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Petco Dog Groomers: Should You Tip and How Much?

I’ve taken my dog to Petco many times, and just like you, I wondered if I should tip the dog groomer. While it may not be obvious to some, here’s the answer:

The Short Answer

If you have the means and want to appreciate all the work dog groomers do, consider leaving a tip. Their work can be challenging at times. Petco groomers may work long hours, and if your dog is difficult to take care of, leaving a tip tells the groomer you acknowledge their patience with your dog.

This article explores why, when, how, and how much to tip a dog groomer at Petco. It’s a quick and easy guide to read.

Petco store front in Springfield Missouri

Why Should You Tip a Petco Groomer?

While it’s common knowledge that restaurants often have a tipping culture in the US, not everyone realizes that grooming is a personal service where tipping can make a significant difference to the professional. Here’s why you might want to consider tipping at Petco.

First, Petco groomers do a lot of work, including brushing, cleaning, bathing, drying, and all other work from the face to the bottoms. They also answer phone and guest questions.

Compared to other services where workers are regularly tipped, their work is not the easiest. They will be kicked by the dog, bitten, poop cleaned from the floor or crates, and deal with aggressive animals.

They must lift larger onto tables and into tubs, which may require a lot of manual labor. Tipping shows them that you appreciate their efforts.

They put in long hours, and while they aren’t paid the lowest, they are paid below the national average. While they may earn a 50% commission, there is no guarantee they will receive it because they must make a certain amount and then receive a percentage. However, the quota is so high that your groomer is unlikely to obtain a good commission.

Tipping tells them you understand how difficult grooming is and appreciate their patience with your dog. The same for works for tipping dog groomers at PetSmart.

When to Tip a Petco Groomer?

Try to tip every time you have a few dollars extra, especially if you are pleased with the work and the groomer. Tipping is always appropriate if your dog is difficult to handle and is appreciated and preferred, regardless of the work done.

Every dog is unique, but some require more effort than others. Aside from bathing and drying and possible haircuts, they must also work around what the dog is comfortable with and try to do it well, even if it is a little tricky.

So, tip your groomer if your dog is difficult to handle, makes a mess, or takes a lot of effort to bathe or groom.

I’ll always be able to figure out which one is a good groomer. If you’ve had bad groomers, you’ll quickly recognize a good one, just like me, and you’ll know how much they’re worth. Try to tip good groomers in this case because you’ll always notice the difference.

Bear in mind that grooming isn’t just about appearance; it’s also about the health and well-being of your pet. A tip reflects your acknowledgment of the comprehensive care provided.

However, don’t feel obligated to tip if you don’t have the means. Prices are rising, and many people can’t even afford to feed their dogs, let alone tip others. In many cases, your financial situation, as well as some other factors, should be taken first into account.

If you’re genuinely pleased with the service but can’t tip due to budget constraints, expressing your gratitude verbally to the groomer can also be meaningful

When NOT to Tip a Petco Groomer?

While tipping is always preferred and recommended, there are a few situations in which you may choose not to tip. For example, if you’re dissatisfied with your job, the groomer, or your financial situation doesn’t allow you to tip.

If you cannot tip due to financial constraints and your dog is difficult to handle, you could assist the groomer by holding the dog and helping them. Some dogs can be difficult to handle when it comes to nail clipping and handling in general so you could assist them.

Remember that Petco groomers aren’t paid the lowest wages, so don’t feel bad if you’re really struggling.

But if you can pay for the grooming, you can leave at least a few dollars as a “thank you,” especially if the work is good.

a person grooming a Yorkshire Terrier dog

How to Tip a Petco Groomer?

You can tip with cash or a credit card. Cash is preferred because they receive 100% of it. If you tip your Petco groomer with a credit card, they will be taxed on their pay, so it’s always best to tip in cash.

Either way is preferable to nothing, and the groomer will be grateful.

Other countries, such as Canada, may require assistance determining how to tip and whether they accept tips. They generally take tips, but you may have to give them directly to the groomer. Having some cash on hand is therefore preferable.

Although some pay stations do not have a clear tip option, you can always ask, “Can you please add $5/10/20 to my bill for the groomer?” Or however much you desire.

How Much to Tip a Petco Groomer?

Unless the grooming price is exceptionally high, anything between $5 and $10 is considered standard. If you like your groomer/groom and can afford it, anything between $10 and $20 is reasonable and much appreciated. Consider a larger tip if your dog is difficult to control.

To put it another way, $5 is an acknowledgment that you know you should tip, and you technically did. Anything less than $5 may even be considered offensive, especially if grooming costs exceed $100.

$10 is a reasonable and acceptable tip. This is a perfectly fine tip, regardless of price. A $15 tip will make the dog groomer feel genuinely appreciated.

Tipping $20 or more will ensure that the groomer remembers you. They may go out of their way for you and your dog, fitting you in at any time. You are either a very grateful or a demanding client.

If your dog is particularly difficult, consider tipping a little more because difficult dogs can take longer to groom.

Unless the bill is quite large, you could also tip a percentage. On a $50 bill, you could tip 10-20%, which amounts to $5-10, which is acceptable.

Because it’s difficult to know whether the price is fair for a dog owner, it’s best to stick to a flat tip. Otherwise, a groomer risks losing a good commission and tip.

How Much Does Dog Grooming Cost at Petco?

According to the Petco website, the average dog grooming price is between $38 and $66, depending on the dog’s size. However, these are just the starting point. The actual dog grooming price in the US ranges from $45 to $95.

To figure out how much to tip based on grooming price, it’s good to know Petco’s actual dog grooming prices for 2023. Their website has a nice picture that shows the starting prices for dog grooming:

Petco grooming prices. (Source: Petco website, dog grooming)

Remember that these are just the “starting prices,” so the actual price will vary depending on what your dog requires and the size, and you should expect higher prices than the picture shows. In the case of low prices, consider leaving a slightly higher tip.


Should you tip a groomer who owns the business?

Unless they did a poor job, independent/mobile groomers still do a lot of work, and they’ll appreciate the tip just as much. Tipping is not expected, but a home groomer may notice a client who tips, so leaving a tip may get you noticed the next time.

Should you tip groomers at the vet?

Most groomers will accept tips, including the ones at the vet office. If you feel the groomer did a good job, try giving them a tip. Groomers at the vet’s office will always appreciate and feel grateful for the tip.

Should you tip cat groomers?

Similarly to dog groomers, it is customary in the US to tip for services, including cat groomers. It is not a requirement, but it is appreciated. However, since cats often don’t require as much work and are easier to handle than dogs, you may want to leave a smaller tip.

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