Every dog has its day at bowtique

Mucky Mutt Bowtique adds retail space to its Oak Bay Avenue pet salon location

Miniature schnauzers Coco and Fritz take a break after a grooming at Mucky Mutt Bowtique.

Miniature schnauzers Coco and Fritz take a break after a grooming at Mucky Mutt Bowtique.

Oak Bay’s most stylish canines have found themselves a little hideaway below Oak Bay Avenue.

Mucky Mutt Bowtique is celebrating its first anniversary in its location beneath The Oaks restaurant, opening a retail space as well just before Christmas.

“There’s so much that goes into dog grooming,” said owner Vanessa Petrovic, who took over the Mucky Mutt pet salon on Burnside Road back in 2010 before expanding into Oak Bay last year.

“You have to get a dog clean and you want it coming out looking good. But in the process of that, there’s health issues, skin issues, all those kind of things that we’re looking at. We check them out. We have the opportunity to go over your dog everywhere so we catch things that otherwise get missed.”

Mucky Mutt uses only certified groomers at its locations and also offers walk-in nail clipping and a do-it-yourself bath service.

While the location may be a little hard to find, the Oak Bay salon is a hive of activity.

“The whole of Victoria is dog crazy,” said Petrovic, who owns a shih tzu named Mac. “Sometimes I wonder if it’s because of our climate we spend more of our time outdoors. Victoria is just a great dog town.”

Her shop sells collars, leashes and other dog accessories as well as mugs, shirts, bags and other dog-related products for their owners. Some of the products as well as $1 from each nail clipping goes to Broken Promises, a Victoria-area animal rescue group.

Petrovic said the salon’s customers generally fall into three categories.

“Some dogs love it, but that’s a very small percentage. Your bigger group, they tolerate it, they understand it. Then there’s a group that says no I don’t want to do this, and they don’t even let their owners brush them.”

Petrovic advises people thinking about getting a dog to take into account the amount of maintenance each breed requires.

“There’s a word of caution for those getting new dogs about the long-haired breeds. It can be overwhelming.”

The nine employees of the two Mucky Mutt locations are well aware of the work that goes into keeping your dog looking its best.

“If you do dog grooming you better love it. If you don’t love it, it’s not for you,” said Petrovic. “It’s really hard work, it’s hard on your body, you have to have tons of patience. It’s so worth it though. There’s rewards in it but boy you have to love it.”