Luxury

A spa date with your pet

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We peek into the city’s latest dog spa to understand the different steps and decisions that go into grooming your furry friends

Sterling, a five-year-old springer spaniel, sits with foam on his head. He looks pleased as two humans give him ample belly rubs in between scrubbing him clean. When he is finally done, he comes out smelling fresh like a lush meadow. Once used to hunting in Denmark, Sterling now enjoys his runs on the beach, and as a sand-covered floof, is a regular at this spa. He is an epitome of obedience, even off leash.

On his way out, he walks up to Beauty, who is next in line for a pawdicure, gives her an introductory boop and moves along with the dignified gait of a gentleman.

A flurry of furry pets come to get groomed at the fairly new Heads Up For Tails (HUFT) Spa in Uthandi, started by Manju Kamath, Devan Thuppali, Diyya Vummidi and Dhiraj Gopinath in June this year. Manju and Devan, had, in fact, launched the first HUFT store in the city in Kotturpuram last year.

“After the store, we decided to start a spa because we wanted to create a special space for pets in Chennai. Grooming is more than just making your dogs and cats look cute. It is also about making your pets feel more comfortable. When their fur is trimmed and their skin is clean, they feel fresh. They are no longer itchy and you can see a positive change in their demeanour,” explains Manju.

The services include de-shedding, blow drying and hair setting, deep cleansing, flea treatment, sanitary trims, and massages with cold-pressed coconut and lavender oils. “We even had a few requests for hair colour. We have dog safe colours,” says Diyya, who along with Dhiraj, is a professional dog trainer. Together, they have been handling mongrels, golden retrievers, huskies and lesser-known breeds such as Tibetan mastiffs and even Weimaraners.

Choices, choices

While some dogs may be a little nervous to begin with, there are those that know just what to do. They step onto a lift-like platform that elevates slowly. The groomer then takes a good look at the pet, and cleans its eyes, teeth and face. Then the pet steps into the wash area, that is also at level with the platform. “We want them to be comfortable so they don’t get anxious,” explains Diyya.

The HUFT spa also has a store attached to it. It stocks a variety of food, clothes (vibrant onesies and raincoats), accessories and well-being products for pets. There are beds with personalised names (you can also choose the font and colour), orthopaedic beds for older dogs, gluten-free vegetarian chew bones, and do not even get us started on the snout butter and paw balms. Manju likes to refer to it as a dog heaven, and a space where she can destress — watch a puppy trying to choose a new toy and you will know why.

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Printable version | Dec 13, 2019 8:23:17 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/life-and-style/luxury/a-spa-date-with-your-pet/article29555139.ece

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