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******This is the most common questioned asked, and rightly so, in this day and age. Hopefully, you will get a clear idea of why a fee is charged and what you can do to make your costs as low as possible!
******A common misconception that an owner has, is that the groomer charges a fee and that is what she takes home that day. To arrive at her cost per dog, she breaks down the time spent per pet. These costs must allow her to cover rent, insurance, heat & air-conditioning, insurances, taxes, phone service, advertising, travel expense, dues, ongoing education, licensing, permits, uniforms, shampoos, equipment-which can be very expensive, employee salaries and the list goes on and on. Hopefully, at the end of the week, she has enough to pay same bills at home.
******A groomer determines an individual fee per breed and modifies it by many factors…..Condition of dog’s coat is foremost. If a dog is well-kept by the owner between grooms, the fee remains at base amount. Length of coat is another-longer coats take more precision grooming to make them look even and take longer drying times, whereas a short coat is an easier style to arrive at. Whether a dog is to be dematted or shaved down is another decision in price. Dematting is not easy, it is painful to the dog, it can take twice as long to groom a matted dog and the price must reflect this. Many times a groomer cannot save the coat and will recommend a shave-down. This saves you money, less painful for the dog, but will still require much dexterity to get the matted coat off without cutting the dog’s skin.
******Matted coats and dogs with skin problems take a toll on clipper blades. It is not unusual to dull out 2 or 3 blades on a neglected dog or one with skin problems. Sharpening these blades and shipping them cost extra money, passed on to the client. Dogs with flea infestation cost extra, due to costlier shampoos to eradicate the little pests, and also to treat the shop continuously during the groom and at the end of day treatment to make sure that the shop remains flea-free.
******Now, we come to the issue of temperament and trainability. Most dogs are not little angels on the grooming table, and the groomer understands this. But dogs that come once or twice a year, or have not been trained to stand still for grooming, take longer to complete. Sometimes, they require 2 people to do one dog, which means the other groomer has to forfeit what she is doing to help hold the dog still. Other dogs refuse to stand, causing much lower back pain and shoulder stress to the groomer, who must hold the dog up continuously throughout the groom. It takes longer and causes health problems to arise in the groomer, hence the higher price.
******Then there are the Biters, some are afraid, some just don’t like it, many were not trained at home, or brought in for grooming often enough or early enough, in the dog’s life. These dogs can put a groomer out of business for a few days, with one significant bite. A groomer’s hands are her tools and without her tools, she cannot do her job. Some groomers may refuse to do a dog for this reason alone. Owners need to let their groomer know of the dog’s temperament, or they will be paying for doctor bills and grooming!
******Many dogs snap and bite, due to a lack of training in the brushing department. Your groomer cannot “teach” your dog once every 6 to 10 weeks; this training has to be done at home. Ask your groomer for advice on proper brushing and training for the groom.
******A dog’s fee may change as he/she becomes older. Although we forgive most aging pets change in behavior, some become difficult to do. These would be (1)needing a second groomer to support the dog throughout the grooming, (2) extreme temperament change, (3)medical incontinence beyond the dog’s control—1e: a pet who has frequent accidents with urine and/or feces leaking out, causing extra re-grooming and kennel area disinfecting. We are very forgiving of our “old-timers” and try to ignore this, but in some cases, it is severe enough that a price increase must be charged.
******Other factors that can change a grooming fee are clients who are habitually late, cancel at the last minute, or do not show up at all.
******Most groomers charge a fee for this, as the groomer loses a salary towards running the shop, and is paying an employee out of her pocket to stand there and do nothing until the next client comes in.
******While we understand that emergencies happen, habitual disregard for policy can affect your fee. The average groomer loses SIX to EIGHT weeks of salary in no-show fees a year.
******Altho we offer payment by credit cards, cash or checks (by existing customers) can help keep our costs down and pass that better grooming fee on to you! Credit card payments lower our net income by 3 to 4%.As more customers prefer to use credit cards, our loss per year has reached over $2000.00 in 2011.
******In a nutshell, adhering to a regular appointment schedule can keep your dog in the best coat condition. We are happy to show you (for no charge) how to take care of the coat between grooms.
******Let’s work together to keep your groom fee at a minimum!

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