Tipping Your Dog’s Groomer

Tipping Your Dog’s Groomer: Appreciating those who do what you can’t (or won’t!) Do yourself

Original Image by Crystal James, www.thegroomroomkeller.com

This page was written after I did a search on groomer tipping and found pages and pages of people who had googled the same question… and had no idea what the etiquette was for getting their dog groomed.

I will not only address why your dog’s stylist deserves a tip on top of the amount you pay for the services provided, it will also break clients into separate “tipping brackets”. I will also cover holiday tipping and special circumstances toward the end.

I spend $40+ on my dog’s groom, why should I tip the groomer too?

  • Your stylist most likely makes 40-50% commission on every dog s/he grooms, not the full price you pay.
  • Paying for your grooming bill is standard and is part of responsible pet ownership. Tossing $5+ your groomer’s way says that you appreciate the work they do, you value their commitment to do something you cant/wont/ don’t do yourself.
  • Your stylist does hard, physical labor every day out of a certain love for pets like yours. She clips/grinds nails, squeezes anal glands, dodges bites, gets soaking wet, has infected bumps on her arms from embedded dog hair particles, and gets pink eye several times a year from the 4 inch dog hairs that embed themselves around her eyeball. After all of that, a good stylist will still greet you with a smile, and send your dog home with a detailed verbal or written report of how the groom went and a “see you next time!”.
  • A good stylist is personable and she cares. If trusting your stylist and appreciating her skill isn’t reason to tip I don’t know what is!

So how much do I tip?
The following basic requirements must be met:

  • Your dog smells clean
  • Your dog looks like what your groomer discussed with you at drop off. Please note the wording here! If you brought your Bichon to a salon after 6-12+ mo. without professional grooming and he is a solid mat, your stylist SHOULD inform you at check in that your dog WILL be shaved. If you DECLINE shaving, a good groomer will suggest for you to take your dog home and attempt to demat it yourself. The Golden Rule of Grooming is Humanity before Vanity! An experienced professional will refuse to injure, frighten, or traumatize a matted pet simply to please the owner (who wants the dog left fluffy). If the owner refuses to believe the opinion of a professional, they should be given the option to demat the pet themselves, so they can See The Light.
  • Your pet was completed in a reasonably timely manner. This means roughly around the estimate given at drop off. If your pet requires extra time, attention etc, a good stylist should call to give you a status update. All good groomers should call when your dog is ready and leave a message if necessary.

So, your dog looks and smells good, your stylist was professional and personable, and now is the point where you look at the $10 and $5 in your hand and wonder which to give, or both. I will break this down into two groups: the Appreciation tip ($5+) and the Extra Mile/Special Circumstances tip ($15+).

Appreciation Tip ($5-$10 / 15-20% )
Please note: if you ask for the same groomer every time, come every 4-6 weeks,  and your dog is an angel, WE DON’T MIND IF YOU DON’T TIP EVERY TIME! Unless it’s christmas, cause seriously, tipping once a year is courtesy. “Regulars”/”requests” are our bread and butter during slow seasons, so we appreciate your loyalty and your dog’s good behavior (meaning he doesn’t bite or crap himself constantly) so much that a tip isn’t expected or required.

An appreciation tip is exactly what it sounds like. A token of gratitude. It’s whatever you can afford. Maybe your stylist threw in a service for free, like nail grinding or toothbrushing, just to show you the benefits. Maybe she always does a good job. Maybe she just genuinely loves your dog and it shows. Maybe it’s close to a holiday or it’s a weekend and she squeezes your dog in even though she’s booked. Whatever the reason, this is the feel-good tip, the one we don’t expect, the kindness that makes it all worth it.

When we genuinely love your dog, like you, and want to see you again, we show it. Bows, bandanas, cute notes, reminder calls… it means we like you. You don’t have to tip us every time, we don’t grumble when you don’t, but just knowing you value our work enough to ask for us and tip occasionally will result in free upgrades, even if we don’t tell you about them.

But in general. You should tip your Pet Stylist the same amount that you’d tip your personal Hair Stylist, which is 15%-20%.

Extra Mile/Special Circumstances ($15+ / 30%+)  (or more than you would usually tip)
It’s a known fact in the industry that the people with the sweet, easy-going dogs tip and the once-a-year clients with aggressive, matted dogs don’t. Here are some examples of when you should tip big or tip more than usual (meaning your usual is a curt “thanks.” As you walk out the door).

  • Your dog is aggressive. If your groomer gets bit by your unsocialized dog, YOU NEED TO TIP! Especially if your stylist doesn’t charge extra despite being bitten. If your dog is half groomed and your groomer had to stop because your dog drew blood or caused serious injury, YOU SHOULD TIP. Chances are you won’t be charged for an incomplete groom, or if you are it will be a minimal charge. If your dog injures someone, for god’s sake, tip them.
  • Your dog is a “rehab” dog. This is a nice way of saying you’ve been kicked out of other salons or passed from groomer to groomer until someone was able to successfully groom him. Appreciate this brave soul and give her $5-10+ for not giving up.
  • Your dog is a bucket of yuck. This means that your dog:
    •   has a fecal pack (matted poo glob) stuck to his rear
    •   is infested with fleas or ticks (more than 10 is an infestation, in my book)
    •   is so badly matted that your groomer saves the sheet of fur and shows you a matted-fur sweater when you pick up
    •   is so heavily undercoated and dirty that your groomer looks like she’s been rolling around in a vacuum bag when she brings him out to you, all shiny and new. This applies to shepherds, huskies, malamutes, chows, any thick-coated dog whose hair falls out in clumps every time he moves.
    •  your dog is a submission pooper/pisser/vomiter/anal gland secreter. If your groomer tells you your dog poo’d itself after the bath, or several times throughout the groom… for god’s sake, throw her a buck or ten. I had a wheaten terrier once who, I kid you not, peed gallons of strong-smelling urine at least 6 times throughout the groom. I bathed and dried him over and over and finally gave up, telling the owner I just couldn’t continue rebathing and drying her full-coated dog. She came in, a bustle of blonde hair and fake boobs, pressed a towel to his winkie and talked to him while I finished. She had three wheatons, and tipped the two of us who groomed them $20 each. the husband brought them after that and only rarely tipped $5 for all three, but still, the extravagance of $40 left us feeling like it was worth 6 baths and 2 1/2 hours behind on our other dogs.
  • Just anytime you KNOW you have a difficult dog. Difficult doesn’t always mean aggressive, it can mean a super-jumpy, jittery toy (teeny yorkies are the worst!) Or any dog that requires extra time or special attention.
  • YOUR DOG IS OLDER THAN MOSES/HEAVIER THAN JONAH’S WHALE AND REFUSES TO STAND! This is extremely stressful for a busy groomer! Sometimes overweight, sometimes badly bred, sometimes arthiritic, sometimes just senile and old. If you have a big old dog and your groomer calls to say it’ll be awhile, she needs someone to help hold your 85lb australian shepherd up so she can groom her, TIP THIS GROOMER! A dog that cant/won’t stand is next to impossible to groom successfully, and if it is a large/giant breed that makes it even worse.

The moral of the story is, tip your groomer, at least occasionally, and at the very least, at christmas. If you have a good dog that you bring in every 4-8 weeks that your stylist loves, it’s okay not to tip if you can’t afford it. However, if you have a jerk dog, or one so badly matted/dirty because you only get it groomed once or twice a year… you should tip. Even if you’re paying $100 for a complete shavedown twice a year that leaves your Doodle looking like a rat. If you didn’t consider grooming into your impulse buy of a cute puppy on a street corner, you have NO ONE to blame but yourself. If you can’t afford regular grooming (every 4-8 weeks), get a low-maintenance, short-hair dog.

Treat your salon nicely and your groomer with respect. If you don’t feel comfortable with a salon, don’t get your dog groomed there. Feel free to ask questions and even interview a groomer… but do this on weekdays or call ahead and ask when would be a good time to drop in and talk to someone. Read reviews online. And learn about the grooming requirements of your breed of choice before purchasing one. A shih tzu is adorable when it’s small, but neglect grooming and you’ll have a terror on your hands by 5 months that may just need to be shaved to an ugly rat-like state.

A well-groomed pet requires the cooperation of the pet parent, the dog, and the stylist. Look around til you find the one for you.

© Charity Rael 2011. This article may be posted on other grooming websites, printed for customers, and edited for language. All I ask is author recognition and a link to this blog: Charity Rael https://funkypuppy.wordpress.com

50 Responses to “Tipping Your Dog’s Groomer”

  1. sylvia at 9:56 pm #

    Dear Charity,

    Reading tipping your dog’s groomer made my day. It was great! Very true and very funny as well. I hope pet parents read this and learn a thing or two. I am a groomer in El Paso, Tx. I am also getting into the janpanese style creative grooming. If you have any tips or suggestions it would be greatly appreciated. For example bell legs/ and cute puffy poodle ears. What are your techniques. If you don’t mind,of course! 🙂 You should check out amazon japan they have some cool books for dog grooming. Yes it’s in japanese but the pics are kick ass! Write me when you have a chance. I would love to chat with you! Bye

  2. charitynicole at 3:13 pm #

    I’ve been meaning to respond to you forever! Sorry about the long wait. I am so beyond flattered by your comments! I’m kinda spazzing out a little bit… “someone wants to know my techniques! I have techniques!” lol.

    I’m all about short poofy ears on shih tzus and poodles. I like to scissor or thinning shear them down almost to the leather and then bevel them in, similar to how you’d do Bichon ears. For the cuties with temporary pink ears, i spray aerosol food coloring onto a comb and comb it in. you can find it in the craft department at Super Walmart where all the wedding stuff is… it’s never in the baking aisle.

    I’m still learning bell legs, and it takes good hair to do em. I like to skim the tops of the legs with the same metal clippercomb i used on the body, skimming out, away from the body about 1/4 the way down. just enough to get the hips and armpits uniform with the body. Then I mist with San Bernard’s 2-Step equalizer (it’s lightweight but makes the fur stand up and still for scissoring) and I use straights at an angle all around the food.

    I’ve been slooowwwwwllyyy Belling a couple of my clients in increments, and the response is 100% positive!

  3. Camille at 3:45 pm #

    If i lived anywhere near you id deffinetly be going to you with my esme. Ive only had the shaved down to a rat issue happen once with my poodle(never again) sadly though in my city(In New brunswick canada) I cant seem to find a reliable groomer who

    a) seems to actually love their job
    b) make it a positive experience for my dog
    c) and isn’t rather rude(last groomer seemed a bit mouthy when I asked her to shave my dogs muzzle as she was getting a beard and getting caked food, she grumbled about not liking to shave poodles noses and almost refused to do it.

    I only found one groomer that i loved and it costs me 65 dollars in cabs to get to her as i don’t have a car. plus 45$ grooming session and 10$ tip(It was my mini poodles first grooming since her breeder clipped her before i took her home so i figured she lied about her being a bit nervous but good all in all lol) It came to a rather expensive grooming lol. But when i came to get her she had a big doggy grin and beautiful little white bown on her ears and the groomer seemed very proud of the work she did as she should. I really wish i could go to her more often. I need to get a car.

    • This message was forever ago so you may never read this but… if a groomer says your dog was nervous then he/she probably was nervous and I doubt anyone was lying about it. If a groomer takes the time to tell you this then it is probably true because this is something that isn’t always easy to explain to a pet parent.

      .Pets can act completely different at the groomers and sometimes for just random things. I used to groom my mom’s dog whenever I would visit home (I was a groomer for just under five years) and he’s always a super friendly shih tzu but whenever I got to his chin with clippers he would try to bite. Thankfully I could still use the shears to short his chin hair but still… if our little guy was a snot with me about it I guarantee he is with his regular groomer also 😉

      • jlscaife at 6:52 pm #

        I took it to mean that Camille felt her dog was incredibly nervous and generally not that well behaved rather than the groomer’s more positive words. I know that I personally am always concerned that my dogs will give the groomers trouble on the rare occasions when my short haired dogs have gone for professional baths.

    • Renee at 12:19 pm #

      Hello, I too am a groomer & read your post. I am so sorry you are having a hard time finding a groomer you & your bestfriend like. Have you interviewed them before taking your pet to them? I would call & see when you could have some of their time, before leaving interview, ask if you & your pet can stop back by together just to met him/her to say hello before your appt. Also, as Grooming isn’t goverened, try to find a groomer that has gone to school, attended workshop courses, etc.
      I hope you find this helpful for you and your beloved best buddy!

  4. Brook at 2:14 am #

    Hey Charity. I just left you a message on Petgroomerforums. I got to reading this part of your blog and absolutely love it! I was wondering if I could use it (editing out personal experiences and certain foul language…lol) and have it set up in my shop for clients to read. I’m a writer at heart, but I dont think I could ever write and put the meaning in that you did in the tipping blog. It is just… well, there’s no words to really describe it. I’m forwarding this to my business partner. Love it! Love u!

  5. Jenessa at 2:20 am #

    thats why i LOVE my regulars, they almost always tip me 10-20 before i even start simply because they know my work and that i will treat their dog with love and care. it has to be the best form of compliment the owner can give! It also is wonderful to see the dog happy to see me when they come in! You did a wonderful job explaining it charity, kudos!

  6. Jade at 11:40 am #

    I am a dog groomer and I really appreciate you posting this. I always hate that uncomfortable moment when clients ask if we accept tips. I totally agree with your entire blog. We tip many people from hair dressers, to waitresses, to the pizza delivery guy. In my case, I make 50% of every dog I groom, so sometimes I rely on the tips I recieve. Each tip is very appreciated! Thanks again for posting!!

  7. Natasha Rojas-Conde at 3:09 am #

    this..was..fantastic… I shared this with all my grooming girlfriends. Thanks for putting in the time and btw…Im totally with you girl!

  8. becky burgoyne at 2:30 am #

    Fantastic wording and explains all that we groomers go through. Sharing this article on my business page. Thanks so much

  9. Jayden Mike at 8:04 pm #

    Celebrating, showcasing and discovering dog groomers and sharing photos of their talented, in-style work! “Dogs have given us their absolute all. We are the center of their universe. We are the focus of their love and faith and trust. They serve us in return for scraps. It is without a doubt the best deal man has ever made.”Visit us http://on.fb.me/10ws6AZ for more information.

  10. aubri at 5:52 pm #

    Lol I love how pretty much everyone reading this is a groomer. I feel like we may never truly get the point across to tip. Ppl just don’t get it.

  11. Elizabeth at 6:22 pm #

    I read this and wished that every dog owner that went to a grooming salon could see this. I’m only a Dog Washer, but I see my fair share of tough dogs in my work. And after working with hard-to-do dogs, help my boss hold up dogs that are ether old or obese as well as clean up the poops and piss puddles then find out 85% of the owners never even leave a tip, I feel sort of hurt.

    Not that I expect to be tipped as a bather, but there are those wonderful owners out there that specifically tip me for washing and drying their huge Saint Bernards, Great Peeresses and all those other extremely fluffy breeds.

  12. David Woods at 2:16 am #

    This is great information. Thank you for publishing this.

  13. David Woods at 3:46 am #

    I appreciate the advice that you gave. It was very helpful.

  14. kim at 11:09 am #

    I work for tips as a server so I know what its like to do a service, you can’t/ wouldnt normally do for yourself, for a living. Whether its for people or animals, we do it because we CARE about you/ your dog. I ALWAYS TIP. How would you feel if you were the one catering to someone else’s needs? You would expect/ hope the customer shows their appreciation with a tip. They went to school to master the art of cutting an animals hair for YOU. TIP YOUR GROOMER, SERVER, BARTENDER etc… or buy a set of clippers and do it yourself.

  15. bruce jenner at 2:01 pm #

    I pay 80 dollars per dog X 2 dogs at PerSmart. Simple cleaning, simple buzz cut for two golden retrievers. Why should I tip someone for doing their job? If there is a problem with these groomers making “little money”, I blame it on the PetSmart executives and/or whoever owns the business. Pay them better and we wouldn’t have a bunch of whiny complainers writing on boards like this.

    • mbeikmann at 5:22 pm #

      Bruce, attitudes like your are the reason these articles are written, but evidentally it went right over your head. If they were to pay them more you would also have to pay more….another reason for you to complain, I’m sure. You probably think we play with puppies all day, and I am sure you could never fathom you dog being one to misbehave, and I bet you also think that it is a job you could easily do yourself…and with that attitude-have at it my friend, spending thousands on tools and learning all a groomer has to know to do it correctly and safely would probably be the only way you would ever begin to appriciate what your groomer does that you don’t see. Maybe then you would realize that tossing your groomer a fiver here and there is worth what they do for you and your dogs. You probably also don’t believe in tipping servers and such either, do you.

      • Tarra at 2:46 am #

        Lol he obviously didn’t read the article which states exactly what he was complaining about and why. I wonder if his groomer even knows about his lack of appreciation for her/him. If she did he’d never get the extras in love and details that we give to our clients who actually appreciate our work. One of my best clients actually came from someone who tried to groom her dog herself. She said it took 2 days to finish cuz it was so hard on her back and in the end her dog looked like it went through a garbage disposal (her words lol).

    • Kerry at 9:46 pm #

      Haha, Bruce when was the last time you tried to do a “simple buzz cut” on one of your Golden’s yourself? Why did you buy dogs that need grooming if you don’t want to pay for it?

  16. You could certainly see your enthusiasm within the article you
    write. The sector hopes for even more passionate writers such as you who aren’t afraid to mention how they believe.

    All the time follow your heart.

  17. Vanessa Mathes at 3:40 pm #

    I liked your article and its exactly why I tip my groomer. Amber Taylor,she truly loves her job and my dogs, even though my oldest one can be difficult sometimes. They do risk injury,some dogs don’t like to have their feet touched, dogs can smell horrible, especially when wet, ugh!!! Try giving one a straight haircut when they won’t hold still!!!!! AND get it straight. I always tip my groomer, my dogs mean the world to me and she genuinely loves them and takes card of them like her own and it shows. They really don’t have an easy job, so people give them something. Even if you can only afford a few dollars, it will add up if everyone chips in and they do deserve it if they are the kind of loving groomer I have. Thank you Amber !!!!!!

  18. Lynda at 1:07 pm #

    Love this, I’m a dog groomer in W. Babylon NY. Finally! Good info thank you

  19. Grooming my dog at 3:51 pm #

    Thanks for the info! Loved the post. Starting out grooming my dog now so this was very useful.

  20. Melinda at 8:07 pm #

    My husband is in the service industry and has NEVER once received or expected a tip. I don’t get it! Do you tip the McDonald’s cook? How about any cashier?

    • Kerry at 9:48 pm #

      Those aren’t trades. If he hasn’t received any tips in the “service” industry maybe he isn’t doing a very good job. 🙂

    • just another super groomer at 7:49 am #

      And I’ve bet YOU’ve never worked a service job in your life. I don’t even consider grooming a “service” job, it’s on a whole other level. I’ve worked as a server for a couple years, the animal care industry a couple years, and been a groomer for close to 5 years now. It’s NOT all the same. People like you are the reason groomers have to go & post something like this. So many people have NO idea what goes into grooming. whyyyyy it takes like 3 hours to groom your shih. Here I have an idea: find someone with a shih (even find one thats “good” for grooming) and try to do a full service groom on them yourself. And I mean a REAL groom, not oh lets hose buddy down in the back yard, rub some disney princess shampoo on him, spray him again & let him run around. Just the prep work we do would probably take you the 3 hours & be full of blood & poop. Just go ahead and try to cut the nails, make sure they’re “AS SHORT AS POSSIBLE!!!!!” like every owner wants. Lets see how long it takes you to really dry a dog. I’m sure you have no idea what groomer dry really is, but getting every single inch of the dog 100% dry, after thoroughly scrubbing & rinsing every single inch of the dog. Just go & do the couple of the things listed & see how it goes. I won’t even make you juggle the 5 other dogs, phone calls, people walking in, and people staring & talking to the dog your working on. I won’t even make you deal with a bad dog that’s trying to attack you the entire time. Or one where you can’t even find their skin they’re so matted. Or one that’s covered crawling in fleas. Or one that’s covered in poop/pee. Or one that has scabs/open sores on every inch of it’s body. Or one that’s so old & arthritic that it’s unable to stand, and that stressing it out at all could possibly kill it. Or one that’s too ungodly obese to even find it’s legs. I won’t even make you deal with any of that. Just try to do those few couple things with the incredibly rare perfect groom dog, and lemme know how easy it is.

      Grooming is on a whole other level of “service”. We don’t provide your services that anyone can do. Anyone (physically capable) can bring you your food. We all either paid thousands of dollars, or devoted a couple years of our lives, to academy to learn how to provide you a service. Even then a school can’t teach you how to not lose your shit when you’re trying to scissor a dogs foot & they try to kick the scissors. And our training also doesn’t teach you from taming your gag reflex when you have anal gland juices sprayed in your face cause your untrained dog can’t handle having its feet touched.

      Grooming is beyond a service. Anyone capable of dealing with your animal trying to attack, poop, and get its open sores all over them deserves appreciation in return. Until you understand this you don’t deserve the service.

    • jessica at 3:27 am #

      well, i am a groomer, so i will try to explain this. dog grooming is not like cooking a hamburger or making change. it is a supremely stressful and often unpredictable job. to be honest, there are times when i do a dog and the dog is perfect and everything goes off without a hitch. i can tell you that the percentage of times when that happens is about 30%. and when that happens, that’s what we’re getting paid for. however most dogs fight you on at least something. a lot of the time they fight you when you try to shave their legs. sometimes they fight you about the dryer. sometimes they try to nip at you while you trim their face. this is not to mention how many dogs poop or pee or anal and step in it or sit in it and we have to deal with it. any time we have problems with dogs we try our hardest to care for those animals and give them the best haircut possible, and that is the most stressful thing of all. we don’t just say ‘screw it’ and give it a crappy haircut unless it’s literally impossible to accomplish what we’re trying to do. and most of the time when your dog is naughty or difficult we aren’t going to tell you. i will tell customers if it’s a training issue and they can help with it, but most of the time it’s just bad behavior built up and i know that nothing is going to change it, and i don’t want you to think badly of your pet so i keep it to myself. your dog is a living creature and we love it as much as you do, but generally you get the best of him or her and we get the worst. please tip, it tells us that you care about your dog and about the work we do and the love we give your animal. tip whatever is affordable. it’s not even about the amount – of course we appreciate the money, but more than that, we appreciate YOUR appreciation. honestly, even if you tip cookies, we appreciate it. i had a man today tip me with a free sandwich card. i don’t even eat sandwiches, and it still made me feel happy to get it. hopefully that gives you something to think about 🙂
      (and if you refuse to tip, at least please come in on time! so many people come to their appointments late and we can’t do anything about it but it really screws us up.)

    • All Fur One at 2:29 am #

      Melinda, your disregard for the grooming industry is more typical than not, I am sorry to say. We aren’t changing the oil in a lawnmover. We work with animals. Sometimes ownerner lie about the temperment of their pet. Sometimes they show up drunk to pick up thier pet. Sometimes they want you to be their “Dear Abby”. Sometimes they don’t evern show up, but if they do, and they are late, and you can no longer take their dog, it seemingly is YOUR fault. Sometimes the dogs BITE, or are in terrible condition, compliments of the that same damn client that always want s their dog “long”. Yes, Melinda, we work with animals, but sadly, it is oftentimes the owner that is more difficult. You compare that to flipping dead meat? Please don’t ever come to my shop.

  21. i liked the info pretty good. Just like when you get your own hair cut and tip, its just common courtesy. If you dont tip, your pooch wont get the extra smell good and red bow =) thanks, Will

  22. Crystal James at 12:24 am #

    I thoroughly enjoyed this article. very well written. Thought you should know that I am the original creator of the sign in this article. I designed it in 2009 and since it was copied from my Facebook and has gone viral. I would love credit for it. Had I known it would become so famous I would have copywriter it and sold it…lol

  23. Joe at 5:47 pm #

    Great article. I’m happy to now know I should be tipping my dogs groomer. I feel really bad for the few times I took him in & didn’t tip. This is my first dog & it didn’t even occur to me to tip his groomer or to ask for the same groomer each time. Makes sense since he goes to the same veterinarian every time. I also want him to know who’s grooming him so he has a bond with her & make the experience pleasant. This was a very informative article.

  24. All Fur One at 6:37 pm #

    A trainer/friend forwarded this to me. Your article is SPOT ON, and the phrase “humanity before vanity” is the very philosophy that I opened my shop on. I no longer dematt, and I inform clients of required shave downs if the dog is just too far gone. If they don’t like that option, I tell them to go to that superstore that takes anything. I’m not a doggie torture-torium.

  25. google at 6:51 am #

    Useful data. Lucky my family I found your website out of the blue, and I am shocked the reason this chance did not transpired beforehand! I actually book marked the item.

  26. charitynicole at 5:50 am #

    hey, THANK YOU to all of you who have chosen to comment on this article! EVEN YOU, Bruce Jenner, cause what would a successful article be without a grumpy naysayer? without people like you, people like me would have nothing to write about. you did mention people “whining on boards”, thought i’d explain: this is my blog. dedicated to my career, for the perusal of other stylists and interested pet owners.

    As a closing statement, i’d like to add that i NEVER expect a tip from a customer. too often I’ve met groomers who are personally offended, even angered by a client neglecting to tip. i had a manager who used to DEPEND on tips for her monthly budgeting… a practice i found disgusting. i do my budgeting based on my absolute lowest expected paycheck. when i collect my pay, i divide it up into envelopes for each bill, put $100 in savings and THEN allow myself to blow the leftovers or save them for Something Special. i never DEPEND on the generosity of clients, i appreciate each and every one of them whether they tip or not. but those that tip do tend to get that last minute Emergency Groom on the Saturday before Christmas… while the notorious non-tipper gets an apology and a sincere “merry christmas!”

    • Stephanie at 5:51 pm #

      Thank you so much for this article! I am a new dog owner and found just what I was looking for here, very helpful. 🙂

    • Sue Bryce at 7:56 pm #

      I always tip generously. Because a good dog groomer is worth their weight in gold. And because I show appreciation, I feel they do extra good work for my dog. I have 2 poodles, a toy & standard. Bathing and grooming is very hard work. And grooming w clippers & scissor work is an art. It took years to learn those skills–but enhancing the look of my dogs is an art. I am learning how to groom my own dogs. Believe me, that process only increases my appreciation. My groomers have been very helpful in giving info about best equipment, combs. What books to get & online videos to watch. Dog groomers are under appreciated!

  27. Jasmine at 12:07 pm #

    I love this article I wish a lot more people would read it. I am a groomer in training. This is a job that I love the most out of all the other jobs i ever had. But the one thing that I never knew was that it took so much work. I have to wash dry fluff shave clip nails pluck ears do anal glands and more
    I am not complaining because its a job i like but a tip every now and then won’t do

  28. Jasmine at 12:24 pm #

    (Continuation) Any harm. My worse experience was a cute little dog that i did and it was an angel the whole time i grooming it. Right when i said i would love to become this dog groomer i heard a big SPLAT. when Ilooked down i saw diarrhea crap everywhere. all over my clothes floor and ugh. so while grooming i took him out continuously and he became so gross pooping on carpet at the

    • Jasmine at 12:29 pm #

      Entance and all. And when the owner came and i told her what happened i received no tip what so ever. Stuff like that does hurt a groomer but i wouldn’t change what i do for any other job. Thanx for your post.

  29. Hair Stylist Sydney at 11:53 am #

    I have been studying this post for weeks now and i understand completely! Thank You so much for sharing this.

  30. Jennifer Pielow at 10:01 pm #

    I do tip my groomer, i do believe it is expected, and generally give them $5. That said, my time as an RN… a service professional, you do what is necessary to accomplish the job. No tips for cleaning poop/pee/vomit/secretions, no tips for dealing with a difficult patient or family member, no tip because we didn’t make as much money as the dr.s or the hospital administrator. What about the daycare or school? Do they get a tip if Johnny pukes on their shoes? Or spills paint, disrupts class, demands more attention then the other kids? If you are a professional, you do what your job requires, and you do not expect tips. You go above and beyond because you want your clients to return. It is an expense, one that many ‘responsible’ pet owners have to scrimp to afford.

    • charitynicole at 10:13 pm #

      As I always say, tips are always appreciated, never expected! That’s why I said in the article that if you cant afford to tip, that’s okay too! This is simply a guide explaining that yes, you may tip us, and reasons why you might want to. 🙂

    • charitynicole at 10:15 pm #

      And while I know it isnt exactly “done” to tip nurses with money, when I went in to deliver my baby, we brought a huge bin of cookies, snacks, soda, and bottled water for the nurse’s station. I encourage all of my pregnant mom friends to do the same! You all go above and beyond every single day and are truly the unsung heroes of the hospital!

  31. Joe at 4:54 am #

    In known this is an old message but today my groomer held me in this awkward pause. I never have tipped a groomer and don’t plan on starting. First, my dog is easy as heck! I know cause I’ve groomed him myself. Most importantly though, my wife is a grade school teacher and she has to watch, keep clean, AND educate some little assholes sometimes and she’s never received a tip! In fact , the groomers probably make the same or more money than she does as an educator in this stupid state(AZ). If you charge $40+ for a dog visit and only clear half of that, that’s still pretty damn good and that’s not including the hourly wage.

    • charitynicole at 7:59 pm #

      Actually, the VAST majority of groomers are NOT paid an hourly wage. Any groomer making 40-50% of the grooming fee is definitely not making any hourly, they are strictly commission. Unless the groomer is working for a corporation like PetSmart or Petco, they are probably not receiving any kind of benefits, paid time off, or insurance. As a matter of fact, one of the hugest issues in our industry right now are private grooming salon employers hiring their employees as illegally misclassified 1099 contractors in order to a void paying the employer’s share of payroll taxes, unemployment, and worker’s comp. In those situations, the groomer is making 50% of every groom, but she is also having to set aside 30% of every paycheck to pay her taxes. Many, many groomera are taken advantage of in this way by dishonest or ignorant salon owners.
      I’m not trying to tug on your heartstrings at all, if you don’t want to tip, don’t! It’s absolutely up to you and I’m sure your groomer doesnt mind if your dog is as easy as you say.
      I just wanted to respond to you to explain that groomers are generally not rolling in money and they definitely don’t receive the kind of benefits professionals in other industries do.
      Cheers to your wife as well. Teachers are truly the unsung heroes and do a job most people could NEVER. While teaching is not a “tipped” profession, I do try to send my son’s teachers a thoughtful Christmas and End of Year gift to show my appreciation.


  1. Need answer, STAT!!! - Page 4 - Poodle Forum - Standard Poodle, Toy Poodle, Miniature Poodle Forum ALL Poodle owners too! -

    […] "courtesy tip" to the "special circumstances" and "holiday tips".Tipping Your Groomer __________________ "My dear fellow, who will let you?" "That's not the point. […]

  2. How much do I tip the groomer? - Page 3 - Poodle Forum - Standard Poodle, Toy Poodle, Miniature Poodle Forum ALL Poodle owners too! -

    […] employees can set their own prices sometimes. I wrote an article about tipping your groomed here: Tipping Your Dog’s Groomer FunkyPuppy __________________ FunkyPuppy: My Haphazard Journey from Traditional to Creative Pet Stylist […]

  3. Dog Grooming Prices: How Much Does It Cost to Groom a Dog? - Top Dog Tips -

    […] else to consider as well is tipping your groomer. FunkyPuppy says you should tip based on a few points. Essential, you want to tip based on the quality of the services provided and how well your […]

Leave a Reply to Kerry Cancel reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: