K9 Grooming: a passion, not a profession


For pet groomers, grooming is not a profession, but it is their way of showering their love on canines, to be with them 24×7, to love and pamper them. For them work is a pleasure… something that makes their life complete and our canines healthy and beautiful.
It is a wonderful experience to pamper our pets and see them bask in love and care. And grooming is just another way to pampering. Just think of how you feel when you go for your routine haircut or massage! Of course, you feel delighted, so do our canines. Sometimes, our hectic lifestyles do not permit us to groom them. But don’t worry! For there are specialised pet grooming salons to indulge your pets, that will groom them in the most relaxed and friendly atmosphere. To know more about the grooming facilities available in India, D&P contacted four chic grooming salons in India and here’s what we sniffed :
Groom your ‘Fuzzy Wuzzy’ kid here
“Some time ago a TV channel was doing a programme on my grooming parlour and they were curious about the aroma therapy massages and their effect on the dog. I told them that it makes them stress free, relaxes their muscles, and being happy, contented and enjoying the massage and the attention given to them, they normally go to sleep. Well, they wanted me to demonstrate this on TV and to my surprise, brought in a huge Rottweiler. It is really funny to recollect this incident because as soon as I started the massage, and as if the dog had understood every word I had spoken, promptly put his head down on the grooming table and went to sleep. The TV personnel thought that I was a Magician!” 
A lthough Yash of Yashbans Kennels always had a grooming parlour in existence at her farm, but the professional parlour ‘Fuzzy Wuzzy Pet Grooming Parlour,’ a brain child of Prithvi Jayakaran of Glenands Pet Shops and Yash, was started just three years ago in Bangalore. There’s an interesting story behind such a unique name and as Yash puts it, “My daughter Radhiya chose the name, as the very first grooming we did was on a really fuzzy, wuzzy unkempt Poodle.”
Being a professional breeder, grooming was a natural choice for diversification. “Right from the beginning, my daughters Radhiya and Rishya and my friends were very appreciative of the thought of me starting a professional grooming parlour. They knew I was talented and were confident that I would succeed. The question that remained was how to manage time, with my breeding and boarding kennels. In the beginning, the grooming parlour was just an extension or a branch of my already existing profession but now with my daughters too completely devoted to this profession, it has become a full-fledged grooming facility,” tells Yash.
Yash is a born animal-lover and opening of a grooming parlour dedicated to pets is an extension of her passion for dogs. “From treating injured animals to giving shelter to abandoned and homeless dogs and cats, I was so involved and passionate that I actually had a small zoo on my terrace and that too without my extremely strict father’s knowledge,” recollects Yash. So how did her passion for pets turned into a profession? “I got into breeding pedigreed dogs, and established myself as one of India’s most reputed and successful breeder. Though grooming was always a part and parcel of my owning pets, and imperative in my show career, it turned into a profession when I started realizing that you can actually make or break a show dog’s career, just with your expertise on grooming the pet,” came a quick reply from enthusiastic Yash. 
So, how has Yash’s breeding experience helped her in grooming? “I have been involved with dogs for almost three decades. My understanding of the breeds and their construction, the correct type of hair cuts and trimming that most coated breeds required and their necessity, gives me an extra edge. Besides, I am also extremely patient and believe in doing anything to perfection,” replies Yash.
Another question that came to our mind was is there any training required to become a professional groomer? “Yes, both me and my elder daughter have been trained in the art of professional grooming both in the States and Thailand. My younger daughter, who actually supersedes us as a groomer is actually my prodigy and completely trained by me,” explains Yash.
But, Yash insists that grooming is a form of art and should be inborn in you. “You can only learn the basics and methods of grooming at a professional school. You require considerable amount of talent to visualize a perfect specimen as per the breed standards. Like a sculptor or an artist, and tons of patience, it is absolutely necessary and the knack to make the pet feel comfortable and not threatened or unhappy,” she adds.
So, how does Yash feel on being a groomer? “Oh! It is a wonderful, exhilarating and therapeutic experience for me! I get a sense of immense satisfaction at seeing a happy, contended pet and a satisfied customer. There is no greater joy than to see the pets looking forward to their sessions at the grooming parlour. Besides, I feel like the creator. My experience, craftsmanship, patience, love and understanding helps me create a beautifully structured canine, finding his or her faults, and making him or her look like a Best In Show Winner. I feel so proud when people travel great distances, coming from other cities, just to get their dog groomed by me,” exclaimed Yash.
Fuzzy Wuzzy is well equipped with all the necessary gadgets and equipments, including individual bath tubs for small and large dogs, with hot and cold water shower sprays, professional grooming tables, blowers, table top as well as hand dryers, clippers, shears, shampoos, aroma massage oils, toothpastes, mouth sprays, brushes, combs, hair colours (both temporary and long lasting), perfumes, ornaments, bows, clips, party dresses and accessories.
So what is the time required to groom a pooch? “We need probably 1 – 1 1/2 hours and sometimes even 3 hours on a single pet. Hence, we do not accept more than 3-4 pets in a day, depending on the breed and the condition of the pet,” tells Yash. No wonder then that her clientele includes actors, models, politicians, musicians, artists, the so-called page 3 people, MDs of multinational companies, and the very loving middleclass passerby too. 
Yash believes that grooming intensifies the bond between the pet and his parent. “Once you start grooming your dog on a regular schedule, you will actually start seeing the benefits for the pet and yourself, and the bond that you establish between yourselves. A great looking, clean pet is a sheer joy to own,” concludes Yash.
To pamper your canine, contact: Fuzzy Wuzzy Pet Grooming Parlour, No 1, 17th ‘F’ cross (adjacent to Glenands Pet Shop), Indira Nagar II Stage, Bangalore- 560 077, Ph: 98440 58080/ 98450 01449/ 41261470, email: Yashbans@email.com or visit www.yashbans.com
To make your canine kid feel like a ‘Top Dog’
In just two years after its inception, Top Dog has become one of the most happening joint for pets. They come here with their parents oblivious of their looks and when they leave this place; they are entirely transformed into a prim and proper canine, which is indeed a treat for their parents.
As Cookie Khanna, the entrepreneur behind this reputed pet grooming salon, puts it, “My passion for pets made me want to work with them, but not in the medical field. I started becoming more aware and started noticing that there are a lot of exotic and high maintenance breeds coming into India but there is a lack of professional services to look after them. After researching the grooming field, I decided to do a certified course in dog grooming in New York. And that’s how TOP DOG was born!”
Cookie has done a course at the NYSDG in New York. “This Master Groomer certified course allows me to work as a trained professional anywhere in the world,’ tells Cookie proudly.
Was the path into this unknown territory full of roses or thorns? “Well, my family has always supported me in all my decisions. They also felt it was an untapped market and seeing my passion for pets, this seemed to be the perfect career path for me. My friends thought it was a very odd job but at the same time thought it was a fabulous idea,” recollects Cookie. And seeing the popularity of Top Dog in Mumbai, they all must be rejoicing at Cookie’s wonderful idea of opening a pet grooming salon. 
At the end of the day at work, how does Cookie feel? “It feels great to know that I can put unkept dogs out of their misery and send them home feeling like the Top Dog in town. It’s a great feeling to know that so many people actually wanna learn and are willing to spend money on their pets to keep them clean and well kept. And what makes me happy is that I can help them in this entire process,” tells Cookie proudly.
Is there any irritating aspect of this profession? “I simply love my profession but I am very unhappy when I see that some parents do not care about grooming their dog. I once had to groom a dog that was so badly matted that it took me 4 hours to remove them from his coat. It was like a carpet. I had to literally cut through the coat with scissors and then shave. The hair of his face, eyes and neck were also tangled and the poor dog could barely see through the hair. It was horrible and made me realize that some people truly do not care for their darling friends! But at that end of it, the dog was so happy when he left that it was all worth it!” tells Cookie.
So, in a day how many pets are pampered at Top Dog? “I groom 5-12 dogs in a day and it is really a joyful experience to see them all leave my salon looking their best. All dogs that come to my parlor are celebrities. A person who brings in a fabulously kept dog is a true celebrity to me,” tells Cookie.
At Top Dogs, your pooch can get his haircuts, bathing, oil massages, nail clipping, ear cleaning etc, besides tick n’ flea control, shedding treatments and pedicures amongst other things. “All the equipments are top of the line and imported. I have professional grooming equipment, be it scissors or nail clippers or shampoos,” tells Cookie proudly.
An avid dog lover herself, Cookie wants our readers to love their pooches and take care of them. “A dog is not a stuffed toy, but a child who never ever grows up. He needs to be looked after for his entire life and that’s the part you play. Dogs cannot speak and tell you what they need. Always keep your dog well. Bathe him regularly and check him every couple of days. Because remember a well-groomed dog is a happy dog!” And we all definitely agree!
To pamper your canine, contact: Top Dog,Professional Pet Styling Services, 45, Hoosein Manor, Bomanji Petit Road, Mumbai– 26, Tel: 98200 70992 / 32414605, email: topdogbombay@gmail.com
Simply ‘TailWaggers’ delight
A Golden Retriever rushes out of his car, enters into the salon and jumps straight into the tub and looks as expectantly waiting for weekly bath to commence!!! Then, there is one Lhasa Apso who regularly comes here for a trim and falls promptly asleep every time and wakes up only when his haircut is complete. Such instances are very common at Mumbai-based TailWaggers salon, which needs no introduction.
The suave Gauri and Urmila have been grooming pets here for the past five years. As Urmila puts it, “Both me and Gauri share an equal humungous passion for animals and dogs in particular. Gauri while working as an assistant to a vet used to help people groom their dogs at home and me, after working with PETA for sometime decided I wanted to do some more hands-on work with dogs so we got together and decided to open a grooming salon for dogs. This is how TailWaggers came into being,” tells Urmila. What a perfect name for our lil’ tail waggers!
Both Gauri and Urmila have excelled themselves with on the job training and to keep themselves abreast with the latest in the pet grooming industry, they constantly refer to books and the internet for newer and better ideas. 
How did the friends and relatives of these svelte damsels react on their career as a pet groomer? “Of course, there were lots of raised eyebrows initially, especially taking into consideration that ours was the first salon in the country. So, it was slightly difficult in the beginning because in India it was unheard of to take your dog outside the house for a bath or any sort of grooming. But, our families have been supportive of our efforts throughout and we did not let them down. Also, the vets in the city were and still are a huge support system as they refer their patients, whenever necessary, to our salon,” recollects Urmila.
“But once people started warming up to the concept, they realized how much more convenient it is to take your dog to a professional groomer and get him groomed. Also, earlier people had Poms, Labs and maybe German Shepherds, who were easier to groom, but now people have more exotic breeds from all over the world like Poodles, Shi-Tzus, Afghan Hounds, Bichon Frises. All these breeds have very specialized grooming requirements, which our salon provides. The pet grooming industry is small but is a rapidly growing field and actually the current response is great,” tells Urmila proudly.
So, how do Gauri and Urmila function when their doggy clients come in for his/her grooming session? “After getting a brief from their pet parent about what they have in mind, we then suggest a grooming or cutting based on the dog’s coat type, condition and climate the dog is in. Our emphasis and style of grooming is where the dog not just looks good but also feels comfortable,” tells Urmila enthusiastically. That’s the spirit, we don’t want our lil’ friends to feel uncomfortable, they should look and feel good at the same time!
Are Gauri and Urmila happy with their present job? “Oh! It is absolutely and positively the best job in the whole world and we wouldn’t trade anything for it. To be surrounded with dogs of all shapes, sizes, colour all day long is a bliss!!” comes an enthusiastic reply.
“Almost all our experiences have been great and when you work with dogs, your day is bound to be full of fun stuff. Often clients call back and say that their dog has come home looking and feeling like a new dog and that really makes our day! There are some clients who send us flowers and cakes to thank us and this kind of appreciation always makes us feel great,” tells Urmila.
TailWaggers Pet Salon offers facilities like haircuts, conditioning baths, medicated baths, tick and flea control treatments, detangling treatments, nail cutting, ear cleaning, teeth brushing, oil massages and aromatherapy rinses. “We have the latest haircutting machines with interchangeable blades and different attachment combs for different types and lengths of haircuts. We also have a stand dryer that is specially designed to dry out the moisture from the root of the hair outward. We have some great pet colognes and perfumes, which as a finishing spray make the dogs smelling fresh, and clean for a long time. Also the dryers we use fluff out the coat and makes their coat really shine,” tells Urmila.
So, how many pets do Gauri and Urmila beautify in a day? “On an average, we groom about 10 -12 pets in a day. Being situated in the Bollywood city, our salon is buzz with celebrities like Salman Khan, Upen Patel, Esha Deol, Vivek Oberoi, Arjun Rampal, Preity Zinta, Boman Irani, Fardeen Khan, etc, who come along their pooches,” tells Urmila proudly.
Are there any tips that Gauri and Urmila would like to give to our readers? “Yes of course! Other than returning the unconditional love that you get from your dog, we suggest that you regularly check his or her coat for matts, ticks fleas, skin problems – all of which should immediately be attended to. Atleast once (if it is a short haired coat) or twice to thrice (if your dog has a long coat), brush his or her coat first against the direction of hair growth and then towards it. Make sure the eyes and ears are clean and his nails clipped either from a groomer or a vet. Make sure your dog has a comfortable length and thickness of coat depending on the current season and climate. Seek the help of a professional groomer at regular intervals. Besides, a regular hand on home grooming is also a great way for you to spend some quality time with your canine best friend.”
To pamper your canine, contact: TailWaggers Pet Salon, 6th Road, Pali Village, Behind Real Palace, Bandra (W), Mumbai, Ph: 9820127572.
Your pooch deserves a ‘Scooby Scrub’
Scooby Scrub is becoming a favourite destination for pets and their parents in Delhi. This grooming parlour has been recently established in April 2007 by an avid animal lover couple Preeti S Kumar and Sanjeev Kumar. The couple left their established careers to pursue their love and passion for dogs. Preeti was a school teacher while Sanjeev was a bank manager. “I succumbed to the desire to get closer to the first love of my life – ‘pets’. Grooming is one activity which will enable me to stay close to the four legged ones all the time,” tells Preeti enthusiastically. Similar views are echoed by Sanjeev who adds, “I left my 13 years of hard work at a bank, to follow my passion and love for the pets.” It would come as a little surprise for dog lovers as they can very well understand.
To chase their dream as dog lovers, the couple has got formal training in grooming from the famous Wanaporn Sangpongchawal’s training institute in Bangkok, who herself has done her professional training from the ‘New York school of Dog Grooming.’
So, what was the reaction this couple got from their friends and relatives? “To them it was a very new and unique concept, so inspite of being supportive, they were very uncertain about the future of such a venture,” tells the duo. “Even though only a short period has passed but now they are able to see what we visualized was right. 
There is definitely a need to have a professionally run pet grooming parlour in Delhi and we are getting really good response.”
And Preeti and Sanjeev are happy than ever. “As is said ‘To have the cake and eat it too’ what more could we want, to do work that we enjoy the most, being close to the ones we love and still have a livelihood,” exclaims the duo excitedly.
“The expression on the face of our customers when they come to pick up their pets after our grooming is an extremely satisfying and wonderful experience in itself, every time around,” tells Preeti. And who would not agree, we ourselves gleam with joy when our darling gets his share of grooming!
Scooby Scrub offers facilities like basic grooming, complete grooming, show grooming, pet hygiene, herbal baths, tick & flea baths, de-matting, colouring/streaking and massage. For this, they have bought specialised equipment like professional clippers, clipping blades, trimmers, scissors and other miscellaneous items, which are especially imported from reputed manufacturers based in America.
Pet grooming is not just a profession for them, they give individual attention to dogs. “At a maximum, we groom 4-5 dogs so as to be able to justify the quality of work we intend to provide to the pet and to his/her owner,” tells Sanjeev. Little wonder then that their parlour caters to the top rung diplomats/bureaucrats in Delhi and several of the top of the line industrialists’ pets including owners of Khaitan, Ricoh, CTC Malls/Plazas, Waves Malls and many more.
Both Preeti and Sanjeev believe, “Love your pet as much as you can, as their love is unconditional. Pet hygiene is the most essential part of grooming, which includes much more than just a normal bath, ear cleaning and nail clipping.”
To pamper your canine, contact: Scooby Scrub, Shop No 12, DDA Market, Neeti Bagh, New Delhi – 110049, Ph : 32448809, Mobile: 9810897138, 9811128809, email:scoobyscrub@yahoo.co.in