white poodle grooming

Tipping service providers is a common practice throughout the United States, especially in restaurants. There are times when it is appropriate, if not expected, to offer a tip. However, there are times when tipping isn’t appropriate. Unfortunately, there is no universal tipping guide that we all receive once we become adults!

When it comes to dog grooming, tipping your service provider is appropriate and would likely be appreciated. That said, there are exceptions depending on the circumstances. If you do decide to tip your dog groomer, you should know how much to tip them. Otherwise, you run the risk of offending your groomer or spending way more than you need to for a doggy haircut. Let’s discuss the topic here.

Should You Be Tipping Your Dog Groomer?

In general, everyone who utilizes the services of a dog groomer should be prepared to offer a tip. Groomers work hard and go through many stressful experiences to make sure the dogs that they groom feel safe and are as calm as possible during the grooming session. They put themselves in danger because a dog that gets scared or stressed out is capable of violence, especially in a strange environment while around strange people.

That said, some dog groomers are not allowed to accept tips, so check with the company that you choose to work with before offering a tip. Some companies and service providers have tipping suggestions, which lets you know that they expect to be tipped. Therefore, it’s always a good idea to bring along extra cash for tipping when you take your dog in for a grooming session.

Groomer is cutting a dog hair in hair service
Image courtesy of Shutterstock

How Much Does Dog Grooming Cost?

The cost of dog grooming can vary greatly depending on your location, the type of grooming service that you decide to utilize, the popularity of the service, and even the specific grooming options that are offered, among other things. There is no way to determine exactly how much you will spend on a dog grooming session.

That said, according to Home Guide, you can expect to pay anywhere from $40 to more than $100, depending on the type of service that you decide to use. Taking your pooch to a local grooming shop may cost you between $40 and $75. If you choose to utilize a mobile dog grooming service, it can cost you $75 for the average-sized dog — more or less for small and large dogs.

If you want more than just a shampoo and cut, you can expect to pay more for those services. Here’s a breakdown of average costs for specific grooming services that you might be interested in:

  • Nail Trimming: $10–$15
  • Teeth Brushing: $10–$15
  • Flea-and-Tick Treatment: $15–$20
  • Paw Balm Services: $5–$10
  • Ear Cleaning: $10–$15
  • Nail Polishing: $7–$10

These services may cost you more or less, depending on the part of the country that you live in, the quality of services offered, and even the reputation of the service provider overall. It’s important to visit the grooming facility in person before deciding whether to take your own dog there. The facility should allow you to monitor other grooming sessions before bringing your dog in, as well as monitor your own dog’s grooming session.

How Much Should a Dog Groomer Be Tipped?

There is no set amount that one is expected to tip a groomer, but it seems that 15% to 20% is typical. This means you’ll likely want to pay about $5 to your groomer as a tip for every $25 or so of services for your dog.

Most companies and service providers will allow you to pay for the tip via a credit card or check if that’s the way that you are paying for the services overall, so you may not need any cash on hand. It’s always a good idea to call ahead of time to find out what kinds of tipping payments are accepted if you aren’t already certain.

dog grooming
Image courtesy of Shutterstock

How Often Should I Get My Dog Groomed?

How often you groom your dog depends on the dog’s breed and lifestyle. If you have an extremely furry or long-haired dog, like a Poodle or a Shih-Tzu, you will likely have to take your pooch to the groomer once or twice a month. Dogs with shorter and less condensed coats may need to see the groomer only a few times a year.

Dogs that spend a great deal of time inside tend to need less grooming than those that spend most of their time outdoors. Your veterinarian and groomer can help you determine the proper grooming schedule for your pooch. Keep in mind that you don’t ever have to take your dog to a groomer. You can do all the grooming yourself if you have the time, patience, and willingness to do so.

How to Keep Your Dog’s Coat in Good Shape Between Grooming Sessions

No matter how often you decide to take your dog to a groomer, it is a good idea to keep their coat in good shape between service visits. First, consider brushing or combing your dog’s coat once or twice a week. This will help keep tangles away and get rid of dirt and dander.

You can also bathe your dog yourself once a month or so to elongate the time between professional grooming visits. Don’t be afraid to trim the hair around your pooch’s eyes and ears if necessary, so you can reduce the number of times that you must see a groomer throughout the year.

Does Pet Insurance Cover Dog Grooming?

Unfortunately, pet insurance does not usually cover the grooming of a dog. This type of insurance focuses on covering health conditions and injuries that are unexpected. Some insurance policies include preventative care, but even then, grooming services are not typically included.


Dogs can be dirty and get grimy, especially when they spend time outside. Fortunately, groomers can help keep our dogs looking fresh and clean. The amount of money that you tip a dog groomer will depend on the quality of service and the cost of the services rendered when all is said and done.

Featured Image Credit: Shutterstock