Grooming – What Determines the Cost of Grooming A Dog

< Updated 26AUG21 >

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Most grooming salons have a base price for grooming specific breeds. It is typically only an estimate, and the cost to groom your dog may be higher or even lower. The cost to groom a dog is based on the amount of time it takes to complete the grooming process. Many factors determine the amount of time required to groom a specific dog. Those factors include:

Your dog’s comfort with the grooming process. Green Acres Kennel Shop is committed to Fear-Free, Pain-Free, and Force-Free pet care. Therefore, we will not intentionally cause discomfort or anxiety when grooming your dog. However, that may mean we will need to proceed slower or take regular breaks to keep your dog comfortable. In rare cases, we may even need to break the grooming process up into several appointments or even refer you to our dog behavior consultant so you can also work on this at home. We will NOT “Do whatever it takes” to complete the process if your dog is uncomfortable.

Your dog’s behavior. The grooming process can make some dogs uncomfortable while, some may see it as just one big play session. These behaviors can increase the amount of time it takes to groom your dog. By starting mini-grooming sessions with a professional groomer while your puppy is in their critical socialization period, 8 to 16 weeks of age, you can minimize behavioral issues. During this time, your puppy is very open to new things. However, after this period closes, new experiences are typically viewed as dangerous until proven otherwise. Therefore, if you have a dog that will require professional grooming, we recommend at least two short visits to the groomer between the ages of 8 and 16 weeks.

Your dog’s age. Grooming requires your dog to stand for much of the process. That can be difficult for older dogs with orthopedic issues, so we may need to take breaks during the process to keep your dog comfortable.

The condition of your dog’s coat when you bring them in to be groomed. All dogs, even those with short hair, should be groomed at home at least once a week. Dogs with longer coats, Doodles, Shelties, Collies, Poodles, etc., will typically need to be brushed two to three times per week at home. The purpose of brushing is to keep the hair from becoming matted and to remove dead hair caught in the coat. Any mats must be removed before your dog can be bathed, as when they become wet, the mats just become tighter. Brushing out mats can take a substantial amount of time, even for a dog that stands perfectly still, and this process can take even longer with a wiggly dog. To prevent discomfort for your dog, mats may need to be cut out with scissors or a trimmer. Trimming takes place before your dog is bathed, and if your dog’s coat is very dirty, it will require more breaks to change blades on the trimmers. In addition, a dirty coat dulls the blades, which will also increase your cost. If fleas are found in your dog’s coat, additional bathing with a flea shampoo will be required, which will take extra time and will include an extra cost.

The length and type of your dog’s coat. Short-coated dogs take much less time to bathe, brush out and dry. The longer the coat, the more time these processes take.

The type of cut you want. When cutting or trimming a dog’s coat, the kind of cut can range from a simple, short all-over to an elaborate show coat. Of course, the more elaborate the cut, the longer it will take. Also, remember, while your dog may be the same breed as the picture you show us, your dog’s coat may not be suitable for the type of cut you want.

Your dog’s size. Big dogs take longer to groom.

The best ways to minimize the cost of grooming your dog are:

Brush your dog with the correct tools, at least once per week, at home. Our groomer can offer guidance in selecting tools and instruct how to brush your dog so that it is a pleasurable experience for both of you.

Do NOT bathe your dog until all mats have been removed. Once a mat becomes wet, it becomes much more difficult to remove.

Ask your veterinarian to recommend a flea preventative. Flea and tick preventatives sold by your veterinarian are much safer and more effective than any products that you can purchase over-the-counter or online. Also, since your veterinarian knows your dog’s health and that of the other pets in your home, they can prescribe something safe for everyone in your home.

Have your dog professionally groomed regularly. If you provide all of the home grooming described above, we recommend professional grooming every 4 to 6 weeks. If you are not doing the home maintenance described above, you may need to see a professional groomer more often. Also, nails typically need to be clipped more frequently. If you can hear them going “click” and “clack” on the floor, the nails are too long.

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