Disclosing The Info: How Much To Tip A Dog Groomer


Tipping is just one of those subjects that is considered one huge dilemma. To my surprise, there are actually various case studies that have been done on this matter, but the real question is why is that so?

Well, there has always been a lot of speculation around tipping in general. Questions like “should you tip?” and “how much should you tip?” are thrown around with everyone, having their own unique answer.

On our blog, we are, of course, talking about dog-related things, so I am going to introduce one more question to the mix, “how much to tip a dog groomer?”

When you think about it, tipping culture in America is really interesting. As far as I know, no other country has this kind of tipping etiquette. The reasons behind it may be quite sad, but here, we will focus mainly on the brighter side of our life, and those are, of course, our furry babies.

By grooming your dog, you will ensure that he looks clean, healthy, and well-maintained. If you don’t know how to do it by yourself, there are many professionals who offer professional grooming services, and will take good care of your pooch for you.

Should You Tip Your Dog Groomer?

female professional groomer and two dogs

Is it mandatory? No.

Legally speaking, tipping is still considered voluntary; however, in practice, the situation is a little bit different. When it comes to most professional services, not tipping is actually considered very rude.

Should you tip your dog groomer? Well, it is totally up to you; however, in my opinion, a tip is generally recommended.

Let’s think a little bit about it. Do you usually tip your hairstylist? I am sure that most of you will say yes. Well, a groomer is basically a hairdresser for dogs, except a single grooming session also includes an overall health assessment, plus often dealing with difficult customers (meaning pups).

Most groomers will not expect a cash tip, so you shouldn’t feel pressured; however, it will be appreciated a lot.

Pet grooming is a demanding job. It requires a lot of knowledge, love for animals, and especially enormous patience. It cannot be done by anyone, so it definitely needs to be recognized and valued by pet owners.

Why should you consider tipping? For starters, the groomer will cherish and recognize you more. Next time you bring your furry friend in for grooming service, the groomer will most likely make an effort to do a better job and free up their time for you.

These are just some of the reasons why you should tip your dog groomer, but probably the most important one is that by doing it, you show your pet groomer that you appreciate their hard work, and that you respect them.

How Much To Tip A Dog Groomer?

owner is helping to the professional groomer at salon

To know how much to tip a professional dog groomer, we need to look into how much dog grooming service costs?

Dog grooming service usually costs between $30 and $90, although prices are subject to change based on various factors.

The basic service includes brushing, bathing, blow-drying, trimming the dog’s hair, nail clipping, ear cleaning, anal gland expression, dental care, and cleaning hard-to-reach spots.

The price of the grooming service mostly depends on the time it takes to do the job – the more fur your dog has… the more time it takes. However, there are also some other factors that are taken into consideration:

  • the dog’s size and weight
  • the length and thickness of the coat
  • extra dirty and matted hair
  • breed-specific haircut patterns (Poodles, Schnauzers, Terriers, and other similar dog breeds require specific haircuts that take more time than, for example, a regular trim for Golden Retrievers)
  • location

So, to answer the question from the beginning, a standard tip for a dog groomer is considered to be around 15 to 20% of the total bill.

For example, if your total bill is, let’s say, $80, then the tip should be around $12 to $16. However, from experience, most people tip with either $10 or $20 bills in order to avoid doing the math.

If you need some help, you can always use online calculators like this one to calculate how much you should tip according to your bill.

Is $10 A Good Tip For A Dog Groomer?

With 15 to 20% being the norm, a $10 tip would be completely fine, and even considered a very good tip for an average grooming session that is around $50.

A larger tip is always appreciated around the holidays or for special circumstances.

Do You Tip A Self-Employed Dog Groomer?

Yes, you should definitely tip a self-employed dog groomer, especially small business owners, if you liked their work.

Many people skip over the business owners, thinking that they don’t need to be tipped, and forgetting that they are the ones who need to pay to run their business. There are a lot of responsibilities that go along with owning and operating a dog grooming business.

You need to pay for supplies, for insurance, the paychecks if you have employees, etc. When someone takes good care of something that you love dearly, the least you can do is show some gratitude.

How Much Do You Tip A Dog Groomer At PetSmart?

PetSmart groomers usually earn 40 to 50% commission, which equals to the average hourly wage of around $13. It is definitely recommended that you tip PetSmart’s dog groomers if you can as their tipping policy for groomers is that tips are always appreciated.

The same rules apply here. You should tip around 15%  to 20% based on your total bill.

When To Tip Extra

yorkshire terrier having haircut at grooming salon

#1 Your Dog Is Difficult To Work With

Some dogs are simply a little bit difficult to work with. If you have one of those dogs, you know what I am talking about.

Some pups are just not very social, and don’t take the interaction with the groomer very well. They will fidget constantly, growl, and bark every time the groomer touches them, which makes the grooming session just a bit more difficult and stressful.

If you know that your pup is really difficult to work with, you should consider tipping the groomer extra. An additional 5% to 10% will be much appreciated.

On the other hand, if you don’t know how your dog behaves at the groomer, you can always ask after the session.

#2 Dog Groomer Went Beyond The Expectations

More often than not, a dog groomer will go above and beyond his way to do the best job possible, even if it requires doing some extra work that is not included in the basic grooming service.

If you feel that your dog groomer did an exceptional job, and went beyond all your expectations to make your dog look and feel great, you should consider tipping them a little extra to show your appreciation.

Ultimately, the decision is up to you, your personal experience, and your budget, but an extra 5% would be a really nice gesture.

#3 You Dog Has A Unique Coat And Sheds A Lot

Extremely large dogs take a lot more time to groom than those little, teacup ones. Some dog breeds either have a very unique coat or shed a lot, which makes them a lot more difficult to groom, not to mention time-consuming.

Siberian Huskies are, for example, known to shed a lot, plus they are very much drama queens, so grooming them is always a “fun experience”.

Read also: How To Stop Dog Shedding? Grooming Tips & Tricks

Shaggy dog breeds, like the Komondor and the Puli, have a very difficult coat type to groom, so this is something that should definitely be taken into account when considering whether to tip or not to tip the groomer.

Related: The Komondor Grooming Guide You Never Knew You Needed

If you bring a dog in with an extreme case of matting that takes a very skillful hand to take care of, you should definitely tip a little bit extra.

#4 Your Dog Has A Tendency To Scratch Or Nip

If your dog has a tendency to scratch or nip, you should definitely mention that to the groomer before the session.

Different dogs react differently to grooming, and it is not too strange for a dog groomer to end up with a couple of scratches on them. Sometimes, the dog might even nip or bite them.

If your dog has done that, you should consider adding an additional tip for the trouble they went through.

Related: Why Does My Dog Nibble On Me? Dog Mouthing Behavior Explained

When To Skip The Tip

woman holding her dog in front while standing in front professional groomer

#1 The Tip Is Included In The Bill

Even though this is not usually common in the dog grooming business, you still might encounter a situation where a service fee is included in the overall bill.

If this happens, you should not worry about tipping since the tip is basically already included in the price. The groomer should warn you, though, about this practice, so that there is no confusion about the overall price.

#2 Dog Groomer Did A Really Bad Job

Although I’d like to hope that this never happens to you and your pooch, the truth is that these kinds of situations happen all the time. I am sure that there are dog owners out there who could affirm this happening to them.

You asked for just a trim and the groomer fully shaved your pup, or gave him a terrible haircut. Unfortunately, mistakes happen all the time, and not all groomers are actually good at their job.

If this happens to you, I wouldn’t worry about the tip since they definitely didn’t do their job properly, and you aren’t satisfied with the service.

#3 The Services Were Minor And Quick

If you brought your pup for just a quick nail trim or something else that was minor and didn’t take a lot of time at all, I wouldn’t consider tipping as being necessary.

Of course, a tip would be appreciated a lot; however, if you don’t feel like tipping, that is also completely fine.

Tipping On A Budget

woman grab a coin from her wallet

“What if I can’t afford to tip?”

Dog grooming, when combined with everything else that comes with owning a pet, can be quite expensive for some people. A lot of pet parents cannot actually afford to tip, and that is completely fine.

You shouldn’t feel bad at all. Actually, there are some things that you can do instead that will not affect your budget, but groomers will appreciate it a lot.

Show them some love and appreciation. Sometimes, a simple “thank you!” and “you did an amazing job” will be just as appreciated as giving a good tip.

You can also recommend them to your friends and family and promote their work. Share them on your social media, tag them when you post pictures of your furry friends, and tell other people about them.

This will help them get new customers, grow their business, and eventually earn more. I will add here a little quote by George Herbert: “Good words are worth much, and cost little.”

How Often Should You Have Your Dog Groomed?

jack russel terrier at grooming salon

How often you should have your dog groomed really depends on your dog and several other factors. According to the PDSA and the American Kennel Club (AKC), dogs with a short coat may only need to be groomed every few months.

Breed-specific requirements for coat trimming and stripping may be needed as often as a couple of times a year for dogs with a medium to long coat. However, dogs with a thick, heavy coat, (and long-haired breeds that are prone to matting) will need to be groomed almost every month or two.

You also need to take care of your dog’s nails by trimming them regularly. Even if you are not getting a full grooming session for your pooch, you can go to a groomer for a quick nail trim, or you can buy clippers and do it at home.

Related: 8 Best Clippers For A Goldendoodle For Grooming At Home

Senior dogs and dogs with medical conditions may require more frequent grooming to keep their coat and skin in good condition. It would be best to consult your veterinarian and a professional groomer in order to develop a grooming plan that will be specifically tailored to your dog and his needs.

Benefits Of Professional Dog Grooming

Grooming your dog is not only about making your puppy look great, but also about him being happy and healthy. There are many benefits of professional dog grooming for both the dog and the dog owner.

First and foremost, groomers are trained to identify potential health risks and issues with ears, skin, teeth, and more, which might not be visible to your naked eye, and therefore, alert you on time.

Regular grooming will help remove any tangles, mats, and dirt from your dog’s coat, which will help you maintain your dog’s healthy coat and improve your dog’s overall health and appearance. Your pooch will look and smell great.

Regular nail trims will reduce the risk of nail cracks and infections, as well as help improve healthy posture.

Finally, it is also quite convenient to have your dog professionally groomed. You will save time and energy by having a professional groomer handle all of the grooming tasks.

Groomer’s Insights

As a professional groomer myself, I can attest that, at least from my experience, most groomers (myself included) do not actually expect a tip; however, it is well appreciated. If you don’t tip, it is fine, but we are really happy when you do.

Working in a business like this can sometimes be very difficult. Some weeks can be really busy, whereas others, not so much, so tips can really come in handy in situations like those.

Furthermore, it tells us that we did a good job, and that you love our service; however, please remember a nice word is also always appreciated, if not even more.

Yes, we all work for money, but it always pays more to be a good and polite customer. Not even a good tip can save you from being rude.

I really hope that this article was able to give you a bit of insight on the dog grooming world and tipping culture, so next time you take your dog for a grooming session, you know exactly how much to tip a dog groomer.

So, tell us… do you tip dog groomers, and how much?

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