If your dogs’ ears pull back at the sound of the word “bath,” maybe a blueberry facial would help them chill out. The staff at Bloomingtails Pet Spa in Clayton say it could work.
Whether it’s a facial, a kiwi condition or a massage – yes, doggie massages are a thing – Bloomingtails owner Jennifer Lanza said she knows the secret to help pets relax: personalized care.
Lanza opened the pet spa this fall across from Riverwood Athletic Club, where she lives. She said she wanted to give her neighborhood a new, closer option that provided more than a wash and cut.
“At the end of the day, really the dog is the customer, and it’s about how we can make this experience easier,” she said.
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Starting at $25 for an extra-small dog, the pet spa offers a basic treatment that includes a cut, wash, scented cologne, a stylish bandana or bow and other cleanings as needed. But the “royal treatments” are where Lanza thinks she has an edge over her competition, with packages that range from $37 to $92 and include the fruity applications and a “relaxation walk.”
A former corporate credit manager, Lanza said she quit her job to start the pet spa. Her son, David House, keeps things running smoothly as the spa’s “technician,” and her groomer, Randi Plouffe, has been working with animals for 25 years.
Plouffe, who also lives in Riverwood, swears by the “serenity pet massages,” which range from $25 to $60.
“When we get a massage, we know how good it can feel for us, and there are a lot of reasons a pet needs it too,” she said. “It’s relaxing.”
The three say they are well aware that not all animals do well during a grooming. They want to develop relationships with each dog or cat, just as they do with each pet owner. And in a close-knit community like Riverwood, a neighborhood on the northeast side of Clayton, Lanza thinks she is set up to do that.
In addition to the grooming room, Bloomingtails has a “relaxation room,” where pets wait their turn next to a small, bubbling fountain. The spa might also use the room to hold one of the pet safety classes it hopes to launch in coming weeks.
Lanza said she wants to promote her fellow businesses and the “Shop Local” brand. That might include hosting small events or incorporating other shops in holiday parties Bloomingtails is planning during Easter and Christmas.
“We’re not just groomers,” Lanza said. “We really want this to be an experience.”