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Should You Tip PetSmart Pet Groomers? | We Polled 3 Groomers

Pet groomers work hard to make your pet look as clean and beautiful as possible, but unfortunately, they are often not appreciated enough. This is when it comes into question whether you should tip them and how much.

You should definitely tip pet groomers at Petsmart if you are happy with the service. Most groomers only make a 40% to 50% commission which works out to about $10 to $14 per hour. The recommended tipping range is between $5 to $20 based on the quality and service performed.

We´ve polled three groomers to get more information related to the topic, such as expectations, average tips depending on the service, dog tipping guidelines, and at the end, we will compile in a chart a list of suggested tip amounts based on services and information acquired from the poll responses.

How Much do Groomers Make at PetSmart?

The average pet groomer in the United States makes an average of $29,848 per year. Introductory groomers’ salaries start at around $17,000 to $22,710 annually. It is essential to understand this does not include any bonuses or tips given by the customers.

Based on data presented by, “The average PetSmart pet groomer’s hourly pay in the United States is approximately $13.99, which is 11% below the national average, and in comparison, Petco has a $10.93 hourly wage.” Regardless of this not being 100% exact information, it gives us a rough idea of how great it is to tip the groomer to show how much their job is appreciated and valued.

Do PetSmart Groomers Get Commission?

PetSmart groomers can become eligible to receive a commission but only after a period of training at an academy. They receive an hourly wage until they have tended to at least 200 dogs. After six months, they will receive a 40% commission, eventually moving up to a 50% commission on every dog they tend to.

Since groomers earn an hourly wage, it is in their best interest to go above and beyond with their service to be able to get above their base salary. And because groomers work on commission-based pay, it is well appreciated to tip if you are satisfied with their service.

An example to better understand how they get commissions is:

  • The pet groomer does a 60-dollar haircut for the dog. Since they receive up to 50%, their commission would be up to 30 dollars.

In order to really make more money based on commissions, groomers need to go above their hourly wage. They will have to earn at least 400 dollars in commission or 800 dollars in sales.

Dog Groomer Tipping Guidelines

As you may know, grooming services at Petsmart typically include brushing and clipping, relaxing baths, shampooing, custom drying, and a tailored haircut performed by professional stylists that have over eight hundred hours of training.

In relation to tipping, we asked three groomers at PetSmart, and they expressed that the dog groomer tipping guidelines depend on the service provided and the dog’s attitude. Tips can range from $5 up to $40 dollars with $5 being the minimum average. However, regular clients tend to give higher tips, especially if the dog has established a strong relationship or bond with the groomer.

How Much Should You Tip?

Most people give dog groomers a 15-20% of the service price as a tip.

However, sometimes the groomers go above and beyond and throw extra treatments with no charge. They may do the pet’s nails, do hair detailing, or adding conditioner. In that case, you may decide it’s best to tip more in the 25% or even 35% range.

An example would be if you get a standard $60 grooming, 15% for the tip would be around $9. However, you should take into consideration the size, the breed, and the dog’s attitude. If your dog is especially feisty or dislikes being groomed, you might pay as high as $20.

If your pet has a “hard to work with” attitude and the groomers try their best, you should consider tipping as much as you can afford. In addition to this, let’s say your dog is a Samoyed or a Poodle; due to them being naturally prone to having a lot of hair, you should also consider giving a higher tip for the laborious grooming a dog that hairy may entail.

Another factor to consider is the dog’s relationship with the groomer; the difficulty of grooming your pet will affect the amount of tip you give.

Chart On Tipping Etiquette Based On Service
Service providedMinimum tip (15%)Standard Tip (20%)
Full Service for small dogs ($40)$5 tip$8 tip
Full Service for larger dogs ($75)$11 tip$15 tip
Bath & Brush (depending on the breed and size) ($30)$4.50 tip$6 tip
Body trim for small dogs ($75)$11.25 tip$15 tip
Body trim for large dogs ($90)$13.50 tip$18-$20 tip

Based on’s dog grooming prices list and

Special cases for tipping:

  1. Fecal matter stuck on the dog’s behind.
  2. Extreme cases of neglect.
  3. Some shedding cases or matting.
  4. Elderly, obese, or large dogs who can’t stand grooming.
  5. Tipping much higher is customary around the holidays as a “gift” to the groomer.

Do You Tip Dog Groomers At The Vet?

Even though tipping at the vet is optional, it is a great idea to give a gratuity to the groomer if they have done an amazing job and you are satisfied with their quality of service. It is safe to just go with a standard 15% to 20% percent of the total cost.

Do You Tip Dog Groomers In Canada?

In general, dog groomers in Canada do expect to receive a tip. A gratuity that ranges from 15% and 20% is acceptable, depending on the level of service offered. If you were delighted, then consider going higher, and if the quality was poor, perhaps going a bit lower.

Do You Tip Dog Groomers At Petco?

Groomers at Petco usually receive a tip. Petco doesn’t have specific guidelines that prevent the customer from giving tips to the dog groomers. It is safe to say that you are allowed to give the amount you consider is best concerning the quality of treatment they gave to your dog.

Here is the link to a pet groomer calculator for you to use. Just select the percentage of the tip, and it will calculate the tip amount the groomer will receive and the total due. This is helpful when you want to reward your dog groomers for doing a fantastic job.

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Why Does PetSmart Grooming Take So Long?

The amount of time grooming takes depends on the breed and the type of service. The average would be around three to four hours. So, for example, minor services like nail trims typically take approximately fifteen minutes. They also have express services, which can be booked upon request and are available for breeds like Bulldogs (French and English), pugs, terriers, etc.

PetSmart grooming takes a long time because it is a multi-stage process, often in four steps. Groomers start with prep work, followed by bathing, then drying, and then the final tidying-up process, like clipping nails and brushing the coat again.

  1. Prep work can include shaving and brushing out the coat, nails, ears, and teeth before the bath to prevent tangling or knots.
  2. The bath can be either fast or complex, depending on the dog’s coat. Last is the drying process, which can take a while for certain breeds.
  3. The drying process makes many dogs anxious. In this case, sometimes groomers will have to dry them with a towel to lower down the time spent using a blow dryer. The drying time varies per dog, so, for example, Yorkies take around 15 minutes. In contrast, poodles can take almost one hour, depending on the hair texture.
  4. The final steps are clipping nails and tidying up to make the dog look clean and polished, usually taking less time.

In summary, we can say that grooming appointments at PetSmart take longer due to two influencing factors: the length of the drying process and whether the dog collaborates or not.

Bottom Line

Tips are a great form of showing satisfaction and gratification towards a service provider. If your dog is happy and is treated nicely, tipping between 15% to 20% of the total service price would be a great idea, and it will encourage the pet groomer to keep it up.

It is also a way to reward their hard work since they live on commission-based and hourly salaries. So next time you go to Petsmart, Petco, or any other pet grooming specialist, tip them accordingly or when you can afford it.

Thanks for reading!

For more, check out Should You Tip at Sonic? (A Carhop Weighs In).