Grooming fees vary widely around the country from state to state, city to city, town to town, and neighborhood to neighborhood. It’s a mistake to equate the cost of grooming with the skill of the groomer. If a shop is in a high rental area, expect to pay more than if you take your dog to a shop where the rent isn’t as high. That doesn’t mean that the quality of work of the groomer will be better or worse in one shop or the other. It simply means higher overhead = higher fees.
The average fee for a full grooming on commonly groomed small breeds (Poodles, Schnauzers, Shih Tzus, Lhasa Apsos, Cocker Spaniels, etc.) is $30-$90 and up. I add “up” because the fee might be higher for several reasons:
If your dog hasn’t been professionally groomed in a while and the coat hasn’t been maintained properly at home (brushed and combed regularly), the fur might very well be matted. In that case, the groomer will add on a few dollars to the regular fee for dematting. Some groomers charge by the hour for the extra time required, so ask in advance. If you’re having all the fur shaved and dematting isn’t necessary, some groomers don’t charge extra for the condition of the coat, so again, ask in advance. Not only can you save some money, but in many cases, shaving the coat is the more humane thing to do.
If your dog is “bad behavior” expect to pay more for the additional time needed to complete the grooming.
This applies mostly to Poodles. There are countless styles designed for the elegant Poodle. Scissoring those cute little round “pom-poms” on the legs takes skill and time! Some groomers charge extra for the more elaborate styles, so ask.
Certain “extras,” such as a flea and tick dip or a medicated bath, will cost a few extra dollars. Keep in mind that the fee a groomer charges for these services is usually much less than what a vet would charge.
The easiest way to find a good groomer in your area is to look online. Simply type something like “dog grooming near me” and you will get several dog grooming sites to browse around. Many grooming shops will give a discount on the regular fee if you have two or more dogs, so don’t be shy about asking! Additionally, most groomers will be happy to knock a few dollars off the fee if you set up a regular grooming schedule with them. Discounts are often offered to clients who bring their dogs in every four to six weeks. Ask to be reminded by phone, postcard, or e-mail when your dog is due for his next grooming.