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Dogs have new digs to get clean

Ming, a Shih Tzu Bichon Frise cross, owned by Toni Burnett is unsure about the photographer, but thoroughly enjoying the pampering while being groomed by Kadie Armstrong at the Mucky Mutt Pet Salon. The newly opened pet grooming salon also features a U-Bath where do-it-yourself owners can use the raised bathtub to wash their pets.  - sharon Tiffin/News staff
Ming, a Shih Tzu Bichon Frise cross, owned by Toni Burnett is unsure about the photographer, but thoroughly enjoying the pampering while being groomed by Kadie Armstrong at the Mucky Mutt Pet Salon. The newly opened pet grooming salon also features a U-Bath where do-it-yourself owners can use the raised bathtub to wash their pets.
— image credit: sharon Tiffin/News staff

Vanessa Petrovic’s new Oak Bay business is for the dogs.

Last month, Petrovic expanded her Mucky Mutt Pet Salon with the opening of a second location in Oak Bay.

The new salon at 105-2250 Oak Bay Ave. in the lower level of Monterey Mews, offers full-service dog grooming, nail clipping and bathing, as well as a U-bath service for the do-it-yourself owner.

Opening a second location has been on Petrovic’s radar since she purchased the 21-year-old business located on East Burnside Road in 2010. During peak time in the summer, she books grooming appointments two weeks in advance.

The U-bath is an extremely popular option as bathing dogs at home can be messy and difficult for people who don’t have the space. The raised bathtub provides an alternative to washing medium and large breed dogs in the household bathtub or backyard.

“I was looking at Hillside, as that’s very much in the middle of the city,” Petrovic said. “I had been looking for a few years, just keeping my eyes open and then this location in Monterey Mews came up. I walked in and thought, this is it. This would work.”

Petrovic started renovating the space in October and had planned to open in January, however because it was an older building, the space needed more work than was anticipated. She spent almost $50,000 in renovations and a further $20,000 for equipment.

“I wanted it to be top-of-the-line from the get-go,” Petrovic said. “It has everything I want in a grooming shop.”

A true animal lover, Petrovic has two dogs and two cats – and she shares the love with Broken Promises Animal Rescue. For every walk-in nail clipping her salon does, she donates $1 to the Victoria non-profit, last year, $2,500 was donated to the animal rescue organization.

Before getting into the pet salon business, Petrovic owned a hold messaging service business for 12 years, which delivered company tailored messages to people waiting on hold while music played, before leaving to spend time with her aging parents. Eight years ago, she began looking for a new career and got a part-time job at a kennel. She took various courses and then got a job working with animals for the Capital Regional District, before deciding to purchase the Burnside pet salon.

The Oak Bay location of Mucky Mutt is open six days a week and has everything that the Burnside location has, except cat grooming. Cat grooming takes a certain expertise and Petrovic wants to wait before she starts offering it at her Oak Bay location. She has six employees between the two stores with plans to hire two more.

“Business is picking up,” Petrovic said. “We have a solid customer base coming from Oak Bay that used to come to the Burnside shop. Like any new business, it’s going to take a little time. Fifty per cent  are new clientele.”

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