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How much does it cost to cut a dog’s nails off?

Trimming a dog’s nails is an important part of grooming and maintaining their health and hygiene. Overly long nails can cause pain and problems for dogs, so keeping them neatly trimmed is essential. But grooming services like nail trims come at a cost. So how much should you expect to pay to have your dog’s nails cut by a professional groomer?

Quick Overview of Costs

On average, most professional groomers charge between $10-$20 for a basic dog nail trim. However, prices can vary based on your location, the specific groomer, and any extra services added on.

Here’s a quick overview of what you can expect to pay:

  • PetSmart: $10-$15 for nail trim
  • Petco: $10-$15 for nail trim
  • Private grooming salons: $15-$25 for nail trim
  • Mobile groomers: $20-$40 for nail trim
  • Veterinarians: $10-$25+ for nail trim

Keep reading for more details on factors that influence cost and tips for saving money on professional nail trims.

Cost at Pet Store Chains

Getting your dog’s nails trimmed at pet store chains like PetSmart and Petco is often the most affordable option. These large retailers offer walk-in nail trim services at set low prices.

Both PetSmart and Petco charge $10 for a basic nail trim for small dogs, and $15 for large dogs. This cost remains the same regardless of where you live.

The main advantage of using big chain retailers is convenience and price predictability. There’s no need for an appointment, you don’t have to be an existing customer, and the cost is straightforward. It’s also usually cheaper than private grooming salons.

However, the quality of service can be hit or miss with high turnover rates of staff. There also tends to be very little customization or add-on options compared to a private groomer.

PetSmart Nail Trim Cost

  • Small dog: $10
  • Large dog: $15

Petco Nail Trim Cost

  • Small dog: $10
  • Large dog: $15

Cost at Private Grooming Salons

For a more customized, high-quality experience, visit a privately owned dog grooming salon. These businesses are usually staffed by experienced professional groomers who provide an attentive, skilled trim.

Private salons charge more than big chains, usually $15-$25 per dog for a nail trim. However, some groomers include nails as part of their standard grooming packages at no extra cost. There’s also greater flexibility to add on specialty services.

The cost at private salons can vary based on:

  • Your location – More expensive in urban areas
  • The individual business
  • Your dog’s size – Larger dogs cost more
  • Extra services like nail grinding or nail painting

To save money, many groomers offer package deals if you purchase multiple services at once. You may also save by paying a monthly membership fee in exchange for discounted rates.

Mobile Pet Groomer Prices

Mobile dog grooming businesses send a professional groomer to your home or location to provide bathing, haircuts, and other services. This convenience comes at a higher cost.

For just a nail trim, expect to pay $20-$40 from a mobile groomer. The cost varies based on your region, the company, your dog’s size, and any extra tasks added.

Benefits of mobile grooming include:

  • Convenience of at-home service
  • Less stress for anxious dogs
  • Customizable range of services

However, it’s one of the more expensive options for just trimming nails. Only use mobile groomers for add-on services or if the convenience is worth the price.

Veterinarian Nail Trim Cost

You can also have your dog’s nails trimmed at the veterinary clinic. Vet prices are similar to private groomers, costing $10-$25+ per nail trim depending on the clinic and location.

Benefits of vet nail trims:

  • Expert knowledge of dog anatomy
  • Can sedate very anxious or difficult dogs
  • Only charged an exam fee if nail issues found

Downsides include:

  • Higher cost than retail groomers
  • Usually by appointment only
  • Primary focus is medical issues, not grooming

Vet visits for nail trims make the most sense if your dog requires sedation, has diseased nails, or you want a skilled medical perspective. Otherwise, retail or mobile groomers are more cost effective options.

Factors That Influence Cost

In addition to location and the specific business, several other factors can cause the cost of nail trims to vary:

Dog Size

It’s typically more expensive to trim the nails of larger dog breeds. Giant dogs are harder to lift and handle safety during the process. Some groomers charge up to 2-3 times more for very large dogs.

Overgrown Nails

Dogs with extremely overgrown nails usually cost more to trim back initially. Thick, untrimmed nails take more time, effort, and tools to cut through.


Poorly behaved dogs or aggressive biters often warrant an additional “difficult dog” fee. Even extremely wiggly or squirmy dogs may cost more if they make the trim take longer.

Extra Services

Add-ons like nail grinding for smooth edges or nail painting for color will increase the total cost.


Urban areas like New York City or Los Angeles tend to charge more for all pet services, including nail trims. Prices are usually lowest in small towns and rural locations.

Saving Money on Dog Nail Trims

Looking to trim budget costs for your dog’s nail care? Here are some money-saving tips:

  • Do it yourself at home if your dog tolerates handling
  • Visit chain stores like PetSmart or Petco for lowest prices
  • Ask your groomer about package deals or loyalty programs
  • Get added perks like free nails with a full grooming
  • Schedule nails with vet visits to avoid exam fees
  • Time it right – avoid “peak” times that have added fees
  • Try mobile or house call grooming with a friend to split costs

With a little shopping around, you can keep your dog’s nails maintained on almost any budget.

When to Tip for Nail Trims

Tipping is standard practice for full service professional grooming. But what about for à la carte services like nail trims?

Here are tips on when and how much to tip your groomer or vet staff for trimming your dog’s nails:

  • Pet store chains: Optional, but $2-5 is appreciated
  • Private salons: 10-20% tip is standard
  • Mobile groomers: 15-20% tip is customary
  • Vet staff: 10-15% tip for excellent service

For places like Petco or Petsmart, tipping is welcome but not necessarily expected like at a full service salon. Use your discretion based on service satisfaction.

Pro Dog Nail Trimming Tips

To make sure your dog’s nail trim goes smoothly, follow these professional tips:

Start Young

Get puppies accustomed to nail handling from a young age. Touch their paws often so they become desensitized.

Take It Slow

Make the first few sessions very short and give lots of praise. This prevents fear and anxiety forming.

Use Positive Reinforcement

Reward calm behavior with treats to establish a positive association.

Use Sedation If Needed

Very high stress or aggressive dogs may need sedation. Consult your vet to ensure safety.

Stay Current

Trim nails as often as needed to avoid overgrowth. Every 2-4 weeks is typical.

Keeping up with regular trims makes each session faster and easier for both dog and groomer.


Dog nail trims typically cost $10-$25 per dog on average. Prices are highest from mobile groomers and veterinarian offices. Big retailers like PetSmart and Petco offer lower flat rates around $10-$15 per trim.

Aim for a skilled groomer that your dog tolerates well. Proper handling techniques and a calm environment can make all the difference. With regular trims, you can maintain your dog’s nails without breaking your budget.