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Associate Development at PetSmart

We are committed to educating our associates with best-in-class experience and training across our salons, hotels, and pet training programs. Our associates are industry leaders, and we're proud to continue investing in their development.

Salon Associate Training

We train 3,500 students annually through our Grooming Academy, the most in our industry. It includes:

  • 800 hours of in-person training to learn pet safety, breed characteristics, and proper grooming techniques

  • Breed-specific training across all AKC breed groups

  • Technical evaluations

  • A minimum of 325 dog baths/grooms required to become a PetSmart groomer

  • Annual safety certification


Pet Training Associates complete
  • 96 hours of training and hands-on practice to learn dog behavior and training techniques

  • Training accreditation

  • Annual safety certification


Hotel Associate Training includes
  • 21 hours of safety-certification programming to understand and interpret pet behavior

  • Curriculum dedicated to proper pet health and welfare practices

  • Annual safety certification



For more than 20 years, PetSmart has offered a Tuition Assistance Program, encouraging professional development and continued learning of associates. Associates can be reimbursed for eligible expenses toward their undergraduate or graduate degrees. Over the past ten years, we have invested over $3.3 million and provided support to over 1,300 associates, $385,000 of which was allocated in 2021 alone. Plus, earlier this year, we updated the policy to reduce the tenure and average hours eligibility requirement, making this benefit more accessible to our associates.

In 2021, we launched two new Scholarship Programs. One supporting associates and dependents of color with an initial investment of $1 million and an additional one where all associates (below officer level) and dependents are eligible. In 2021, 13 scholarships were awarded to associates* or dependents.

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