Burlin waited patiently for the snips to start. After a few hours, and with a new ‘do and a bandana, Burlin strutted out the front door of the pet groomer's, tail wagging.
Dog owners in Athens can choose either to get their pets professionally groomed or to do it themselves and be more economical.
One of the larger businesses that does dog grooming is PetSmart, 743 E. State St.
“We offer special shampoos and with certain packages, the dog gets a bow or a bandana,” Christian Hicks, an associate lead at PetSmart, said.
Customers can also choose from eight different scents that change every once in a while, he said. Some of the scents include clean cotton, honey almond and ocean breeze.
Many people bring their dogs every week to get groomed, Hicks said. People also are sometimes protective of their pets.
“If they do not have kids, (people) tend to treat their dogs like their kids,” Hicks said. “Not having kids also means people have more money to pamper their dogs.”
Savannah Dullock, a groomer at Friendly Paws Pet Supplies & Grooming, 940 E. State St., said she noticed the same thing as Hicks.
“The dogs tend to let us do more here than at home because their owners are mommy and daddy, so they will cry a little bit and get out of it,” Dullock said. She said she has been grooming household animals for almost six years.
Dullock also grooms cats and sometimes trims nails on other animals, such as sugar gliders and rabbits. She is also experienced in different kinds of haircuts, such as a lion cut that features a mane and an Asian fusion cut that features longer leg hair.
She chose to work with animals because she prefers them to humans, Dullock said. Every once in a while, an animal will be hard to work with, despite her love for them.
“I’ve never had my skin punctured by an animal,” Dullock said. “But I have had a cat actually attack me.”
Some owners have come in to have their dogs’ hair dyed, but it does not happen often, Dullock said.
PetSmart’s regular grooming prices range from $29 to $131. The grooming and “Top Dog” package ranges from $46 to $148. Prices at Friendly Paws Pet Supplies & Grooming vary per dog, with smaller dogs costing approximately $40 and larger dogs costing approximately $60.
With few options for professional dog groomers in the Athens area and the cost of grooming prices, some people resort to washing and trimming their own dogs.
“I groom her myself because I can’t afford to take her to the groomer all the time,” Reann Lung, a senior studying mechanical engineering, said. Lung owns a six-month-old miniature Goldendoodle named Honey.
Lung chose a miniature Goldendoodle because it is hypoallergenic and does not shed. That typically means less maintenance.
“I shampoo and conditioner (Honey) once a month and give her a haircut once a month,” Lung said. “I will let her hair go a little longer when it’s cooler.”
Many dogs come out of their grooming appointments feeling fresh and clean.
“(The dogs) enjoy being groomed, and they will strut their stuff after,” Dullock said.