November 2006

Groomingdale's - The Finest in Pet Pampering

Author: Melinda Copp

The start of the holiday season means cleaning the house and getting everything ready for parties, company and family gatherings. But don’t forget about your pets in all the holiday hustle and bustle. According to Irene Gonzalez, owner of Groomingdale’s fine grooming salon and pet boutique in Mathew’s Center on Cardinal Road, Christmas is the busiest time of year for pet grooming, and Thanksgiving is second. When company comes, pets seem to think that everyone is there to see them, so they want to look their best.

“Pets need to be fabulous too,” said Gonzalez. This year, to celebrate the holiday season, Santa Claus will visit Groomingdale’s, and clients will have the opportunity to get their pictures taken with the big guy.

As the name suggests, your dog or cat will get first-class spa treatment and show-quality grooming at Groomingdale’s. They sell the highest quality pet care products, including brushes, shampoos, all natural dog food, and even Timmy Holedigger, Beautifur and White Dalmations pet perfumes. “We only sell products that we use and that our customers recommend,” said Gonzalez.

Groomingdale’s offers haircuts, baths, ear cleaning, toenail trimming, tooth brushing, hot oil treatments and oatmeal soaks. They can paint your dog’s toenails, and they even offer blue polish for boys. In addition to grooming services, Groomingdale’s offers boarding. Gonzalez is being trained in pet massage and will be adding that service by the beginning of next year.

Groomers do not use sedatives, but rely on instincts to avoid bites. “Your reflexes get really fast in this business,” said Gonzalez, who is a member of the National Dog Groomer’s Association.

Gonzalez has lived in the area for five years. She was raised in New York, but moved here from New Jersey where she owned a pet grooming shop. Gonzalez opened Groomingdale’s two years ago and has built her clientele based almost completely on word-of-mouth and customer referrals. She takes time each week to groom shelter animals, and even helps find homes for as many as she can.

“I’ve always been a dog person,” said Gonzalez. She started grooming fifteen years ago. After grooming her own cocker spaniel, Gonzalez found she had a natural knack for it. She was trained at the prestigious Nash Academy of Animal Arts in New Jersey and is qualified to groom all sizes and all breeds of dogs and cats.

Tracey Anderson and Ashley Rooker, the other two Groomingdale’s groomers, are also professionally trained. Anderson was trained at the Nash Academy of the Animal Arts in Kentucky. Rooker was trained at PetSmart and has competed in the Andis Poodle Tournament. With the three groomers, Groomingdale’s has almost thirty-five years of combined experience. In addition to their training and experience, they also attend continuing education classes three times a year to keep up with the latest styles and techniques.

The pros at Groomingdale’s are also trained in preventive medicine, meaning they can often identify the first signs of health problems in your pet. They can clue you into skin, ear and weight problems and let you know when to call your veterinarian.

“When people get a dog, they sometimes have no idea what kind of grooming it needs,” said Gonzalez. If they aren’t groomed properly, dogs can develop health problems such as hot spots on their skin, ear infections, and arthritis in their feet if their nails are too long.

According to Gonzalez, you can minimize protests from your pets by starting early and getting them used to a regular grooming routine. It also helps to know how much care a particular breed will need before you decide on what kind of dog or cat to get.

For the coming holiday season, or any time, Fido and Fluffy need some pampering, Groomingdale’s has everything to make your pet feel like top dog—or cat.

“It’s hard work, but we really enjoy doing it,” said Gonzalez.

1 Cardinal Court, Suite 11

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