Back to the Feature:
Being human's best friend is something natural for dogs, you may say it's a cliche, but it's true. Since humans were able to domesticate dogs thousands of years ago, our canine friends have been doing many things for us, they have become our companions, playmates, house guards, shepherds, hunters and life savers, among many others.
A few weeks back, I had the chance to witness this new city wonder, a bright and colorful vehicle that moves around the neighborhood. It is a mobile grooming salon, right inside a van! And in an instant I just knew that this venture, this home service grooming, will make the lives of pet owners, and dogs, a lot easier!
The mobile pet grooming service is the "Urban Doggies", the country's first and only provider of mobile pet grooming services including teas and flicks control. Established in March 2009, Urban Doggies offers a full range of grooming services and is conducted inside a van dubbed as the "Dog Mobile" that is parked at home or a nearby site. Equipped with professional grooming facilities, all natural-care products and a team of pet grooming specialists, Urban Doggies offers its services in Paranaque, Muntinlupa and Las Pinas and has expanded to Taguig, Makati and Mandaluyong at the client's preferred schedule.
|The tools for grooming|
The person behind the Urban Doggies mobile grooming center is Maureen Bagsit, a young businesswoman and a proud animal lover from Paranaque. "I thought of the business thinking of the convenience it can bring to pet owners and dogs too. I know this because I myself am a pet owner and I know how the long waiting in grooming centers can take up so much of my time," explained Maureen in an interview. "And besides, it will also be more comfortable for the animals."
|Maureen and her pet dog Ash|
Maureen actually got the idea when she went to USA. Prior to this business, she planned to take up veterinary medicine but it didn't push thru because Urban Doggies already gave her the satisfaction of dealing with animals and at the same time put into use her passion and skills in entrepreneurship. "Actually, even when I was young and still a student, I've been into business already. I sell stuffs to my classmates. I sold cellphones back in high school. In college I offered vitamins, chicken nuggets, fish fillet and hamburger. I also became a delivery girl for our family's packed lunch business," Maureen candidly shared.
|Maureen gets a call from a client.|
|Maureen is a hands-on business owner. Photo shows how she supervises the grooming of one of the dogs of their clients.|
For the basic grooming services, Urban Doggies' rates are PhP 550 for small to medium dogs and PhP 650 for big dogs as well as cats of any breed. Yes they also service cats. But Maureen explained why cat grooming is expensive, "They are more malikot (moves in an uncontrollable manner), masmakapal (thicker) yung fur, and they tend to scratch and bite more." For teas and flicks control, they charge an additional PhP 400 to PhP 475 depending on the size of the pet. Of course prior to the grooming session, pet owners should make sure that their pets are up to date in their anti-rabies vaccination.
I got the chance to see how pet grooming is done. I was able to do a photo shoot with one of Urban Doggies' clients, Ces Manalo and her pet lhapsa apso. Below are the photos of the said grooming session:
|Dog Mobile arrives in Mandaluyong to service a client.|
|Home of Ces and Jasper|
|The client is Ces Manalo and her pet dog is Jasper, a lhasa apso breed.|
|Jasper before the grooming session|
|Ces shared that as she is a veyr busy person, she finds the mobile pet grooming services more convenient for her. It saves her time, energy and money.|
|Jasper inside the Dog Mobile|
|Jasper and groomer getting ready for the session|
|The fingernails were being cut.|
|Jasper getting ready for the bath!|
|Groomer dries Jasper with a towel|
|Jasper fresh from the shower =)|
|Jasper getting a blow dry!|
|Jasper getting a haircut|
|Jasper seems proud of his accomplishment.|
|Groomer combs Jasper's bangs.|
|The finished product from Urban Doggies! =)|
|A happy and proud dog|
|The Urban Doggies look! =)|
|Ces cuddles Jasper right after the grooming session.|
Urban Doggies' usual customers are toy dogs like shitzu and pomeranian but surprisingly there are a lot of askals (literally means asong kalye, street dogs, but it actually means native dogs) or aspins (Asong Pinoy or Filipino Dog, the politically correct term) that are able to enjoy their services. I of course am surprised and asked Maureen what could be the reason for this growing trend. "I guess as a reward for their dogs. Yun lang kasi magagawa natin for them, for the dogs' unconditional love, the feeling of being pampered," said Maureen. Below are some of the dogs that Urban Doggies have groomed.
With the rising cost of living and people who tend to put pet care at the bottom of their priority list, I asked Maureen how these affect her business. She on the other hand is not bothered with the situation. She said, "It would not affect us kasi iba pag may aso ka. Tingin mo dyan bata na hindi pwedeng hindi alagaan, hindi pwedeng pansinin.(It's different if you have a dog. It's like you have a kid, you can't ignore him, you really have to take care of him)." Maureen also said that grooming is also important for the pet, it's not just for aesthetic purposes. It can prevent skin allergies, teas and flicks. And it's important for pet owners too as certain diseases can be transferred from dogs to humans.
|The van caught the attention of a lady and her dog. She immediately decided to avail of the grooming service of Urban Doggies.|
|This daschund dog seems to be asking for his turn already. =)|
|The doggie is now enjoying the grooming session. First, the groomer is cleaning up his right ear.|
|Ow, there's another dog who wants to be groomed, a young chowchow! =)|
"Pet owners should always remember that owning a dog comes with a responsibility, kahit askal pa yan," reminded Maureen. If you own a dog, pet grooming is not vanity, it's a necessity. Dogs are not trophies, they are our pets and are often considered as part of the family, our most loyal companion, our best friend.
|Mau and Ash, happy together =)|
For interested pet owners, you may contact and make an appointment at the following telephone numbers: (02) 800.5598 and (02) 341.4965.
|Jasper says thank you! =)|