So you want a cheap pet groomer, huh?

A woman in a yellow shirt is holding a long black tube and hand drying a dog after he has been groomed. The dog is brown and has a white face and is standing on a pet grooming table.

Pet grooming prices are all over the place. Find out why going with the cheapest one might be more costly than you think.

Cute little tails wagging with pink bows, fluffy, brushed-out cheeks, coiffed manes. These might be some fuzzy images that come to mind when thinking about pet grooming. And you’re welcome for the images, by the way. Who doesn’t love a well-groomed pet? Everyone does! Yet, many people want to find the cheapest pet groomer they can. And while cuteness is free, furry friend labor and skills are not. 

Let’s talk pet grooming prices. How much is pet grooming? What exactly are you paying for? How much should you expect to pay and why is there such a range (An example price list can be found here)? Why shouldn’t you just look up “cheap pet grooming near me” and be satisfied? Let’s dive into a behind-the-scenes look at the people making those cute little hair-dos for Fluffy and Mittens. 

Regulation

The grooming industry is one that’s not regulated by any governing body (check it out). Yeah, Google “is pet grooming regulated?”. I’ll give you a minute. Shocked? You’re not alone. Most people don’t know that anyone with a pair of clippers can call themselves a pet groomer. That’s not just a low bar, that’s no bar for someone to be handling your fur baby. While licensing is required for nail techs and hair stylists for humans, not so for animals.

Groomers with no certifications are self-taught. While that shows initiative and all, it can mean gaps in one’s knowledge. They may have learned from watching someone, YouTube, trial and error, who knows? The problem is… you’ll never know. Do they even know what they don’t know? Do they know that they should know basic skills of pet first-aid and CPR? What about breed-specific haircuts for dogs? What to do with an aggressive animal, etc. Here’s an example of what one school covers, it’s quite comprehensive. But many groomers rely on experience or an apprenticeship. While experience is a must in any field, it shouldn’t be the only requirement and leaves the possibility of important knowledge gaps. 

So why do some groomers choose to obtain a certificate? To keep your pets safe and know what they’re doing in some potentially stressful situations (check out the benefits here). Learning proper sanitation of equipment, handling techniques, how to deal with stressed and elderly pets, what to do in the case of an emergency, specific breed characteristics, and more. It’s hard, if not impossible, to learn all of this on the fly. Wouldn’t you want your pet groomer to be certified? 

Risks 

Let’s get back to the original question, pet grooming prices. Is low cost dog grooming really “low cost”? Not for this family. There are some extreme cases of pets being seriously injured. While it might not be common, it’s very easily prevented. It might be worth paying more, then, to style your furry best friend.

Prices vary based on many things such as the last time your pet was groomed, how your pet behaves, thickness of the coat, etc. The groomers experience also comes into play, as with any other job. You can pay for a cheap plumber, or you can find one who comes highly rated and pay more for the peace of mind. You might be able to find someone cheaper with experience who is running a business out of their home. This would reduce their costs as they have no overhead and they can pass the savings on to the customer. However, you should consider what equipment is available to them. Is it safe for pets? Is it easy-to-sanitize stainless steel or is it plastic, which tends to harbor bacteria and is a safety hazard when used for multiple animals. 

Another question to ask is “what kinds of pet grooming products are being used?” If a pet groomer is on the cheaper side, they may be on the cheaper side when it comes to the pet shampoos, too. Not all shampoos are created equal and while more expensive isn’t always better (you might be paying a hefty price tag for a brand name, for example) cheaper is usually not the best quality (more info on the risks of bad shampoo here). 

Cage Dryers

Here’s a big question. Does the pet groomer use a cage dryer or do they hand dry? If you’re wondering “what is a cage dryer?”, it’s basically what it sounds like. A big cage that blows hot air to dry your pet (here’s more detail). Are cage dryers safe for dogs? That’s where it gets dicey. Some breeds simply are not safe in a cage dryer. There is some definite controversy surrounding this topic and its safety. The problem is, it’s easier and less time consuming for a pet groomer. But is a cage dryer what’s best for a pet? Some more in depth information can be found here. Also, consider that you just can’t get the same results with a cage dryer as a hand dryer, you can only style with a hand dryer. Additionally, it blows away excess hair and dog’s tend to smell better after being hand dried. 

Legitimacy 

Another factor that needs to be considered when finding a pet groomer is, are they a legitimate business? A legitimate business will have proper insurance. Why should the customer care about pet grooming insurance? Because it means that in the case of an accident, you’ll be compensated. No one plans for accidents, but when you’re dealing with pets, sharp objects, chemicals, etc, you need to be prepared. And by the way, that’s another reason to remember that a properly trained, certified pet groomer is a must. 

Does the pet groomer send out reminders through booking software? How professional are they overall? These details add up and increase costs, but you’re entrusting your fur baby to this pet groomer. If a pet groomer is not cutting corners with professionalism, they’re more likely to require staff to be kept up to date on best practices for pet grooming and using new and sterilized equipment.

Ultimately, if you are trying to cut costs when it comes to finding cheap pet grooming, you’ll likely find a groomer who is also trying to cut costs, and that can be downright dangerous

Why us?

At Grooming Girls, we only have certified pet groomers and have the awards to prove it. We received the Readers Choice Best of Brookville award five years in a row. We treat pets as if they were our own. If you are looking for an award-winning salon where you know the pet stylists care and are highly trained, you can reach us for an appointment by clicking here and scrolling to the bottom. 

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