Spa Fur Paws brings grooming services to you
Samantha Bretheim brings her gentle grooming services to the comfort of her clients' bathrooms.
BEACH, N.D. — Samantha Bretheim travels hundreds of miles across two states to provide grooming services for pets. Unlike conventional groomers, Spa Fur Paws performs services in the comfort of clients’ homes.
“My type of grooming is a little bit different than most,” Bretheim said. “I specialize in senior animals and animals with high anxiety and that's why I go into people's homes instead of purchasing a van.”
She grooms all pets that need her care, whether they have special needs or not.
“Being in the home helps animals that can't really get up into a mobile van or don't do good with traveling,” Bretheim said. “It's just easier on the dog and on the human in general. They don't have to go anywhere. Their dogs feel more comfortable.”
Dogs and cats make up most of her clientele but she also provides services for bunnies, ferrets, reptiles and other species. She usually sets up shop in her clients’ bathrooms.
“Whether it's a walk-in shower or bathtub, we make it work,” Bretheim said. “I bring all my own towels, my own shampoos and I also bring my own broom so I clean up everything afterwards. When I show up, I take out any rugs or towels that they have on their floor so that way they don't get all hairy or anything like that.”
When she is finished, the bathroom looks like it did when she arrived, but the pets look and smell fresh. For clients who don’t need full service grooming, sometimes the bathroom isn’t essential.
“I do a lot of ear cleaning and nail trims in the kitchen if it's easier, or even in the front room,” Bretheim said. “But then any deep brushing, deshedding or baths I like to do in the bathroom because I can control the hair, I can control the mess and it's easier for me to clean up after.”
She works with clients from Miles City and Sidney Montana to Williston, Dickinson, Bismarck and more.
“I try to stay within a very affordable rate because it really is for the dogs,” Bretheim said. “A lot of mobile groomers will actually charge a travel fee. I don't charge one. I have a flat rate.”
Originally from Minnesota, Bretheim opened her mobile grooming business nearly eight years ago. She moved to Beach about two years ago and brought her business with her.
Her work with animals began when she volunteered at a veterinarian’s office at the age of 14.
“I volunteered there for about four or five years and then I worked at a vet for two years,” Bretheim said. “I used to volunteer at a wildlife science center and so I learned a lot about exotic animals. We had a lot of wild animals there. I took care of wolves and took care of bears. We took care of hawks and owls. We had skunks and porcupines, foxes, I mean, you name it, we had it.”
She spent about 10 months at the center gaining experience with a plethora of animals.“It was incredible,” Bretheim said. “We didn't do a full grooming on wild animals but I mean, checking out their paws, making sure their ears look good, things like that.”
While she was in college, she began apprenticing with other groomers. It was then that she realized she needed to do things differently than the average groomer.
“When I was working at the grooming salon, I actually watched a lot of horrifying things happen to animals and I was very upset at their practices and how they didn't really care how they treated the animals,” Bretheim said. “I don't put a collar on them because a lot of times at the groomers, I watched dogs get choked out. I've watched them, you know, have marks because the collar was on too tight or the leash was too tight.”
She tailors her work to the comfort and needs of the animals and pet owners she is working with.
“When dogs don't like their nails done, there's ways that we can go around it,” Bretheim said. “Some dogs prefer being mounted because then they feel safe and they feel secure and you're able to pick that paw up and do it. Some dogs don't and that's when you get them to lay down with you and you just do one nail at a time you talk them through it. And that's another thing – some appointments for the same type of services can take twice as long because I want to make sure that animal’s safe and comfortable.”
She also takes the time to visit with pet owners about what went on during each grooming session.
“So after we do a grooming, I let you know how the nails went,” Bretheim said. “I let you know how the haircut went. I let you know what they liked and what they didn't like. And the biggest thing is I'll let you know how their ears look too when we do the ear cleaning.”
Whether a pet whined about something, seemed tender in a certain area or if everything went great, she makes a point of letting pet owners know all the details.
“Your dog will always be safe in my hands and I treat them as my own,” Bretheim said. “As much as it pays my bills, it's not for the money. It's more so for the dogs and for their owners.”
She hopes to expand her business further and hire employees within the next year. To find out more about her services and to schedule appointments with Spa Fur Paws, call (651) 308-8910.