How to Start a Mobile Pet Grooming Business

How to Start a Mobile Pet Grooming Business

Pet parents always want the best for their furry family members. And what could be better than a day of luxurious grooming and TLC? 

Having the pet salon love come directly to their homes, of course!

These days, more pet parents are turning to mobile grooming services to treat their four-legged family members without having to leave the comfort of their homes. This bodes well for those who are considering the leap to the mobile grooming train (or rather, the mobile grooming van).

If you want to be your own boss, make your own hours, and spend your life doing what you love—taking care of pets—keep reading. We’ll break down the benefits of pet grooming, how to start a mobile pet grooming business and take advantage of this increasingly popular service.

The Benefits of Mobile Grooming 

Now more than ever, pet parents consider their four-legged companions to be part of the family. Considering the crucial role regular grooming plays in the health and well-being of their fur babies, owners are willing to spend more if it means receiving quality service.

They’re also willing to pay for peace of mind and convenience. 

That’s where mobile pet grooming comes in. 

Over the past five years, the rapidly-growing demand for professional grooming services—and the increased popularity of convenient mobile grooming—has caused the pet grooming industry to grow to more than $9 billion. 

If you’ve ever dreamt of having a career helping animals, consider starting a mobile pet grooming business. 

Mobile grooming salons require significantly less start up costs than brick and mortar salons. But the profitability doesn’t end there. By eliminating the need to pay monthly rent, electrical bills, and water bills, you can save thousands of dollars a month. 

But aren’t vans more prone to breaking down and needing repairs?

Nope—that’s a myth! New vehicles can go years before requiring any real maintenance. Plus, with a mobile grooming salon, you’ll never have to deal with issues surrounding building maintenance like broken furnaces or hot water heaters, leaky roofs, window washing, lawn care, and signage. 

What other benefits can you experience with a mobile grooming salon?

  • Being your own boss
  • Having flexibility in your work schedule  
  • Connecting with clients on a more personal level 

With this in mind, let’s dive into it.

Steps to Starting Your Own Mobile Business

If the benefits of owning a mobile pet grooming business get your tail waggin’, follow the steps below to ensure you have everything you need to start this exciting new journey. 

Have a Passion for Animals and Grooming 

As a pet groomer, it’s critical to be passionate about providing your furry clients with the quality care they deserve. But you should also be prepared for the physical demands of the job. 

Grooming an average-sized dog can take between one to two hours. The process includes bathing and drying, hair cutting, brushing and styling, cleaning ears and eyes, trimming nails, brushing teeth, and if necessary, expressing anal glands. With several clients a day, this means hours on your feet, not to mention the additional stamina you’ll need to keep up with your often energetic clientele. 

And don’t forget about your heftier clients. Large breeds—such as German Shepherds or Sheepdogs—require more time to groom, as well as more strength to maneuver. 

Does this mean a mobile salon will feel cramped? 

Not at all! Wag’n Tails offers mobile grooming vehicles with nearly seven foot ceilings. That’s about the height of three German Shepherds stacked on top of each other! Plus, Wag’n Tails vehicles include full size tubs to comfortably accommodate even the meatiest dogs without compromising on floor space. 

Although pet grooming can be physically demanding, if you’re an animal-lover, the look on the faces of your satisfied clients makes the job more than worthwhile.  

Build a Business Plan

Before you invest in your mobile grooming vehicle, it’s extremely beneficial to build a detailed business plan. Doing this will help you avoid any financial surprises down the road.

Start by looking into what local business licenses or permits you need to operate a mobile grooming salon in your area. To further protect your investment, you should also find out what type of insurance you need. 

Wag’n Tails can help you answer all these questions and provide you with a comprehensive mobile pet grooming business success guide to help ensure your success.

Conduct Research

We know you’re eager to get to the part with sudsy dog bathes and happy puppy kisses, but conducting research is a crucial step in developing your pet grooming business plan. By understanding the potential for clients in your area, as well as your local competition, you can better ensure a successful business. That means puppy kisses for years to come. 

One way to determine your potential for clients is by contacting local vets and pet shops. You can also go door-to-door in your neighborhood or visit dog parks to ask pet parents if they’d be interested in the convenience of a mobile grooming salon. 

A quick Google search can also give you insight into what other grooming options are available in your area. By gathering this information, you’ll be able to determine how to make your business stand out, as well as how to price your services competitively. Check out our blog to discover more information on mobile pet grooming prices. 

Remember: A mobile grooming salon also gives you the advantage of wheels. That means your business doesn’t have to be confined to only your neighborhood. Explore nearby communities to see where your business can have the most success. 

Won’t a mobile pet groomer spend more time driving from dog to dog?

Nope! Mobile pet groomers typically assign certain areas to specific days of the week. By staying within a five to seven mile radius, mobile groomers can guarantee they make the most out of each day.

Understand Your Expenses 

A strong business plan will also include a thorough breakdown of your expenses. Aside from the pet grooming vehicle itself, your typical expenses as a mobile pet groomer will include:

  • Grooming supplies, such as clippers, shears, brushes, and shampoos 
  • Vehicle and generator fuel 
  • Vehicle maintenance, such as oil changes 
  • Insurance and permits
  • Advertising
  • Phone bill costs 

Once you understand your monthly overhead, you can determine how much revenue you need to bring in to cover these costs. But running a truly successful business means bringing in a profit

With Wag’n Tails’ Dyna Groom Vehicle, you can expect to pay an estimated $2125 a month in operating expenses. At $75 per average-sized dog (a standard amount for mobile groomers), you’d cover your monthly costs after grooming 28.4 dogs. If you work five days a week, that means breaking even grooming just 1.5 dogs a day! 

Chew on this: By grooming six dogs a day at $75 per dog, you’d be on track to earn $9,900 a month while only working five days a week! Even after your monthly overhead costs, you’d walk away with $93,300 a year. And this figure doesn’t even account for larger dogs, breeds with more difficult coats, or tips! 

The idea that you can’t turn a serious profit as a pet groomer is merely a myth. 

Consider Your Financial Situation 

After crunching the numbers, consider your financial situation. Although starting a mobile grooming business is more affordable than opening a brick and mortar grooming salon, you may still need to take out a loan to help cover the cost of purchasing a pet grooming vehicle while you build your clientele. Leasing a pet grooming vehicle could be another option to consider.

Another option to assist with funding is to go into business with a partner. By splitting the start-up costs, you can save money. However, this also means splitting the profits, so consider what your long term goals are before committing to a business partnership. 

Build Your Brand 

With a lucrative business plan in place, it’s time to move on to the fun part—building your brand! As the boss, you decide how your mobile grooming business will look, feel, and operate. 

To get started, consider the following:

  • What do you want to name your business? – You may choose to encourage smiles with a puppy pun, or keep it simple by naming the business after yourself, or a beloved pet. Whatever you choose, the name of your business is how customers will come to know you, so take your time making this important decision. 
  • Will you groom dogs, cats, or both? – While dog groomers are more in demand, extending your business to our feline friends can help boost your profits. 
  • How will you advertise? – To best market your services, you can create a website, post on social media platforms, or hand out flyers at local dog parks. With Wag’n Tails, you can even turn your vehicle into a mobile billboard by adding graphics. 

Look Into Businesses That Can Help You

Many franchise businesses claim they can help you find success in the mobile pet grooming industry, but their contracts and fees make it clear they’re more concerned about their bottom line. Wouldn’t you rather work with a business that truly supports your endeavor, without costing you a paw and a tail?

Wag’n Tails is the leader in mobile pet grooming equipment solutions, and for good reason. While they offer the advantages you’d expect from a franchise business, they’re not a franchise business. That means no franchise contracts, franchise fees, or royalty fees. 

With over forty years of experience in the pet grooming industry, Wag’n Tails is dedicated to supporting their customers so that pets everywhere can receive exceptional service.  

Along with their fleet of high-quality vehicles, Wag’n Tails also offers: 

  • Mobile pet grooming business guide for guaranteed success
  • Vehicle training and ride-along programs
  • An in-house creative team to help you design your brand
  • Financing and leasing support
  • An online parts store
  • Reliable customer service and support

Get Your Engine Revving!

The demand for mobile pet grooming services is higher than ever before. So get your engine revving and start your journey toward becoming your own boss in the highly profitable—and highly adorable—world of mobile pet grooming. Don’t forget to check out our blog for more information on how to become a pet groomer.

By partnering with Wag’n Tails, you’ll gain access to the best breed of vehicles, invaluable guidance, and a dedicated customer support team—without overpaying or compromising your control. After all, this is your mobile pet grooming business. Contact us today and let Wag’n Tails help you make your career everything you’ve ever dreamed of.



Franchise Help. Pet Care Industry Analysis 2020 – Cost & Trends. 

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Jason Mills