First, I would like to point out that some people pay $$$$ for these extras, and there is nothing wrong with that…..in principle. However, ethically, many of us find it reprehensible.
Understand that advertising is the psychological manipulation of the buying public. Advertising bases its existence on people buying things they don’t need or want with money they don’t have. They are the largest parasitic profession on the planet other than news media. Amazingly, people always fall for it, thinking they need to throw out something in perfect working order to get a “new, improved” version. The service industry is not any different, and the new world of grooming is following the trend. The newest one being “Spa”, three simple letters, one big pile of crap!
Since the beginning of grooming time, show dog world or not, for more decades than I remember, grooming consisted of the following. Bath, blow drying, de-shedding if applicable, hair cutting if applicable, cutting nails, cleaning out the pads, cleaning ears, and, if requested, bows (which I will never do) or bandanas.
Now we have Extras/A la carte, which can be cutting nails, bows, bandanas, and shampoos, depending on whom you call. So, I make a few calls around town to see what services are offered in the “spa” environment. Upgraded shampoos, there are three choices. My first question was, does that mean I am having my dog bathed in laundry soap if I go with your regular shampoo? Oh no! It means that for an additional charge, you can get even better than our normal shampoo. My response was why aren’t you using high-quality, non-toxic shampoo on every dog that comes in? No response, imagine that!
Oh, but wait! Now it costs extra at many places for upgraded shampoo (which a business should use the highest quality from the start), conditioner (very, very few dogs even need or should have), electric filing of nails (I’ll give on this one charging extra since it does take a lot more time), bows, bandana’s, specialty shampoo’s for things such as fleas or other skin conditions which by the way cost almost the same amount, 15, count them FIFTEEN step bath process! Really? I have been at this game a really long time and know a few others. What the HELL? Giving a dog a bath can require 15 flipping steps.
I have always offered animal aromatherapy for the past 20 years, and guess what? People do not want to spend the extra money! I am not talking about the toxic petrochemical garbage used in grooming shops, sold by suppliers, or the dangerous stuff at health food stores. Nope, I use the real stuff that, by all rights, everyone, such as myself, should be certified in, which not only I do, but also teach the proper way to use essential oils on animals. If you do it incorrectly, you can cause a great deal of harm. I mix up some magic with serious skin conditions and use it on the dogs anyway at no charge, not for the people but for the dogs.
This is an excerpt from a professional trade publication, believe it or not, mimicking the “spa” for humans so that you will pay more. I DID NOT WRITE THIS. However, they said it better than I could, and the truth behind it is staggering.
“If you are making the switch to a spa approach, it stands to reason that the environment, personnel, and products you use are vitally important, and this information needs to be communicated to your clientele. An authentic pet care spa should offer extra spa-like services, including massages and facials, especially for those with facial wrinkles like the bulldog breeds, pugs, or Pekinese or those prone to tear stains like the Maltese, shih tzu, or bichon frise. Another specialty is the pedicure, including nail polish, nail art, and a pad treatment with a moisturizing balm.
Your salon should reflect a boutique atmosphere, something customers won’t find at supermarkets, discount stores, or drugstore chains. You can offer seasonal pet clothing, a doggie bakery with treats that look homemade and tempting even to humans, high-quality leashes, and collars, including fancy jeweled ones. (Even if they are more of a display than a saleable item, they help set the tone for the luxurious flavor you seek). A wide array of whimsical and practical toys, comfy beds, and pet carrier handbags that serve as fashion accessories to owners of portable pets, pet strollers, beach cabanas, designer dishes, and gourmet treats, as well as over-the-counter holistic supplements and remedies, may be popular staples of your doggie dream spa.”
“The spa atmosphere and the way members of the professional staff conduct themselves go hand in hand with providing the necessary low-stress, welcoming and caring environment. When it comes to décor, the colors should be soft. Tasteful artwork is as important as advertising posters, and aromatherapy may even permeate the reception area. If music is playing, it should be either new age or classical–the kind you would like to hear if you were receiving a soothing massage. This kind of environment makes canine customers feel more relaxed, creating a positive experience that leaves them wanting to come back for more.” A somewhat accurate explanation of grooming prices. They do not get into the experience level, which plays an integral part also, as well as a few other items. This was posted on Prixie Pets.
Pricing Dog Local Dog Groomers
You just called a few local grooming shops to find the best price. It may have been frustrating because they could only give you an “estimated” price. This article will photo (1) explain exactly why a groomer typically only gives estimated prices.
Average Grooming Costs
Though it is hard to give a firm estimation of costs for your dog due to many variables, Small Dogs can expect to price from $40-60, and large breed dogs sit in the $60 to $120 range, with medium dogs somewhere in the middle.
The Exact Price of Dog Grooming
Some of the corporate stores may give you an exact price because their pricing is mostly done by breed only, but don’t let the low price fool you. Once they have you in the store, they will hit you with a bunch of add-ons like tooth brushing, special shampoo, conditioner, or nail filing. It is important when calling around to ask what the grooming price includes. Some places automatically just use whatever shampoo and/or conditioner is best for your dog, and that is included in the price vs. another shop that would charge $5-10 extra.
Factors of Price – Size, Type, Condition
The main factors a groomer considers when pricing a pet are size, coat type, and condition, style of haircut, and temperament. It all depends on the time spent to groom the pet. A dog that gets groomed every 4-6 weeks is typically in good condition and will not need as much prep work, if any, before the bath. Whereas a dog that hasn’t been in, in a while could take a good half hour to an hour to brush out or shave off mats (knots).
Size Matters – How Big is Your Dog?
The size factor of a pet is pretty self-explanatory, but please understand that just because you have said, “I have a Shih Tzu,” doesn’t really help. I’ve groomed a 3-pound Imperial Shih Tzu, and I have groomed an overweight 25-pound Shih Tzu. Also, with mixed breeds or “designer breeds,” the size variations are even larger. The larger the dog, the longer it can take a groomer to shave it because of more surface area, but the smaller the dog doesn’t necessarily mean easier, either. When dogs are really small, it can take some extra time, too, because it is very hard to get the big clipper in their tiny areas, like armpits and paw pads.
Condition, Coat Type, and Style
Coat type and condition on a cat or dog is pertaining to short-haired like a beagle or long-haired like a Maltese. Short-haired dogs are typically cheaper because they will only need to be brushed out after the bath rather than getting a haircut like a long-haired dog. Please be aware that short-haired dogs may be shedding, affecting the price. The longer it takes to remove all the dead hair, the more expensive it will be. If a pet goes to the groomer on a consistent basis and the coat is free of knots, it will be cheaper. Pre-shaving or de-matting knots on long-haired dogs will be an extra charge. The amount of the extra charge will all depend on the time it takes. Usually, there is a set amount for the extra charge. For example, $5.00-6.00 for every 15 minutes extra it takes to eliminate the knots.
The haircut style affects the price because certain styles take longer than others. For example, a dog that always gets shaved down to a short length will return, and the coat will still be on the shorter side if it’s been coming consistently. A dog getting groomed consistently but left longer has a lot more hair to wash, dry, and brush. Plus, the hand-scissoring technique used to create a longer look takes more time. For example, to get the big fluffy round Bichon head, the grooming needs to fluff dry it and hand scissor it, which is more time-consuming than a Bichon who gets the head and ears shaved all one length. This also pertains to dogs that get groomed like the breed standard and are in a “pattern cut” with a skirt or longer hand-scissored legs compared to dogs that are shaved one length all over.
Bad Dogs Cost More
Temperament is a big factor that a groomer needs to consider. It is also a factor that they won’t fully know until they’ve started working with the pet. By temperament, I don’t only mean aggressive. There are many nervous or shy pets that do best when groomed slowly so that a trusting relationship can be built. A dog with a very playful personality is great, but is very hard to groom if they are excited and wiggly about everything! If it is an aggressive dog that must be muzzled or requires more than one groomer, the client must understand that it takes longer and is more difficult, increasing the price.
Call Curbside Clippers at 303-798-4888 today to schedule a professional dog grooming experience for your furry friend!