Is Grooming your Pet Really Necessary?

This week, the #FreddieSez team will cut to the chase, and trim down the tangles of information concerning the pet grooming industry, along with facts that will help you decide if and what grooming is right for your fur family. Listen, we don’t want to split hairs here, but there is a huge debate surrounding what is involved in pet grooming, and we’d like to cut that down to size, by giving you some facts and figures that might help you.

Some of the questions you might have:
  • What am I looking for in a groomer if I do decide to use one?

  • What is involved in pet grooming?

  • Where can I find a trustworthy and competent groomer?

  • Is grooming more important for some breeds than others?

  • Can I do it myself and, if so, what will I need?

Nationally, you would find that there are over 158,000 pet grooming salons in the USA. Major corporations, like PetSmart & PetCo, have salons in most locations. PetSmart alone has over 1600 locations in the USA. These are easy to access and open long hours… however, the groomers tend to be less tenured than at chain locations. Private salons tend to be more personal and have a more “customer-centric” mentality, but that extra care and comfort usually comes at a premium price.

Let’s look a few facts and figures on the pet grooming industry;
  • There are more than 200,000 pet grooming employees in the world

  • Over 41,000 dog groomers work in the US

  • About 46% of the groomers are between 20 & 30 years old

  • 32% of groomers will stay at their jobs only 1 to 2 years

  • On average, a groomer works on 6 dogs a day

  • The National average for a grooming session is $60 to $90

  • In 2023, the average hourly wage of a groomer is $23, not counting tips

  • In 2022, the pet grooming industry is expected to make over 5.4 billion dollars

  • Only 6.3% of all pets are professionally groomed, with dogs having well over 80% of that number

  • Over 300 million pets are groomed each year

  • Pet owners between 45-55 years old are more likely to groom their pets than any other demographic

The newest trend in pet grooming would be MOBILE set salons. That’s right, companies have popped up around that Nation that cater to pets who prefer a home field advantage in their grooming. These groomers come to you for the cutting. Some have fancy mobile vans that are complete salons, other come to your home with their equipment and do the grooming in house. The average startup cost for a mobile grooming service is just under $20,000, so it is a great alternative for a person with desire, talent and drive but are short on the needed funds to have a brick and mortar location.

The advantage of a mobile service to you and your pet could be, less stress, comfortable and familiar surroundings, and little to no travel.

Why groom your pet?

Much like their human counterparts, a proper grooming will keep your pet feeling fresh. It’s more than just a shampoo and clip, it’s proper hygiene and cleanliness. Ears, nails, teeth, anal gland expression.. all of this is important to your dogs good health and leaves them feeling clean and refreshed. How would you feel if you only bathed once every season, never got a hair cut, cleaned your ears or trimmed your nails? We’re betting you’d be pretty gross.

In addition, groomers are looking for those underlying conditions that you wouldn’t normally know to look for. Things like cysts, lumps, skin conditions, dental concerns or fleas and ticks. It’s a second set of eyes that are a precursor to a full wellness check vet visit.

Also, matted hair and ratty knots are dangerous to pets. Nails can get caught, vision can be impaired by hair hanging over eyes, running could be restricted in certain breeds and overall they look poor. How pretty is your fur kid after a good wash and cut?

What if my pet doesn’t like to travel or has social anxiety?

We’ve already discussed mobile pet groomers as an alternative. Having someone come to your house is a great solution for a dog with travel anxiety. Using your home, or being able to walk/carry/carrier your dog yards, instead of miles, is a time and stress saver for many pet parents. Your time, your place, your schedule… for some pets, it’s the perfect match. The other alternative is a D.Y.I. wash and cut. The question becomes, can you do it effectively and as well as a pro? We will explore what it takes to be your own groomer a little later.

Pet Grooming and Heath Tips:

  • Did you know that a pets nails need attention every 14 days? They may not need a trim that often but the nail length and health does need to be evaluated on a regular basis. If you hear clicking, then the nails probably need attention.

  • Ears need a review every week to two weeks, with a cotton swapping and cleaning to assure no bacteria or fungus hangs out there. Floppy ears tend to get moist and nasty faster, so a good regiment of ear cleaning is essential to good health.

  • Flea and tick check is seasonal in some areas but it never hurts to check the pets coat down to the skin. Animals who frequent the outdoors need more attention than indoor pets. Check nose-to-tail, legs and underbelly. If you suddenly get a flea outbreak in your home, then the real battle begins.

  • Teeth should be brushed two to three times a week. While brushing, look for pink and healthy gums, white teeth with no tarter or food buildup. If the breath is not fresh, you could have a potential dental concern that needs a professional review.  Teeth brushing can be a wrestling match but, come on, you are the parents, not the child… take control and get them clean. For most dogs, a dental treat will also help keep their smile bright and breath fresh. Talk to your veterinarian on what is best for your pet!

What does it take to be my own groomer for my pets?

So you want to do it yourself? Okay, you certainly can do that…but remember, it’s more than just bath time. To correctly groom your pet, you need to consider all the items you’ll use, the time and the cost involved. The last thing you want to do is put a bad haircut on your dog… that’s their reputation on the line and when your friends ask “Who did that awful cut on Doggo?”, you have to come clean and admit it was you behind the clippers!  Proper grooming includes hair, nails, ears, teeth, skin, and for most breeds, anal gland check and normal suppression. There’s a reason an industry exists for proper grooming… it’s a lot of work!

Here are some of the things you’ll need to have if you decide to D.Y.I your D.O.G.
  • Top professional quality tools (Shampoos, conditioners, trimmers, clippers, scissors, toothpaste, toothbrush, towels and potentially a hair dryer)

  • A professional grade brush, suitable for your dogs hair

  • A designated area that is sturdy enough for cutting and provides you with access to the entire animal

  • Consider how you will restrain your pet during the process. How likely is it that your fur pal is going to “sit and stay” during this 90 minute to 3 hour process?

  • Nail trim accessories, including some professional grade product to stop bleeding if you trim to close to the quick

  • Patience and calm. If you can’t remain a “Steady Eddie” during the process, your pet is going to pick up on it and they will also stress to match.

Pet grooming is a feature length film, not a half-hour sitcom.  You need to be prepared mentally, physically and outfitted with the right tools for the job. There are classes available in pet grooming, online videos and books on the subject. Before you decide to become Vidal Sassoon for your fur kids, do your research and be sure you’re ready.

Our friends at have a great article that give you the ABC’s of home pet grooming, what you’ll need to have, and steps to a proper grooming.  You can find their information at this link

How to Groom Your Dog at Home – 7 Easy Steps Explained (

And, in the end…

To concludes today’s #FreddieSez, we need to circle back to our opening statement “Is grooming your pet really necessary?” I think we’ve proven that it is, indeed, a critical part of a healthy and happy life for your best buddy.  Would YOU go without the basics in health and hygiene? If not, how can you expect your pet to enjoy a full and happy life while begin less than their clean and fresh self?

Teeth, nails, skin, anal glands and hair care… these are the complete package to your dogs healthy appearance. Upkeep and maintenance of your pet is on you, the leader of the pack, not them. Most pets don’t have disposable income or a means to pay for the services. Without thumbs and proper training, they are woefully inept at using the tools needed to properly care for themselves.  That means it’s your job and duty to assure these things are done, and done on a regular schedule.

There is no shame in using a salon, not all of us are cut out to be a home groomer. With so many options out there for professional care, you have choices on who you use. Do your research, read the YELP reviews, ask a friend and shop around for the right fit.

Once you do choose a place, do your homework and check it out before you just drop your pet off and walk away. How does the place look? Is it clean? Does the staff seem happy and engaged? Are they professional and how is their customer service attitude? How are the animals coming in and out? Are they happy to see the staff? Never leave your animal in a place that you wouldn’t allow to work on your appearance.

Remember, you can share the load. If you can do shampoo and regular dental care, your veterinarian can do the nails, anal expression, ears and teeth checkup during a scheduled wellness check. At Freddie’s Place, we bundle many of these needs into a package to save the owner money, thus assuring a more regular schedule of care.

We sincerely hope our deep dive into the facts surrounding pet grooming was helpful. You only have so many years with your fur family, make them the best by doing the ground work needed for a healthy and happy life!

From your friends at #FreddieSez, we hope the week ahead is happy, healthy and full of fun! Till next time, remember, you can read our blog as much as you want… but when you’re done, you can’t stay here! #FreddieSez