s summer starts to show, it is time to roll down your car window, get the wind in your hair and smell the aromas of fresh cut grass, rainfall and — friends? But as a family pet, you are reliant on your owner to make these decisions (especially rolling down the window). There isn’t anything worse than sweating through the summer months with a shaggy coat of hair or smelly fur. In Fergus Falls, two facilities — Soapy Puppy and Canine Acres — provide different styles of grooming and care.
Krystyne Frandson, owner of Soapy Puppy, has been involved in animal care and rescue for as long as she remembers. “I don’t recall exactly when I began grooming pets, but initially for several years it was to help rescues and then for family and friends. I was a professional photographer for many years and becoming a professional groomer never really crossed my mind,” Frandson said.
Frandson began working as a kennel supervisor in 2015 and moved to Fergus Falls two years later. In December of 2017, Frandson opened Soapy Puppy with encouragement from the Humane Society and veterinarians.
Working with her son, Jette, Frandson grooms all breeds/sizes of dogs and a few cats. “Occasionally bunnies and guinea pigs,” Frandson laughed.
Frandson has also worked with pets that were “fired” from other groomers. Many of those pets have anxiety issues and require short appointments that consist of a bath and dry. Working out of her home, Frandson says that these pets find the home grooming situation more relaxing and usually “graduate” to regular grooming after establishing a relationship.
Providing a home environment for pet grooming, Soapy Puppy gives owners a different element compared to other groomers. Frandson, who has a background in photography, will also take portrait photos of her animal clients for the business’ Facebook page, garnering several followers. According to Frandson, she uses natural products and purchases several items locally or regionally, including doggy treats, Gracie’s Doggy Delights, out of Wisconsin.
But what if you are not only looking for a pet stylist to cut and groom your pet’s hair, but someone that could take care of your family friend overnight? Canine Acres in Fergus Falls is just such a place as they not only offer grooming, but day care and boarding for pets. According to general manager Amy Sund, owners are able to customize their pets amenities for all services in a clean and serene setting, while also having a staff that enjoy their work. While the business typically boards dogs and cats, they do have some accommodation for different pets as well.
If you are looking to get your animals boarded, Canine Acres requires that owners are up to date on their vaccinations including rabies, distemper and bordetella. It is also recommended that owners bring their pet’s choice of food. “Pets can easily get an upset stomach when you change their food so its always a good idea to send food along with your pet when boarding them,” Sund said.
Being in business for 12 years, Canine Acres has several perks that other facilities can’t provide. “Dogs get to come here for more than just grooming so they know Canine Acres as a fun place where they get to “play with their friends” and get treats and cuddle time,” Sund said. Sund also mentioned that customers really like that they can send their pet to the business for day care and choose to have their pet bathed before they return home.
Sund mentioned one of the best parts is providing comfort for owners when their pets are in their care. “Helping the animals feel safe and secure while their owners are away and the satisfaction of giving owners peace of mind to enjoy their time away,” Sund said. She also mentioned that it is fun to come to work where everyone loves what they are doing.
Both groomers enjoy their work but also have a few not-so fun parts of the job. “There is always work to be done when you are taking care of animals. You have to be able to anticipate the needs of the animals and multitask,” Sund said.
Working with pets that are older or special needs, Frandson has a lot of great times but also knows that there are several hard goodbyes.
“I love my quiet one-on-one time with dogs that need a little extra TLC. I massage them during the bath, swaddle them in warm towels and sometimes even sing to them,” said Frandson. “Unfortunately, that means I’ve said many goodbyes. It’s hard to explain, but sometimes I know it’s the last time I’ll be grooming them.”
Tips from the Groomer:
Start flea and tick regiment (oral meds are best) in February/March and don’t stop until November/December. Extreme early spring and very late fall are the biggest surge of flea and tick population. It’s when I see my biggest numbers. Many people think that as soon as it starts getting cooler, they’re safe from fleas. That’s when they multiply the most.
— Krystyne Frandson, Soapy Puppy
Tips from the Groomer:
All breeds have regular grooming needs. For some it may just be bathing and brushing and for others they may need that and haircutting. We can customize a grooming plan for any breed. Regular grooming maintenance is very important for a dog’s health and well-being.
— Amy Sund, Canine Acres