How Long Does Dog Grooming Take at PetSmart?

When it comes to your beloved canine’s grooming, you might have numerous questions. Top among them might be about the duration of a grooming session at a popular store like PetSmart. Understanding how long dog grooming takes at PetSmart and what it entails can help you better plan your day and manage your pet’s grooming experience.

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Understanding the Dog Grooming Timeline at PetSmart

1. Initial Consultation and Check-In (5-10 minutes)

When you arrive at PetSmart for your dog’s grooming session, the first step is a brief consultation with the groomer. They will evaluate your dog’s breed, size, hair type, and current condition to determine the exact services needed. The groomer will then provide an estimated completion time.

2. The Grooming Process (1.5-4 hours)

A typical grooming session at PetSmart can take anywhere from 1.5 to 4 hours. The timeframe depends on the complexity of the grooming, the dog’s size, coat condition, and temperament. It’s important to remember that these times are approximations and can vary from dog to dog.

Bath and Dry (20-30 minutes)

The groomer will start with a thorough bath, using shampoo tailored to your dog’s skin and coat condition. After rinsing, a high-velocity dryer is used to remove excess water from your dog’s coat before they’re moved to a safe drying area to fully dry.

Haircut and Styling (60-120 minutes)

Once the dog is dry, the groomer starts on the haircut and styling. The duration of this step will vary greatly depending on the dog’s breed, the desired style, and the condition of the dog’s coat.

Final Touches (15-20 minutes)

In the final phase of grooming, your pet will receive a nail trim, ear cleaning, and a final brush out to remove any loose hair. A spritz of dog-friendly cologne and a bandana or bow might be the finishing touch, depending on the store and package.

3. Pick-up (5-10 minutes)

After grooming is complete, the groomer will call you to pick up your dog. Ideally, you should pick your dog up as soon as possible to minimize stress for your pet. Most stores have a policy that dogs can’t be in the salon for more than 5 hours total.

Why Does Dog Grooming Take So Long?

Grooming is a meticulous process that requires patience and skill. While it might seem like a lengthy process, each step in grooming is essential for your dog’s health and wellbeing. Additionally, giving the dog breaks during grooming helps reduce stress, making the overall experience more pleasant for your pet.


In conclusion, a typical dog grooming session at PetSmart could take anywhere between 1.5 to 4 hours. However, these durations can vary depending on several factors such as your dog’s breed, size, coat condition, and the type of grooming package you choose. Always ensure to pick your dog up promptly after their grooming session to minimize stress and keep their experience as comfortable as possible.

Frequently Asked Questions

What If My Dog Has Specific Grooming Needs or Fears?

PetSmart groomers are experienced in handling various grooming needs and animal behaviors. If your dog has any particular needs or fears, it’s crucial to communicate this with the groomer during the initial consultation. They can modify their approach accordingly to ensure the dog’s comfort and safety during the grooming process.

Are There Times When the Grooming Process Could Take Longer?

Yes, there can be circumstances where grooming might take longer than usual. If a dog has a heavily matted coat, the detangling process could be time-consuming. Also, grooming might take longer for dogs who are particularly anxious, as the groomer will need to take frequent breaks to keep the pet calm.

What If I Can’t Pick My Dog Up Immediately After Grooming?

While it’s best to pick your dog up as soon as possible after the grooming session to minimize their stress, PetSmart understands that life can sometimes be unpredictable. If you foresee a delay, contact the store immediately. Remember, PetSmart typically has a policy that a dog shouldn’t be in the salon for more than 5 hours.

Can I Stay With My Dog During the Grooming Process?

PetSmart policy usually does not allow owners to stay with their pets during grooming, primarily due to safety reasons. It’s essential to trust the groomer’s expertise and allow them to work with your pet independently.

How Often Should I Schedule Grooming Sessions for My Dog?

The frequency of grooming sessions varies greatly depending on your dog’s breed, hair length, and lifestyle. On average, most dogs should be groomed every 4-8 weeks. Your groomer can provide a personalized grooming schedule based on your dog’s specific needs.

Can Puppies Be Groomed at PetSmart?

Yes, puppies can be groomed at PetSmart. However, it’s recommended that they are at least eight weeks old and have had their vaccinations before their first grooming session. PetSmart offers a special puppy grooming package that includes a gentle puppy shampoo and light trimming if needed.

Are There Express Services for Dogs in Heat or Dogs with Special Needs?

Yes, PetSmart offers an express service designed to get dogs in and out of the grooming salon as quickly as possible. This service is particularly helpful for dogs in heat, elderly dogs, or dogs with health issues that may find prolonged grooming sessions stressful. It’s always best to discuss any special requirements with your groomer before scheduling an appointment.

How Can I Prepare My Dog for Their First Grooming Session?

To prepare your dog for their first grooming session at PetSmart, it can be helpful to acclimate your dog to being touched on their paws, ears, and tail, as these are areas the groomer will likely handle. You might also consider brushing your dog’s fur and teeth at home to familiarize them with the sensations. Finally, ensure your dog is up-to-date on their vaccinations, as this is a requirement at PetSmart grooming salons.

Are All Breeds Accepted for Grooming at PetSmart?

Yes, PetSmart accepts all breeds for grooming. However, some breeds may require specialized handling or grooming techniques due to their coat type or temperaments. It’s advised to discuss your dog’s breed and any specific grooming requirements with the PetSmart groomer before booking an appointment.

Does PetSmart Offer Any Discounts or Membership Plans for Regular Grooming?

PetSmart occasionally offers discounts and promotions on their grooming services, particularly for new customers or around holidays. They do not currently offer a membership or subscription service specifically for grooming, but it’s always worth asking in-store about any current offers or loyalty programs.

How are Grooming Standards Ensured at PetSmart?

Grooming standards at PetSmart are ensured by a rigorous training process that all groomers undergo. Additionally, PetSmart abides by stringent health and safety guidelines in all of its grooming salons. You can trust that your pet’s well-being is a priority throughout the grooming process.

Can I Request a Specific Groomer for My Dog at PetSmart?

Yes, if your dog responds well to a particular groomer, you can request them for future appointments at PetSmart. Having a consistent groomer can often help dogs feel more comfortable and relaxed during grooming sessions.

What Should I Do If My Dog Has an Adverse Reaction After Grooming?

If you notice any issues such as skin irritation, excessive scratching, or distress in your dog following a grooming session, it’s important to contact PetSmart and your vet immediately. Although rare, adverse reactions can happen, and it’s essential to address any potential issues promptly for the well-being of your pet.

Can I Schedule an Appointment Outside of Regular Business Hours?

PetSmart grooming salons generally operate within the store’s regular business hours. However, some stores might offer extended hours during certain periods or for specific services. It’s best to contact your local PetSmart to inquire about their specific hours and to schedule your dog’s grooming session.

What Can I Do If My Dog Is Nervous About Grooming?

If your dog is nervous or anxious about grooming, you can help ease their stress by gradually introducing them to grooming routines at home. Use positive reinforcement like treats and praises during this process. You might also consider bringing your dog to the grooming salon for short, non-grooming visits so they can get used to the environment.

Does PetSmart Groom Cats?

Yes, in addition to dogs, PetSmart also provides grooming services for cats. However, availability can vary by location, and not all grooming services offered for dogs are available for cats. It is recommended to call your local PetSmart salon to check their specific cat grooming offerings.

How Do I Cancel or Reschedule a PetSmart Grooming Appointment?

If you need to cancel or reschedule a grooming appointment at PetSmart, you can do so by calling the grooming salon directly. Be sure to provide as much notice as possible for cancellations or rescheduling.

What Should I Do If I’m Not Satisfied with My Dog’s Grooming?

If you’re not satisfied with your dog’s grooming, it’s best to address the issue directly with the groomer or salon manager. In many cases, they may be able to make adjustments or provide a resolution. Your feedback helps maintain the quality of PetSmart’s grooming services.

Can I Stay With My Dog During Their Grooming Appointment?

For safety and insurance reasons, PetSmart generally does not allow pet parents to stay in the grooming salon during appointments. This policy also helps reduce distractions and potential stressors for the dogs being groomed. Rest assured, PetSmart’s groomers are trained to handle dogs with care and professionalism.

Do I Need to Bring Anything to My Dog’s Grooming Appointment?

You don’t typically need to bring anything to your dog’s grooming appointment. However, if your dog has specific shampoo or other grooming products due to allergies or skin conditions, you can bring these items along. Be sure to communicate any special needs your dog may have to the groomer before the appointment.

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