Dog Grooming Costs and How Much to Tip Your Dog Groomer for Their Services

Brushing your pup at home is fine, but some dogs need professional haircuts. Dog groomers are experts at getting tangles and mats out, trimming nails, and making your pooch look red-carpet worthy. Ready to send your dog to the salon? Here's what to expect when it comes to grooming fees and how much to tip your dog groomer for their services.

How Much Does Dog Grooming Cost?

You can expect a basic grooming session to include: a bath, blow dry, nail trim, ear cleaning, and oftentimes anal gland expression (releasing built-up fluid with external pressure). The cost generally runs between $30 and $90, depending on several factors.

The biggest impact on cost is the dog's size and the length and thickness of the coat, says Susan Sholar, president of American Professional Pet Groomers Association. It comes down to how long it's going to take to groom your dog—the more fur, the more work. Other factors that bump up the price include:

groomer using clippers on a white dog
groomer using clippers on a white dog

chee gin tan / Getty

Breed-Specific Patterns

Poodles, schnauzers, terriers, and other breeds have haircut patterns that give them a certain look. Asking for a special haircut rather than just an overall trim may raise the price.

Matted Hair

It pays off to regularly brush your dog at home because it keeps mats from forming. It probably won't cost extra if your dog has one or two mats, but if there are several tangles it'll be an added charge, says Sholar.


The average cost of dog grooming changes depending on where you are in the nation. Some areas are more expensive than others.

How Often Should You Have Your Dog Groomed?

The frequency of grooming really depends on your dog. According to the American Kennel Club, pups with longer, thicker coats may need grooming once a month. But consider grooming lower-maintenance dogs at least once a quarter, says the ASPCA.

Even if you're not getting a full grooming session, you can still go in for a nail trim more frequently. "You can come in for a nail clipping between grooming visits," Sholar says. "That way the nails don't get outrageously long and make your dog uncomfortable." When you hear your dog's nails clicking on the floor, it's time for a trim.

Should You Tip a Dog Groomer?

When people ask Sholar if they should tip a dog groomer her response is, "Do you tip your hairdresser? They're just doing your head. But a groomer has to do the entire body on a dog, sometimes while the dog squirms or tries to bite." So yes, you should definitely show groomers how much you appreciate them with a tip.

How to Calculate How Much to Tip a Dog Groomer

When figuring out what to tip a dog groomer, consider what you would give your hairdresser. Standard tips are 15–20 percent of the total cost. But give more if your groomer went above-and-beyond by accommodating your pup's nippiness, special health needs, or doing you any kind of favor. Knowing what grooming services cost, along with things like veterinary expenses and doggy daycare, is important. It helps you figure out how much to budget so that you can provide the best possible care for your four-legged friend.