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 pretty pink print. The neck strap is adjustable, and the ties are extra long to fit most waists. It's priced around $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.
- Fromm Spectrum Zip Jacket: This groomer's jacket is treated with Teflon® to make it water, stain, and hair resistant. It comes with a belt in case you want a more fitted look, and is available up to a woman's size 18. The jacket is only available in black, and it's priced just over $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 ii comes in white or black. It's available in men's sizes medium/large and extra large, and is priced under $30.
Every groomer can benefit from a set of 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.
- Rinse Ace Bath Mitt: This latex mitt keeps your hand dry during a bath, and it has nubs across the palm that help work the shampoo into the dog's fur and scalp. It can also be used to remove loose hair on a dry dog. The mitt measures 5" W x 13-1/2" L, so it will fit most groomer's hands. This mitt retails around $5.
- Platex Living Gloves: Resourceful groomers have been using these latex gloves to protect their hands for decades. The cuff at the wrist will collect drips if you have to reach up to bathe larger dogs. These gloves come in small, medium, and large, and they sell for about $3 a pair. They actually pair nicely with the Rinse Ace Bath mitt, which is designed for a right hand. Just put a Playtex glove on you left hand, and you're ready to bathe.
Scrubs aren't just for medical personnel anymore. Many groomers find that they make an ideal uniform. They're comfortable, easy to wash, and they dry quickly.
- 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.
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 clogs are slip resistant and come with wicking liners. The thick insoles provide extra cushion 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.
- Anywears Exact Injected Closed Back Shoe: These slip resistant shoes come in nine different colors/patterns, including gray or red swirl, black, white, and various neon colors. Sizing is unisex, and there's a chart to help you select the right size. The shoes are hand washable, and they run about $38.
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.