Pet groomers swamped as silly season begins

Mudpuppy owner Kim Thom, with (from left) Bear, Brodie, Barron and Hudson, is trying to keep up with demand as pet owners scramble to get their animals groomed for summer. Photo: Stephen Jaquiery
Mudpuppy owner Kim Thom, with (from left) Bear, Brodie, Barron and Hudson, is trying to keep up with demand as pet owners scramble to get their animals groomed for summer. Photo: Stephen Jaquiery
If you haven’t booked your dog into your local groomer yet, then forget about it until well into the new year.

That is the message from Dunedin’s dog grooming businesses.

Animates and Laundromutt staff said they had no time to chat to the Otago Daily Times as they were ‘‘well into’’ the silly season, while Mudpuppy owner Kim Thom said it was ‘‘barking mad’’ at both her Caversham and Mosgiel salons.

All three shops acknowledged they had long waiting lists, as pet owners queued to get their pets trimmed, brushed, bathed, manicured and pedicured ahead of the holidays.

Depending on the size of your family pet, grooming costs could range from about $50 to more than $100.

‘‘It’s also about what you want done, whether your pet is a regular customer and how well behaved he or she is,’’ Ms Thom said.

National Dog Groomers Association of New Zealand founder Sheila Morris said the quality of pet grooming could be ‘‘very different’’, though people tended to be loyal to one shop.

Ongoing quality and training issues were at the heart of a Government review of the industry’s operating practice, expected by 2021, she said.

‘‘We are predominantly run by small operators.

‘‘There are few rules and there is no protection for either operators or customers, so we’d certainly support increased regulation.’’

Ms Morris formed the association in 1991 after a visit to the US opened her eyes to the need for improved standards and training for groomers.

The association now has an estimated 100 members throughout the country.

The South, however, is notable by its absence, she says.

‘‘There are challenges to getting South Island-based companies and operators to commit to the organisation, our competitions, workshops or training opportunities,’’ she said.

brent.melville@odt.co.nz

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