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It is an age-old question. People often wonder what types of services they should tip and which ones essentially make enough money that they don’t commonly receive such things. Do you tip dog groomers? Most pet owners often wonder about this. If so, how much is appropriate? It’s no wonder that you’re curious about the topic. Knowing who to tip and how much can become very confusing. Fortunately, you’ve come to the right place to help you sort it all out.
Your Dog Groomer and You
In most cases, you actually have an ongoing relationship with your dog groomer. Unless you’re trying someone out for the first time, you might even be on a first-name basis with this person. People have a tendency to find a dog groomer that they really like and then stick with them. If you’ve ever taken your dog to a groomer who didn’t do a very thorough job or worse yet, wasn’t especially careful with your dog, you know why it’s so important to find a really good dog groomer and then make appointments with them consistently. After all, you typically feel safer when you’re leaving your beloved pet in the hands of someone that you know will take good care of them.
It’s Not All About You
Nobody likes the idea of worrying about their dogs while they’re at the groomer, but there’s something even more important going on here. You have to pick a groomer that your dog has a good relationship with. Sure, you want to have a good relationship with this person too, but it’s really not all about you. It’s much more about your dog and her level of comfort. As long as she’s happy, you’ll probably be happy. That begs the question, what makes one dog groomer better than the other? For starters, it requires somebody that’s really good with dogs of all sizes and all personalities. Some dogs absolutely love going to the groomer and others positively loathe it. If your dog is frightened by strangers, loud noises, or worse yet, people with objects in their hands such as dog nail grinders, going to the groomer can be a tremendous stressor. There are dogs who literally have to be sedated in order to go to the dog groomer and in some cases, it’s simply not safe for them to do so because of their age or specific health concerns. If you’ve ever had a dog like that, then you know how important it is that you find someone who makes them feel comfortable, someone they trust. Dogs are probably the best judges of personality in existence. If they trust someone, there’s every reason to assume that you can trust them as well. On the other hand, if your dog is throwing up warning signals at the very idea of being left in the hands of a particular individual, there might be a reason. This is especially true if that type of behavior is uncharacteristic for your dog.
A Challenging Profession
One thing that you have to understand right away is that it’s not as easy to be a dog groomer as you might think. So many people have a complete misconception about this job that it’s almost sad. Dog grooming is really not as easy as grabbing a pair of clippers and making someone else’s dog look nice and clean. In fact, it’s quite challenging. Dog groomers have to be able to deal with dogs of all different sizes, from the smallest lapdog to the biggest German Shepherd. They also have to know how to bathe them and trim their hair, in some cases even shave them. More importantly, they have to be able to do all of this without causing any harm to your pet. That includes knowing more than a few things about certain medical conditions so they can recognize the signs that your dog might be in trouble. They also typically deal with dogs who have skin conditions or phobias about various things. Imagine being a dog groomer who is tasked with clipping a 90-pound dog’s nails when that dog just happens to have a phobia about having his nails clipped. It’s not so easy. In fact, it can be quite stressful under certain circumstances. Dog groomers don’t typically get the credit that they truly deserve. Their job is far more complex than most people realize, even those who have been taking their dogs to the same groomer for years. As such, some people tip dog groomers as a way of saying that they genuinely appreciate a job well done. The question is, should you have been doing it all along? There are more than a few things to consider here. A lot of it has to do with the employment structure of the individual in question.
Self-Employed vs. On Staff
One of the major factors involving tipping can be decided by the type of employment structure that your dog groomer has. For example, are you taking your dog to a groomer that is self-employed? There’s a huge difference between someone who is running their own business and someone who’s on staff at one of the major chains like PetSmart or Petco. Typically, someone who owns their own business and is well established is going to be making more money than a person who’s on staff at one of these chains. That could potentially affect your decision when it comes to deciding how much you should tip a dog groomer. It’s important to remember that a lot of dog groomers who are working for major chains don’t really make that much money. As such, they might genuinely appreciate a generous tip from time to time because they’re probably working a lot of hours on their feet without a great deal in return. The working conditions might be better for someone who’s self-employed, provided that they’ve been doing business long enough that they have established a secure customer base. At the same time, someone who is just starting out may need that tip more than anybody.
The Accepted Standard
As it turns out, there is an accepted standard for tipping dog groomers in the United States. In much the same fashion as you would tip a waiter or waitress at a restaurant, that standard involves tipping your dog groomer 15% to 20% of the total cost. Of course, you can always tip more if that particular individual did an exceptionally good job with your pet or if there are any other circumstances that might be considered out of the ordinary. For example, did your dog groomer stay late in order to accommodate your schedule or did they work extra hard to fit you in on a day when they were already booked up? These aren’t things that should be overlooked. By the same token, you might consider tipping your groomer more money if your dog is exceptionally difficult to handle. Remember, dog groomers have to deal with dogs of all different personalities, as previously mentioned. Unless your dog is perfectly well-behaved, they may be quite deserving of an extra-large tip. This is especially true if you happen to have a dog that is very reactive. Dogs have a tendency to nip and bite when they get scared , so if your dog is especially frightened, it may be a real challenge for the dog groomer to handle. If you have to muzzle your dog in order to take her to the groomer, it’s safe to say that your dog groomer probably deserves a rather significant tip. Put yourself in that situation. How would you feel if you were on your feet 8 to 10 hours a day and half of your clients were trying to sink their teeth into you just for doing your job?
Is Tipping Really a Necessity?
Of course, it isn’t absolutely necessary. However, you definitely want your dog groomer to do a good job and take special care of your best friend. It might be in poor taste to say it, but one of the best ways to make sure that they take care of your dog is to make it worth their while from a financial perspective. Tipping can be quite a divisive subject in the United States because it’s not something that’s typically done in a lot of other countries. The difference is that in many of those other countries, people are actually paid a wage that allows them to afford the basics like housing and food. Unfortunately, a lot of people in the United States work for wages that are so far below anything even approaching an acceptable living wage that they have to rely on tips in order to survive. People in the hospitality industry typically fall into this category. Unfortunately, so do many dog groomers. On the other hand, you have some dog owners that point out the fact that they don’t tip their veterinarian, so why should they tip their groomer? It largely falls under the same category as tipping someone who gives a human being a massage. That’s definitely a service-oriented industry, but it’s also one in which a lot of people are self-employed and charge anywhere from $60 to $90 per hour. Many of them spend quite a long time training and honing their skills, but it’s an interesting argument that someone who charges almost $100 an hour still expects 20% of that cost in tips (in most cases). It can sometimes be a similar situation with dog groomers, provided they are self-employed. The one thing that there isn’t any doubt about is that there are people that fall on both sides of this argument, many of them with passionate arguments of their own that are either for or against tipping.
At the end of the day, you have to decide what is right. As previously discussed, the accepted standard is to tip 15% to 20% of the total cost to have a dog groomed. That said, it is a tip. Therefore, you’re not forced to pay it unless you feel the need to do so in most cases. Perhaps it really comes down to understanding where your groomer works and how much they actually make. After all, someone who has more than enough clients to fully book their days and charges $70 an hour doesn’t need those tips nearly as bad as someone who is on their feet for the same 8 to 10 hours a day, making $15 an hour. Perhaps the answer is to learn more about what your dog groomer makes and then tip accordingly. If they’re self-employed, ask them whether or not they accept tips and how they feel about that particular issue. If they work at a chain, you can almost bet that tips are not only appreciated but also needed.
Chances are, you still have a few questions. If that’s the case, it might benefit you to read through this list of frequently asked questions.
Frequently Asked Questions
How much do you tip groomers at PetSmart?
PetSmart has a rather unique payment structure for its dog groomers. They are paid on commission as opposed to being paid per hour. For a very long time, the company did not allow their groomers to accept tips. As a matter of fact, they only started allowing them to accept tips this year. Furthermore, PetSmart only lets their groomers keep 40% of the total cost to groom each dog, keeping the other 60% for themselves. As you can imagine, it’s hard to make a living that way, even when you work as fast as you can all day long. In cases like this, tips are very much appreciated. However, you should tip your dog groomer directly and do it in cash. Otherwise, they might not get to keep the tip anyway.
How much should dog grooming cost?
Typically, the cost for dog grooming is based on the size of the dog. Most shops charge around $40 for full-service dog grooming session for a small dog such as a Yorkshire Terrier. Large dogs like German Shepherds will usually cost a bit more, typically around $75. It’s important to remember that if you want additional services such as dog nail trimming, there is usually an additional fee. More often than not, shops charge around $15 to $20 for these types of services. They may have other add-on services as well.
How much do groomers make per dog?
As previously mentioned, the going rate for full-service dog grooming is anywhere from $40 to $75. Of course, it might be slightly higher or lower, depending on your exact location. If you’re talking about a groomer at PetSmart or another similar chain, it’s important to remember that they’re not even getting to keep half of that. That could make a huge impact on your decision to tip dog groomers. It might also affect the amount you decide to give them. It’s worth noting that 40% of $40 is only $16. By the same token, 40% of $75 is only $30. It’s sad to think that someone might perform full-service dog grooming on a dog and make less than $20 for their efforts, but that is the reality facing a lot of individuals working at these chains.
Do PetSmart groomers sedate dogs?
PetSmart claims that it never sedates dogs. As a matter of fact, they even claim that they will refuse a dog that has been sedated by its owner. As far as groomers who are running their own business are concerned, they will typically only give a dog medication that has been prescribed by that particular dog’s veterinarian. Most prefer to have the owner give the dog the medication themselves and then remain present while the dog is being groomed, even if they are just out of sight during the actual grooming process.