Dogs are treated like royalty in new look pet shop
DOG lovers will be able to treat their furry friends to a wash, cut and style when Petbarn Lismore officially unveils its refurbished store next month.
With two dog wash vending machines and a grooming "salon" staffed with an accredited groomer, the new look store is catering for the booming demand in pet pampering.
Petbarn Lismore assistant manager Madison Howard said no longer were dog owners simply leaving their canines "chained up in the backyard".
"They're nurturing them more as if they are a child," Ms Howard said.
"So they're becoming more fur babies rather than just pets.
The upshot of this trend is people are more conscious of animal grooming and animal health.
That's why the store has invested in the upgrade, which offers a quick-stop DIY dog wash (similar to a coin operated car wash), and a full wash, clip, blow dry and style service by an accredited staff member.
Dog grooming is a serious business - it requires a Statement of Attainment in professional dog grooming, or the Certificate III in Companion Animal Services offered at TAFE, which involves work placement in a vet clinic or grooming salon.
As well as being handy with a pair of clippers and scissors, dog groomers need to understand how to properly treat the animals.
"It's harder than people think," Ms Howard said.
"You've got to be very aware of body language and reading the animal's behaviour in terms of your safety and their safety. You don't want to induce stress for them and you don't want to get bitten yourself."
"Generally in a grooming salon they will do a general assessment of the body first, they'll pick up if there is fleas on the body, if there is a skin allergy that may need to be addressed with the owner.
"Any hotspots, any general tenderness or anything that they need to see a vet about, generally the groomers will do a look over and check for those sorts of things before touching the animal."
"It's mainly to address any issues which owners might not know about."
The store is also partnering with Animal Rights and Rescue to do kitten and cat adoptions for aspiring pet parents, with its own "cat condo" in the corner of the store.
"It's pretty crucial at this time of year as well, there is a lot of unwanted animals that get popped into shelters," Ms Howard said.
And for fish lovers, it has an all new aquarium wall.
To celebrate the new look store, Petbarn is holding an official opening on Saturday December 8 with face painting, a jumping castle, reptile exhibit, farmyard animals, plus alpacas and macaws.
New look Petbarn Lismore
What: Petbarn Lismore celebrates new look store with grand opening celebrations
When: Saturday December 8
Where: Lismore Square, Diadem St, Lismore
Activities: Face painting, jumping castle, reptile exhibit and a chance to meet some farmyard animals, alpacas and macaws.