Some people mistakenly guess that having a dog is either super-expensive or not expensive at all. But if were to ask them to pinpoint an exact or at least a rough estimate on how much it actually costs to take care of a dog, they probably wouldn’t be able to answer correctly. In this article, we have decided to focus on dog grooming and how much it actually costs to properly groom your dog. As always, the exact figures depend, but we’ll try and look at how much any person should set aside to provide proper grooming to their pooch.
First up – salons or DIY?
It’s the most important decision that impacts dog grooming costs (apart from the breed and dog habits themselves). Of course, going to a dog SPA and dog salons is much easier for you and requires a lot less physical labour. However, the downside is that a visit costs around 50 USD which means that you’re looking at more than 600 USD spending every year, just for grooming. That’s quite a lot. And if your dog has lots of or quite extravagant needs, you could easily be looking at four figure sums, just for pampering.
If you are able to spend this kind of money and believe that this is the best way to groom a dog, then you could just skip the rest of the article. However, if spending 600+ USD seems like a good idea to you, turn towards your own capabilities to take care of the dog’s grooming needs. Now you need experience to do a proper job, but with the right intentions and approach, you will be able to learn quite quickly. To start off, you will need the right tools.
Necessary grooming tools
Definitely not all tools are worth buying. There are some longshot choices. They are usually some tools/instruments which could be useful but really aren’t if you don’t groom that often or if you aren’t that dedicated to grooming and utilise the services of salons every now and then. Thus, spending 80+ USD on something like a dog grooming table isn’t always necessary.
Moving over to the necessary grooming tools – there are more than a few of those. We’ll talk about each one of those.
No matter how big or small your dog is, how thick or thin their coat is, almost every one of them will need at least an occasional hair trim. Regardless of which device you choose, scissors are likely to be the cheaper option, usually costing below 20 USD. Trimming machines start at 20 USD and high-end devices could tally 100+ dollars. Our recommendation for you, if your dog has very thick and long coat or if you want them to look exceptionally well – get both. You’ll likely replace the trimmer once during the dog’s lifespan (or it won’t need replacement at all), while the scissors should be able to withstand the test of time pretty well.
Total: 80 USD.
Shampoos & bathing equipment
Now bathing isn’t necessary more than once per month, but still, you’re going to need a towel and some dog shampoo as a minimum. These two will likely set you back between 40 and 50 USD. Keep in mind that they’ll need replacing over time with shampoo running out after 10-12 washes and the towel becoming worn out after a few years. We recommend buying a shammy towel as those can soak up by far the most moisture out of any towel. In addition, they are much more comfortable to use when compared to regular alternatives. A paw moisturizer will cost you around 10-20 USD and there are quite a few good ones available online.
Now when it comes to shampoos, you want something that’s suitable for your particular breed. Never ever use regular human shampoos as the chemical agents in those are harmful and hazardous to the pet’s coat. Furthermore, you might and likely are going to need a sponge or a special washing glove. There are special washing gloves as well as regular glove sponges. The choice is almost limitless, really.
Total: 70-100 USD.
A lot, and we mean a lot of dog parents/owners overlook the simple fact that dental hygiene is vital for the dog. If you don’t clean the teeth often enough, you risk causing premature dental problems or even an infection, etc.
Luckily, this area won’t require any significant investments, if you’re willing to do a little bit of manual labour. A finger and a regular dog toothbrush, in total shouldn’t cost you more than 25-30 USD. And for that price, you could end up getting a kit of various different toothbrush.
Finally, you will need some proper toothpaste for dogs to ensure that everything’s fine and dandy with the hygiene being taken care of.
Total: <50 USD, unless you opt for an electric toothbrush which could double the total.
With nail trimming, you generally have two options:
- Buy nail clippers (<30 USD)
- Buy a nail grinder/trimmer (30-70 USD)
It might be alluring to just get a pair of clippers as that seems like the simpler tool to use and cheaper as well. However, you would be making a common mistake as clippers aren’t as effective or safe as a grinder. You can visit this website to read a full in-depth comparison why a grinder is more suitable for dogs’ nail grooming needs, but we will give you a very short rundown.
By using a grinder, you automatically shorten and smoothen the nail. The clippers only shorten and leave a rough nail. Furthermore, an electric grinder allows for much more precision when trimming, so you can perfectly shape their nails. It isn’t difficult to use, so you should catch on fairly quickly.
However, if you don’t buy the right trimmer, you could find out the major downside of low-quality trimmers. The noise. Loud whirring and vibrations scare dogs and thus, you’ll need quite a lot of time to get them to relax when being around such a device.
Total: 20 to 70 USD
Brushing is the grooming task that you need to do the most frequently. Regardless of fur thickness and length, brushing needs to be done multiple times per week. And if your dog is very active, you might need to do that every day. For this, you’re going to need a brush and a few other things, if the coat is long and thick.
The brush and a few other items help brush the hair in the right direction and remove all tangles as well as dead hair or excess dirt from the coat. A pet hair remover could be a worthwhile investment since it works not only on dog coats but also on clothing and furniture.
Total: 50-60 USD
All in all, you’re looking at an initial investment of 290-360 USD. That’s around 40-50% less than what you would end up paying for salon services per year. And don’t forget the fact that this sum represents the initial investment for high-quality grooming goods. This inventory isn’t going to add to the total tally for a while which means that instead of spending 600 each year, you will only need to cover the cost of consumables which is a fraction of the sums that we mentioned. So, it all depends on your financials, but it’s a lot cheaper to buy all grooming equipment for cheap and do it yourselves!