Do People Tip Their Dog Groomer?

The short answer to this question is yes. I would estimate that out of all of my clients about 80% tip. Not bad odds. In fact, tips would make up a great deal of my paycheck each week. There are some times of the year when people are more likely to tip, and times when they are less likely. There are also some things you can do to increase your tips each week.

Who Tips?

person offering a tipIn my experience, the customers who are more likely to tip are the ones who have a regular schedule. A lot of the clients I groom for come either every week, every other week, or every four weeks. These are the customers who would regularly tip me anywhere from two to five dollars. The customers that were less likely to tip are the ones who would wait till last minute to schedule their appointment, and then when they did show up the dog was in horrible shape. As weird as this seems, it makes sense if you think about it. The customers who understand that grooming is an important part of maintaining their dogs health are appreciative of our services, while the ones who think of grooming as nothing more than an added expense are not going to add to the amount by tipping.

I have also found that if a customer is extremely picky you have a chance to generate a good tip and a lifelong customer. If a potential client calls stating that they have had problems at every other groom shop, don’t let it scare you away. Listen carefully to their complaints and do your best to deliver what they want. If you successfully make them happy, they will repay you.

The best time of the year for groomers is around the holidays. During Christmas time, your books will be full, you will busier than you have ever been, and you will get the best tips of the entire year. Some customers will surprise you by not tipping all year and then presenting you with a large Christmas bonus in a card. The largest Christmas bonus I have received from a customer is $280.

Who Doesn’t Tip?

For the few customers that didn’t tip, there was usually a good reason. Some of them were customers that I was trading services with. For example, my hairdresser would bring her two dogs in every week to be bathed or groomed. In return, she would do a complete hair makeover on me monthly. We neither one tipped each other. It was just a mutual understanding between the two of us. The others that didn’t tip either really didn’t have money to spare or, while not in the traditional way, would “tip” in other ways. For example, some would bring freshly baked goodies for me every week.

How to Generate More Tips As A Groomer

tips for good workIf you want to increase your chances of getting tips there are a few things you can do. Firstly, the one that will make the biggest impact, if you have a credit card machine, ask the company if they can add a tip line. Even if it costs you a monthly fee, it will pay off big time. When people have to sign a receipt and see a line asking for a tip, they feel more obligated to leave one. If you don’t have a credit card machine, you can put up a sign saying “tips appreciated” or leave a tip jar on the counter.

I have seen some customers, who were waiting in line, be really surprised when the customer in line ahead of them tips. They often felt horrible for not knowing that you are supposed to tip a groomer. If you can leave a subtle reminder for the customers it can help educate them on the proper protocol.

Overall, groomers make out pretty good when it comes to tips. Make sure that you keep a detailed record of the tips you receive, especially those that are made on checks or credit. You are supposed to report all your tips as income on your taxes.   Many people I know do not claim their cash tips, but they do claim tips made in other ways. Good luck. May your tips increase and your clients be plentiful.

If you are reading this because you are researching the field of dog grooming as a potential career choice, then you should read what I have to say on the homepage of this website where I talk about how to become a dog groomer. It explains the most important things you need to know. Thanks for visiting my website. I hope you have learned what you wanted to know!

12 Responses to Do People Tip Their Dog Groomer?

  1. scott wolf says:

    My daughter is considering on line courses. I’m not sold. This type of work seems to require a more hands on approach. She currently washes dogs for a local groomer in a Milwaukee suburban area. Can you recommend a more hands on facility somewhere around the Milwaukee area?

    • Dog Groomer Girl says:


      I can’t really give you advice about Milwaukee as I have never personally been there. I agree that ideally you want some hands on training. You can read about how to do this out of a book, but you learn much better with hands on experience and with the guidance of a professional.

      If your daughter is already washing dogs then she already has her foot in the door somewhere. She should approach the people she currently works for and see if there is some way she can get training from them.

  2. Lucy says:

    I am a bather at Petco and only about 20% of our customers tip. It is very frustrating because I think a lot of them don’t know we accept tips at a big corporation like that and my coworker asked our manager if we could have a sign that says we accept tips and he won’t let us. Any ideas?

    • Dog Groomer Girl says:


      I don’t know how many of your clients are repeat clients and how many are walk-ins. The walk-ins generally don’t tip very well.

      The regular people you get coming back time and time again are the ones you are more likely to get tips from. You really have to work to get tips. There is a lot more to grooming than just doing a good job on the dog. You also have to be really likable to the client. The more the client “likes you personally” the more likely she/he is to tip you. You get them to like you by getting to know them personally and remembering their names.

      People love to hear their own name. If a repeat customer walks in and you remember them and go out of your way to say “Hello Mrs. Jones” and you smile, that is how you get them to really like you. Just be really friendly. Be sincere about it though.

  3. Lucy says:

    I really make an effort to be friendly to my customers, most of them are repeat customers, and I’d say about a quarter to half of the repeat customers tip. The problem is, a lot of customers don’t know we take tips. There have been several who had never tipped in the past because they didn’t know and felt really bad when they found out and have tipped ever sense. The big problem is our manager will not allow us to have a sign saying “tips appreciated” and that is what I feel is really unfair. I’ve had a lot of customers who were really happy with their dog when I was done but didn’t tip and I think it’s because they didn’t know they could.

    • Carol Buckley says:

      At Petco here, they hand you the bill and send you to the other area of the store to pay
      it. why don’t they have their own register ? they could put a line for tips on the bottom of the bills like they do in restaurants . I guess I didn’t think they accepted tips when I was there Saturday . in fact, I didn’t even think about giving them a tip until just now . My groomer did a very good job.

    • Jennifer says:

      Petsmart – groomers accept tips (and are thrilled) but are not allowed to advertise it. No tip jar, sign, etc. If a customer asks if they should tip, it’s awkward because they can’t say yes. Groomers/bathers also can’t request a specific dog, the owner has to request a groomer/bather. So when a groomer says they love your dog, they probably want you to request them. Bathers make minimum wage, maybe up to a dollar more. Groomers make 50% commission minus taxes (and school loans, insurance, etc). When business is really slow groomers make hourly. Most groomers take 30 dogs a week if they can. It really means a lot to tip, even $5. Nail trims -such a quick service no one’s expecting a tip. It’s nice if your dog is difficult, to tip for a groom. If your dog is matted to the skin, tip your groomer (and please don’t ever wait that long again). No one will remember if you don’t tip, but if they do a great job/are friendly/etc and you tip/request a specific groomer they will put in the extra effort/bow/bandana/etc. (Any bow/bandana that doesn’t say petsmart and all tools/supplies are purchased by the groomer). // basically, if you tip your hairdresser, tip your groomer. Your hairdresser washes your hair/etc. Your groomer bathes your dog, trims nails, cleans ears, trims fur, expresses anal glands, brushes teeth, etc and may have to clean up after your pet has an accident. If they do an awesome job, a tip would let them know that.

      • Lori says:

        Sounds like petco doesn’t expect them to get tipped so neither should the consumers. If petco isn’t advertising it or letting them even answer a simple question its because they don’t want people tipping the groomers. so why are they expecting a tip? Petco is obviously paying enough where people don’t have to tip. Everything that is wrong with America, expecting more money for doing a job you’re already getting paid for.

  4. Dan says:

    We get our dog groomed every other month and honestly never really thought about tipping them. It’s not that I wouldn’t, but I typically pay with a credit card and there isn’t an extra line to include a tip. Plus the cost to groom the dog seems to be inflated enough for the groomer to make a significant profit. We pay $65 for a wash, clip, and cut. Most of the time we get a call to pick him up less than 2 hours after we drop him off. If we were being charged half that amount then I would definitely tip, but when the cost of the service that is mostly labor averages out to over 30 an hour seems a bit excessive to also pay a tip on top of the regular charge.

  5. Lori says:

    Every single person wants a tip, I use to work retail did people tip me extra because I went to the back and found the perfect top. No. You’re proving a service that you are getting paid for its not free. If you need more money then increase the prices. Don’t expect a tip everyone feels entitled to one.

  6. Lori says:

    I forgot to add, if I’m spending $60 to get my dog groomed, a regular groom nothing fancy and the groomer takes an hour and a half? Why on earth would I tip them, they are making more hourly and than average person.

  7. Debbie says:

    I always tip my groomer $10 on the $45 fee. It seems like a lot considering the usual amount stated in this article. I want my groomer to do a good job with my Havanese and to know I appreciate her service.

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