Dogs are the most common pet to need grooming services, though there are local groomers who handle cats and even birds. A full service dog groomer offers a range of services depending on the breed. A basic grooming typically includes a bath, coat grooming and ear cleaning; some groomers include nail services and teeth brushing.
“Many people don’t realize that all dogs will benefit from some form of grooming,” says Kendall Bailey Steffen of The Island Pet Salon in Solomons. Even short-haired dogs, she says, such as Labradors and Rottweilers, can benefit from a shed-less treatment, where the groomer uses a special shampoo and bath technique and carefully brushes out the undercoat.
Leslie Berg of Interlude Pet Resort & Spa adds that the shed-less treatment can significantly reduce the amount of shedding, meaning less hair in the home for many dog owners. Interlude, located in St. Leonard, is one of the area’s largest facilities, offering boarding and daycare services as well as dog grooming. It is also one of the few groomers in Southern Maryland to groom cats. “We also do a rooster,” Berg says, noting that their groomer has experience clipping birds.
In addition to basic grooming services, Interlude offers fun extras like dyes, sparkles and toenail painting. Each dog leaves with a complimentary bow or bandanna. According to Berg, “patience and understanding are the important things to look for in a groomer. And the ability to communicate well.”
The Island Pet Salon is a bright star on Solomons Island – the only new business to open there in recent years. Solo-mons businesses have had an especially difficult time dealing with the recession, but Steffen, being from Solomons herself, couldn’t think of a better place to be.
Steffen received her training during an apprenticeship with a nationally known professional dog handler. She worked with all types of dog breeds, having a special fondness for large dogs, and learned to groom to the American Kennel Club standards for each breed. “Grooming to me,” Steffen says, “is not a styling thing, it’s a health thing. I want to make the life of the owner easier and make the dog feel good for the longest amount of time.”
The Chesapeake Pet Resort & Day Spa in Hollywood offers boarding, daycare, and both full-service and self-service pet grooming. The self-service grooming has always been a staple of the business, but has increased in popularity in recent years. “Especially with the economy, more and more families are turning to self-service grooming,” says owner Susan Pearce Ditch. Self-service is very convenient – with raised tubs – and includes a selection of top-of-the-line shampoos, coat treatments and towels, as well access to dryers.
Another groomer looking for creative ways to serve clients is The Groom Room in La Plata. Owner Laura Watkins recently started offering mobile grooming, servicing Charles County and some of the surrounding communities. “We have a lot of elderly clients,” says Watkins, and “the mobile service makes dog grooming more convenient for them.”
One of the things Watkins most enjoys about dog grooming is teaching. She has a school at the shop where she trains young girls, helping them to become independent women. “I enjoy watching them grow,” says Watkins. “It’s fun to see their faces when clients call and ask for them by name [for grooming service].”
Finding a groomer that is right for you takes time and research. Asking friends and family for recommendations is a great place to start. Most grooming facilities will arrange an initial consultation where the pet owner, dog and groomer can meet to make sure that everyone is comfortable. Ask questions and observe the type of care the groomer is providing. Then make plans to have your favorite pet groomed for spring. ✦
Groomers in Southern Maryland
17810 Indian Head Hwy., Accokeek
Chesapeake Pet Resort
26120 Jones Wharf Rd., Hollywood, Md.
Three locations in Southern Maryland:
9214 Boyds Turn Rd., Owings, 301-855-8303
43450 St. Andrews Church Rd., Leonardtown
8275 Leonardtown Rd., Hughesville
155 Central Square, Prince Frederick
39045 Farmstead Ln., Clements
Gentle Touch Dog Grooming
Hollywood, Md., 301-373-3766
The Groom Room
6237 Crain Hwy., La Plata, 301-392-5933
Indian Bridge Kennels
21325 Indian Bridge Rd., California, Md.
Interlude Pet Resort
1025 Calvert Beach Rd., St. Leonard
The Island Pet Salon
14538 Solomons Island Rd., Solomons
Lucky Duck Pet Shop
3723 Chesapeake Beach Rd., Chesapeake Beach
Mary’s TLC Pet Grooming
US Hwy. 301N, Waldorf, 301-645-9290
1921 Skinners Turn Rd., Owings
21640 Great Mills Rd., Lexington Park
Prince Frederick Kennels
1750 Dares Beach Rd., Prince Frederick
432 Solomons Island Rd., Prince Frederick
Riviera Boarding & Grooming
16325 Prince Frederick Rd., Hughesville
Sandy Paws Pet Salon
3800 Bristol Dr., Chesapeake Beach
Shelly’s Pet Boutique
23555 Brown Rd., Hollywood, Md.