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What is a Pet Stylist?

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  • Written By: Allison Boelcke
  • Edited By: Bronwyn Harris
  • Last Modified Date: 07 November 2016
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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.

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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.

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irontoenail
Post 3

@Mor - I'm far more inclined to be forgiving of people who might occasionally dye their dog strange colors for a photo shoot than some of the other things that are done to dogs. Neglect of long-haired dogs can be awful if they end up with matted hair or skin infections.

And then there are people who do permanent things to their dogs in the name of fashion. Things like clipping their ears or tail into shape, or even, in some cases, giving their dog a tattoo.

Mor
Post 2

@bythewell - There are some crazy pictures online if you look up "dog stylist" but I think they are mostly in fun. You simply wouldn't be able to keep a dog looking like that for very long, so I can't imagine it being anything more than something they do on special occasions.

And pet stylists are actually relatively important for certain kinds of animals. There are plenty of dogs and cats who can end up getting sick if they aren't left with the right amount of hair. They could become either too hot or too cold, or their hair might end up giving them an eye or hair infection or something.

I think pet stylists just like to have fun sometimes, or to show off what they could do if they really have the time and money. But it wouldn't be an everyday thing.

bythewell
Post 1

One of the strangest TV shows I've ever seen was a reality show focusing on people who were competing as pet stylists. I didn't even know that people used dye regularly on their pets or tried to make them look so festive. Pink and green seemed to be the most popular colors and they would also try to clip the dogs into weird shapes, like they might with a hedge.

I guess someone, somewhere must be willing to pay for that kind of thing, but it certainly wouldn't be me. And those dogs must have the patience of a saint.

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