Grooming in a New Era
The days when groomers worked all day, bathing for $4 and clipping for $10 are over. We are in a new era. Most of us no longer work out of our extra bedrooms or our garages, nor do we treat it as a hobby. It’s our profession, we have joined the business world.
We are now seen as the pet experts we have always been. We keep up with the latest information and techniques with industry magazines and websites. We take classes, we do research. We have developed our passion into a Profession.
Mobile groomers add another level of service that cannot be re-created in the shop; we are a house-call; you do not have to transport your pet back and forth, your pet is not exposed to random situations, and is not exposed to other animals’ behaviors.
We come to you, and because we are in a vehicle, you can hear everything that goes on.
Yes, we do charge more than a shop where you leave your pet all day, and we do charge more for our service because every call is an “Express Grooming”. It’s all custom.
If you have concerns about pricing, bring it up before I start the grooming so I can give you an estimate for how long I think it will take. This is a free service, but bear in mind, it is only an estimate, not a guarantee.
One reason is that different humans divulge and perceive information in different ways depending on who they are, and their experience. Another is that words don’t always describe everything so sometimes I arrive to find that the effort required is quite different than expected. I have developed my minimum pricing system to protect everyone’s expectations.
Everyone is an individual, each situation is unique. Therefore, I never quote firm prices before meeting a client or evaluating an animal, only minimum prices. I can give a more accurate quote prior to grooming when I evaluate the animal in person, and hands on, literally. Sometimes there is no way to tell how long a given animal will take until I’ve actually groomed it.
I cannot charge by time alone. I have to include the effort it takes to work on any specific animal.
For instance, a dog who takes 1 hour to bathe and is well behaved will be one price, while a similar dog who takes the same amount of time, but has trouble cooperating, has a thicker coat, is older or nervous and cannot help, will be more. The difference is the effort involved.
For the most part, I have minimums for each breed, but the list below will give you guidelines to help you understand how I reach my final prices.
Breed specific prices do not reflect the work involved. For instance, as I said, everyone is an individual and unique. There are many different coat types, even within a breed. Therefore, one animal may have a lighter, wavier coat than the breed standard, while another may have a much heavier, curlier coat than the other pet though they are the same “Breed”. They will be priced differently. Cross breeds are so common now a days, there’s a new one every month, it seems, and they bring their own challenges. These are some of the main reason why I don’t list breed pricing.
In the last 10 years, clipping has changed. The definition of “short” has changed from 1/8” to 1/4” to mean 1/2”-2”. The previous definition allowed groomers to take pets who had grown out down to a rough cut before the bath, therefore limiting the bath/dry time. Detangling could be done before the bath and they dried a lot quicker.
Pet owners now want their pets fluffier comparatively, and that means they take longer, and require scissor finishing over more of the body. Using a guard does not leave the coat smooth. It’s only a “rough clip”.
Clips longer than 1/2”, depending on the coat, require that the animal be bathed, dried and detangled completely before the clipping can begin, then clipped again and scissor finished.
Many people like to use this method to clip what used to be a straight forward bath dog, so we take this into account when determining our prices.
Blades and especially guards cannot go through matts. One has to go under the tangles to get them out. Simple physics.
If the dog is clipped less often than every 6 weeks it may be priced as though it had not been groomed recently. This is because the fur would have grown out to a less manageable point. Sometimes if they have been thoroughly brushed though-out the time between groomings, this can be avoided. One cannot expect to brush a pet the day before and make them like they were brushed out over the interval.