Stroll down most high streets and the chances are you’ll spot a dog-grooming salon. It’s big business in the UK, and these establishments now offer a great deal besides the opportunity to keep pooch’s fur clean and free of knots. Britons are expected to spend £4.6 billion on pet care in 2016 – including grooming – according to Euromonitor International. Discerning owners want to give their furry friends the kind of hair and skin treatments we enjoy – ensuring they look (and even smell) sensational. The question is, with so many salons out there, how do you pick the right one for your beloved pet?
The trick is to do your research and dig a little deeper to ensure the groomer has the necessary credentials and reputation.
Just Barking in Kensal Rise has both. It’s been mentioned in Elle Magazine’s Little Black Book: Must Visit Addresses, and built a huge following in West London. All breeds are welcome and the groomers are International Certified Master Groomers, City & Guilds certified, and fully insured. A holistic approach means staff are interested in your dog’s overall health and wellbeing. They practise correct, sensitive handling (and never put pets in cages before treatments) and use Hownd all-natural products.
And what if you’re after something a little more “out there” for your dog?
Well, Britain is fast catching up with a trend in the US known as extreme grooming. In Burnham-on-Crouch, Daniela’s Dogs is at the forefront of the movement in the UK. Owners bring their pets in for a bath, and services such as show shampoo, fluff dry, styling, painted nails, dyed fur and even a “fur-jazzle” (which involves attaching Swarovski crystals to a dog’s back legs). The salon has been featured several times on The Only Way Is Essex and owner Daniela Forshaw also carried out the first dog makeover and creative grooming feature for ITV This Morning with one of her pets, Pink Poodle Venice. For Daniela, creating a great impression always comes second to safety. “We use vegetable-based dyes,” she says, “which leave the fur beautifully soft. It’s much crueller to neglect grooming, which can lead to knots and even the spread of fleas.”
Concern for a pet’s wellbeing is also at the heart of the treatments on offer at The Pet Spa in Chelsea. Stressed-out pooches can enjoy a luxurious massage by a certified canine massage therapist, a balancing reiki treatment, an anxiety-melting mud bath and an exfoliating or moisturising facial.
You can also give your cherished hound a taste of salon life at home with some of the ointments and moisturisers available on the market.
Allan Glanfield’s Loyal Canine Company is the undisputed leader in this field. Allan noticed that bulldogs like his pet Frankie suffered from dry noses, so he began developing healing balms. His collection now includes a nose moisturiser, general first aid ointment, and paw protector – all made with natural ingredients such as chamomile, cedarwood, lavender, myrrh and calendula oil. Allan has branches in the USA, Canada, Australia and South Korea. If you’re based in the UK, you can order his products from the Loyal Canine Company website.
It seems that, when it comes to enjoying the finer things in life, dogs have most definitely caught up with us humans.