01/20/2010 at 06:22 PM EST
Here at PEOPLEPets.com, we love getting to know other pet lovers – especially those who make the world a happier place for our cats and dogs. So today we're off to the mile-high city of Denver, Colo., to visit Dog Savvy
, a boutique and spa in the city's historic Larimer Square. Known for its slick grooming skills, this canine retreat is a temple for feel-good, tongue-wagging treatments like "pawdicures" and – as crazy as it sounds – a blueberry facial. (Hmm, we might like to try that ourselves!)
But Dog Savvy doesn't leave all the fun just to the four-legged types. "I did a do-it-yourself dog-wash birthday party for one little girl," managing partner Robb Horen tells PEOPLEPets.com. "So I had five girls in here with their dogs. The birthday girl had a Chihuahua puppy, a few others had small or medium dogs, and one brought her golden retriever." After the little ladies finished the soapy process, they had a final request for the 6-ft. 4-in. Horen: doggie pedicures. "So there I am putting pink nail polish on these tiny dogs! It was probably the most outstanding request I've had. But the kids loved it."
If you and your furry BFF can't make it out to Dog Savvy for Horen's professional pawdicure, he suggests the next best thing: the perfect at-home bath for your pup.
"Before you get your dog wet, be sure to brush its coat well to eliminate tangles and debris," Horen cautions. Once your pup's coat is nice and smooth, follow these steps:
1. Place your pet in the tub, then start running warm, not hot, water.
2. Wet the coat entirely; be gentle when wetting the face. Speak in a soft voice and remain calm, but assertive, with your dog.
3. Apply a dog-specific shampoo. (Horen recommends Buddy Wash from Cloud Star
.) Work the shampoo into a good lather, using a rubber brush to get the product down to the skin in the direction your dog's coat naturally grows.
4. On your dog's face, try a gentle, tearless shampoo (like South Bark's Blueberry Facial
). Be careful not to get soap or water in your dog's eyes and ears – this will prevent irritation and ear infections.
5. Rinse your pup thoroughly, as product left on the skin can cause itching and discomfort. The coat should feel squeaky clean, not slippery, when you run your hand over it.
6. Condition your dog with a deep conditioner (which requires a rinse), or a leave-in conditioner (again, try the Buddy Splash
). A leave-in conditioner is a good option for dogs with healthy coats (it smells great, too!).
7. Release your dog for an air-dry, which Horen says is fine, or gently blow-dry with a high-pressure dog hair dryer. (Petting your pup's neck and head will make the process a bit easier for him or her.)
8. Just one more step: A final brushing after your pooch is dry. And once you're satisfied with the overall look, be sure to give your dog a hug. That was a long (though necessary) process!Check out more great grooming products on Dog Savvy's Web site!Check out last week's Treats to Try: Yummy Blueberry Buns from Texas's Three Dog Bakery