Pampering Pooches

Does your skin ever feel dry and itchy? Does your hair occasionally need a boost of shine? Well, just like us humans, our pets can feel the same way when it comes to their skin and coats. So, how can we help our furry friends? If you’re in the grooming business, there are plenty of things you can do. 

Below is a guide of treatments groomers can offer, along with tips, trends and popular consumer requests. 

Skin and Coat Spa Services

All pets deserve a nice spa day, just like the rest of us. Skin and coat services are more than just a haircut and pawdicure. In fact, they can include the following:

Hot oil treatments: These types of treatments are excellent for dogs with dry coats. Offering a hot oil treatment at your salon can be a great way to bring in new clients and educate returning customers as well. You’ll want to encourage folks to bring their dogs in during changes of season, when their coats can get really dry, or especially if you live in a desert climate. 

Dogs with allergies can also benefit from hot oil treatments; it’ll soothe their itchy skin and coat, and bring it back to life. Don’t be alarmed by the term "hot"—the oil should be warm enough to do its job and calm the dog, but not enough to cause them any harm or burns.

Blueberry facial: Blueberries serve not only as great treats for dogs, but as a great base for a facial as well. Creating a blueberry facial for pets can not only make their faces clean and bright again, but the scent also serves as an aromatherapeutic. Your clients’ pets will leave your salon both calm and relaxed. 

Moisturizing pad treatment: From running around through the snow to walking along rocks and muddy grass, pets’ paws sure go through a lot. Offering a moisturizing pad treatment is a great addition to any pawdicure. Create a treatment with shea and/or coconut butter and aloe to help dogs with dry, cracked pads. This 100 percent natural balm will keep their paws soft and supple. 

Deshedding treatment: Many people have problems with pets that constantly shed. You can help them by offering an innovative deshedding treatment. Hypoallergenic shampoos and conditioners can help to relax hair follicles, releasing any undercoat a pet may be shedding. Pets will leave your salon lighter and fluffier.

There are plenty of unique skin and coat services that you can offer in your grooming salon. Unsure how to price these specialty services? Remember that folks really want affordable luxury when it comes to their pets. You can create fixed costs based on the size of the animal, and you can also create special bundle-priced spa packages. 

Trends and Consumer Requests

With the rise of social media, more pet owners are seeking out the latest pet trends online. It’s your job to stay up-to-date on what the most popular skin and coat treatments are these days. 

One hot trend is organic grooming products. Millennials are now the largest group of pet owners, and they also happen to be in love with all things organic. Folks will specifically ask and request that you use all-natural products on their pets, so be sure you can provide appropriate services. 

The demand for affordable services is another strong trend. Many people would do anything for their pet, but they are often practical too and can only spend so much on their furry friends.

More people are using online tools and apps to find the latest and greatest deals in pet grooming, so stand out with affordable options and relevant deals. Offer discounts to folks who engage with your salon on social media by posting photos of their pets, or try some other creative deal.

Of course, you should only offer skin and coat treatments that you have experience doing. Make sure your staff is properly trained and educated on proper protocol. Don’t dive into a new pet trend without doing your own due diligence. If a person comes into your salon requesting a product or service that you don’t yet offer, it’s OK to say no. It’s always better to be safe than sorry when it comes to people’s pets.

Liz Illg is the owner of Puff & Fluff Grooming and Pet Sitting, which has four locations in the Phoenix area. She received her bachelor’s in business from Arizona State University and her master’s in education from Northern Arizona University. Her education and passion for animals turned her college pet-sitting days into full-time business ownership. Illg has hosted events and raffles to benefit local pet rescues by partnering with other pet businesses in the community. She has also been featured on several local media outlets to share her love and knowledge about caring for pets.