Professional Dog Grooming vs Doing it at Home – What Are the Differences


Cleaner Paws is a mother-daughter run blog. Together we have over 40+ years of professional pet grooming experience and we hope to pass some of that on to our readers throughout our in-depth and non-bias reviews and buyers guides.

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This review guide was updated in February 2019.

Why pay for something that you can do from home, right?

If this is your attitude than you could quite easily save yourself an average of $65 a month, depending on the breed and size of your dog and the type of grooming being carried out.

But is that always the best choice for your lovable but overgrown fur ball that is shedding a winter coat?

Well, of course, there are benefits and drawbacks to both grooming your pup yourself and visiting a professional dog groomer.

A professional dog groomer will do a better job, and many will do a check to make sure your dog looks healthy and in shape.

They will also do nauseating things that you don’t want to do like squeezing the anal glands which many owners are probably right to leave to a professional!

Grooming your dog yourself, at home, means that you do not need to take your dog somewhere to have them groomed.

It is money that you can save when looking after a pet and it provides a bonding experience for you and your pup.

However, sometimes it is better for a dog to be taken to groomers, especially if they are a rescue dog.

The experience of visiting a groomer away from the new family could help heal abandonment issues. Plus, it is healthy for a dog to have a regular experience of separation and reunions with its owners. It lets them know that you will be coming back.

For that new season cut, the amateur dog groomer may struggle to provide a fresh new look for the spring or winter seasons.

However, this is not always the concern of pet owners. The biggest concern is the amount of tender, love, and care that go into the act of grooming your pet.

Advantages of Having Your Dog Professionally Groomed

Most professional groomers include a full brushing of the entire body in addition to a quick deshedding, trim to the ears, each leg, the tail and the paws.

The nails will often be trimmed and the grooming will end with a shampoo and conditioner bath followed by brushing the teeth, cleaning the ears, and applying a balm to the paws.

While all of this is happening a professional groomer is inspecting the body of the dog for any legions abrasion or other health concerns.

Tools For Grooming Your Dog at Home

If a pet owner wanted to embark on the mission of home grooming, there are many kits available to provide all the necessary tools to accomplish this goal.

These kits can range from $160 to $400 so although they may be a hefty initial investment, they are a wise choice for owners who want to groom their pet regularly.

At a minimum, your home grooming kit should include a good shampoo and conditioner for your dog, an ear cleaning spray, a body spray for the fur, some paw balm, a toothbrush, and some doggy toothpaste.

A good brush is also an essential tool, however even more important than the brush is the deshedding capability.

A good deshedding tool makes the groomer’s world go round.

Then, there should be a variety of different sized scissors and nail clippers for each dog to ensure trimming does not cut your dog and lead to bleeding.

What Works Out Most Cost-Effective?

So what does it cost to groom your dog at home when compared to hiring a dog groomer to do it for you?

An average grooming kit costs around $200. If you perform a grooming at the absolute bare minimum of four times a year this would be $50 per grooming session for the year.

Remember that the average grooming cost is $65 per session.

If your dog has the bare minimum of four sessions a year this results in an overall annual cost of $260 dollars. That is about $60 dollars of savings upfront when grooming your dog yourself.

However, how long does grooming take?

Is it worth the time (about two to three hours) to groom your dog a healthy amount a year (which is around once a month).

Additionally, a professional groomer will have much more talent than you as the amateur groomer.

They will be able to do a better, more precise job than any new pet owner could so the $60 dollars is made up in quality and freedom to not have to do it yourself.

Maybe you like grooming your best furry friend though. In this case, of course, it is worth the time and energy to hang out and have quality time with your pooch.

Everyone has their own tastes and preferences and whether it’s the saving, the time required, or simply not wanting to clean up all the leftover hair, both professional grooming and at home amateur grooming have their benefits and drawbacks which might make one better than the other on an individual basis.

This also does not need to be a black and white issue.

It may make the most sense for you to have your pet professionally groomed once every three months and then the other two months you groom the dog yourself.

It does not need to be a science as long as the overall goal of a grooming is achieved: better canine hygiene for you furrier family member.