Do You Tip Dog Groomers - Why and How Much

Regular dog grooming is essential to ensure a healthy canine. Some people choose to groom their dogs at home, while others take them to professional pet grooming studios instead. Whenever we opt for the latter, one of the questions we all wonder is this: do you tip dog groomers?

As more pets are adopted in the USA, and professional dog groomers are getting increasingly busy, this has become a common misunderstanding among many pet owners. The infamous question, do you tip dog groomers or not, is now dominating every pet grooming forum and website. To save you the time, the short answer is…

Yes, you DO tip dog groomers.

Want to know why, and how much do you tip them? Wonder why dog groomers deserve to be tipped, and what else should you expect from going to a professional dog groomer? Let me break this down for you from personal 6-year experience at grooming salons.

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Do You Tip Dog Groomers? Why and How Much?

Why do you tip dog groomers

As with any tipping procedure, there are always arguments on the matter. One school of thought believes that if you pay for the pet grooming services in a professional studio, there is no need to tip your pet groomer because it’s already been paid for.

However, the other side of the argument can be that you should tip anyone who provides you (or in this case, your dog) with a service that you yourself don’t wish to do. This has been a long-term understanding about tipping in America, which is much different from the practices they employ in Europe (but that's different topic for another day).

Ultimately, like mentioned above, the answer for this very common question, do you tip dog groomers, is a definite yes. As long as you are satisfied with the job your groomer has done, you should always tip the professional for the work they've put in. After all, they could've done a worse job, right?

Why do you tip dog groomers?

Simply because you pay full price for a dog grooming service does not mean that your professional groomer sees 100% of that fee. More often than not, pet groomers only receive a fraction of that amount as their commission.

This is often because groomers work for the salon and either get paid by the business, or they rent it out and pay a big portion of their earnings to be able to continue working in the grooming studio.

When you tip your dog groomer, it shows them that you appreciate the work they did and you value their commitment to their job. Let’s face it, dog groomers deal with things on a daily basis that most people couldn’t handle, and their job requires a lot of tough physical labor and a whole bunch of patience.

Your dog groomer lifts, pulls, clips, grinds, squeezes anal glands, bathes the dog and gets covered with water and soap, dodges bites and scratches, and deals with many other common dog behavioral issues and things throughout the course of a day. Showing your appreciation by tipping a dog groomer is the least we can do.

Want to know more about why do you tip dog groomers, the way dog groomers work and what comes with the job? Here's a few articles from a professional animal groomer to give you a better perspective:

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Professional dog groomer grooming a dog

How much do you tip dog groomers?

I have to mention that I'm not a groomer myself, but I use their services often and always tip my pet groomers. Why? Because whenever you pick up your pet from the grooming studio after the pro groomer has done their job, and your pooch smells fresh, looks great and seems to be happy, that's a perfectly valid reason to leave an appreciation tip.

In fact, I believe we should all stop calling this practice “tipping,” and instead use the term “appreciation tip.” Because this is exactly what it sounds like: your dog groomer did a great job, you certainly didn’t want to do it yourself, and you leave a tip to show them that you appreciate their hard work.

How much is the tip normally? Typically, for dog groomers the appreciation tips are 15-20% of the cost of the services (with a $2 minimum). Most dog owners are encouraged to leave whatever they can afford and think is fair, of course. Personally, I often end up tipping around $4 to $6 for a regular dog grooming service, unless it's a special case and more things need to be done to the dog.

Why do you tip dog groomers? Tipping a dog groomer is a good way to ensure that the next time you come in with your dog, you both will be welcomed and the professional will take special care of your dog whom he or she already know well.

Obviously, just like with everything else, first you must be satisfied with the service that you have received before tipping a dog groomer. If your dog is still stinky or did not get the treatment that you previously discussed with your pet groomer, you should make your disappointment known and obviously no tip needs to be given.

If your dog groomer works from home, you know they spend a lot of their own money to keep the service going. Just to give you an idea of how much their equipment costs, and what stuff they often need to buy to keep their business running:

How much do you tip dog groomers

Consider your dog groomer’s effort

Sometimes dog groomers go the extra mile. Maybe they included a service for free like brushing your dog's teeth, clipping and even filling your dog's nails. Maybe your dog groomer loves your pooch and always shows him extra attention. Maybe they squeezed you in last minute because it’s the only time you could make it.

When instances like these happen, it is customary to leave at least 30% tip or possibly even more. You should also think about tipping your dog groomer a little bit more during the holiday season. This is a great way to show them that you appreciate all that they do for you and your pet throughout the year, and maintain a good relationship with your groomer.

Most importantly, consider how difficult your pet is to groom. Does your groomer constantly need to calm your dog down? Does your dog have a bad coat that requires special grooming needs?

One of the things people tend to forget is that you should most definitely do tip dog groomers a little extra if your canine is particularly tough to deal with. Not every dog enjoys being groomed, bathed and pampered; if your dog is one of those, you should definitely compensate the professional for taking good care of them, and being patient.

Does your dog need more attention? Adult dogs are usually the best to groom, especially if they have been well-trained. Puppies and older senior dogs, on the other hand, can also be particularly tough to groom and often times present a challenge to a professional groomer.

If your dog requires any kind of special care, you should consider that when thinking about how much to tip a dog groomer. Remember that finding the right pet groomer can be difficult, so when you do find someone you like and someone who takes good care of your pet, be sure to show them your gratitude by leaving them a great tip.

Grooming your dog yourself at homeWant to groom your pooch yourself? Some pet parents decide that splurging on dog grooming services, and then also having to tip dog groomers is too much money, thus they opt for grooming their dogs at home by themselves.

That's a valid reason and probably a great way to bond with your dog, too. If you want to explore this option, we have some helpful articles for you:

Most likely you tip everyone else that provides you with a service, including waiters/waitresses, hair stylists, and nail technicians, so why wouldn’t you tip someone that is providing your dog with a service? Honestly, your dog groomer's job is most likely much more taxing than that of your hair dresser or nail technician.

If you took a child in for a haircut and he squirmed around in the chair the entire time making the cosmetologist's job more difficult, would you tip her more? I absolutely would, and thus we should be just as considerate to our pet groomers.

At the end of the day, most dog groomers will tell you they love their jobs and they love their clientele (dogs, cats and other pets), but this doesn't mean they don't deserve to be compensated for their hard work.

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Diana currently lives and works in London, UK and she's been an animal lover and dog owner since she was a child. After graduating high school, she focused on getting her degree in English to become a writer with a focus on animals, pets and dogs.