What it Costs To Wash Your Dog

Dog grooming costs depend on the service your pet requires. Nationally, the average price for dog grooming ranges from $40-$100.

  • A local pet grooming shop costs from $40-$75.
  • A mobile groomer charges $65 on average.
  • You can groom your dog at a self-service facility for between $11 and $24.

Like most things, the price is reflective of what you want.  As an example – if you just want your dog bathed and dried, then a bath for a medium puppy/dog costs on average about $40.00. This price can be slightly higher if you choose a mobile dog groomer and they come to your home.

 A full grooming service, which includes nails, paws, teeth, ears, and more, starts at $65 -$76 for an average-sized dog. The price may rise depending on the size of the dog.


There is no Limit to What You Can Add to the service

  • An add-on nail trim, teeth brushing, ear cleaning, or anal gland expression are an additional $10 on average per item.
  • Other services such as nail trim and buffing, face feet and fanny trim, flea and tick treatment are on average another $15 per treatment.
  • Standard tips are 15-20% of the total cost.

Peak time prices are more expensive and include the weekends when there is more demand for dog grooming.

How often should you wash your dog? Generally, you should wash your long-haired breed every four weeks. A small to average-sized dog needs a wash from four to six weeks. And shorthaired breeds require a wash between 6-8 weeks.

It also depends on the lifestyle of your dog. If you live on a farm, your dog may need a wash more often due to the work they do. Or a mischievous puppy who gets into everything may need a quick rinse every couple of weeks or so.

The more frequent your dog’s trips to the groomer are, the more you will pay as the costs add up.


Basic Dog Baths Cost the Lowest

Grooming or bathing your dog is not just for appearances (and smells) sake. It is crucial for your pet’s comfort and wellbeing.

A basic dog bath service will normally cost $40, but if your pet needs clipping around the face or all over clipping, then the price will soar towards $65- $80.

A basic wash consists of thoroughly brushing the coat and bathing with warm water using a  soap-free dog shampoo. (Human shampoos are too harsh for your dog’s skin).

The dog groomer will charge slightly more if you want a specialized shampoo, such as one for sensitive skin. Unless you buy the whole bottle, it will only cost an extra $2-3 to cover their costs.

A good lather after a warm soak, a nice massage that should relax your dog, and a gentle rinse are included in the price for a basic bath. Washing your dog’s feet, around their ears, and ensuring all the soap has been removed is an important part of the wash.

An experienced dog groomer knows that the eyes and ears are sensitive and will go easy around these areas.

A good towel rub and a blow-dry usually complete the service.

The dog groomer will supply all things needed for this service. You just have to bring your dog or be at home for the mobile dog wash service.


Luxury Treatments are More Expensive

Luxury treatments for dogs embrace both mobile and in-house services, all with state-of-the-art modern surroundings. Expect your pocket to be a bit lighter (from $90 -$120 plus depending on the size of your dog and the condition of their coat).

These services are more expensive than a plain old wash, but what do you get for your money?

  • It starts with an appointment in modern luxury grooming rooms or mobile service.
  • Your dog gets one-on-one attention, starting with an individual consultation.
  • There are no other barking dogs to disturb your dog’s zen-like experience.
  • Surfaces are kept pristine, clean, and sanitized.
  • The groomer uses luxury shampoo and a conditioner that is best suited for your dog.
  • Deep soft towels and fluff drying pamper your pet.
  • Your dog is brushed or combed out, including a de-shed if required.
  • Your dog is given a gentle ear cleaning. 
  • They get a pedi treatment for their nails.
  • The groomer trims the feet of the hair around and between the pads.
  • Pet cologne or perfume that is hypoallergenic for pets may be used.
  • They will express your dog’s anal glands.
  • A haircut and style is an additional cost.
  • Taking it up a notch, your dog can have nail filing, buffing, and toenail painting.
  • They’ll also receive a deep conditioning treatment for their skin and coat so they are beautifully soft and silky.
  • Your groomer will brush your dog’s teeth.
  • They may receive facials and seasonal spa treatments.

The spa or luxury dog wash and treatments are a far cry from the simple dog wash and dry, but of course, you get more for your money with all the fancy treatments.


Self-Service Facilities are Cheaper than Groomers

A self-service dog bath facility is your basic do-it-yourself wash and dry facility, but that doesn’t mean it is inferior! At the bargain price between $11 to $24, you can’t go wrong.

There are many places where you can use the facilities at your leisure, such as many veterinarian clinics with a hydrobath facility where you can wash your dog.

The water is warm, you can either take your shampoos or use the one provided (at a small cost), and you can take your time to give your dog a deep, relaxing massage, power rinse, and a conditioning treat.

You pay a bit extra on top of the wash if you want to use their towels, shampoos, and conditioners, which cost $5 -$10. Or, you can save yourself some money and take your own.

It just means you have to travel to and from the location of the dog bath facility, but apart from that, it is a convenient way to wash your dog.


Washing Your Dog At Home is Free

You could wash your dog at home. This option is free, but you pay for it in the amount of effort you have to put in. You also have to pay for the dog shampoo and conditioner, which cost on average from $25 – $35 for each item.

Some people wash their large dogs in the bath. A shower curtain would be useful here when they invariably shake themselves, or you will have shampoo and water all over the room.

A smaller dog can be washed in the laundry tub without too much effort – it’s easier to lift them out at the end, but watch they don’t try to jump out, in which case they may injure themselves.

You can wash your dog outside by mixing the hot and cold water in a small paddling pool, but you will need the help of another person to fetch fresh warm water in a bucket to rinse them.

You will also need a non-slip mat on the floor of the paddling pool, so they don’t slip all over the place, making them nervous.

It may be free to wash your dog at home, but it does take time to set up. You have to supply the dog shampoo and conditioner, and you have to clean up after it all.


A Clean Coat is Healthier for You & Your Dog

Regardless of the breed, it is amazing what your dog will get into when they are outside. Even a posh dog is not above a roll in the dirt, chasing the chickens, or even wallowing in mud.

At times like these, a simple wash is necessary before they tramp all that muck back inside.

But a deep soapy bath is a necessity for a dog. It promotes healthy skin and coat, and removes that unpleasant odor of dirt trapped deep within their fur.

If they sleep on your furniture or your bed, you want them to be free from not only dirt but from parasites like fleas or ticks.

You can follow their bath up with some parasite preventative to help with this.

A clean dog is less likely to cause you and your family to suffer unnecessarily from allergies or other respiratory problems.

In short, an unwashed dog’s coat is a trap. Think of all that dirt, bacteria, fungi, and allergens deep in the fibers of the coat.

Now you know why washing is important. It is not just for your pooch but also your health.


Shop Around to Find the Best Price

There are many options available when it comes to where you get your dog washed and the price you pay for that service.

Shop around and try a few different places before you choose your favorite. Sometimes the fancy shop with all the bells and whistles is not as good as the homely looking yet comfortable groomers’ place of work.

It all depends on the dog groomer; you want assurance that they will be gentle and kind to your best friend as you are.

Weigh up your options. It is not always the price that will factor in your decision.

And take note of how your dog is after the wash. Are they happy? Do they interact confidently with the groomer?

Just remember it may take a couple of sessions for the dog groomer to gain your dog’s confidence.

Remember, it has to be fun for your dog too. So do your homework and shop around.

A clean dog is a pleasure to have in your home.

Writer: Jean Brewer

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