Yes, Tip Your Dog Groomer
By Shelley Williams
Friends and family members often ask me if they should tip their groomer. After doing some additional research, I discovered that most people ask the same question. Most folks have no idea what the tipping etiquette is when they get their dogs groomed.
You may ask, “Why should I tip my groomer?” Well, your stylist most likely makes 40 to 50 percent commission on the groom, not the full price you pay. Adding a tip shows your groomer that you value the work she does. After all, this is skilled work that most pet owners won’t or can’t do themselves.
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Pet grooming is a physically demanding job, and it is usually done out of love for pets. Not to mention the patience needed on a daily basis because animals are unpredictable and do not always cooperate in the way we’d like.
A few may argue that since they don’t tip their hairstylist, they don’t have to tip their groomer. To that, I would point out that the chances of you releasing your bladder on your hairdresser if you get nervous are slim to none. Most of you will probably not bite your hairdresser either. In addition, when your hairstylist tells you to stop moving, you stop moving. Groomers, however, typically work on moving targets, so to speak.
With all of that being said, what is the appropriate amount to tip your groomer? It depends on the services rendered and the quality of the work. If the groomer listened and executed the haircut you requested, a tip is in order. As with anything else, tip according to your level of satisfaction and appreciation. If you get horrible service, do not tip.
In general, you should tip your groomer 15 to 20 percent of the service total. Appreciation tips are a token of gratitude and are whatever you can afford. Your groomer will sometimes throw in extra services at no charge, such as adding conditioner, brushing teeth or grinding nails. Perhaps your groomer does consistently fantastic grooms and always squeezes your pet in for an appointment. Take all of this into consideration, as well as special circumstances, when considering how much to tip.
What constitutes a special circumstance? Here are instances in which you should consider adding an extra tip.
- When your dog bites your groomer—especially if she doesn’t charge extra for being bitten.
- When your dog ends up only half groomed because the groomer had to stop when your dog drew blood or caused serious injury. Chances are you won’t be charged for an incomplete groom.
- Pets with fecal matter stuck to their hinds (or elsewhere).
- Extreme cases of shedding: Your dog resembles a walking fur storm.
- Extreme cases of matting: If your dog is so badly matted that your groomer saves the sheet of fur and shows you a matted fur sweater when you pick up.
- Elderly or overweight dogs who will not stand for grooming: especially the larger breeds. This can be the most difficult task of all for groomers and requires skill and patience. This not only takes more time than most grooms, but also requires the help of another groomer. You should tip your groomer and their assistant for this.
You should tip your groomer. If not every time, then occasionally or when you can afford it. At the very least, you should tip your groomer once a year during the holidays. Think about all the hard work they put in to keep your pooch smelling and looking fabulous.
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