How Much Does Petco Grooming Cost? Dissecting the Numbers

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Elena

18/09/2020
petco-grooming-cost
Image source: Mike Mozart

There’s no reason to beat around the bush — in order to keep your pet’s fur, nails, and general appearance in top-notch shape, you do have to invest in high-quality grooming services. But how much does Petco grooming cost, and will it make a huge dent in your budget? You’re about to find out.

With a history that spans decades, this American pet retailer has stuck around as one of the market leaders. Today, its grooming services are some of the best in the country and extremely popular, all thanks to their quality and affordability.

Petco 101: Why It’s a Fan-Favorite Among Pet Owners

The easiest way to recognize a stable company is to learn more about its history and how it has remained a staple on the market. Luckily, Petco isn’t shy about sharing its ups and downs with the public. And really, its climb to the top is such an inspiring story!

Petco’s beginnings go way back to 1965, when its founder, Walter Evans, started UPCO, or United Pharmaceutical Company, a mail-order veterinary supplies business. At that point in time, supermarkets were the place to get pet supplies, and their market share was hard to match. They accounted for 95% of pet food sold all over the US. Obviously, that left companies like UPCO in a rather unfortunate position.

It wasn’t until the mid-1980s and mid-1990s that the company slowly started to establish itself as a market leader. In the meantime, though, it was decided to rebrand it (1979) so that it better matched the needs and preferences of its customers. The company started using the name Petco and opened its first store in Tigard, Oregon, in 1980.

The Deciding 1990s

The man that guided Petco to its success was Brian K. Devine, formerly associated with Toys ‘R’ Us.

During Devine’s reign, Petco established itself as a specialty retailer and embraced the concept of superstores, just like its main competitor, PetSmart. Toward the end of 1991, Petco had 37 superstores. It continued to operate smaller ones, though, since they were still profitable.

With the company expanding and opening even more superstores, Devine went the extra mile to take advantage of the current market conditions. Thus, in 1994, the company had its initial public offering. At that point, it began its journey to acquiring smaller chains until it had enough to establish itself as a true market leader.

Petco Today

Since 2000 when it went private, Petco has been slowly but surely growing more and more. Right now, it has more than a thousand stores, which include both superstores and smaller neighborhood-based Unleashed locations.

However, just providing pet goods and services isn’t enough. The company established the Petco Foundation to support its no-nonsense fight for animal welfare. It has also started other similar initiatives, including the National Pet Food Bank and WholePets.

Over the years, it has earned the reputation of being a trusted lifelong partner to both pets and their owners. As such, it’s no surprise that Petco promotes adoption rather than pet sales.

On top of that, the company is always trying to improve its services and offers while always keeping the pets’ health in mind. Thus, in 2018, it decided to stop selling food and treats containing potentially harmful ingredients, such as preservatives and artificial colors and flavors.

Main Grooming Services and Upgrades

petco-grooming-cost 02

When it comes to grooming services, you’ll soon notice that Petco puts more emphasis on dogs rather than cats. Whether that’s intentional or purely a coincidence, it’s up to you to decide. What matters is that there are full-service options for both animals. Cat owners, though, will have to call in advance and check whether there are any cat groomers available.

The full-service packages for dogs are split into two categories: bath and bath and haircut.

The former consists of shampooing and blow-drying, a 15-minute brush-out, ear cleaning, nail trimming, and anal gland expression. The groomer will finish off the job with a scented spritz as well.

The only difference between the bath and the haircut package is pretty obvious then; the latter includes a cut and style service suitable for the breed.

Basic and Spa Upgrades

What sets Petco apart from some other similar companies is that it offers a gorgeous range of upgrades for eager pet owners. These are, once again, split into two categories: basic and spa.

First, there are the upgrades that ought to complement your pet’s care routine and tackle some simple issues, such as bad breath, rough paws, etc. They include:

  • Face, feet, and fanny trim
  • Teeth brushing + additional 15-minute brushing
  • Nail buffing
  • Paw balm
  • Nail polish
  • Blueberry facial

The spa upgrades, which are available with any bath or bath and haircut combo, are a bit more specific and add more value to the overall Petco grooming cost for your pet. These are supposed to deal with some particular yet still common pet problems. As such, they consist of:

Shed Release and Shed Release Plus

If your dog sheds like crazy, these packages ought to help tackle the problem. The groomer will use the FURminator® to get rid of the undercoat and shampoo and treatment designed to reduce shedding. Afterward, the pooch will get another brush-out and an aloe treatment.

Shed Release Plus includes everything outlined above with the addition of two other services: nail buffing and teeth brushing.

Essentials Plus and Flea Cleanse

Naturally, since flea treatment is a must at any groomer’s, Petco offers it as a spa upgrade. The service includes shampooing and conditioning (with an emphasis on moisturizing), nail buffing, teeth brushing, and paw balm application.

Essentials Plus, on the other hand, is for dogs with routine needs. It consists of everything the Flea Cleanse has, and it includes an upgraded shampoo and conditioning routine.

Hydrate and Restore

Dry, flaky skin is a huge problem for some dog breeds and can cause lots of discomfort. Luckily, Petco cares about the most sensitive of dogs, so it offers an incredible upgrade that ought to resolve some of the itchiness and rejuvenate the skin. It includes a deep-cleaning shampoo, nail buffing, teeth brushing, and paw balm application. On top of that, the pooch will enjoy a mud bath and get a hydrating spritz as well.

Calm and Refresh

Petco even offers a spa upgrade for stressed-out dogs that just want to unwind and ease the tension. Its Calm and Refresh option consists of a calming lavender shampooing and conditioning session, nail buffing, and teeth cleaning. The pup will also get a scented spritz, and some balm rubbed into its paws.

Walk-In Services

One of the best parts of Petco’s grooming services is that there are walk-in options for owners who need their pets to look incredible as early as today. Naturally, these include a variety of regular services but may cost more since you don’t have to make an appointment.

The walk-in services also include the Mini Make-Rover, which is essentially a quick makeover for your little furry friend. It includes a light paw shave and feet trim, teeth brushing (or a simple breath refresh), ear cleaning, nail trimming, nail buffing, and a scented spritz.

Express Service

Finally, if you’re in a hurry, you can pay for the Express Service for some speedy grooming. This upgrade can be added to any full-service bath or bath and haircut option. It’s mandatory for Brachycephalic breeds, though, for safety reasons.

How Much Does Petco Grooming Cost?

Petco Grooming Cost

Bath Service for Dogs

starting at $25

Bath Service for Cats

starting at $40

Full Grooming Service/ Dogs

starting at $45

Full Grooming Service/ Cats

starting at $55

Basic Upgrades

Nail Buffing

$10

Face, Feet and Fanny Trim

$10

Teeth Brushing

$12

Extra Brushing (15 minutes)

$15

Nail Polish

$7

Paw Balm

$5

Blueberry Facial

$5

Spa Package Upgrades

Flea Cleanse

$23

Essentials PLUS

$23

Calm and Refresh

$26

Hydrate and Restore

$26

Shed Release

starting at $20

Shed Release PLUS

starting at $30

Walk-In Services

Mini Make-Rover

$25

Nail Trim

$10

Nail Trim and Buffing

$15

Face, Feet and Fanny Trim

$15

Teeth Brushing

$12

Gland Expression

$10

Ear Cleaning

$10

Express Service

$12

petco-grooming-cost 03

Keep in mind that the prices for full-service packages always depend on the animal’s weight, breed, and hair or fur length. It’s difficult to assume just how much the grooming session will cost you; the prices may differ greatly between the smallest and the largest breeds.

Thus, it’s best to contact the nearest Petco and get an estimate. Additionally, you can take advantage of the free consultation service available before your pet’s appointment.

Analyzing the Petco Grooming Cost — Are the Prices Too Steep or Not?

More often than not, the grooming prices in the pet industry are somewhat similar across the board. Still, to get a clear idea of how high or low Petco grooming cost is, it’s best to compare it to the average costs. Here’s a quick look into the price differences:

Service

Average Price

Petco Price

Dog Grooming

$40–$75

starting at $45

Teeth Brushing

$10

$12

Face, Feet and Fanny Trim

$15

$10–$15

Paw Balm

$5

$5

Nail Trim

$10

$10

Nail Trim and Buffing

$15

$15

Nail Polish

$7

$7

Blueberry Facial

$5

$5

Ear Cleaning

$10

$10

Gland Expression

$10

$10

petco-grooming-cost 04

As you can tell, Petco is not going against the grain. Instead, it is trying to keep its prices low or at least similar to the average ones.

The only price that really differs is the full-service dog grooming, though it’s still in the same range. However, it will, once again, depend on the breed, hair length, etc. — it’s not precise enough of an estimate to rely on.

Petco Grooming Cost and PetSmart Prices Comparison

As its major direct competitor, PetSmart is often seen trailing behind Petco and trying to beat its prices, offering, and more. Unsurprisingly, though, PetSmart is also following the current trends in the pet industry and keeping its prices as average as possible.

Here is a side-by-side comparison of the services most pet owners would opt for in both a Petco and a PetSmart store:

Service

PetSmart Grooming Prices

Petco Grooming Cost

Bath and Brush for Dogs

starting at $19

starting at $25

Bath and Brush for Cats

starting at $34

starting at $40

Full Grooming for Dogs

starting at $31

starting at $45

Full Grooming for Cats

starting at $68

starting at $55

Nail Trim

$10

$10

Gland Expression

$12

$10

Teeth Brushing

$11

$12

Ear Cleaning

starting at $9

$10

Keep in mind that the PetSmart grooming prices are for the smallest of breeds, such as the Siamese cat and the Chihuahua. There could be a significant price difference if you have a larger breed. As for Petco, the prices reflect the latest ones available on PriceListo.

What Are the Differences?

As you can tell, it seems that Petco may charge you more for its full-service options, but again, that all depends on your pet, and in the case of PetSmart, whether you want the groomer to use the FURminator®. Both PetSmart and Petco will take into account your pet’s weight, size, breed, and fur or hair length. On average, though, Petco may be a bit more expensive, but still on the more affordable side of the price spectrum.

Some of its other services, however, may cost you a dollar or two more or less in comparison to PetSmart. Both include gland cleaning with the full-service baths and haircuts, for example. However, as a standalone service, that may cost you $2 more at PetSmart.

One thing to keep in mind is that Petco doesn’t list any services for puppies and kittens on its official website. It may not take into account the difference and offers the same package for all ages, changing the price only according to the weight, fur length, etc.

PetSmart, though, has puppy and kitten packages, which are mostly meant for younger animals without any special needs or that are coming in for grooming for the very first time.

Final Thoughts

So how much does Petco grooming cost, and is it more than what other groomers charge on average? In comparison to the average prices and even its main competitor, Petco combines value with affordability and doesn’t stray too much from the pricing most stores use.

As such, it’s a great option for pet owners all over the US, especially those who don’t like the lack of spa options at PetSmart. At Petco, you can definitely help your pet unwind and keep its luscious coat in top-notch condition.

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