Opening a dog wash can be a fun endeavor for young people looking to raise a little extra money and for more business-minded individuals who want to start their own pet grooming business on a small scale. The requirements for opening your own dog wash are simple.

Do you need a permit?

You need to follow state and federal business licensing requirements, but anyone can open a dog wash, which is both good and bad. It can be good in that fledgling businesspeople can open their own shop, but, obviously, if people with no know-how or love for animals want to, they can easily open their own wash as well. So, technically, no, you do not need a business permit or business license to open a dog wash. However, certification is recommended for those with serious business aspirations.

Joining the NDCAA

A certification that you should try to obtain is from the National Dog Groomers Association of America. The group offers programs, seminars and conferences to help would-be dog groomers learn about new techniques, new styles and new ways of grooming dogs. The association also offers programs on how to start and run your dog wash and/or dog grooming business. Once you have completed the certification program, you receive the designation of National Certified Master Groomer. The certificate is a way to ensure your customers that you have the basic knowledge and skills capable of grooming their animals. This will be an advantage for you over other pet groomers who don't have the certification; whereas they may be as skilled as you, they don't have the documentation to back it up, while you do.

Other Tips is an invaluable resource for all things relating to grooming. Visit it frequently for up-to-date information and hints. Groomer to Groomer magazine is also a popular magazine. It offers a free subscription as well (see resources section). Also, all professional and successful companies start with a business plan. But if you don't know where to start, it can be difficult. You can find easy step-by-step instructions in the Pet article in the resources section.