact, in 2018 pet owners spent$72.56 billion for food and supplies, veterinary care and live animal purchases, according to the American Pet Products Association (APPA). Owners also spent $6.11 billion on other services including, boarding, training, pet sitting, pet exercise, pet walking—and grooming. And demand for these services, especially mobile grooming is expected to continue to rise.
Finding the right groomer can be challenging and ABC offers the following tips on finding a mobile groomer for your dog:
Ensure the Groomer is Certified. The pet grooming industry is unregulated meaning a license is not required. Some groomers might have little to no education or training in the field. Certified pet groomers are evaluated and have passed written examinations, understands health, hygiene and safety practices, canine anatomy, first aid and proper handling and restraining techniques.
Ask for Recommendations. Ask friends, your pet’s veterinarian, dog and cat trainers, etc., for their recommendations. While walking your dog or visiting a dog park, ask other owners with similar breeds if they use a mobile groomer to have their pets groomed.
Interview Prospective Groomers. Call the groomer. Groomers, especially mobile ones, are busy so don’t be put off if they can’t speak to you when you call. Be patient and ask when is a good time to chat. Ask about their experience. Do they have experience grooming your dog’s breed? How long have they groomed and/or been mobile groomers?
Request a Tour of the Mobile Unit or Van. After the phone interview, set an appointment to visit the grooming vehicle. Is it clean? Is there enough room to brush, bathe, dry and groom your dog? Is the groomer friendly and professional?
Trust Your Intuition. Are you comfortable with the groomer? Do you believe your pet will be safe at this salon? If there are doubts, trust your instincts and keep looking.
ABC’s online pet groomer course teaches canine and feline anatomy, health and safety, how to identify common canine and feline skin problems and medical disorders, proper brushing, bathing, clipping, scissoring and styling techniques, business building, pet first aid and CPR. Participants receive information that equips them to start a pet grooming business, work for an established grooming salon or pursue other professional pet grooming-related passions.
ABC also offers specialized certificates of completion in seven Short-Term Programs including Doggie Daycare, Pet Fostering and Pet Nutrition to name a few. As of May 31, 2019, ABC has graduated and certified more than 3,000 students from the pet grooming program. For more information, call 800-795-3294 or visit www.AnimalBehaviorCollege.com.
About Animal Behavior College
Founded in 1998, Animal Behavior College is a vocational school that trains professional dog trainers, cat trainers, veterinary assistants and pet groomers nationwide and in the 10 provinces of Canada. ABC has graduated more than 28,000 students from all four core programs combined. Students obtain practical hands-on experience applying what they learn by working side-by-side with a member of ABC’s expert mentors group. These professionals include thousands of dog trainers, veterinary hospitals and clinics and grooming salons from across the U.S. and Canada.