Why Does It Cost So Much To Have My Dog Groomed? This is a question that I have been ask often over my grooming career. I have found myself having to defend the prices that I charge for pet grooming more often than I would like to admit.
I will admit that it does tend to put a groomer on the defensive. So many pet owners believe that grooming a dog is not a job but playing with dogs all day.
Pet grooming is a highly skilled job.
Yes, I said skilled.
I am sure that any pet owner out there that has experienced a bad grooming on their dog realizes that not everyone calling themselves a groomer can do a good job. That is why professional pet grooming is a skill.
Becoming a professional pet groomer, or stylist requires patience, an artistic eye, physical stamina, and a true love for the job.
~Patience to deal with many types of pet personalities, ranging from very sweet, to very nervous, to very nasty and biting. ~An artistic eye to be able to balance out a haircut, and make your pet look beautiful. ~Physical stamina for lifting dogs, bending over a tub all day, and standing on your feet for 8 to 12 hours a day. ~True love for a job that can be dangerous at times, and unappreciated.
Pet grooming is far from playing with dogs all day.
It is a job.
It is a business.
There are bills to be paid. Rent. Water. Gas & Electric. Grooming Tools. Grooming tool maintenance. Shampoos. Conditioners. Groomers Salaries. Health Insurance. Business Insurance. These are just some of the overhead that a grooming shop has to cover every month.
Another question that I have been asked is; "why does it cost more to cut my dogs hair than my own hair?"
The answer... Your stylist is shampooing and cutting only the hair on your head.
Your groomer is....
Bathing your dogs head and body with high quality shampoos and conditioners.
They may also be spending extra time giving your dog special medicated baths, and, or Hot oil treatments to help your dogs skin.
A good groomer will take the time to hand dry and fluff your dogs coat to get the best hair cut possible.
They clip your dogs to the length you desire if the coat is in good shape.
They can hand scissor your dogs coat into a cute cut if the coat is in good shape.
They can take your dog from looking like this....
....to looking like this.
Your groomer also clips your dogs nails.
Some groomers also offer nail filing as a service if your dog will allow it.
Your groomer will pluck and clean your dogs ears if needed.
The ears will go from looking like this....
Your groomer will also remove ticks from your dog.
Your groomer will alert you to skin conditions that need to be treated by your Veterinarian.
Your groomer may also find sores under crusty eyes, tumors, rashes, and other things that may need to be seen by your Veterinarian.
Your groomer must also deal with clipping seriously matted dogs. These matted dogs require professional grooming skills to remove the coat safely. Removing these coats also require a lot more time than the average grooming. It is only fair that a groomer charge an extra fee for removing this kind of coat.
A groomer could groom two to three well taken care of dogs in the time that it would take the groomer to remove this severely matted coat safely.
Bring a dog once a year to the groomers, to save money, will only cost more money in the long run, do to medical bills for bad skin and other medical conditions caused from letting a dogs coat become this matted.
Many pet owners may not have any idea how dangerous professional pet grooming can be for a groomer.
We all like to think that our dogs are the greatest. That they would not hurt someone. Unfortunately, there are dogs that are very mean when it comes to grooming. Some are not groomed often enough to learn that being groomed is okay.
Some dogs don't care how carefully you are trying to groom them.
They only have one thing on their mind....
...and that is to draw blood.
Some dog owners out there think that the groomer must be doing something to the dog to make the dog scratch and bite the groomer.
Believe me, it is not a groomers goal to get up in the morning and go to work to make a dog bite them.
Your dog is a living thing that has a mind of its own.
Something as simple as having the nails clipped, the ears plucked, or a mat brushed out could trigger a dog to turn and bite.
A dog can bite quickly and with the force to bite down to the bone in seconds.
One well placed bite can end a professional pet groomers career.
Believe me, we do not ask to be bitten!
To sum it up, your groomer does a lot for that price of the grooming.
~ A bath (all over, not just the head) ~A Blow-dried and fluffed coat. ~The coat brushed and mat free. ~Ears cleaned and plucked. ~Nails clipped and filed. ~A full body hair cut. (clipped or hand scissored)
Does your hair stylist do all of that to you?
Pet grooming prices vary greatly across the country. The larger your dog is, and the more hair that they have, will require more grooming. The more work that your groomer needs to do on your dog, requires more time, in turn costing more to groom.
Having your dog groomed regularly helps keep the coat in good condition which helps keep your dogs grooming at an average cost.
The average cost, depending where you live, for a small to medium size dog, given a basic haircut, can cost between 40 to 50 dollars. Depending on how often you get your dog groomed (4, 6, 8 weeks), lets say every 4 weeks (30 days), would cost you anywhere from $1.35 to $1.70 a day.
I am sure that it is worth $2 a day to keep your dog clean, happy and healthy. :)
One last thing....
Most groomers care very much about their furry customers.
They got into grooming because they love dogs and want to make then feel and look better.
But, they still have families to take care of and bills to pay just like everyone else.
Try to remember that professional groomers do a lot for your dog for that grooming price that you pay.