The growth of pet grooming services
The startup groomer
Cas Maynard is new to the mobile grooming business, although she has been grooming dogs for many years. We asked her just what made her want to set up her business Pretty Paws Mobile Dog Spa…
I received a redundancy from a job I had worked at for many years, I saw some second hand grooming Trailers for sale and I started thinking it could be something I’d like to do. I talked to hubby and he surprisingly thought it was a great idea so I started looking more seriously at mobile grooming options.
I am an Animal Technician and have always worked with animals, I started grooming in 2001 and continued it as a hobby when not employed as a groomer. I’ve always groomed my pets along with family and friends pets.
When did your business begin? What services do you offer?
- Warm hydrobath & blowdry
- Full body clips
- Nail clipping and ear cleaning
- Creative colouring
- Gentle baths for pets other than dogs!
Have you had any difficult dogs?
There’s not many perfect dogs, most have their own quirks! More often than not it’s tricky doing feet and nails, not many like having that done. I just try to be confident and get it done quickly & safely.
Working alone means I don’t have backup from someone to help out so that can get interesting sometimes.
There are some breeds I’m more wary of, but I know to watch their body language and warning signals. Any breed of dog can be aggressive, especially showing fear aggression in a new environment like the grooming trailer, and they’re all individuals, and have off days, just like us!
Anyone requested any more unusual animals or services?
In the past I’ve bathed and clipped cats and rabbits which is quite common now. I’ve also bathed ferrets, guinea pigs and rats, I love them all.
I recently attended a Creative Colouring seminar where I learned to use permanent and non-permanent animal safe colours which can be used to give dogs a pretty coloured tail or ears, a stencil picture on their side, even some feathers or paw polish!
Some people are very vocally against this creative grooming but I certainly will not do anything I believe is harmful or irritating to an animal. I know my own dog enjoys the extra attention and pats from me when he gets a pop of colour put on!
Any plans for the future? To expand? To franchise? Or content to have your own small business?
To grow my customer base and have wonderful clients on a regular grooming schedule.
At this point in time I have zero interest in expanding! I’m enjoying being my own boss and the ability to be super flexible is great, especially with three little kids at school. Who knows what will happen in the future but I can’t imagine having employees or franchises!
Anything else that you would like to add?
There are no qualifications needed to be a pet groomer/stylist which means anyone can do it. We are working with nervous animals and very sharp tools which can be dangerous if you’re unsure what you’re doing and not confident in your handling.
Make sure you are comfortable to ask your groomer any questions you have, there are plenty of us around if you don’t feel happy with a service from one in particular (however speaking privately to your groomer before posting an angry tirade all over social media is preferable!)
Lastly, it’s not just playing with puppies all day, although that is a great part of it, but it’s hard physical work and every day there’s fur all over, wees and poos, scratches and bruises! I really do love it though!