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My Final Request For Advice on Housecall Grooming

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  • My Final Request For Advice on Housecall Grooming

    I was really happy to find a site where there are folks who do housecalls. I figured this would be a wonderful place to get input on the pros and cons of housecalls. Is there anyone on this site that has been doing this type of grooming that can give some good advice for myself and the other people who have been requesting input.

    I see that people are viewing the threads but few are responding.

  • #2
    Sorry I can't help you, I am mobile. I would not like to do housecall groom because of lugging the stuff around and making a mess in peoples houses. I also would not feel comfortable in other persons homes. I am sorry you are not getting quick enough respones, but do understand that it is a holiday number one, and it has not been posted that long. A lot of people only have time to get on the computer a few times a week, or even less.Number two I don't think a lot of people do housecall, so it may take a little longer. I hope you can wait it out to hear from them, because I think you will eventually get responses. Good luck with whatever you do.
    What does a dog do on it's day off?

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    • #3
      I think I mentioned Aarooh

      Since she doesn't read everything private message her. Go to member list and scroll to Aarooh, she even has a pic w/ one of her show dogs. She is VERY nice and will give you advice. I think there are others, but don't know by name.

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      • #4
        Dixie, it really depends on the clientelle. I had one CS that the owner left me to it, and 2 little shihtzus that the owner would be in talking to me about all kinds of stuff. I found that having an owner hovering made the dogs excitable and I kept losing my concentration. Eventually she figured out that it was better if she stayed out of the room.
        You have to realize, too, being in their homes if you have a pet you need to muzzle, the owner may not realize that you have muzzled the pet in the past, like just for it's nails, but the owner may freak out on you. Just remember that things that seem like no big deal in your van, like the dog running in circles, may make the owner think their dog has hated you.- There is just no guessing sometimes how people will react to ordinary situations.
        That's all the advice I have. I still go to people's homes, but i have a decent setup at my home now, so it makes it easier on me.

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        • #5
          If you have any serious questions about it please PM me and ask.
          Stress is nothing more than a socially acceptable form of mental illness.- Richard Carlson

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          • #6
            I had done housecall service in the beginning, but didn't have any input to give other than I wouldn't do it again.

            I ALSO offered pick up and delivery where I would pick up the pets, groom in my own home (a bathroom) and bring them back right when done. They were not caged, but they still had a car ride and had to be gone 2 - 4 hours depending on # of pets. I charged the same fee, but it took a lot longer. Keep in mind, I wasn't doing more than 2 appointments a day after my a.m. tech job. It really was JUST to get started. I also pet sat on the side...yes, 3 jobs until I could afford my trailer, but I did it.

            I'm sorry I don't have more to say. You could do a search on housecall grooming and interview a few people, that may give you more details.

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            • #7
              I do housecall grooming. My clientèle has tripled since I started with out much advertising at all. Just word of mouth. People like that they can watch their pet get groomed from start to finish or just listen to the whole process while they are in their house. It takes me 3 trips to get everything that I need in the house. I have carefully selected my equipment just for this reason. First trip in I bring a 5 gal bucket with my Luxury Bather in it and the shampoo n products I will be using, a suction cup noose to keep dog in tub. All this in the bucket. And I have a briefcase type case that I bought at Home Depot, that holds clippers, blades, shears ect. It has a shoulder strap. And my grooming arm. 2nd trip I bring my folding groom table. 3rd trip I bring my shop vac, and HV dryer. I set up anywhere I can that is not carpeted for easy clean up. I prefer laundry room if they have a large one or bathroom. In the spring I used the garage with the door open a lot. I bathe the dog first in the tub with the luxury spa, then I put my bucket under the faucet and run water in it with my lux spa to rinse. Towel dry with their towels, Dry on table, clip, pack, clean n go. I have only had to muzzle one dog it was a OAY cocker. The dogs seem calmer to me since they are at home. The owners don't bother me, unless they are overly worried protective type, that makes for an antsy dog so then I show them that their dog is calmer and less stressed when they are out of sight, so they stay out of sight. Most dogs don't care. I think it is because I am not nervous grooming in front of an owner makes the dog not nervous. I don't think I could have done housecall grooming when I first started though. I would have been too nervous. If I have a problem area I ask the owner for help. It really educates them on dog training and proper care.

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              • #8
                Thanks

                I got a private message from Dixie and answered as best I can. I was dog showing Sat. & Sun. Didn't win, but they were specialties with tons of Brittanys and what many consider poor Judges.

                Poodle Fluff answered well.

                I also think the dogs are calmer because they are not anxious to go home, or anxious as to where "Mommy" is.

                I make two trips, but only one trip for bath only dogs. I have a big case for all clipping stuff, but a small case for bath only with Speed Feed and scissors, combs, brushes etc. If a whole groom I take the big case and a heavy table (because I like the solid non-tipping part about the heavy table. Then I have a big can (Shhhh don't tell them it's a trash can on wheels) with everything one could want, which includes the portable TaxiVac (which HV drys, clipper vacs and vacuums the area), the Bathing Beauty, the grooming arm, a Tarp for many of the floors, little Pet Edge heat dryer, and various accessories. So for the bath I use the big can with the little case added to it, and the table, one trip. One thing I found very important was a good multiplug extension cord, and another extension cord for the Bathing Beauty (or whatever kind of bathing machine) in case bath is not close to grooming area.

                I dry big or even medium Hairies outside. I am exceedingly gentle and patient with the dogs and they learn to be so good. I love it. My car, about 42 miles per gallon. Hatchback, the can lays down in the back, next to the folded table.
                Money will buy you a pretty good dog but it won't buy the wag of it's tail.

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                • #9
                  wow, cool other house call stylist!

                  I opened my house call business in October 2002 and am still going strong at it. I have no rent to pay, no huge payments, just fuel and the up keep of my Blazer SUV that I've started out with and is still a great little SUV. I only drive it for the business. I make what I want to make working Tuesday through Friday and half days on Saturday. I used to be able to take a Saturday off, but my business has grown so much that now even Saturdays are sometimes full days. Once in a blue moon, I'll take one for myself when I think of it, loll.

                  I have no problem what so ever grooming in peoples homes. I love people and pets, and have worked well with handling both. Most all my clients have been with me since the beginning year started and the only new clients that I take are referrals. It's nice because I never groom more then five dogs a day, get paid very well and my clients are very good to me. Christmas is awesome. Oh' , I do groom cats too. I have a few cats that I'll trim nails, clean the ears, do my lion cut and then bath/dry and brush out. The ones who are known to not tollarate much, I bring an extra smock and the client assist me with the job. They are more then glad to do so because they save money on sedation. I just train them to know what to expect before hand and mostly, it turns out great! Oh' and we don't bath or dry certain ones, just do the nails, clean the ears, lion trim and possibly dry shampoo for cats. I love grooming cats because to me, that is easy money, you just have to be extremely careful.

                  I bought one of those show tables and had someone put heavier legs on it to make it sturdy (no tipping) and also extend them taller because I'm tall. I have two of them now because I wore the first one out and it needed some TLC. If a dog's size does not fit on my table, I can't groom it. So I do small to medium pets only. Maybe when I get older, I'll make more then one trip into a clients house, but for now, I only make one trip in unless, on certain occations, I will use my mini cliper vac for very few certain jobs, then I'll make two trips, but it is rare. I carry my table and grooming arm together and on the same side, throw my wash bag/bag with my 3 lb. dryer over my shoulder and carry my grooming equiptment bag with the other hand. It took me a good year to get it all together like I have it now, where it really works right for myself. When I leave, most all my clients help carry something out with me.

                  I love doing house calls and after you know your clients for a good while, feeling uncomfortable being in their home simply goes out of style. Most of my clients leave me notes while signing it, "We Love You!" The pets and people are like my second family, and when I'm on my daily route to go groom, I sometimes don't really feel like I'm running a business, I feel like I'm going to friends homes to groom their pet or pets. LOLL, then later I'm in my office doing my paper work, taxes, emails, reminder calls and etc.. the list goes on and on and suddendly, I know I'm doing a business. But it is all worth it, I'm happy with no overhead!!! It's the best!

                  Oh' and PS. with this being my life work, I save money not having to go work out at the gym because this is a work out every work day, (Big Smile).

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                  • #10
                    Ok I have some ????s
                    How does the licensing work for this type of endeavor??
                    Were do you bathe (I imagine their bath tub) and if so how do you overcome the homes with non detachable shower heads??
                    Also, do you run into a problem with your HV being to powerful for the outlets?
                    Just a few ?'s and I apologize in advance for budding in here.

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                    • #11
                      I do housecall grooming, but quite different from others, in that I live in Manhattan and visit apartments. So I probably wouldn't be much help other than to say it is the only way for me for several reasons: I make my own schedule; can refuse or accept any dog that comes my way; no overhead; my clients (most, anyway) are very fond of me and welcome me into their homes where it's very relaxing for me and the dog. The negatives for me: it can be back-breaking; physically strenuous; I don't use a grooming table and use a hand-held dryer; results are not always as good as I'd like, but my clients are satisfied. There's probably more, but I'm tired from my strenuous day.LOL

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                      • #12
                        {Ok I have some ????s
                        How does the licensing work for this type of endeavor??
                        Were do you bathe (I imagine their bath tub) and if so how do you overcome the homes with non detachable shower heads??
                        Also, do you run into a problem with your HV being to powerful for the outlets?
                        Just a few ?'s and I apologize in advance for budding in here.}

                        For your first question: Can't really say where you live what you would have to do as I suppose that every state has different requirements. But here in South Carolina, I pay every year for a city license and put a new year sticker on the windshield. Now, If I were to work in any other city, same applies. I highlight the city dog cards in pink and the out skirt dog clip cards stay white to help me sort all that out. Of coarse I pay state and federal on all, but also have to report to the city the ones that I groom in it. It gets very sticky depending on where you want to go groom, so best off to check with your down town city business building and what other areas you want to do. If you put magnetic signs on your vehicle, make sure you got your vehicle covered for commercial business and make darn sure your legal where you do go to.

                        I bathe in tubs or sinks. Where ever they want me to be. I have both the mat and hair snare that fits both.

                        As far as the dryer, I used a hand held one for years and now went to the little mini power dryer only weighting 3 LBS, and I love it. If you do larger dogs and want to use that two motor dryer, forget it. Even with a high powered surge plug in, you'll blow fuses. I learned that my first year and as you first start, you learn from what you try. I had no one telling me anything of how to start doing this when I first started. I got up on the horse and rode on my own. I learned as I went along on what worked and what did not work. I call it a creative art with a lot of determination and not everyone is cut out to do house calls. I do it and will tell you that it is the hardest way to make a living grooming physically. I've worked in shops for a year after school and to honest with you, being on the road was more appealing to me. I love to travel, be outside and can find almost anything anywhere, so finding new clients homes is a piece of cake for me. The grooming vans looked like a cool thing to me, but in all honesty, they were too much money, to me, for something that depreciates so quickly and banks don't even have a blue book for them. Not only that, I would not be able to take my time as I do now if I had those payments, insurance and upkeep rushing at me every four weeks. Sometimes things get nuts. Things can roll along really smooth and suddenly, one week or even two, you'll have no shows, several people that have to change appointments and most of them, you end up making up, but still, having those van payments would make for pressure during these times.

                        I wanted to be stress free as much as possible, so doing house calls was my best decision.

                        Wish you luck on trying out the house calls if that is the choice you make. Sometimes someone will hold a seminar at one of the grooming weekend events around the country. You may want to look into that also.

                        Good Luck and Hope I've helped you out.

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                        • #13
                          APGS1stylist-Thank you, sorry it took so long to get back, I was under a black cloud for a while. That does help alot!!

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                          • #14
                            Cool Beans and Best of Luck on your new venture!!!!

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                            • #15
                              Originally posted by scullysmom View Post
                              APGS1stylist-Thank you, sorry it took so long to get back, I was under a black cloud for a while. That does help alot!!
                              Cool Beans and good luck on your new adventure seeking!!!!!

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