Labour market information Explore careers by essential skills

Essential skills profile

This profile contains a list of example tasks that illustrate how each of the 9 essential skills is generally performed by most workers in this occupation. The levels of complexity estimated for each task are ranked between 1 (basic) and 5 (advanced).

You can use this profile to:
Find a job
Write your resume and prepare for job interviews
Plan your career
Determine which career may best suit you based on your skill set
Manage your workforce
Write job postings, assess employee performance and develop training

Find out more about this occupation

For more information on this occupation, look at the related job profile. It provides information on prevailing wages, job prospects and other skill requirements.

Look up job profile

Pet Groomers and Animal Care Workers (6483)

Pet groomers and animal care workers feed, handle, train and groom animals and assist veterinarians, animal health technologists and animal breeders. They are employed by animal hospitals and clinics, animal shelters, breeding and boarding kennels, zoos, pet-grooming service companies and laboratories.

Reading Help - Reading
  • Horse trainers read short memos, such as from the riding master to the stable manager regarding exercise programs for the horses. (1)
  • Pet groomers read supply catalogues and flyers. (2)
  • Veterinary attendants read product flyers and pamphlets on animal care. (2)
  • Pet groomers read instruction manuals for equipment such as clippers and dryers. (3)
  • Laboratory animal assistants read procedures' manuals describing how to give injections or how to operate the cage-washing machine. (3)
  • Dog trainers read books on dog-training techniques and rule books on dog obedience and sport competitions. (3)
Document use Help - Document use Pet Groomers
  • Read labels on products, such as shampoos. (1)
  • Read the appointment book to check the spacing of appointments. (1)
  • Read inventory lists to order supplies. (1)
  • Refer to illustrations in dog-grooming guides to understand how to clip different breeds of dogs. (2)
  • Fill in blood-sample forms, indicating which blood tests are needed for an animal. They also fill in lab forms to record test results. (2)
  • Read Material Safety Data Sheets to learn chemical properties of flea products. (3)
Veterinary Attendants
  • Read labels on medicines to check directions, dosages and expiry dates. (1)
  • Read delivery slips, checking off the supplies and drugs received. (1)
  • Read weekly schedules to know which animals are coming in. (2)
  • Some additional examples:
    • Kennel attendants read registration forms for dog-training classes. (1)
    • Animal-care workers, in all work settings, read food labels and dietary warnings. (2)
    • Laboratory-animal assistants make entries in a drug log, recording the amounts of each drug used. (2)
Writing Help - Writing Dog Groomers
  • Enter information on client cards. (1)
  • Record the services to be provided for a particular client by writing a reminder note or completing a form. (1)
Veterinary Attendants
  • Enter information on patient files to record their interaction with the animal, including observations on temperature, pulse or respiration. They also note problems they observed. (2)
  • May write flyers to make technical information on flea-control products understandable to pet owners. (3)
Some additional examples:
  • Kennel attendants write information cards for boarders. (1)
  • )
  • Zoo attendants write notes to other staff to pass on information, such as, that an animal requires medication in the next shift. (1)
  • Dog trainers write obedience class notes for dog owners. (2)
Numeracy Help - Numeracy Money Math
  • May prepare invoices, take payments from customers and make change. (1)
  • May prepare invoices that involve calculating group rates or discounts for animal care services. (2)
Scheduling, Budgeting & Accounting Math
  • May schedule appointments. (1)
  • May make debit and credit entries in financial records. (1)
  • May order supplies, determining how much is needed of each item, monitoring prices and calculating unit prices to make sure they are getting a good deal. (2)
Measurement and Calculation Math
  • May measure medications in cubic centimetres. (1)
  • May measure shampoo for a dog's bath, diluting as directed. (1)
  • May weigh animals. (1)
  • May prepare feed mixtures according to a specified ratio. (2)
Numerical Estimation
  • May estimate the quantity of supplies to order. (1)
  • May estimate how long it will take to groom a particular dog, so that they can space appointments appropriately or provide a cost-estimate to the client. (2)
  • May estimate the amount of tranquillizer or anaesthetic to give an animal considering its health and mental state or demeanor. (3)
Oral communication Help - Oral communication
  • Speak to animals to put them at ease. (1)
  • Speak with retailers and suppliers to order supplies. (1)
  • Receive information from clients and co-workers on an animal's condition and the services to be provided. (1)
  • Interact with co-workers to carry out grooming and care activities. (1)
  • Greet customers, discuss their needs and answer questions. (1)
  • Receive instructions from the veterinarian or other supervisor. (2)
  • May participate in staff meetings concerning proposed improvements in care. (2)
Thinking Help - Thinking Problem Solving
  • Encounter problems when incorrect supplies are delivered. They return them for replacement; however, if the item is needed urgently, they may have to locate another source to meet the clients' immediate needs. (1)
  • May have to reconcile dog owner's wishes for grooming with what they know to be in the best interests of the animal. They try to encourage owners to set realistic grooming targets. (2)
  • May have to deal with customers who are not satisfied and who refuse payment. (2)
  • May deal with animals who refuse to nurse their young. They must find other ways to feed the babies. (2)
Decision Making
  • Dog trainers decide what is the best positive reinforcer for a particular dog, such as a ball or food. (1)
  • Pet groomers decide which shampoos and flea products are appropriate for animals and which combs and brushes are best for the thickness of the animals' hair. (1)
  • Animal-care workers decide when it is appropriate to make changes in an animal's eating regimen, based on its health, age and demeanor. (2)
  • Pet groomers and trainers may decide not to work with a particular animal if it seems vicious or sick. (2)
  • When veterinary attendants care for in-house patients on their own, they must decide when to call in the veterinarian. This includes animals that stay overnight. (3)
Critical Thinking

Critical Thinking information was not collected for this profile.

Job Task Planning and Organizing

The daily activities of pet groomers and animal care workers follow a routine, including animal feedings, exercise periods and cleaning cages, or come from a schedule of appointments. The remaining time is used to complete recurring tasks, such as ordering supplies. However, their routine may be disrupted by problems or emergencies. (2)

Significant Use of Memory
  • Remember which owners go with which pets. They remember animals' names to react appropriately when owners come to pick up their animals and remember the status of the tasks that they are doing.
  • Remember the temperament or other characteristics of animals they have dealt with in the past.
Finding Information
  • Obtain information about animal-health conditions they encounter by contacting veterinarians. (1)
  • Look up information in manuals about grooming, training or laboratory procedures. (2)
Digital technology Help - Digital technology
  • They may type up notes for dog obedience classes. (2)
  • They may enter and access information about clients and animals. (2)
  • Animal-care workers may enter transactions into a veterinary medical accounting system. (2)
Additional information Help - Additional information Other Essential Skills:

Working with Others

Pet groomers and animal care workers mostly work independently, while working closely with and co-ordinating their work with the activities of others. They may work alone, for example, veterinary attendants working on the night shift.

Continuous Learning

Pet groomers and animal care workers have an ongoing need to learn.

Date modified: