How to Save Money on Grooming

Owning a pet is one of the most joyful parts of living, but the costs of owning a pet put a dent in even the healthiest of pocketbooks. Finding ways to save money while still making sure your furry friends are well cared for is the key to a long and happy life for you and your companion.

Dog grooming is one area where you can save a lot of money, but still take good care of your pooch. The average cost of dog grooming is between $30 and $90 for standard grooming. The amount depends upon factors such as the size of your dog and how much fur it has.

Regular bathing, brushing, and basic maintenance, such as nail trims and ear cleaning, keeps your pet healthier. However, there's no reason you can't learn to do at least some of these tasks on your own.

1. Request a Basic Cut

If you have a high-maintenance breed with thick, long fur, it may be more than you're able to take on at home. However, instead of going for a fancier cut, which typically adds to the cost, just request a basic trim. Save the more expensive grooming detail for special occasions.

2. Bathe Your Dog at Least Part of the Time

Some breeds have short fur and are much easier to groom at home. If you hate the mess of giving your dog a bath at home, check out some of the self-service dog washes. Dog grooming stations give you the tools groomers have without the expense. Most do-it-yourself dog washes even have blow dryers available. Just be sure to monitor the heat from any type of dryer to make sure it doesn't get too hot!

3. Seek Out Deals

Check out Groupon and Living Social for deals on grooming in your area. Always read reviews thoroughly to make sure the groomer is skilled. Discounts are often offered to entice new clients through the door. Be honest with the groomer that you're on a budget and ask about ways to save money going forward. Some ideas include alternating grooming sessions and doing a bath in between at home or scaling down on the extra services, such as nail trims.

You might also be able to work out a deal by taking your dog in for grooming during non-peak times. For example, just before summer hits, families suddenly decide to get their big, furry dogs shaved down. Get your pup in before this rush hits. The same applies for holidays, when everyone wants their furry canine smelling its best and rush in for grooming appointments. Communicate with your groomer and find out what works best and what kind of deals they offer.

4. Extend Time Between Baths

Did you just return from the groomer only to see Fido go out to do his business and roll around in some stinky grass? Dogs have a knack for finding the smelliest part of a yard and transferring the scent to their freshly washed fur. Keep grooming wipes made especially for dogs on hand and give your dog a quick scrub when this happens, or when he starts smelling "doggy." Wiping your dog down extends the time between his last bath and the next one.

5. Brush Your Dog Regularly

Brushing your dog regularly keeps mats out of his fur, especially for breeds with long or thick coats. Not only is this better for the dog's overall comfort and health, but it prevents you having to pay a groomer an emergency grooming fee to cut out the mats. Cutting or brushing out mats is time-consuming for the groomer and painful for your dog. It's much less expensive to keep up on daily brushing.

Frugal Dog Ownership

We invest a lot in our pets because they give us a plenty of love and affection in return. But there's nothing wrong with saving a few bucks on grooming when you can, and putting these tips into action will allow you and your furry companion to have more money for adventures together and chew toys.

Emily is a freelance wildlife conservation and pet blogger. To check out more of her work, see her blog, Conservation Folks, or follow her Twitter account @emilysfolk.

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