Hearing stories from friends and family about negative dog-grooming experiences, Jana Washatka decided to start a mobile grooming service that would make the dogs more comfortable.
“Going to a place, taking the car ride, getting all stressed out even before the grooming starts — well, we’ve eliminated all that,” said Washatka, co-owner of Jana’s Mobile Pet Spa with her husband, Francis.
The couple found that working as a team makes grooming and cleaning faster and more efficient.
“A lot of times I’m rubbing the ears and talking to the dogs as he’s trimming the nails,” said Jana Washatka, who has more than 30 years of experience in dog grooming and breeding. “They usually don’t want to leave us, and (they) get frisky when they are all finished. It’s really funny.”
Jana’s Mobile Pet Spa offers only full-service packages, which consist of nine procedures including aromatherapy and a full-body massage for the dog. It does not offer individual procedures.
The price for the package starts at $100, and appointments are offered Monday through Friday at flexible times during the day.
Many owners warn the Washatkas of their dogs’ bad behaviors, such as being fussy or aggressive. The couple always reassure owners that they will be able to handle their dogs in a relaxed manner.
“When the owner’s not there, it is a completely different environment for the dog,” said Jana Washatka. “All the bad behavior is past, and dogs live in the present. But owners carry the past when they are with their dog.”
The Washatkas believe their business is ideal for those with multiple dogs. Their service eliminates the hassle of loading each dog for a separate trip to the groomers.
“What a lot of people don’t realize is all dogs need grooming,” said Francis Washatka. “Grooming is so much more than a haircut.”
Jana Washatka’s special deshedding process gives their business an edge, Francis Washatka said.
The dead layer of hair under a dog’s topcoat can become so thick it will trap bacteria, according to the Washatkas. And it won’t let air get to the skin. It can also lead to continual shedding, due to the dogs trapped undercoat.
Customer Randi Slotnaes said using Jana’s Mobile Pet Spa has reduced the tension.
“Grooming has always been a source of stress for both people and dogs in our house, and I am so relieved that that is no longer the case,” Slotnaes said in an email.
The business has grown by word of mouth, Francis Washatka said. Along with dog grooming, the couple has started a business breeding and selling American Kennel Club-registered Cavalier King Charles spaniels.
“No one else on the planet loves dogs more than Jana,” said Francis Washatka.”It’s like she is part dog.”
— Reporter: 541-383-0325
Q: What do you want dog owners to know about grooming?
A: Francis Washatka: We hear very often from owners of short-haired dogs that their dog doesn’t need to be groomed. But every dog needs upkeep, ears, teeth, glands, nails — all dogs need that.
Q: What types of products do you use?
A: Jana Washatka: All products used on the dog are hypoallergenic, biodegradable and organic. A majority of the products are bought at Whole Foods and through online retailers, PetEdge and Drs. Fosters and Smith.