Why Owners of These Prized Pups Are Competing for Increasingly Expensive Grooming Services

For some people, their pandemic pup came with a little bit of sticker shock.

The last few years poodle hybrid breeds like goldendoodles and Australian labradoodles have grown in popularity, and new owners have been surprised by how much grooming these pooches can cost, according to the The Wall Street Journal. Turns out, the dogs that have won fans with their low shedding still require a lot of maintenance from pet groomers. And the pandemic has only made those appointments tougher to come by—and thus more expensive.

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To get these canines groomed, it will set you back somewhere between $125 and $230 per visit, while other breeds typically cost $115 to $185, co-owner of Dogue Spa in West Hollywood Joshua White told the paper. “Owners tell us all the time that ‘I don’t even pay this much for my haircut,’ but imagine if a person is washing you and doing your nails. It all adds up,” White said.

These breeds’ unusual coats and bigger size make a grooming appointment more labor intensive. Julie Rust, owner of Fluffy Ruff Dog Spa in Bainbridge Island, Wash., told the Journal, “a lot of times it takes us longer to groom than we plan.” Rust said that if clients cannot commit to regular grooming sessions every four to six weeks, she won’t accept them.

Adding to owner costs is that inflation for dog grooming has outpaced an owner’s trip to the barbershop or salon, too. The latest consumer-price index data shows that the price for pet services increased 6.4 percent in April from a year ago. For comparison, haircuts for humans increased 5.3 percent over the same period.

But people are still more than willing to invest in man’s best friend. Los Angeles-based influencer Fanny Karpman told the paper that she spends $400 a month on services for her labradoodle, Gracie Rainbows. Before she landed on her groomer she went through a dozen others who couldn’t handle Gracie’s fur. Now that she’s got one she trusts, Karpman is booking appointments a year in advance. “If you have a doodle, it’s like the black market if you can find a good doodle groomer.”

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