This is a tale of how you can save hundreds a year by doing your own dog grooming. Yes – we learned that hard way that paying for dog grooming can be INCREDIBLY expensive if things don’t go so well. Read on to learn a little bit more on how you can do your own dog grooming and save yourself a bundle.
Basic Dog Grooming Tasks
If you are thinking about getting a dog, realize that dogs can be quite expensive. If you already have a dog, then you know all about how much they can cost. When it comes to dog grooming, there are a couple different things that you’ll need to take care of:
- Regular baths for your dog so they don’t stink!
- Regular brushing for your dogs to keep their coat healthy and reduce shed hair around the house
- Clipping their nails
- Haircuts (depending on the breed)
- Expressing their anal glands (gross, I know!)
- Pulling hair out of ears (depending on the breed)
- Cleaning out “sleepies” from their eyes
The above list may not seem too bad, but it can take a ton of time each month (3-4 hours). Many folks do not have time for this, so they decide to take their dog to a groomer.
Tools and Materials Needed for Dog Grooming
As if the time commitment wasn’t enough, you’ll also need to buy tools and supplies to keep your dog groomed. These include:
As you can see, all these expenses can add up pretty quick!
Grooming Your Dog Yourself is Still the Way to Go
OK – here’s my story of how I learned the hard way that grooming your do yourself is the best way to save money.
My wife had been considering taking the dogs to a groomer for a while because she couldn’t stand their long hair and their smell. “Don’t do that,” I said. “I can give them a bath once a month to keep them smelling fresh. I can also brush them and clip their nails.” And I did – a handful of times. Honestly, I didn’t really take the time to ensure they were adequately groomed. It takes a ton of time to groom your dog – especially when you have two of them.
Well, after a while my wife had enough of it. She made her mind up that she was taking the dogs to the groomer and that was that. Since she had made up her mind, I was smart enough to keep my mouth shut. It could be worse I thought to myself… ~$100 to have them both groomed isn’t the end of the world.
Getting both dogs groomed cost a total of $130. There was an up-charge because their hair was so long. This included a hair cut, nail trim, anal gland expressing, bath, and brush. OK – still not the end of the world. There was just one problem…
The next morning, one of our dogs developed horrible diarrhea so bad that she started to bleed everywhere. It was bad enough that my wife and I agreed she needed to go to the vet. We still don’t know exactly what happened, but the vet’s best guess was she ate something funny while at the groomer. Anyhow, the vet also prescribed some treatment for our other dog as a precautionary step. After two separate visits with an over-night dog stay, the total vet bill was a whopping $621!!! Yowzer!
Maybe we have sissy dogs, or maybe they did get into something nasty. Either way, after taking our dogs to get groomed, our wallets are $751 lighter. Needless to say, I think I learned my lesson on this one. I will be much less lazy when it comes to taking care of them and will take grooming our dogs at home much more seriously. I am just glad that everything turned out OK in the end and both dogs are OK. Here’s a pic of one after his new haircut:
Moral of the Story
To me, there are two morals to this epic-fail of a story:
- Make sure you always have an emergency fund. You never know when a $100 expense could turn into a $750 (or more)!
- Don’t be lazy when it comes to saving money. There are always way to save more money if you roll up your sleeves a bit and take on a project (or dog grooming) if you can handle it.
Do you have any dog grooming or other pet horror stories?