Picture this – you’re at the spa for a well-deserved day of pampering. Your nails are manicured to perfection, your hair’s been cut and styled, and you’re ready to take on the world with your new look.
Humans aren’t the only ones who enjoy this special treatment. Our furry friends also enjoy some special treatment every once in a while, and it’s all thanks to local dog groomers. Christina Olson from The Pooch Parlor and Janet Wright from The Dog Shop have shared some insight on how they get your pets looking their best.
Christina Olson has been grooming dogs since 2014, when she took over running Noah’s Critters. In 2018, she opened The Pooch Parlor and switched her focus to grooming exclusively.
“More people recognize dog grooming as an art form now,” Christina said. “It’s not just shaving all of your dog’s fur off for summer. There’s different styles and cuts, and people are starting to do more fun things like mohawks and fur color.”
The Pooch Parlor offers a variety of grooming services. Aside from haircuts, pet owners can bring their dog in for a bath, sanitary cut, ear cleaning, nail trim, flea treatment, or a brush out in between appointments. You can also find special shampoos, homemade dog treats, toys, and collars for sale.
“The bonds that I build with people and their pets are the best part of my job,” Christina said. “It’s a bond similar to you and your own hair stylist. A lot of customers become my friends. Past customers stop in to say hi, even after their pet has passed away.”
Christina always tries to make sure that the dogs are happy and comfortable when they come in for their appointment. Her assistant, Sarah Sam, does a lot of the bathing which reduces the amount of time that a dog spends in a kennel. On average, a grooming appointment takes about three hours.
“It’s not an easy job,” Christina said. “But it’s also never boring.”
Janet Wright was a vet tech for 25 years before she made the switch to grooming in 2017, when the original owner of The Dog Shop put it up for sale. She now uses her knowledge to help educate pet owners on how to provide the best care for their animals.
“I try to keep training. Learning is important,” Janet said. “Client education is also important to me. I want to provide a good quality product with my work, and education is key for that.”
At The Dog Shop, Janet offers a wide range of grooming services. Along with dog grooming, she has recently been training to groom cats. With the help of her assistant Hannah Meier, Janet provides baths, nail trims, and haircuts for pets. In addition to grooming, The Dog Shop sells dog coats, booties, and shampoos. Probiotics and vet-approved essential oils are also available.
Janet also focuses on the importance of your pet’s skincare. Many of the shampoos that they provide are specialized to help skin conditions.
“Dogs aren’t comfy if their skin is upset,” Janet said. “Regular bathing keeps the skin in good condition. If something is wrong, you should contact your vet and get your dog on the right antibiotics.”
“I like working with dogs and keeping them happy,” Janet said. “I think my job is very relaxing. I love when I can take something rough and let them leave feeling amazing.” //
Advice from Christina
- Book ahead.
Dog groomers often book faster than human haircuts. Scheduling your next appointment when you pick up your dog is a great way to stay on top of things.
- Brush your dogs.
Your dog will get brushed at their appointment, but maintaining your dog’s coat in between grooms will prevent matting. Brushing out matted fur is time consuming and can irritate your dog’s skin. Worst case scenario, they’ll need to get completely shaved.
- Do your research.
Before you become a pet parent, consider which breed of dog will best suit your lifestyle. It’s best to prioritize comfort over vanity. Pick a breed that is the size and coat type you’re prepared to care for.
Advice from Janet
- Talk to your groomer.
Communication is key to ensure you get the proper care for your pet. It’s important to let your groomer know any concerns you have.
- Educate yourself.
Groomers can only do so much for you during your appointment. Dogs can be a lot of work, so be prepared to study your dog breed of choice before you bring a new pet home. Some popular dog breeds can end up being too much for an inexperienced pet owner.
- Don’t shave a double coat.
Dog breeds with a double coat will have coarse hair on top and soft, fluffy hair under that. This fur type helps a dog cool off and helps protect it from the sun and bugs. Shaving a double coat can create a lot of discomfort for your dog. Groomers can do a lot without even touching a clipper, so ask them about options to help with shedding.