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Do You Tip Dog Groomers? [Is It Typical & Expected?]

Is your dog in need of a proper groom? Perhaps their nails are too long, and they are scratching at everything they touch, or perhaps their coat has got to a length where they can no longer properly see. Perhaps its matted looks unkempt. Or, at the very least, it’s uncomfortable and just generally too long for them. Nevertheless, once you find a groomer with good reviews and have booked your pooch in for an appointment, naturally, you may start to wonder whether you should leave them a tip? On this occasion, or every time? Well, here is everything you need to know and how to approach it!

So, do you tip dog groomers? While nobody is required to tip their groomer, tipping groomers is commonplace among dog owners. Being a successful dog groomer requires specialized training, expensive equipment, and a keen eye for detail and care; tipping is a natural acknowledgment of that – particularly if they do a good job.

As a result, tipping is a regular part of paying for their service.

Perhaps not every time, but something you should consider if you have booked your dog into a new dog groomer or you envision using their service for the long term.

That being said, it is going to come down to context.

A dog that comes back petrified from the experience has been handled roughly, or a groomer that hasn’t taken into account your preferences is naturally not worthy of a tip.

But for the most part, a dog that has been groomed well has a particularly long-haired coat or after a particularly good job. Well, a tip, in those cases, is never a bad idea.

With this in mind, let’s take a closer look at tipping your dog groomer, answering those key questions you likely have.

Should You Tip Your Dog Groomer?

While the decision to tip your groomer is a personal one, it is very common among dog owners to tip groomers.

Grooming dogs is much more than simply petting and enjoying time with cute pups.

It requires many hours standing, lifting dogs in and out of shower tubs and onto grooming tables, as well as special training and very precise attention to small details.

In recognition of this, many people choose to tip their groomers.

While tipping a dog groomer is appreciated, if you are unable or choose not to, it isn’t the same as skipping a tip for a waiter at a restaurant.

Private dog groomers set their rates, and groomers for larger companies know their pay rate before taking their job.

Still, tipping dog groomers is more common than tipping for dog boarding or training services.

As tipping a dog groomer is a personal decision, not everyone tips exactly the same.

If you are debating tipping your groomer, you may be wondering if your groomer is expecting a tip, how much to tip them, and when to give your tip.

The good news is we have answers for you.

Do Dog Groomers Expect To Be Tipped?

Dog groomers do not expect every client to tip for their services. They are typically able to meet their income needs based on the rates that they charge for care. Still, tips can allow your dog groomer to purchase the best grooming supplies, invest in groomer education, and maintain their grooming environment without feeling the need to pull money from their personal budget.

Dog groomers love making your dog look it’s very best, and their number one concern is the health and wellbeing of your animal.

A well-groomed dog isn’t just a beautiful sight.

Groomers are often on the front line of helping you maintain your dog’s health.

They can see signs of gum or skin disease, catch pest infestations, and much more.

While their goal is for you to have a healthy pet, a tip shows how much you value their partnership in caring for your animal.

If money is tight and maintaining your dog’s grooming schedule (especially for Poodles and other dogs with easily matted hair) is being debated because you are unable to tip – please keep your appointment.

Your groomer will understand and be happy that you are still taking great care of your pet.

When money allows, a tip after great service is appreciated.

How Much Should You Tip Your Dog Groomer?

A standard amount to pay for grooming is 15-20% of your grooming service. This is similar to the tipping rates across other service industries such as hair salons or restaurants. Paying a percentage of the fee gives you an easy to calculate tip amount that shows gratitude in relation to the amount of work performed.

Tipping does not have to be based on a percent of service fees.

You can choose to tip a set amount ranging from $5 – $15 per dog or choose an amount that fits well within your household budget.

If you have a larger dog that requires more grooming, you may want to tip more than if you have a smaller dog or one that was only receiving a short service such as a nail trim or teeth brushing.

When deciding how much to tip your groomer, take into consideration the amount of work performed, the quality of the work, and the amount you can give with gratitude without putting financial strain on yourself.

Working Out How Much To Tip

Dog Groomer Tip Calculator [How Much You Should Offer]

When To Tip Your Dog Groomer

You should plan to tip your groomer when you pick up your dog from their appointment. This gives you an opportunity to view your dog, ask any questions you have about their cut or care, and guarantee all services were received. Once you are satisfied with your dog’s treatment and you are asked to pay, it is a great time to tip.

If for convenience, you pay for grooming when you drop off your dog, or you won’t be the person picking up your dog from their appointment, then you may opt to tip beforehand.

This is not a typical time to tip but is an option if you know your groomer’s results well and want to be sure not to miss out on tipping.

Do You Tip Your Dog Groomer Every Time?

How frequently you tip your groomer is a personal choice. In most cases, it is considered normal to tip your groomer after each visit. If your dog is on a regular grooming schedule, you can plan ahead to tip and maintain a steady budget.

If your dog only visits the groomer a few times a year or before special occasions such as the holidays or before company arrives, a tip after services is a great way to show appreciation for the groomer fitting your dog into their schedule.

Even if you do not normally tip your dog groomer, you may want to consider tipping them under certain circumstances.

If your groomer reports to you a health concern, you would not have caught on your own, if your dog is unexpectedly aggressive towards your groomer but still receives full services, and if your groomer gets you into their schedule on short notice or to address an unexpected appearance issue, you will want to consider tipping.

These circumstances are special and show extra care and attention by your groomer towards your dog.

Tipping around these events, regardless of your decision about tipping under normal circumstances, is a good idea.

While most people who tip have a standard amount they will tip after each visit, there may be times that they may want to consider tipping more than normal. Let’s look at when that might be.

When You May Want To Tip Your Dog Groomer More

You may think about tipping your dog groomer more than normal if your dog is unexpectedly aggressive towards your groomer, if your dog arrives in dirtier condition than usual if your groomer adjusts their schedule to fit your dog in for services on very short notice, or around holidays and special events.

Your Dog Has Been Aggressive

Dog grooming comes with risks. Almost any groomer who has been in business for long can tell you of at least one experience being nipped or bit at.

They also have to watch for dogs interacting with each other and deal with dogs who have never been socialized or groomed before adjusting to a brand new routine.

Higher tips after some of those trickier appointments are a welcome reminder that their work isn’t just helping the dog; it’s appreciated by the owner too.

Your Dog Is A Handful

Many dogs love visiting the groomer. My groomer has a special basket of toys that my Cockapoo can’t wait to explore every time he visits.

Still, just like people, dogs can have grumpy days where they aren’t as happy about all the bathing, clipping, drying, and nail trimming as usual.

If your groomer reports to you that your dog growled, nipped, or acted aggressively towards them, but they still made your dog look wonderful and smell great, a higher tip is a smart way to say thank you.

Your Dog Has Increased Grooming Needs

The Cockapoo I mentioned earlier is on a regular 8-week schedule for grooming and usually arrives to his appointments with the same level of day-to-day dirtiness.

The catch is, we live on a farm, and in Spring, that farm gets a fair share of rain that turns into mud puddles my dog can’t resist.

I hose him down at home, but I know his spring appointments bring with them an extra dirty dog ready for a clean-up.

When I bring in my dog with extra mud, tangles, or special needs, I always add on an extra $3-$4 as a way of showing my thankfulness that someone else managed the mess my pup and I created.

Your Groomer Squeezes You In

Schedules are not always reliable, and your dog groomer is likely to understand that. Still, many dogs are on pre-planned grooming schedules set in weekly increments.

This means that your groomer might have a pretty tight schedule with limited day-to-day flexibility.

If your groomer gets you in quickly when your dog rolls in something unidentifiable or you want them looking extra sharp for an unexpected visit by guests, raising your tip is a nice plan.

Around The Holidays

Holidays are exciting times for many people, and they are some of the busiest in the grooming world. 

You don’t need to stress about picking out a special gift for your groomer if you don’t want to.

Simply adding a few extra dollars to their tip is a great way to show you happiness for any special occasion.

How To Pay Your Dog Groomer A Tip

The best way to pay your groomer a tip is based mostly on the way you pay for your regular grooming fees.

If you want to pay your groomer a tip but are entirely unsure of the best method, it is certainly okay to ask.

When you pick up your dog, you can say, “I love how my dog looks and would like to give you a tip for your hard work. What is the best way to do that?”

This allows the groomer to tell you the best way to tip without feeling like they are forcing you to do so.

Credit Card

If you pay with a credit card, you can add a tip to the tip line of the receipt before you sign. This amount will be added to what you pay, and the groomer will know the extra money is a tip.

If you pay with an electronic payment, you can typically choose to add more than the requested funds with your payment.

Be sure to include a note or message of thanks along with the extra money, so your groomer knows this was an intentional tip payment.


Cash paid directly to your groomer upon picking up your pet is also an option for paying a tip.

If you get your pet groomed at a major pet-store chain or other larger animal service facility such as a boarding kennel, check with the facility about tipping policies before offering your groomer cash.

Some places may discourage their groomers from accepting cash tips.


Tipping is a regular occurrence in the world of dog grooming but is not required for your dog to receive a great-looking groom.

Tipping is simply a great way to show your groomer you understand all the time and energy they put into giving your dog the best experience and care when being groomed.

Do You Tip Pet Groomers At PetSmart?

You can tip your groomer at PetSmart; the company allows it, and this is a good way to show appreciation for their service and to boost their income (as they only typically receive their hourly rate + 40% commission from each grooming session). Offering cash is preferable as it will ensure the individual grooming receives the tip.

Do You Tip Dog Groomers At Petco?

You can tip your groomer at Petco. The company permits it and even has its own tipping method and process in order for you to be able to do so – at the cash register. While tipping is optional and based on the quality of service, a 20% tip is a great means of showing appreciation for the groomer’s efforts.

Wondering who else you may need to tip, I’ve got you covered in the following guides: