At the cozy, air-conditioned room in the parlour, the Punch Face Persian cat snuggles to a comfortable position as its groomer Radhakrishnan pats on its head. Radhakrishnan is busy removing the knots on the hair of the cat that has been brought to the parlour in Kochi from Kozhikode. “The scenario has changed.
People love and care for their pets so deeply that they find time to groom them. For them, the pets are like their children,” says Radhakrishnan, pet groomer and stylist at Roms and Raks Pet Store and Grooming Parlour, Kochi.
Yes! Pet grooming is the latest trend in Kerala. Gone are the days when pets were only washed and cleaned, that too by their owners. Now, there are a range of services and products that await pets at parlours. Interestingly, owners believe in spending time and money on that, for they want their pet to be tidy, healthy and attractive. “Washing and blow drying have been there for some time,” says Radhakrishnan, a certified pet groomer, who runs the shop with his friend Roney.
Radhakrishnan says he became a pet groomer for a strong reason. “I had a cat. Roney and I liked it very much. Once, we took it to a parlour, however, we got it back dead due to unprofessional handling,” he says.
“That was the trigger. I didn’t want that happen to any other pet. Hence, I indulged in it,” he adds. That is one of the reasons why the duo is particular about using high-quality products for the process. “We use imported products. For instance, this scissor is a special one. It will not cause pain for the pet while cutting the hair. Also, if we don’t use quality shampoo, it will distort the natural texture of the coat and cause hair fall.”
Why is pet grooming a trend now? The answer is cleaning a pet is not an easy task. It is not mandatory that the pet should always listen to its owner, especially while cleaning up. “Things such as cutting nails have always been a problem for owners. Parlours came as a rescue then. It is a one-stop solution for them.
People from different parts of the state come here. It is definitely a growing trend,” says Bhavana, manager at The Cochin Pet Hospital & Spa.
Radhakrishnan concurs. “It is a lengthy process that demands a lot of patience and attention from both the groomer and the pet. Different breeds with diverse nature come here. Approach differs according to the character of the pet. Sometimes, we will have to spend a good amount of time to calm down the pet. Since we are trained, we know the techniques. However, the owners will find it very difficult,” he says.
Babu Rajeev, a retired IAS officer who has two pets Mocha and Pikku, does parlour grooming once a month. “I do washing of my two Lhasa Apsos every day. But, once a month, I take them to the partlour to remove the hair knots and trim. Lhasa Apsos have fairly long hair,” says Babu, who has been raising pets for a long time. “Back then, I used to bathe and clean them by myself. It requires a lot of patience. I came to know about grooming parlours from my daughter who is settled abroad. Then, I enquired about the facility here. Once I tried it, I found the service quite satisfactory. It is not just a task. It is a question of loving and dressing up the pet in such a way that it looks pleasant and attractive. I am sure that there are more people who want to see their pets groomed well,” he adds.
From bathing, shampooing, conditioning, to nail cutting and polishing, the services are plenty at parlours. “Bathing is the most opted service. Then comes hair cut. Some people come with references and we do accordingly. As we have a pet hospital, we give medicated treatment, too,” says Bhavana. “We do services like ear cleaning, nail cutting, polishing and all. Hair colouring is the latest trend in pet grooming; however, it is yet to catch up in Kerala,” says Radhakrishnan.
Just like humans, pets too have options for hair styling. “Puppy cut, bear cut, lion cut and face cut are some of the most sought styles. A good cut will help the owner maintain it knot-free,” says Radhakrishnan. Size and texture of the coat of the breed are two important factors that determine the kind of service required for a pet. “Treatment differs for pets with single coat and double coat. Sometimes, we get pets with broken coat. It takes a lot of time to heal that,” says Radhakrishnan.
Not only beauty services, products, too, are available for pets. The cat tree is a place for the furry friends to play and nestle. “There are hair care, skin care and dental care products, too. We also have soft plush toys and accessories for pets,” says Roney
Looks like the trend will grow in time with pet shows becoming popular among urban folks. “It is a different area where we have to groom the pets meeting certain criteria. It is different from the regular styling. Here, everyone wants to make their pet look good and win the title. The happiest part is that people are ready to spend on it,” he says....