Let’s get it right out of the way. Yes, you should tip your dog groomer! There are new first-time dog owners every day, which means that people (and doggies) constantly go to the groomer for the first time.
Going to the dog groomer can be a very stressful experience for you and your dog. It can go much smoother if both owner and groomer are on the same page regarding what they expect from the visit.
This article will cover how much you should tip, when you shouldn’t, and the situations where you should tip above and beyond.
Service that Earns a Tip
A tip is a way of showing your appreciation for a job well done. Here’s what you should expect a groomer to do.
You should expect your dog to be treated like family.
When you leave your dog in the care of another human being, you shouldn’t have to worry about how they are treated. This isn’t just about how they are handled while being groomed (which is typically customer-facing) but how they are treated while waiting for the next step in their grooming process. They should be put in their own kennel and not piled on top of other dogs.
You should expect them to clean and sanitize their equipment
There is no difference between the level of hygiene you would receive at a salon and what you should expect for your dog.
You should expect the job to be done in a reasonable time
When you book the appointment, you should ask how long they think it will take. They’ll give you an estimated time to pick the dog up, and then you can expect a call when the work has been completed.
You should expect a job well done.
Say something if you get a dog that wasn’t groomed to your satisfaction! Often, groomers get busy, and there may have been an oversight. But, if they did a terrible job, you should adjust the amount they receive in tips. Since they usually receive a 40% to 50% commission on the money you pay for the job, the tip is just the icing on the cake.
Should you tip a dog groomer if they haven’t done these things?
If you feel like the job was not performed to your satisfaction, then don’t tip. A tip is not earned in advance. You should tip a dog groomer only if they do well.
Please tell them you aren’t satisfied and allow them to fix it before you hold a tip. You might not be on the same page if it’s your first time with a particular groomer.
Here’s more on how much dog groomers make.
Set Your Expectations
- A groomer should expect to be told all potential behavioral issues explained upfront. This doesn’t just mean a propensity to bite (although that is crazy important). It also means letting them know about any sensitive parts of the body. For instance, I have a lab that is just a sweetie pie, but she has a sensitive paw from a previous injury. The owner told me when doing her nails not to get too aggressive with grinding that paw.
- Your rabies/distemper should be up to date. The chain stores will ask for this automatically. The smaller grooming salons should, but not all of them do. If you can’t produce this information, you’ll be in trouble if your dog bites the groomer. Don’t even risk it. Don’t put the groomer in the position of wondering if they should get rabies treatment to stay on the safe side.
- A doggie that has been treated for fleas. You won’t want to go in if you haven’t done this. Many people live in seclusion and can get away with this, but if you bring a dog to a place where dogs congregate, such as a park or groomer, the odds are solid that they’ll pick them up for the first time. Also, you’ll have a much better time with ticks if you’ve treated your hound.
Maybe it’s not strictly applicable to discuss what the groomer should expect, but it is important. A groomer that feels comfortable around your dog will go the extra mile. In a way, that is like them tipping you! Do everything that you can to establish a relationship with a good groomer. They’ll be happy to see you and go the extra mile. They will be very grateful for the steady business and tips. You’ll be treated as a priority. Everybody wins!
How Much Should You Tip a Dog Groomer?
Tipping a groomer like your waiter/waitress is a good rule of thumb. Fifteen to twenty percent for a job well done is more than reasonable. I’ve always felt that if you bring your dog in to get his nails done, you should tip a flat twenty percent. Nail work is the thing that makes most dogs the most squeamish. Not everybody tips. The groomer will remember you and do an excellent job for you in the future.
There are certain situations where more than the usual amount should be tipped.
- When the dog has an extreme amount of shedding or matting, a groomer can find themselves fighting these mats all day. Or if it’s a badly shedding dog, they can brush until their arms feel like they want to fall off. Sure, they have some tricks up their sleeve to get the hair off more efficiently than you can, but when it comes down to it, elbow grease is still what is going to be what gets the job done. If you pity your groomer when you drop the dog off, you probably already know that a strong tip is in order.
- If the dog has bitten the groomer and they plugged along and finished the job, you should tip as generously as you can. They may carry scars from this appointment for the rest of their lives. Just consider yourself lucky that they were cool about it.
You could follow this fantastic guide to tipping etiquette!
Should you tip a dog groomer at Petsmart?
Petsmart and Petco groomers are still groomers. They work in a big box store. That does not mean that they shouldn’t be tipped. When you bring your dog in at Petco, they’ll hand you a ticket to bring to the cash register. This removes the paying aspect from the grooming salon section. This confuses a lot of people. But it would be best if you still tipped them.
What Percent to Tip a Dog Groomer
Every industry is different. You tip a waiter 15-20%, no questions asked. But, servers are paid a miserably low hourly wage, creating a situation where they depend on tips for most of their income. A pet groomer must be paid minimum wage at the least, which is still much better than a server. They usually get a cut of the grooming fee as well. So, they are making good money off of the job already, so don’t feel obligated to higher than 10-15%
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