Tipping Your Vet? More Businesses Are Prompting Patrons For Tips, But Should You?


For some in the service industry, tipping is not only an appreciated gesture but a necessary component of their income. While many in the U.S. would prefer to forgo tipping altogether and have an employee’s salary baked into the cost of the product or service, it doesn’t appear that will be happening anytime soon. In fact, it seems even more businesses these days are prompting for tips.

Take for example a recent thread on Reddit where the poster indicated they were prompted for a tip at their latest vet visit.

“We have a great vet and they have helped us through many dog issues. They were already a more expensive choice but we found everything great about them. Recently we noticed a tip function on what seems like service-only items on the card reader,” the post read. “What’s the general consensus on this? I don’t want to be cheap but the bills are already very high.”

The poster followed up that when they asked the staff, it was indicated the tips were used for staff events and get-togethers, which sounds a lot like “team happy hour” to us.

It seems that as businesses upgrade their old-school cash registers to a new point of sale (POS) system, the process of asking for tips is all too easy. But should you tip everyone all the time?

How POS Systems Are Impacting Tipping Culture

You’ve likely been in a similar situation. You pay for your service or item and then the screen is swiveled your way and you have to make a choice of whether or not to tip. Automatically built into the system, employees no longer have to rely on a tip jar for situations where a tip might be a nice gesture but isn’t built into their salaries.

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While it can be easy to ignore those little glass jars with “TIPS” scribbled on the front, the electronic prompt is right in our faces. Whether out of guilt, ignorance, or feeling pressured, many of us probably just quickly tap a button to add a tip.

What’s more, many businesses seem to set the lowest tipping option at 20%, which used to be the standard for excellent service. Now, seeing a prompt for 25% or even 30% of the bill is not uncommon. Sure, you can always enter a custom tip, but many of us don’t want to fuss with the math in our heads and just pick a suggested option.

But just because the prompt is there doesn’t mean we have to tip.

Feeling Guilty More Often? Us Too

The pressure to tip in a situation we weren’t originally planning to is real. While we all know the standard when it comes to restaurants or bars, it seems the rules about when and how much to tip are becoming more complicated in general. Matters like staffing issues and inflation only add to the mess.

When a person’s wage is tied to tips, definitely don’t skip out. While not an exhaustive list, waitstaff, housekeeping, tattoo artists, bellhops, hair stylists, nail techs, and makeup artists are all on the to-tip list. And while you might tip 15-20% for some of these services, other services like housekeeping staff might only expect between two to five dollars a day.

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But what about other pet care services? While you shouldn’t tip your vet, other services like pet grooming, dog walking, or pet sitting might be more appropriate to tip if you’re happy with the service provided.

During the holidays it can be nice to tip or give a small gift to establishments that you frequent. Many businesses are so appreciative when regulars bring in a small gift for the employees to enjoy. Also, if you’re just extremely happy with the service or product, it can be a nice gesture regardless of the time of year.

Overall, we’re in the camp of tipping for the services that are necessary and not tipping where it’s not appropriate. I mean, will we tell our bestie, parents, and siblings about our amazing vet? Absolutely. We might even leave a stunning review on their website. But, as much as we love them, tipping them isn’t on our to-do list.

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