Dog grooming is a rewarding job, but it's definitely tough on your clothing as well as your body. At the end of the day, you can wind up covered in fur, soaked to the skin, and aching from head to toe. However, there is a way to avoid some of the mess and stress that naturally comes with the job, and that's by making use of some of the specialty grooming apparel that's available. If you haven't explored this clothing before, now is the time to get an idea of what's available and where to find it.
Apparel for Every Groomer's Needs
You can put together an entire ensemble, or just pick out a few essentials to make dog grooming a little more comfortable.
Working in damp clothing is a typical grooming hazard that can lead to chafing and rashes, but a water-proof apron keeps things dry and comfortable. If possible, opt for an apron that also has pockets to hold scissors, combs, and other small grooming tools. You might pay a little extra, but the convenience is worth it.
- FabriGuard Top Performance Contour Grooming Apron: This fitted apron is made from a water-resistant blend of nylon and polyester, and it's treated with stain-blocking FabriGuard?. The neck strap is adjustable, and it has two large front pockets. Available in plum and black, this apron sells for just under $20.
- Top Performance Waterproof Grooming Apron: This PVC apron provides excellent water protection, and it comes in a choice of a pretty purple or black print. The neck strap is adjustable, and the ties are extra long to fit most waists. It's priced around $25.
- Tikima Waterproof Apron: This apron comes in black and fits most sizes. The neck strap is adjustable and there are two large front pockets. It's a selection from Tikima grooming apparel's line of accessories for professional groomers. The apron is priced under $20.
A good grooming jacket will help keep a groomer's clothing free of loose hair and snags. You can easily slip it off when you take a break between clients or you need to leave the shop for a few moments, and then slip it back on when it's time to get back to work.
- Top Performance Zip-Front Groomer's Jacket: This shirt-style jacket is from the Top Performance grooming apparel line. It's made from water-resistant nylon with a zipper front closure and two handy large front pockets. The jacket comes in black, navy and violet and in sizes small through 3XL which is perfect if you're looking for plus size grooming apparel. The jacket is an economical choice with a price under $20.
- Betty Dain Nylon Jacket: This jacket is made of water-resistant nylon that also won't hold hair. It has a zipper closure, and it comes in white or black. It's available in men's sizes medium/large and extra large and is priced under $30.
- Stylist Wear Jacket with Print: This cute grooming jacket is from a popular product from Stylist Wear grooming apparel. The jacket features images of dogs and comes in black, purple and red. It's another good choice for salons looking for plus size grooming apparel as sizing ranges from small through 5XL. The jacket sells for about $25 to $30 depending on size.
An alternative to a jacket, smocks are a comfortable option for grooming wear. The loose fit covers your clothes underneath and allows for easy movement while you're grooming.
- Lexi Top: Max and Molly are makers of some truly cute grooming smocks. They're also known as Wag Wear grooming smocks. The top features a "mock" wrap look with an adjustable belt and pockets in front. It comes in sizes extra-small through 3XL and retails for about $13. There are several color combinations including chocolate brown with a coral or turquoise trim and dandelion yellow with a navy blue or chocolate trim.
- Professional Designs Women's Zippered Smock: If you'd really like your business to stand out, consider getting custom grooming smocks. Professional Designs will print your logo on these flattering women's smocks made of wickable fabric with a front zipper (Item #XTULG-FKZWW). They also have a men's fit version (Item #JTULI-FKZWY) as well. The smocks come in navy blue or white for women's and navy for men. The price for one is about $27 to $28 not including the imprint price, which will depend on the type and colors in your logo. Sizes include small through 5XL.
Every groomer can benefit from a set of dog grooming sleeves. They're typically elasticized at both ends for a snug fit at the wrist and above the elbow. They can keep your arms dry, and they even offer a slight amount of protection against accidental scratching when an animal struggles during a bath.
- Stylist Wear Groomers Waterproof Sleeves: Made from tough nylon fabric, these elasticized sleeves come in black or blue, and one size fits all. They're priced around $10.
- Grooming and Bath Sleeves: Made from heavy polyester and waterproof PVC, these sleeves have adjustable Velcro® closures to ensure the right fit. They're slightly contoured to fit the natural bend of your arms, and they come in blue and black. They're also lined inside, and they're available for around $19.
Gloves or Mitts
Washing dogs all day long can really damage the hands. Protective gloves help protect the skin from repeated exposure to water, shampoo and parasite products.
- Pet Grooming Glove by Delomo: These gloves have nubs on the palms to help remove hair and fur while you wash a dog (or cat!). The elastic fabric makes them fit any size hand, and the fabric is quick dry and breathable. The fabric is also eco-friendly and contains no materials that will cause skin allergies or irritations. They sell for about $13.
- Handson Gloves: These gloves are award-winning and an Amazon's Choice product. Hair and fur will not stick to the gloves and the nubs on the grips help to remove fur and hair as you wash. The nubs and nodules on the gloves also help promote better circulation and provide a massaging sensation for the animal. The gloves come in adult small through extra-large and also a junior size. There's a helpful sizing chart if you're not sure which to purchase. The gloves sell for about $25.
Having a good pair of waterproof grooming pants can make clean up much easier during the day. Some of the best dog grooming pants are lightweight and comfortable for working all day long on your feet.
- Max and Molly Pants: These attractive pants have a drawstring waist with side pockets for an easy fit. They come in royal, black, navy, hot pink, pewter, peacock and violet and sizes extra-small through 3XL and are under $20.
- Top Performance Grooming Pants: These nylon grooming pants repel water and are stain-resistant. They come in unisex sizes small through 3XL and colors available are black and plum. The pants sell for under $20.
Scrubs aren't just for medical personnel anymore. Many groomers find that they make an ideal dog grooming outfit. They're comfortable, easy to wash, and they dry quickly, all of which are desirable characteristics in pet groomer apparel.
- Groomer's Scrub Set: These scrubs are also unisex, and they're made from a shiny water and hair-resistant fabric called silkarah. They're available in black, navy, hunter, pink, purple-red, and teal. Sizes run from small through extra large, and each set retails for about $37.
- Printed Scrub Tops in Plus Sizes: If you're looking for something more attractive than a simple one-color scrub, there are many options that are not only flattering but very functional for groomers as well as medical staff.
- Just Love Women's Scrub Set: These comfortable scrubs feature a v-neck top and cargo pants made of a cotton/polyester blend. There are six pockets for storage and the pants feature an elastic waistband. The set comes in 28 different colors and sizes extra-small through 3XL. The set retails for about $20.
Shoes are perhaps the most important item of dog grooming apparel, and any groomer's shoes should offer comfortable support, water-resistant uppers, and non-skid soles. If there's one item of grooming apparel to splurge on, shoes are it.
- Landau Comfort Unisex Clogs: These dog grooming clogs are slip resistant and come with wicking liners. The thick insoles provide extra cushioning for long days spent grooming. Unisex sizing runs 5 through 12, but there are also men's' clogs sized 11 through 13. Pricing runs under $40.
- Crocs Women's Mercy Work Clog: Many groomers favor using shoes from the popular Croc line. These grooming Crocs are water and slip resistant and easy to clean. Their line made specifically for workers on their feet all day is especially comfortable for dog groomers. They come in sizes 4 through 12 and there are six color choices. They sell for between $20 and $130 depending on the color and size you choose.
- Dr. Scholl's Women's Success Health Care & Food Service Shoe: These slip-resistant and oil-resistant rubber shoes come in black and sizes 6 through 11. Dr. Scholl's claims this shoe beats the industry average for comfort and conditioning for a workplace shoe. They sell for $25.
Take Care of Yourself
The clothes you wear on the job can affect your performance, so don't consider grooming apparel a luxury; consider it a necessity. When you feel more comfortable and relaxed, your canine clients will pick up on that energy and be more likely to relax with you. That's bound to make your job easier.