Whether you are the proud new owner of a Puli, or you have a retriever mix who has started looking a little disheveled, many dog owners find themselves in need of a groomer from time to time.
This can be a bit intimidating for owners who’ve never worked with a groomer before, and many begin wondering how much the groomer’s services will set them back.
Grooming prices can vary quite a bit based on a number of factors, but we’ll try to give you an idea of what to expect and explain some of the factors that will go into determining your grooming bill.
Ball Park Prices for Basic Grooming Services
A variety of factors will determine your grooming expenditures, but generally speaking, you’ll spend between $40 and $100 to get most dogs completely groomed. This will typically include the following services:
Bath and blow-dry
Brushing (including a de-shedding)
Anal gland expression
Some groomers also perform other services during routine grooming sessions, such as brushing your dog’s teeth, removing tear stains, or spraying her down with some scented perfume. You’ll just have to inquire with your groomer to find out exactly what services are included.
However, you don’t always need a full grooming; sometimes you just need a few assorted services. Some of the most common services and their price ranges include:
To get your dog lathered, rinsed and dried, it will usually cost you about $30 to $80. However, if you bring in a mud-coated mutt, you should expect to pay a bit more.
De-Shedding / Stripping
De-shedding costs vary quite a bit based on your dog’s breed and the condition of her coat. Nevertheless, it will usually cost between $20 and $40 for the service.
It doesn’t take very long to clean a dog’s ears, so most groomers only charge $5 to $10 for the service.
If you aren’t interested in wrestling with your pooch and trimming her nails yourself, you can have your groomer do it for you. This will generally cost between $10 and $20, unless your dog requires additional staff to restrain her, in which case you can count on an extra $10 to $20 fee.
Anal Gland Expression
Although you can express your dog’s anal glands yourself if you’ve been trained by your vet to do so, let’s be honest: This is a pretty gross endeavor. Fortunately, most groomers only charge about $10 or so to do it for you.
If your pup’s chompers need a good brushing, it will usually cost about $10, although some groomers charge about half of this.
Note that you’ll almost always save money by purchasing a package deal, which includes all of the basic grooming services.
Make sure to keep up with your dog’s dental needs, as getting your dog’s teeth professionally cleaned can be quite pricey – especially when your dog needs to be put under with anesthesia!
Factors That May Influence the Cost of Grooming
It isn’t uncommon for one owner to pay a much different rate than another owner, even when visiting the same groomer. This occurs for a variety of reasons, including the following:
Your Dog’s Size
It takes longer to groom larger dogs than it does smaller dogs, and because you are primarily paying for your groomer’s time, it is almost always more expensive to have a larger dog groomed than a smaller dog of the same breed.
Your Dog’s Breed
Painstakingly grooming an Afghan hound, Komondor, or Bichon Frise requires a lot more skill, time and effort than it does to hose down a pit bull and give him a bit of a trim. Accordingly, you’ll end up paying more for dogs that require complicated grooming procedures than you will for dogs that have low-maintenance coats.
Your Dog’s Temperament
As you can imagine, it is much easier (and more pleasant) to groom a friendly, well-behaved dog than it is to deal with a dog who resists the process. For this reason, many groomers will tack on additional fees when forced to groom naughty pups.
Corporate Vs. Private Groomers
You may find price differences between various groomers depending on whether they work out of a big box store or if they work privately, out of a small office or mobile unit.
In some cases, groomers working for big companies will charge lower rates, as they deal with a much higher client volume. However, it can also work the other way, as new groomers often offer very low introductory rates when they first get into business.
When it comes to figuring out who will give you the best bang for your buck, Yelp can really be helpful, as fellow owners will review your specific local big box store and can give you a better idea on how they compare against other local groomers.
Like everything other product or service you buy locally, your location will play a big role in determining grooming prices. If you live in Manhattan, Beverly Hills or the affluent parts of other major cities, you’ll likely pay much more for grooming services than if you live in Middle America, USA.
Breeds That Require Frequent Grooming
While most breeds will look just fine without regular grooming, a handful of breeds will need to spend plenty of time on a groomer’s table. Not only do these dogs need grooming to look their best, but to keep their coat and skin healthy too.
While it is certainly not exhaustive, the list below contains most of the breeds that require frequent trips to the groomer:
- Bichon Frise
- Portuguese Water Dog
- Afghan Hound
- Airedale Terrier
- Lhasa Apso
- Old English Sheepdog
- Shih Tzu
- Yorkshire Terrier
- Shetland Sheepdog
- Border Terrier
- Bearded Collie
- Bedlington Terrier
- Bouvier des Flandres
- Chinese Crested
- Gordon Setter
As you can see, grooming rates vary widely, and the only way you’ll know for sure is to start inquiring with some of those working in your area.
We’d love to hear about the going rates in your neck of the woods, as well as your dog-grooming experiences and stories. Have you decided to start grooming your dog yourself to save money?
Tell us all about it in the comments below!