Pet grooming is a career, a profession, and not a hobby. In my time pursuing this career, I have attended a university for education, proceeded from there to grooming school, and continue my education to this day out of my own personal time and money. It is something I strive to be great at, and that I feel is my calling.
We’ve seen recent behavior go from haggling to exclaiming that we are expensive and even ask us to fit our years of education and expertise into a few minutes worth of a showing on their way out. For you to ask this is, at minimal, a little offensive. We give each of our clients pointers and tips for maintenance at home between grooms, and even go so far as to give each new puppy we get a bush and a comb. We spend time with you when you come in and try to educate you on the side of grooming that you can control- the at home grooming.
Unfortunately, we have still been asked to lower our prices. This is something that as a business, we cannot do. This is something that as a person who runs this business, I cannot do. Yes, grooming is expensive. If it was cheap for you to be groomed by another business, you should ask why. Our blades alone cost $30+ a piece and most groomers own anywhere from 40-50 different blades in various sizes and lengths to accommodate for different coats and breeds. In order to avoid razor burn, coat pulling, or skin irritations, we have those blades professionally maintained along with our scissors and shears to ensure that your pets stay safe and healthy. This safety practice costs us, at minimum, around $100/month. On a busier month, towards the holidays, or when seasons change, it can cost us upwards of $300/monthly.
We’ve had people ask for a full breakdown, and that would also include the shampoo. The quality shampoo and conditioner we keep on hand starts at $50/gallon, and doesn’t include any specialty sprays for irritation your dog may be suffering from or any other day-to-day dry skin problems. We keep at least 8 different gallons on hand that we mix daily depending on your furry friend’s needs and we strive to make them feel as comfortable as possible when they are on our table or in our tub.
We’ve had our clients leave us and come back due to poor service elsewhere- seen dogs that were groomed and had irritated skin due to dull or hot blades that other groomer used, a sign of a lack of care or training on their behalf. Still, we take your furry friend’s needs into advisement and care for them as if they were ours. We do not believe that you are responsible for all of what happens in the care of someone else, and we want to do the best job that we can to ensure your furry child is safe and happy from start to finish at our salon.
Many, many groomers LOVE our profession. We get to interact with some of the best dogs on the planet- your dogs. I, like many others, require clients to stay on a pre-booked schedule due to a high demand of our services. Studies have shown that groomers can even go as far as to find medical concerns quicker than vets due to the regularly scheduled appointments. A dog that is groomed regularly also is less fearful and less nervous than a dog that is groomed sporadically, and that includes socialization. We do not want your dogs to be in any danger, nor do we want them to feel that being groomed is a form of punishment.
We love your dogs. Seriously, we absolutely LOVE your dogs. This is a profession that requires us to dedicate every ounce of blood, sweat, and sometimes tears that we can. Most get to come see us their entire lives, and we are thankful for every minute we get to spend with them. However, it is not an easy profession or something we take lightly- we have been bitten, scratched, cut (with our own shears sometimes haha), and we ache daily. One of us has already had work related neurosurgery, and we still go on smiling because we love what we do.
We’ve sweat giving 18 year old dogs comfort grooms so that he wouldn’t be so sore and tired. We’ve trimmed nails on dachshunds, pugs, pits, and poodles of every size and shag. We have shed happy tears for new adoptions, shed secret tears when we see dogs hurting, and shed tears with some of you as your babies crossed the rainbow bridge. Half of the time we end up talking to clients about their stresses too, and becoming a part of your lives on a personal level. We love to be the “dog bartender” of your lives, and you trust us because we whole-heartedly LOVE your pets.
That being said, please be patient with us. Be patient with groomers. Every single client that has a doodle, poodle, pup with long hair, or even just a short haired friend who needs a nail trim has different expectations. Communication is key for us to have a good rapport as your groomers, and all we ask is that if you cannot keep your long haired friends brushed and combed in between grooms, you let us keep your furry friend in a shorter cut. If you know they are matted, tell us. If you never, under any circumstances, want ears short, tell us. Please do not bash us for doing what we know to be the best option for your beloved babies. We are, at the end of the day, professionals and humans trying to trim moving targets with sharp objects safely all while heeding your requests and instructions. We are trying our best, we are not asking for a thank you, and we are not trying to ignore anyone’s requests.
For those who have made it all the way down here to the end-
We appreciate you, we value you, and we love what we do because of clients like you!