How did you get into dog-grooming, and what makes you so passionate about it?
I come from a fashion background, but as much as I love clothes I didn’t really enjoy working in the industry and really needed a change, but I wasn’t sure what. I always loved dogs and couldn’t pass by one without stroking him, and that is why Daniel my husband suggested dog grooming. It was the best suggestion anyone could make! I took a course in Chichester College and have never looked back. I absolutely love to be surrounded by these cute little faces all day long.
You opened your gorgeous Dog & Groom shop in Wandsworth in October last year - how did it all happen?
I’d been working in some great grooming salons in London, but had a feeling it was time to start my own business. Wandsworth Common is a beautiful part of London and I always really liked Bellevue Road as there are so many lovely independent businesses. I was walking down the street last year and saw a "to rent” sign so I called the estate agent straight away, and the rest is history!
What makes Dog & Groom special in terms of grooming?
In our grooming salon we are proud to offer 1:1 grooming, which means there is just one dog and one groomer in the room at a time. It makes the experience much more enjoyable and peaceful for both a groomer and a dog. We take a holistic approach to grooming, and the happiness and wellbeing of everyone involved (dog, groomer and dog-owner) is our top priority.
You also have a lovely boutique with so many goodies to choose from - how do you source them all?
We try to support local small businesses as much as possible, and love discovering small independent UK brands. In our boutique we aim to stock everything your dog needs; we have a great selection of the best quality natural treats and chews, natural organic shampoos like Wild For Dogs which I highly recommend - they smell divine and leave the coat silky and smooth. And a brand called Doggie Apparel who offer super stylish and very comfortable handmade harnesses, leads and collars.
Can you give our readers 3 top tips for dogs during lockdown in need of some grooming?
A lot of dogs are in need of a haircut now, but I wouldn’t recommend cutting hair at home without training as it can be dangerous since the dogs wriggle a lot and you have a sharp tool in your hand. So my top 3 tips would be:
Keep on top of brushing at home as much as possible. For a long or curly hair dog even twice per day. When there are no knots in their coat the air is able to circulate which helps the skin to breath and keeps the dog cool.
If the hair around the eyes is getting too long and is uncomfortable for your dog you can try cutting here. The best way to do it is by holding the beard with one hand to keep the face still and using the other hand to hold the scissors.
The other tip is to walk your dog on the pavement to keep the nails under control, please don’t try to cut nails at home.
And for people whose dogs don’t like grooming, how to approach it?
If your dog doesn’t like brushing or bathing first try to put him in a relaxed state. He needs to feel confident. If you are putting him on the table to brush him or into the bath to wash him, try to let it be his decision to go there. So if you are holding him let him jump out from your arms in to the bath, don’t just throw him in. The other thing is reward! A nice treat after the bath can go a long way and make it easier for the next time!
Tell us a bit about your gorgeous terrier, Freddie?
Freddie is a little rescue terrier who we’ve had for about 5 years now. He’s 14 years old and sleeps most of the time now - but when he’s awake he still behaves like a crazy puppy, loves long walks and chasing squirrels - even though he’s yet to catch one - I think he is still hoping he will ;)
3 things about Freddie that bring you the most joy?
Omg I love everything about my dog. He is my best mate, he is the best company for a lazy Sunday, he is always up for a nap! He is also really funny and has bags of character. I just watch him sometimes and he makes me laugh.
Following a few months of closure due to lockdown, as of today you can now find Anna and Freddie back in the shop at 21 Bellevue Road with doors open (and strict hygiene and social distancing measures of course). Swing by to pick up your doggy essentials and Wild For Dogs grooming products, or book in by calling them on 020 8672 4888. Website HERE