By Debbie Adams
Jennifer Smith, owner of Pretty Paws Dog & Cat Grooming, LLC, in Vinton, has a unique business statement: “I will love your pet; I will care for your pet; I will be patient and kind; I will do what is best for your pet; and I will stand by the fact that comfort must come before vanity.”
Smith is a Certified Master Groomer who has been working with dogs and cats for over 38 years. She is also certified in pet CPR. Her salon has been located at 122 North Pollard Street in downtown Vinton for about nine of those years.
Her hours are by appointment–with Mondays dedicated to grooming cats, who can be a little more unpredictable and more easily stressed than dogs. Services offered for cats include haircuts if needed, baths, brush outs, nail trims, ear cleaning, and more—all finished up with a bow/bandana and cologne.
Pretty Paws offers the same services for dogs and puppies Tuesdays through Fridays. Additional services include teeth brushing, hot oil treatments, and de-shedding treatments.
She will also trim the nails of pet rabbits, ferrets, and guinea pigs.
Smith plans to add more hours starting the first of the new year. Special holiday hours will be posted on her Facebook page.
Smith does not work alone. She has 12 employees. Her salon manager Adriana has been with Pretty Paws for over three years. She is also certified in dog and cat grooming, along with pet CPR, and has been a groomer for over 10 years.
Two other dog groomers, Dillon and Alania, are certified in grooming and pet CPR. They have been grooming for over two years each. Dillon has worked for Pretty Paws since April, Alania since August.
In addition, Smith has two full-time receptionists and six certified dog bathers who are pet CPR certified.
Smith has a heart for community service and works with the Roanoke Valley SPCA to groom rescue pets to improve their chances for adoption. She also accepts donations from customers for the RVSPCA and gives customers who contribute discounts on her services.
She is often seen at community events including this summer’s Dog Days in Vinton at the Lancerlot, at Barktoberfest in Elmwood Park, and at the Dogwood Festival–encouraging pet adoptions in addition to publicizing her business.
Smith teams up with the Vinton Veterinary Hospital and other vet offices to groom pets who have a “harder time with grooming” and may need sedation—only available in a veterinary office. She actually works at the veterinarian’s office to provide grooming services when needed.
One of her specialties is working with disabled pets, including three-legged pets, pets with hip problems, and other issues.
“We have bathtubs that lower to the floor and the dogs can walk straight into the tub and then the tub raises up—so none of our pets are jumping in or out of our tubs,” Smith said. “Our grooming tables are the same way.”
Pretty Paws does not board pets for the day when they are groomed. When they come for an appointment, they are in and out quickly and back to their loving homes. Grooming sessions for cats and small dogs typically last about two hours. Larger animals take from 2 ½ to 3 hours for a full session at Pretty Paws. It all depends on the condition of the animal’s coat and their temperament.
To make an appointment, or for more information call Pretty Paws Dog and Cat Grooming, LLC, at 540-816-0301, email Smith at PrettyPawsdogandcat@gmail.com, or visit the Pretty Paws Dog & Cat Grooming, LLC Facebook page.