8 Dog Grooming Mobile Van Must-Haves

What you need for a great dog grooming mobile van setup

Running a mobile dog grooming business isn’t a “walk in the park.” From building a customer base to delivering excellent customer service, it all starts with getting the right equipment for your dog grooming mobile van setup. 

You need reliable equipment, supplies, and tools to impress your customers with the same safe, clean space as they would have at a traditional dog grooming salon. Equip your dog grooming mobile van with the right gear to set yourself apart from the competition

If you’re thinking about starting a mobile dog grooming business or you’re looking to upgrade your setup, this simple guide will help you get set up.

Mobile Dog Grooming Van Equipment and Supplies

The equipment and supplies you choose to include in your van can set you apart from the competition. It can also affect the customer service you deliver and determine how many five-star reviews you get from happy pet owners. 

While you may not have the capital to invest in the best or most expensive tools at first, start with the necessities and as your client list grows, expand your mobile dog grooming van inventory and tools with it. 

Here is a brief list of equipment and supplies we recommend to get you off to a great start. 

1. Van Modifications

The first thing you’ll need to assess is any modifications you’ll make to your dog grooming mobile van. Consider ventilation and temperature controls if you live in an area with extreme weather. For example, will your van need additional insulation to keep your van warm, or will you need fans to improve ventilation? 

You’ll also want to think about water and waste management. Humans love to shower in warm water, and so do pets. Install a tankless water heater to keep the water at a comfortable temperature for baths. 

You need a power generator to keep all your equipment running all day. While there are several options out there, look for a generator upwards of 3,500 watts to keep the electrical system of the grooming area powered. If you’re worried about the generator's sound, purchase sound-insulating panels to minimize noise. 

2. Water Tank, Tub, & Hoses

Depending on your rig and service offerings, you’ll need to outfit your dog grooming mobile van with a water tank, tub, and hoses for a great grooming session. Aim for at least 2 - 30 gallon water tanks or one 60-gallon tank that attaches to a standard garden hose or another heavy-duty hose. Avoid running out of water mid-bath by opting for larger tank options. You can scale down later on if necessary.    

By bringing your own water, you won’t have to bother clients or search for a water line at each appointment. 

You’ll need to keep your workspace clean before, after, and during appointments. A high-power, portable vacuum is critical to quickly clean up hair and debris between your appointments. ShopVac has several options for wet/dry vacuums for buyers of various price points that can help clean up after your client without requiring too much time. 

3. Grooming Tables

It’s critical that your dog grooming mobile van offers a secure, safe space to deliver the best grooming experience to your canine customers. Install non-slip grooming tables to keep little Fido from slipping and sliding before and after their bath. 

If you plan on servicing older or larger dogs, consider including a slide-out walkway that leads dogs from the table right into the tub for easy access. Portable grooming tables are great options to make the most of your space in your mobile dog grooming van. If your rig has space to accommodate, look for tables with a weight limit of at least 200lbs and a height of 30” - 46”.

Some tables are adjustable to make it easy to change heights between appointments. This way, you can handle the biggest Great Dane to the smallest Chihuahua. 

4. Cages, Collars, & Harnesses

Because dogs can be squirmy, keeping your canine clients comfortably safe in your dog grooming mobile van will require some gear. To keep them safe with a little wiggle room, have extra collars, various-sized harnesses and/or hammocks on-hand for stability during grooming sessions. 

Hammocks can help relax dogs that get anxious during grooming sessions or older dogs with trouble standing. Remember that you should only use these hammocks on dogs 30 pounds or less, so keep harnesses on hand for larger dogs. You don’t have to break the bank to find reliable harnesses - there’s a variety of affordable harnesses to choose from online for several dog sizes.

5. Cleaning Supplies (soaps and treatments)

To properly groom pets, you’ll need cleaning supplies to have them smell fresh and clean. Start by purchasing the basics such as shampoo, conditioner, and ear cleaning treatment. 

You might also consider offering unique spa treatments like salves for paws or flea and tick treatments. For more sensitive furry friends, it’s best to have hypoallergenic shampoos and conditioners on hand to cover all your pet bases. 

And when you’re stocking up your dog grooming mobile van, consider the bottle size and accessibility. Having them within reach of the station you’ll be using them for without having to unload or adjust will save you time prepping and cleaning up after each appointment.

6. Grooming Tools

Short fur, long hair, and everything in between - dogs come with all textures and lengths of hair. Your dog grooming mobile van toolkit should include the following tools to tackle any essential dog grooming needs:

  • Clippers 
  • Shears
  • Scissors
  • Brushes & combs
  • Dryers 
  • Nail clippers 

While you can purchase all of these items separately, we recommend purchasing toolkits to save money when you’re just getting started. You can find affordable pet grooming kits from Pet Edge, which has a range of kits to choose from, depending on your budget and needs. 

7. The Finishing Touches

Just like every wrapped gift needs a bow; you want to pick up a few items to give your furry friends the perfect finishing touches. Invest in some bandanas and bows to adorn pets with at the end of a grooming session. 

Pet owners love seeing their pets in cute outfits and will enjoy you going the extra mile to beautify their four-legged friends. End each grooming session with an adorable photo or video to give a final update to the owner. 

8. Mobile Dog Grooming Software 

Don’t let your decked-out dog grooming mobile van sit still. Fill your appointment book and manage your schedule with mobile dog grooming software built by mobile service pros for owner-operators like you. 

Run your entire business from your phone with Zippity’s mobile service app. Dazzle your dog-loving customers and reduce the manual tasks that come with running a mobile dog grooming business with the app designed for mobile service pros on the go. With Zippity you can:

  • Book up to 30% more appointments with location-optimized scheduling: Minimize van drive time with configurable scheduling rules that ensure customers book near each other
  • Communicate with up to 3x more customers with automated texts and emails: Don’t keep customers guessing about your arrival time. Send direct, professional messages to customers with automated texts and emails that keep them updated at every stage of service 
  • Get 35% more revenue every appointment with transparent online upselling: Make same-day service suggestions a breeze with simple add-ons, integrated photos, and online approval.  

Manage your entire mobile dog grooming business from your phone and cut out the heavy admin work so you can focus on what’s important. Whether you’re looking to increase revenue, streamline online bookings, or improve customer communication, Zippity does it all — from the palm of your hand.

Download the Zippity Guide to learn how you can enhance your mobile dog grooming service.

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