Stylist – client chat is kept to a minimum at this salon in Bangkok.
Eleven month-old Bichon Frise, May Chang, might not offer too much stimulating conversation, but she”s still one of Bangkok”s luckiest dogs.
Her owner regularly brings her to Prima Dog Spa for some of the most luxurious spa treatments.
The staff here are among the best in the world.
The shop”s Thai owner, Nedrumpai Subhawat, trained under the late, legendary dog groomer, Serafino Ripamonti, in Milan.
She”s passed on his refined techniques to her dog groomers.
The spa has celebrity and even royal clients. The Thai royal family”s poodle Fufu is on their books.
“They take care of the fur that is too long,” says Surasak Pethairumluke, a pet owner and international tour guide from Bangkok. “The stylists here are professionals and they take a lot of care with their work. They make the dogs look stylish, because the style changes all the time. Sometimes it”s short fur, then long, next showing skin, then fluffier. We can do it ourselves, but not the same way the groomers can and keep up with the style.”
Thai actress Paradai Suwanrata brings her Yorkshire Terrier, Susu, to the spa several times a month.
First, he gets a full body scrub. The groomer makes sure he doesn”t miss a whisker.
Next, Susu relishes relaxing in a Jacuzzi tub designed just for dogs.
He soaks in peppermint or lavender aromatherapy bath oil, depending on his mood.
Meanwhile, a groomer massages his muscles and helps him soak up the experience.
If his paws are tired, that”s taken care of too.
Once out of the water, the groomer blow-dries and brushes his freshly-washed fur.
And the spa session wouldn”t be complete without new bows for his hair.
“The groomers do what we ask them to do,” says Paradai. “Usually Yorkshires must have long hair, right? But I like it when he has hair short hair and the stylists can cut and style it the way I like it. They give him the most fashionable and up-to-date hairstyles. They can make his hair look very trendy, and I like that.”
According to Nedrumpai Subhawat, massage helps keep the dogs” skin healthy and makes their coats look shiny because it improves blood circulation.
She says it also helps improve the dogs” digestion, and just like humans, it relaxes them.
She recommends massage for dogs once a month.
Most of the dogs that come to the spa are friendly and easy to work with, but some are more challenging for groomers.
“We also see some very mean ones, but mostly in the beginning when we start out in this profession. It happens when we don”t know what to do and it can be hard. But after many times, even if we face a naughty or a mean dog, if we have met them before, we can slowly care for them. We can slowly calm down and do our job. Other dogs have unique habits, so we have to try to understand them. But after a while, the work isn”t as hard as it is at first,” says dog groomer A-Thip Pethairumluke.
And like any good spa, there”s plenty of high-end dog treats and accessories on offer.
Customers can also pick up spa treatments to indulge their dogs at home.
The spa caters for small and medium-sized dogs that weigh less than 10 kilograms (22lbs).
For those that need to shed a few pounds, weight-loss programmes are an option.
Dogs who work out on the treadmill are richly rewarded afterwards with a spa treatment.
Nedrumpai Subhawat opened the dog spa five years ago.
She now runs four separate locations in Bangkok that welcome hundreds of dogs every week. It was her lifelong dream to help people give the best care to their pets.
But no matter how luxurious the treatment, the dogs are always delighted when their owners return for them.
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