About six months ago Shana Noblin, professional groomer, opened Gypsy Pet Spa to provide pet owners with new grooming options.
At that time Shana felt excited and blessed. However, it wasn’t long after she had opened her new pet spa that the coronavirus pandemic changed the way people live, work and do business. Despite the challenges, Shana found a way to continue to help pet owners.
“I feel like if we can do well through the virus challenges, we will be just fine when it’s over,” she said.
Originally from Grand Ridge, Shana’s military and nursing experience, along with love for pets, guided her towards the pet grooming industry. Plus, the flexible hours provided her an opportunity to spend more time with her children. Shana worked for PetSmart in West Virginia for a while, which led to the company sending her to their grooming academy. She later worked for various grooming businesses and a private pet grooming salon. After returning to Grand Ridge to live, she opened Gypsy Pet Spa in Marianna.
Shana is not deterred by the new challenges facing the country. She explained, “I meet pet parents at the curb and take their pet in.” “When the pet grooming is complete, I take their pet back to the car.” “My credit card machine is portable, so we can take care of everything with the pet parent in the comfort of their own vehicle,” Shana added. She doesn’t mind continuing this practice as long as needed. In fact, Shana shared that she has some pet parents with accessibility difficulties that she has provided car-side service to all along. “People who have big dog issues, I help them with getting their dogs out of the car,” she elaborated.
Not only is Shana providing car-side service, but she is also offering at home nail trims and grinding. “There are many people that find it difficult to get their pets in for nail trims or nail grinds, so we are offering this service in the surrounding areas,” she explained. “We go from Chipley to Graceville to Niceville, to Chattahoochee,” Shana continued. “People don’t really understand how important it is to keep their dog’s nails trimmed,” she shared. Shana explained that when people don’t take care of their toe nails and the arches of their feet, they have trouble with their feet, ankles, knees, hips and backs. Similarly, lack of nail care on pets can lead to arthritis in their feet and problems with their knees, hips and backs. “Foot care is important for all species,” she elaborated. Shana elaborated that pet owners forget sometimes, because they may not notice their pet’s nails, “but the older the pet gets, the more important it is.” In fact, Shana stressed “If the pet parent cannot do anything else time-wise or financially, trimming nails is so important.” “I trim the nails as short as possible without hurting the pet, because it is crucial to their mobility,” she continued. “Their nails can grow around into their paw pads, if you don’t check them regularly.” “This is a big issue for long-hair dogs because it is harder to see their nails.”
Long-hair dogs often have excess hair in their ears. This isn’t a problem for Shana. “We can do ear plucking, flushing, and cleaning, which is important,” she explained. “Over growth of hair can trap wax and bacteria in the ear canal which can cause infections,” she continued. Shana did note that a balance is necessary with some hair in the ear to prevent bacteria from entering the ear and causing infection. Shana does not clip ears to modify the dog’s appearance.
Another service offered by Shana is the checking of anal glands. “All dogs have anal glands, but they don’t all need to have them expressed,” she clarified. It depends on the breed, diet and age of the dog. Shana expresses the glands externally, but it is released from the inside. “I check the anal glands and if they are full, I will express them,” she explained. However, if the glands feel empty, she leaves them alone. “More often than not it just bothers them,” she continued. Shana is more than willing to answer any questions on this topic. In the case of clogged anal glands, Shana recommends the pet see a veterinarian for treatment.
Shana offers at home visits when pet parents are out-of-town. “We will go over 2-3 times a day, groom, walk and feed the pets, and administer any medicine they need,” she explained. “It’s a lot easier and more comfortable for the dog, because they are more acclimated to their home.”
In general Shana recommends dog food with simpler ingredients, because they are unable to digest the same way people do. Therefore, she recommends pet parents check with their veterinarian on food choice. They can address pet allergies, digestive and similar problems the pet may be experiencing. However, Shana provides clients and pet owners with a refrigerator magnet that lists foods dogs should not eat, such as chocolate, raisins and in some cases peanut butter due to allergies. “Dogs are not made to metabolize the food people eat,” she elaborated. “For example, some old school dog parents eat egg whites and give the yolks to their dogs, but dogs can have high cholesterol and heart issues.” Shana shared that “Grains, oats and meal that is in our food is just not good for dogs, because their bodies are not made to break those ingredients down.” Owners often treat their dogs with dog treats, but Shana added “we have to show them different ways that we love them like taking them for a walk.” “These types of decisions will help your pet to live longer and you will be able to spend more quality time with them,” she continued.
Shana also grooms cats; however, cats are typically more difficult to adjust to grooming and more difficult to train. If the cat has been groomed its whole life, Shana is up to the challenge. She will groom, trim their nails and de-flea them. Shana also trims bunny nails. Bunnies are similar to chinchillas in that it isn’t healthy to wash them in water. Bunnies have a dust in their fur that regulates the oil they need. Chinchillas bathe in a sand bath. She also clips wings on birds and offers limited pet boarding.
What a great business to have in Marianna! Visit Shana at Gypsy Pet Spa located at 2846 Green Street, Unit C, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Tuesday-Saturday, by appointment only. You can also call Gypsy Pet Spa at 850-693-0568. Visit the City of Marianna’s website at http://www.mariannafl.city/335/New-Businesses-and-Other-Community-News to learn more about new businesses. Shop locally and support Marianna businesses.