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Tipping Groomers – How Much To Tip In a Salon & a Mobile Dog Groomer?

Written by Khalil
Khalil is passionate about all sorts of domesticated pets. They have written dozens of articles across the web.
Published on
Saturday 31 October 2020
Last updated on
Tuesday 9 May 2023
tipping groomers
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People who are new to parenting pets often ask about tipping groomers. Here is what you need to know.

You should tip whenever possible. But tipping pet groomers isn’t as straight forward as tipping a waiter. While this isn’t rocket science people need to know the proper etiquette of tipping. Grooming is not an easy job. It requires skill, tenacity, and a lot of patience. And as such it takes years for a professional groomer to hone his craft.

Appreciation goes a long way. So, When you tip a groomer you are thanking him for the effort he put into your making pet presentable. And as a general rule, at least my general rule, anyone who puts a smile on your face, deserves a tip. You know seeing your pet looking suave can’t help put you in a good mood. So, how much should you tip a pet groomer?

How Much Should You Tip a Groomer?

Most pet owners tip their dog groomers anything between 15 and 25% of the total bill.

The beauty of tipping is that there is no right or wrong way to do it. The same is true for the amount you tip. So, you can tip your groomers a free lunch or a thousand dollars; everything depends on you.

That said, having a fixed percentage in mind saves us from a lot of guesswork. Therefore, most people tip 15-25%. This is just a rough number so you can deviate from it quite a bit. And there are quite a few reasons why you will want to deviate from this number. First up, tipping is a form of appreciation. So, the better the job the more you should tip.

Secondly, tipping boosts the morale of the groomer. When you tip a groomer for a good job, he will ensure he does an even better job the next time around. This ultimately benefits you because the crisper your pet looks the happier you’ll be.

Lastly, while tipping should be preferred, there are situations where you may not want to tip. For instance, if the groomer does a bad job then there is no reason for you to tip. Not tipping after a bad job is preferred since it communicates your feedback to the groomer. Then if the groomer is perceptive aka smart, he will take this feedback to heart and improve. In short, tip 15-25% more often than not.

tipping dog groomers
Tip your dog groomer around 15% – 25%.

Tip Your Groomer More in Special Circumstances

While 15-25% is a good amount to tip, there are situations in which you may want to tip more.

Once again, these situations don’t require you to tip more. You are just tipping more to show your appreciation for the groomer for handling that situation. The following are some of the situations where tipping more is expected.

If Your Dog Hurts the Groomer

The groomer is there to groom your dog. In this situation, it is expected that the dog will behave. But dogs often don’t. They may bite, scratch, and try to run away. As you can imagine, this can cause hurt the groomer or worse cause serious injury.

So, when your dog hurts the groomer or causes a serious injury, it is your responsibility to offset the damage. And so you have to pay a bigger tip than usual. For people who are wondering: What will happen if I don’t tip more?

In most cases, nothing. The groomer will probably forget it and continue to do his job in the future. But there is a chance he will decline to groom your dog ever again. So, you have to ask yourself whether it is worth it to lose a skillful professional over a tip? Plus, it always a good idea to first try to groom your dog at home. This way you will know first hand if your dog takes well to grooming or not.

Large or Overweight Dogs

Any situation where more effort is needed entails a steeper compensation.

This means that whenever there is a situation where a groomer has to put in more effort, there has to be a steeper compensation. And handling large or overweight dogs is such a situation.

Old dogs or dogs that are overweight can’t stand for too long. Due to this, it is difficult for the groomer to position them or reach areas like the underbelly. Doing this requires a considerable amount of skill and patience. So, how rude it would be if you didn’t acknowledge the effort put in by the groomer and tip him more? Think about it.

Shedding Dogs

If your dog sheds like crazy, then please tip some more. Let us look at a scenario: You take your dog to the groomer. The groomer runs his fingers through the dog’s fur and ends up with enough fur to knit a sweater. Now, imagine what would his office look like once the grooming is done.

Dogs who shed a lot create a mess. It is not pleasant to look at nor is it easy to clean. So, as a token of acknowledgment, give the groomer more tip than usual. This will ensure that the relationship between you and your groomer is pleasant and he doesn’t feel like you are taking advantage of him.

Dogs With Matted Hair

Have you ever tried clipping a dog with matted hair? If yes, then you know the struggle (unless you’re using one of our recommended clippers for dogs with matted hair).

So, if your dog has matted hair and you take it to a groomer, more tips are in order. Of course, the groomer won’t demand that you tip him but chances are he will advise you about matting. This a sign that he struggled to deal with the matted fur. Be a gentleman/lady and acknowledge the effort he put by opening your wallets mouth a little wider.

Consider the extra tipping of groomers as a fine for not paying attention that your dog’s fur had matting.

Very Dirty Dogs

Our dogs are dirtier than we admit. And it is not a surprise. They play around all day. They run and hide and dig and eat. If a thing looks fun, you bet your dog is planning something. And such plans often leave dogs with more mud than spring in the English countryside.

Therefore, if your dog is dirty, especially when he has fecal matter stuck to his rear, please tip the groomer something extra. Cleaning the dirt and mud is difficult enough on its own. Add to this the fact that fecal matter sticks to a dog like glue and you can imagine how hard the grooming is.

Final Words On Tipping Groomers

It is quite remarkable to see the number of questions people have about tipping pet groomers. To answer some of your more pressing concerns, some frequently asked questions have been answered below.

How much do you tip dog groomers?

Anywhere between 15-25% is a good idea. That said, there are situations where you should tip more when:

– Your dog hurts the groomer (e.g. bites and scratches)
– Your dog is particularly dirty
– The fur is a mess (e.g. matting)
– Your dog sheds like a snowy afternoon

Aside from this, it is a sign of goodwill to tip the groomer even when none of the above incidents take place. After all, you plan to come back in the future and it doesn’t hurt maintaining a good relationship with the groomer, does it?

Should I tip my mobile pet groomer?

Within reason, pet owners tend to tip their mobile groomer if the charges are reasonable. Don’t tip if the charges are already high enough.

Now, do you tip a mobile groomer who owns their own business? Since most mobile groomers do own the business the majority of people are against tipping them. Then again, if the groomer is doing a stellar job and isn’t charging a lot for it, then we see no reason why you shouldn’t tip him. At the end of the day, do what feels right. There is no right or wrong here.

Do you tip a pet groomer for nail trimming?

Most groomers trim the nails within the price of the grooming session. If that is the case with your groomer, then go ahead and tip him. But if the groomer charges separately for nail trimming then there is no need to tip as far as nail trimming is concerned.

That said, you should not hold tipping dog groomers just because the grooming session doesn’t include nail trimming. The overall quality of the service and your satisfaction should be the key factors while making a decision.

Do you tip a pet groomer who owns the business?

Generally, you don’t tip a groomer who owns the business. But there are exceptions to this. Dog owners are still debating over whether you should tip a business owner or not. Our take on this is: If the service is exceptional and the rates are reasonable then tip.

If the service is not good or the rates are high then you shouldn’t tip. Tipping should be reserved for the situations when you want to appreciate and encourage the groomer. This way, when you tip, your groomer will be able to tell that he did a good job. Similarly, a lack of tips will communicate the need for improvement.

Dog groomers do a hard and technical job and deserve tips. Always do so when you can as they help to keep our dogs clean, neat, and healthy.

3 comments on “Tipping Groomers – How Much To Tip In a Salon & a Mobile Dog Groomer?”

  1. Taressa

    A dog groomer who ownes the business still deserves a tip. Yes they make a larger portion, but they are also taking on a lot of risk, paying all the overhead and at the end of the day, they are still providing a service, that although from the pet owners perspective can seem expensive, is actually a very under charged service due to the nature of the job and how many risks and costs that come with it. Tip your groomer period.

  2. Violeta

    Tipping dog groomers would serve as a thank you for taking care of your pets.

  3. Martha

    Of course you tip the owner groomer if he is grooming your dog. It shows appreciation for taking care of your pet.

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