Thursday, June 30, 2022

The not-so-shaggy city: How Williamsburg’s dog grooming industry is booming

Patriotic Pups Mobile Grooming is just one of the many grooming salons that have come into the area as the dog population grows in Williamsburg. (WYDaily/Courtesy Patriotic Pups)
Patriotic Pups Mobile Grooming is just one of the many grooming salons that have come into the area as the dog population grows in Williamsburg. (WYDaily/Courtesy Patriotic Pups)

For those family members with four paws and a tail, Williamsburg has become a hotspot for canine hair care.

“Williamsburg has a large dog population because it’s a retirement community,” said Coco Dow owner The Pin Up Groomer. “When you’ve spent years raising kids, the house becomes too quiet so some people fill it with animals.”

Dow is just one of the many groomers in town that has brought their shears and treats to the local pup population.

There are a variety of different groomers in the area from which owners can pick and choose based on their pet’s needs. For Dow, her services offer a holistic approach that works well with special needs pets, such as elderly dogs.

The newest grooming service, Dogsburg Grooming Shoppe, opened on Dec. 1 to bring a customer-oriented experience, said owner Jenny Martin. For Martin, grooming dogs isn’t just about quick cuts and making money, it’s about giving the dog a relaxing experience and making owners know their best friend is in good hands.

Now that her store is up and running, Martin said she hopes to take some extra time to volunteer at local shelters giving haircuts and regular grooming for the animals. She said when dogs appear well-kept and groomed, they tend to get adopted faster.

Martin started grooming at PetSmart just to try something new in her professional life. But 11 years later, she has opened her own store and plans to keep her canine clients at the forefront of her service.

“It’s all about making them feel comfortable,” Martin said. “Whether that’s with relaxing oils or distracting them with peanut butter. (Dogs) have feelings too and I want to make sure getting groomed is something enjoyable for them.”

For some owners it might be difficult getting their dog to the store, but thanks to mobile groomers like Sarah Smith, who owns Patriotic Pups Mobile Grooming, they can have the groomer come right to their door.

Having an abundance of dog groomers allows owners to find the best groomer for their dog's needs, said Coco Down, owner of The Pinup Groomer. (WYDaily/Courtesy Dogsburg Grooming Shoppe)
Having an abundance of dog groomers allows owners to find the best groomer for their dog’s needs, said Coco Down, owner of The Pinup Groomer. (WYDaily/Courtesy Dogsburg Grooming Shoppe)

Smith can be seen driving around town towing a giant blue trailer shaped like a dog that she calls the “Pup Mobile.”

“It’s all about advertising and catching people’s attention,” Smith said. “Then you get to show them the level of quality you provide.”

Smith said having a mobile grooming unit makes her services slightly more expensive but for many people, it is worth it to know their dog is just right outside and won’t have to spend hours in a kennel.

Each groomer has a specialty breed or size, and for Smith it’s all about the small dogs under 25 pounds. Also, older dogs tend to like the small space of her mobile salon because it feels safe and secure, she said.

Barry Heuser, owner of GroomZ Mobile Grooming, said he realized a few years ago that his dog became extremely anxious when going to the groomer and others probably did, too.

He knew there needed to be a better solution and after doing some research he came across the concept of mobile dog grooming. But when he started his business in 2013, this area had only a few groomers and almost no mobile ones, he said.

Now, there are a variety of different locations, grooming types and experiences available to the Williamsburg dog community. As the retirement population continues to grow, Heuser expects the grooming industry will continue to thrive in the area.

“One good thing about so many groomers is they keep our city from looking shaggy,” Heuser said.

Alexa Doironhttp://wydaily.com
Alexa Doiron is a multimedia reporter for WYDaily. She graduated from Roanoke College and is currently working on a master’s degree in English at Virginia Commonwealth University. Alexa was born and raised in Williamsburg and enjoys writing stories about local flair. She began her career in journalism at the Warhill High School newspaper and, eight years later, still loves it. After working as a news editor in Blacksburg, Va., Alexa missed Williamsburg and decided to come back home. In her free time, she enjoys reading Jane Austen and playing with her puppy, Poe. Alexa can be reached at alexa@localvoicemedia.com.

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