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Pampering pets is all in a day’s work for young entrepreneurs

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Love Your Poochie — a spa for dogs and also for cats — officially opened for business in January.

Dogs who spend an afternoon at Love Your Poochie on Dudley Hill in Paget are welcomed into a warm and elegant home where they are pampered with blueberry facials and hand-dried with towels infused with lavender oil, all to classical music playing in the background. But it's not all about cosseting — it's also an opportunity to check the well-being of the pet.

The partners in the dog grooming business are Jasmine-Blaire Butterfield and Alisha Chapman.

Ms Butterfield, who is 25, said that she has always been drawn to helping animals, and met Ms Chapman, 22, when they both worked for a pet groomer. Ms Chapman and Ms Butterfield said they became friends while they were working together, and their mutual love of animals has strengthened that friendship. Ms Butterfield is already an entrepreneur, selling jewellery and other accessories as well as operating a cleaning business.

Working for the groomer “pushed us to start out own business”, she said. Both studied professional pet grooming, and now, she said: “It's a passion!”

Ms Chapman went overseas to the Institute of Technical Arts in Florida, and gained a Certificate in Professional Pet Grooming, while Ms Butterfield did her qualifying course online and received the same certification.

Ms Chapman said: “Our aim is to bring knowledge to the community. Last month, for example, we advertised Dental Month.” Good oral health is indicative of good overall health, and: “What's true for humans is also true of animals,” she said.

Both had thought about a career as veterinary nurses, but were more strongly drawn the idea of pet pampering as well as preventive treatments.

“Skin conditions is one of my passions,” said Ms Chapman. “I'm also interested in behavioural and nutritional issues.” She said they check for any problems when they are grooming the dogs, and that includes checking their ears and teeth.

Sasha, a small, ageing Jack Russell was the model for the photographs, and got the full treatment. The owner, when she came to collect her very relaxed pet, was concerned about hair loss in the area of her lower back and tail, and was relieved to learn that it is simply because she is an older dog and there was not a medical cause. Her ears were nice and clean, Ms Chapman and Ms Butterfield reported, but her teeth are not in great shape and probably need a vet's care. “Groomers are often the first to notice these things,” said Ms Butterfield.

Ms Chapman said: “We are thorough — we take pride in that.”

Among the services Love Your Pooochie provides are The Spa Experience, which is a full service package which includes a free consultation, as well as that signature blueberry facial. “Dogs are dried with towels infused with lavender oil (to calm) and pets get to relax to the soothing sounds of classical and relaxing music.”

Whether the dog has a full groom or a mini groom, they will have a bath, their nails will be trimmed, their ears will be plucked and cleaned, along with their full or touch up trim.

The partners are expert in hair clipping. “We specialise in breed patterns for all varieties — we can do them all!” said Ms Chapman.

There is also aroma therapy to soothe anxious or agitated pets, and a hot oil treatment is available to repair damaged skin or a coat. “It also works to help soothe flaky, itchy or irrigated skin,” states the menu of services.

A mud bath helps to reopen a dog's pores and removes build-up scum and grime which can become embedded within the skin.

And they also offer a flea treatment.

Nail trimming and dremeling — equivalent to filing a dog's nails — is also available, as is a Pawicure, which includes the trim and dremel, as well as a nail painting.

They offer ear cleaning and plucking as well as anal gland expression, a must in the modern dog grooming business.

Prices, which range depending on treatment and the size of the dog, range from $20 for a nail trim, to $80 for a medium dog to have a bath which includes a nail trim, ear plucking and cleaning, as well as a anal gland expression. A full groom for a large dog is $180.

Cats are also welcome for the full menu of treatments.

“Our prices are higher because the service we provide is a higher quality, and it allows us to free promotional education in the community, said Ms Butterfield.

Love Your Poochie is open from Tuesday to Friday from 8am to 6pm, and on Sundays from 9am to 5.30pm and on Monday's by request.

Owners drop their dogs off for their day of pampering, and collect them when they are clean, groomed and happily relaxed.

Contact them at 7778124, or loveyourpoochie@gmail.com

Love Your Poochie's Jasmine-Blair Butterfield (left) and Alisha Chapman with Sasha, a freshly pampered Jack Russell. (Photo by Mark Tatem)
Love Your Poochie's Jasmine-Blair Butterfield (left) and Alisha Chapman with Sasha, a freshly pampered Jack Russell. (Photo by Mark Tatem)

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Published March 11, 2014 at 10:00 am (Updated March 11, 2014 at 9:43 am)

Pampering pets is all in a day’s work for young entrepreneurs

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