Interview with Professional Dog Groomer

When it comes to grooming salons, it is not just about the location, services, and price. What really matters are the people behind the scenes providing those services to your pets. Here at Clayton Pet Spa, the team is passionate about dogs and dedicated to providing the best experience for your pet. Galina Podokshik, the owner and head groomer at Clayton Pet Spa, gives some background info and grooming tips in this one on one interview.

1. Have you always been passionate about dogs?

When I was little, about 10 years old, my parents did not let me have a dog because we had such busy schedules. If I would ever find stray dogs, I would always bring them home and give them baths, feed them, and try to sneak them from my parents. My mom would always come back from work and have a fit because our house would be a mess after my “grooming” sessions. So I think I found my calling when I was 10 years old, even though my mom definitely did not think so.

2. What is your grooming story?

When I moved with my family from Belarus, to the United States, I met another Belarussian woman who was in the grooming business. She offered to teach me and help me learn the ins and outs of the business. At first, I took it up as a part time hobby but I instantly fell in love.

3. How many years have you been in the grooming business?

It doesn’t seem so long but as of this year, it has been 16 years. I have enjoyed every moment of it, despite the ups and downs, and I have learned so much. I definitely look forward to learning more and continuing my journey in the grooming industry.

4. What made you want to open your own business?

After learning about what it takes to succeed in the grooming world, I had a desire to open up my own salon so it could have pieces of my passion and personality. I think it is so important for every dog owner and dog to find what works for them, and I hope that the atmosphere, loving environment, and professionalism that is exhibited in my salon can make my clients happy to be part of the Clayton Pet Spa family.

5. Any tips on what should people look for when choosing a groomer?

I would say always trust your gut and go for what feels right. Your groomer should always be willing to answer all of your questions and schedule a consultation with you if that is what would make you feel comfortable. Check out the salon and make sure that you and your pet feel comfortable. Ask the groomer about their experience and grooming style. You can really learn a lot about the personality and style of the grooming salon just by speaking to the employees. You and your pet should be their priority and if you feel comfortable with the environment and the workers, then don’t hesitate to make an appointment and give them a try!

6. Individuality is key, so what are some things that set you and your team apart?

Well, it would be our individuality. Our whole team of groomers is skilled in all types of cuts and grooms, however, each one specializes in certain breeds after many years of experience. When a client comes in, based on their dog breed and the style they are looking for, we pair them with their perfect groomer. We also offer pet taxi services for clients that have busy schedules, for older individuals, for those that cannot drive, or just for those who prefer their pet to be picked up and dropped off by us. We also offer in-home pet sitting for owners who don’t want to take their dogs to kennels. Our pet sitters will feed, walk, and play with your pet, as well as sleep at your house if that is what you desire! It is all about the comfort of the pet and peace of mind of our client!

7. Do you have any recommendations can you give to people who are looking to become pet parents?

Most importantly, I recommend that people consider adoption. There are so many amazing pets out there that are looking for a forever home and have infinite amounts of love to give. Every single adoption helps make a difference, and I can guarantee it means the world to a pup when he becomes part of a new family.

Once you have decided whether you will be adopting or not, I recommend doing some research. You should consider your lifestyle, living space, the amount of free time you have, and the amount you are willing to invest into grooming. There are breeds that require more exercise than others, some are more independent than others and require less attention, and shorter hair breeds that don’t require as much grooming as those breeds with longer fur. These are just some things to keep in mind.

Next, make sure that your house is ready for a new pet. If you have other dogs, make sure that each pet has their own personal space and individual time with you. If you are getting a puppy, hide all wires and “chewable” objects to avoid any serious damage that could happen during their teething time. Also, it is better to take them out more often than not, just so they can get familiarized with their new space and find their “potty spots”.

Lastly, make sure to get your puppies started with grooming as quickly as possible. This will train them to be comfortable and good about being in a grooming environment. This will mean less stress for them and an easier time for you and the groomer.

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