How Much Should I Tip My Dog Groomer?

Dog grooming is hard work. It is not well-paid, so you should tip your dog groomer if you can afford to do so.

Tipping is so stressful, though. You want to be the perfect client. If you tip too little, it will look like you are mean, especially if your dog groomer has done an excellent job. On the other hand, you might not want to splash lots of cash on a tip if you have a limited income. What should you do?

Before I reveal the recommended amounts to tip your dog groomer, let us look at why you should be tipping them for doing a great job.

I am not a professional dog groomer. It isn’t a profession I would like to work in, and I admire those that do. I have two Siberian Huskies, who I take to Kennel Club breed conformation shows.

Dog Grooming Is Hard

In order to compete, they have to be bathed, blow-dried, and groomed to perfection. It takes me two to three hours to groom each one properly from start to finish.

It is back-breaking work, even with an adjustable table. I also end up soaking wet when the dog inevitably shakes.

As for drying their coats, it is debatable who dislikes the dog blaster less, them or me. A dog blaster is a high-powered hair dryer, which according to my dogs, is related to the devil. I agree the dryer is noisy and blows hair everywhere. I get absolutely covered. It ends up in my mouth, my nose, and all over my clothes.

Professional dog groomers wear a net over their heads to prevent them from inhaling the fur. I don’t know which sounds worse, a net over my head or having dog hair all over my face.

Professional groomers are worth every penny they get for subjecting themselves to either. It is well worth paying a big tip to ensure they will want to groom your dog again.

All that dog hair, dander, and dust are terrible for a dog groomer’s lungs. They can suffer from a lifelong debilitating condition called “Groomer’s lung.” The tiny hairs and particles that they inhale can stay in the lungs, causing scarring to the tissue and permanent damage. Not only do groomers need to wear a net to protect themselves, but also a face mask, or even some kind of respirator too. Given the risk to their health every time they groom your dog, you should tip well.

Dog groomers have the patience of a saint to do their job. Most dogs don’t like grooming the first time. They are likely to misbehave, and groomers may be bitten or scratched. It takes a special person to coax and cajole a dog into submitting calmly to bathing and drying.

Dog grooming is a time-sensitive operation. If your dog doesn’t behave well, it will take longer to groom them. A groomer will have already set a price to charge you, so if they spend too much time on your dog, they will lose out on how many dogs they can groom in a day. If your dog behaves badly, you really should give the groomer a good tip.

A well-established groomer may be overrun with clients and be able to pick and choose which dogs they groom. Tipping handsomely, of course, may help put you in their good books and ensure they will take your dog, but nothing can replace training your dog to have good manners at the grooming parlor.

To get your dog used to visiting the groomer, visits to the grooming salon should start early while your dog is a small puppy and not an unruly adult.

How Often Should You Groom Your Dog?

An ideal time for the first visit is between ten and twelve weeks of age after they have had their second set of vaccinations. A quick visit to the groomer for those sharp puppy nails to be clipped while you remain present is a good starting point in their training. Follow that up shortly after with the puppy’s first bath before they reach an age where they go into the fear period. Puppies experience a fear period in which they become scared of things, even if they have seen them before at eight to eleven weeks old and between six and fourteen months. It is too late to leave a puppy’s first groom until they are six months old.

Clipping Your Dog

Clipping can be a scary experience for a dog but is vital for non-shedding breeds like Labradoodles, Poodles, Cockerpoos, etc. If they’re not clipped regularly, their coat could mat and cause sores. It takes a lot of extra time for a groomer to de-tangle and clip out a dog that has become matted. It will cost you less in the long run if you keep up with a regular grooming schedule. Not to mention causing your dog less pain and discomfort. High-maintenance dogs need grooming every 6 to 8 weeks. If you let your dog’s coat get into a mess, it will take extra time for the groomer to untangle and demat it, and you should tip them well.

Doing The Work You Don’t Want To do

If there was ever a reason why a dog groomer should get a tip, it must be for expressing a dog’s anal sacs, or anal glands, as they are also known. If you don’t know what anal sacs are, I’ll explain. A dog has a pair of sacs next to his rectum, which contains a foul-smelling liquid. Usually, that liquid is expressed when your dog poops, but if things go wrong, they need emptying manually. It is a job you can do yourself or get a groomer or vet to do it for you. There are a lot of things I will do for my dog, but I won’t do that!

How Much Do Dog Groomers Get Paid?

Another reason for tipping your groomer is many aren’t well paid. The apprentice groomer at stores like Petco or Petsmart who will be tasked with bathing and shampooing your dog is earning just a little more than the minimum wage.

Groomers who work for themselves may earn a good wage, but there are high overhead costs with setting up a grooming salon. They would have had to go on training courses, which aren’t cheap, and then there is the cost of buying or renting the salon. It can cost as much as $20,000 to buy the equipment for a grooming salon. Customers that tip all help with paying off those expenses.

Dog groomers don’t receive a high wage, despite it being a skilled job, needing lots of training. They know all about dog anatomy, breed history, and different ways to cut and clip a dog’s coat. Breeds like Poodles, Schnauzers, and Bichon Frise each have iconic clips. Then there is the stripping, thinning, and carding of coats to learn.

How Much Should You Tip?

The recommended amount to tip your groomer is 15% of the total cost of the groom before taxes. If a groomer has only done a mediocre job, give 10%. If they have done a particularly brilliant job, 20% is a great way to show that. Of course, what you tip is entirely up to you.

If money is tight, there are other ways to show appreciation to your dog groomer other than with a monetary tip. They always appreciate it when you tell them they are wonderful, and what a great job they have done, which costs nothing.

Promote Your Dog Groomer

A helpful way to show your dog groomer that you think they are amazing at no cost to you is to tell the world about it. Recommend them to your friends. Post a photo or video of your dog’s new haircut on social media apps like Facebook, Instagram, and TikTok. Tell everyone what a great job they are doing.

Bottom Line

Remember that not only does your groomer have to work hard to make your dog look fabulous, but theirs is a profession where they get bitten, scratched, and pooped on daily. So give your groomer a tip you can afford, a big thank you, and tell them they are awesome.

Photo of author
Rachel Webb

Rachel Webb splits her time between the United Kingdom and Spain, where she lives with two Siberian huskies and a working cocker spaniel. They compete in agility, hooper, and trick competitions. The Huskies also take part in breed conformation shows.