Some of Dogma and Fetch's clients — (L-R) Bailey, Gus and Athena, and Lucy — pose for grooming after-photos, which are posted to the store's Facebook page.

Dogma & Fetch in York, SC operates its grooming shop like a hair salon for humans. Thanks to the individualized and relaxing approach, loyal clients keep groomers booked for weeks in advance.

THE IDEAElevate Dog Grooming

When owners Jordan Garrett and Kenny Childress decided to move and expand their 10-year-old pet store in 2012, offering a new type of grooming experience was at the core of their plan.

“There are so many shops that do it the traditional way,” Garrett says, pointing to operations that value quantity over quality, with dogs sitting in cages or mixing with others in a loud waiting area until a groomer gets to them.

At Dogma & Fetch, dogs are there only for as long as it takes to groom them. That, along with the spa-like atmosphere of the shop, which sits back from the main store in a separate building, reduces stress for both the pups and the owners.

“We do have to make a living, but we care more about the dogs than the money,” Garrett says. “Our clients trust that we will treat their pets like they are our own.”

THE executionOne Dog, One Groomer

When dogs arrive, their groomer — the same one each time, another way Dogma & Fetch makes the experience more relaxing — checks them in and gets to work. Calming music and the smell of lavender fill the air. The only reason a dog would not have total privacy during his groom is if a sibling is waiting his turn.

“A lot of dogs are fearful of going to the groomer, and of other dogs,” Garrett says. “Having them be the only one makes it so much easier on them.” 

Toward the end of the appointment, their groomer will call the owner to provide a pick-up time. This ensures that groomed pups will not have to wait in a kennel for long, if at all. Before they do leave, dogs pose for an after-photo, which gets posted to the store’s Facebook page.

THE resultsHappy Pups, Happy Customers 

Garrett says that grooming sales account for a steady 40 percent of Dogma & Fetch’s bottom line, and that doesn’t take into consideration the shopping happy clients do on their way out the door. The store offers a wide range of pet products, from stimulating toys and stylish clothing to all-natural/organic food and gourmet treats, the latter of which are gathered up on a silver platter before being packaged to take home.

Dogma & Fetch offers a wide selection of toys and treats for its canine clients.

Do It Yourself: Individualize Your Store's Approach

  • An existing grooming shop wanting to embrace set appointment times can do so gradually over time or by switching on a certain date. Grooming prices will need to reflect the new individualized approach, but Garrett speaks from experience when he says clients will recognize the value. “They expect more, they get more, and they pay more,” he says. “They see that it’s worth it.”

 

This article originally appeared in the March-April 2017 edition of PETS+.