Are you a newly-certified groomer and wondering how to price your dog grooming services? You’ve come to the right place!
Today, we’re going to break down EVERYTHING you need to know in order to set proper rates and ensure you’re getting paid properly for your expertise. So, without further ado, let’s jump into it!
What Does a Full Groom Include?
When it comes to pricing grooming services, it’s best to first understand what you’ll be providing when a client wants a full grooming experience for their pup. Your professional certification training will teach you exactly how to offer these services, and execute them to the highest of standards.
Typically, a “full groom” will include the following:
- Brushing/combing/de-matting the dog’s coat
- Cleaning the dog’s ears
- Also, checking for any signs of infection
- Blow drying
- Trimming and/or clipping the coat
- If requested, styling the coat, either to breed standards or to meet the customer’s requests/preference
- Cleaning up the hair around sanitary areas
- Cleaning up the hair around the paw pads
- Cutting the dog’s nails
Depending on the groomer or salon, a full groom may also include things such as brushing the dog’s teeth with canine-friendly toothpaste. However, it’s also common for this kind of service to be considered “extra”. As such, you may choose to charge things like tooth-brushing as an add-on, additional fee on top of the full groom.
How Are Dog Grooming Prices Set?
If you’re hired within an established salon, they’ll likely already have a pricing model in place. But if your goal is to launch your own grooming business, it’ll be up to you to build your rate structure from the ground up. So, if you’ve been wondering how to price dog grooming services, it’s worth it to know the different ways you can go about this!
Common factors that impact dog grooming prices include:
- The number of grooming services you’ll be providing during the appointment
- Type of haircut involved (e.g. kennel cut, teddy bear cut, etc.)
- Standard services vs. specialty services (e.g. competition grooming/styling, medicated bath treatments, etc.)
- The general demand for dog groomers in your area
- Whether the client needs pick-up or drop-off accommodation, in addition to the grooming service(s)
- Whether you wish to offer any incentives, such as new customer specials, returning customer discounts, etc.
- These may decrease the upfront total of your grooming price for that appointment, but could increase the number of clients who book with you – thus, bringing in more money in the long run!
- Packaged services vs. a la carte services, as well as add-ons, etc.
When it comes to that last point, we recommend sitting down and mapping out how you’d like to build your grooming packages. For example, what would a “basic groom” package look like in your mind? How about a “full groom”? What would the similarities and differences be between the two?
Furthermore, which of your services would you prefer to qualify as “adds-ons”? What price point would you put each of these a la carte services at, and what’s your justification behind that figure?
When determining your dog grooming prices, it’s important to keep 3 key factors in mind:
- That your rates are in the ballpark of the industry standard.
- Your rates are not too low OR too high when compared to your local competitors.
- You understand WHY you’ve set your rates the way you have – and are confident about it!
Average Dog Grooming Prices by Weight
There’s no real “one size fits all” when it comes to pricing grooming services by a dog’s weight. This can look different for every city, as well as for every groomer. Of course, it goes without saying that working on a larger dog will always cost more than a smaller one. After all, the exact same grooming process will take longer on, say, a fully grown Saint Bernard than it would on a fully grown Shih Tzu.
This helpful article by HomeGuide provides an average price point based on the weight of your client’s pooch. Here are the figures they’ve come up with:
- 0-14 lbs: $25
- 15-25 lbs: $30
- 25-35 lbs: $35
- 35-50 lbs: $40
- 50-60 lbs: $45
- 60-70 lbs: $50
- 70-80 lbs: $55
- 80-90 lbs: $65
- 95 lbs and up: $70+
Average Dog Grooming Prices by Breed
Over the course of 2021, Hepper reports that these were the average prices based on breed for dog grooming services in the United States:
- Toy Breed: $30+
- Examples of toy breeds: Chihuahuas, Spaniels, Italian Greyhounds, Maltese, Pekingese, Papillon, Toy Poodles, Pomeranians, Pugs, etc.
- Small Breed:$40+
- Examples of small breeds: Corgis, Boston Terriers, Jack Russell Terriers, Toy Fox Terriers, French Bulldogs, Coton de Tulear, Daschunds, Shiba Inu, etc.
- Medium Breed: $50+
- Examples of medium breeds: Australian Shepherds, Basset Hounds, Siberian Huskies, Border Collies, Labrador Retrievers, Poodles, Boxers, Shetland Sheepdogs, Golden Retrievers, etc.
- Large Breed: $60+
- Examples of large breeds: Chinooks, Samoyeds, Alaskan Malamutes, Belgian Sheepdogs, Borzois, Chows, Doberman Pinschers, German Shepherds, Giant Schnauzers, Komondors, etc.
- Extra Large Breed: $70+
- Examples of extra large breeds: Anatolian Shepherds, Bernese Mountain Dogs, Black Russian Terriers, Bullmastiffs, Mastiffs, Dogue de Bordeaux, Cani Corsi, Great Danes, Great Pyrenees, Irish Wolfhounds, Leonbergers, Newfoundlands, etc.
Other Types of Pricing to Consider
If you want to know how to price your dog grooming services in a way that not only reflects your skills, but also positively impacts your business’ bottom line, then DON’T skip over this section! It offers some pretty pertinent information that will serve you (and your career) well, especially long-term.
Here are 4 additional pricing structures to know about, as you may want to adopt them for your own grooming business…
You’ll have 2 very important goals over the course of your career as a groomer:
- Acquiring NEW clients
- Retaining EXISTING clients
They’re both equally as important in the grand scheme of things, as they can positively influence your profits in different ways. So, it’s crucial that you give both goals the same level of attention and effort. For this reason, one thing you may want to consider is some sort of incentivized pricing structure that’ll make people want to book with you (or come back in the future).
Yes, incentivized pricing can – on paper – seem like you’re earning less money on a given service. However, since it’ll drastically increase your chances of that client returning to you in the future and/or referring you to others (thus leading to more business overall), it’s actually a worthwhile investment!
Some ways you can offer incentivized pricing include:
- Customer referral programs
- Discounted services for first-time clients
- Membership/loyalty programs
- Coupons and/or BOGO (buy one, get one free) offers
- Free information (could be done via email campaign, social media, etc.)
- Promotional offers, etc.
As an entrepreneur, you need to know what cost-based pricing is. In a nutshell, this refers to the MINIMUM amount you should/need to charge in order to keep your business afloat.
Thus, in order to figure out what your cost-based pricing has to be, you’ll first need to crunch some numbers. Figure out how much you’ll need to make annually (as well as per month) to operate your grooming business. From there, you can then determine how much on top of that you’d need to make to create a profit margin.
Once you better understand these 2 key factors, you can then accurately know how much you’ll need to charge for your services in order to achieve these goals!
You might have a few tricks up your sleeve, thanks to your professional certification training, that you can offer as additional services. These would be counted separately from your standard grooming services/packages, and would instead be seen as value-added services. As its name suggests, value-added pricing refers to services you can offer that’ll elevate a given service, and increase its overall desirability and worth.
For example, a value-based service for your grooming business could be teeth cleaning, as we briefly discussed earlier.
Ultimately, a value-based pricing structure is what you’ll want to strive for eventually in your career. Value-based pricing reflects your unique ability to offer such high-quality services, renowned in comparison to your competitors, that you can set your rates in accordance with that. Your value-based pricing will be a marker that properly reflects the high demand for your business.
For instance, if you were to become particularly well-known for a certain niche (such as competition grooming, working with specific breeds, mastering certain cuts, etc.), you could curb the market on that niche and be seen as the leading local expert. This type of notoriety would increase your booking potential in the eyes of prospective clients, because they’d see you as a hot commodity.
As a result, you’d have earned the right to price those dog grooming services – as well as the rest of your services – at a slightly higher rate than the other groomers in your town/city.
Consider Local Area Pricing and Competition
Once you’re ready to set your dog grooming prices, another key thing to keep in mind is what the industry standard is – especially where you live. This is known as market-based pricing. It’s important that your rates are neither too high nor too low in comparison to the market-based pricing for dog grooming services.
Both risk alienating potential clients and instead driving them straight into the arms of your competitors… And we know you don’t want that!
If you’re hired to groom in an existing salon, you’ll see market-based pricing structures already in place more often than not. On the other hand, if you’re launching your own business, it can feel a bit trickier to know where to place YOUR rates with respect to the industry standard.
At the beginning of your career, you may want to air on the side of caution and price your services slightly below your fellow competitors who’ve been in the game longer than you. Then again, you might not want to go that route, and instead start your career charging on par with everyone else. That’s up to you – just be sure to do some research in order to learn more about the pros and cons of both options!
Either way, one thing remains constant: the more experience you have under your belt, the better your reputation is, and the stronger a skill-set you have, the better off you’ll be to price your grooming services ABOVE the market-based rates.
Think About Additional Services for Premium Prices
Throughout this article, we’ve talked about specialty and value-added services that you can offer, in order to raise your dog grooming prices. So, as we wrap things up, I want to leave you with some food for thought… Particularly, with regards to the types of additional services your business can provide its customers.
Off the top of my head, these are some suggestions I think might really interest you:
- Mobile grooming services
- Virtual grooming classes (one-on-one and/or group lessons) for at-home dog owners
- Competition/show grooming
- Grooming for dogs with special needs
- Medicated grooming services (i.e. for fleas and ticks, skin issues/conditions, etc.)
- Grooming for other pets, such as cats
- Doggy daycare
- Dog walking
- Professional dog training
- And so much more!
Can YOU think of any other services that can be added to this list?
Let us know in the comments below! 💕