How would it feel to be man’s best friend, but look like a matted and neglected pooch? For the customers of Canine Hair Design, that’s not a concern as owner Donna Elston has 20 years of experience helping doggos look their best.
Elston has been in her current location at 462 W. Riverside Dr. since 2014. She first came to Estes Park in 2000, working at the long-gone Pets N’ Nature store in Upper Stanley Village. But it wasn’t long before Elston opened her own grooming salon in Piccadilly Square.
Caring for our canines is important, which is why last year Elston decided to offer a new dog-sitting service, to keep our furry friends cool on hot summer days.
“I realized that people were leaving their dogs in their hot cars when they were going to hike in an area where dogs aren’t allowed or while they were shopping and eating downtown. I had some extra space so I converted it to a little play area so people could leave their dogs here in the air conditioned room,” said Elston.
The room is about 14’ by 8’ with dog beds, toys, and a couple dog houses. Elston said she was inspired by what she had seen in other towns, they had places called cooling zones, which are intended for people to get a break from the heat.
The cooling zone costs $15/hour per pup, which is well worth the peace of mind, knowing Scruffy won’t be getting heat stroke. Getting a trim might help Scruffy stay cool too.
Every hair cut comes with a bath, blow dry, teeth brushing, styling, and nail trim. In about two and a half hours Scruffy can become clean and fluffy.
For doggos foreign to the high country, it can be difficult to acclimate to the dry conditions. Elston says they have different products to help a dog’s skin keep from being irritated.
“Especially during this time of year, dogs’ skin can get really dry, just like ours, it can get flakey, they can have allergies and get hot spots,” said Elston.
That’s why Canine Hair Design uses a number of different professional dog shampoos. Elston’s assistant Emerald Colburn has the distinguished title of Shampoo Mixologist, because she knows just what product to use for each type of different hair and skin type.
“Emerald has got all the different skin and hair types down. She’s so great; we couldn’t do this without her!”
Canine Hair Design is also open to cats! They can shave out mats, trim nails, brush out the undercoat, and give them a dry shampoo bath.
“Mats can be a problem for older, long-haired cats because they can’t scratch them out as well, so we clean them up, just not in the bath, because typically cats try to murder you if you put them in there!”
Walk-in’s are available during the slow season, but appointments are preferred. Starting June 1st, Canine Hair Design will be open on Saturday as well as Tuesday through Friday. Catch the Canine Hair Design crew then or maybe at the dog park!
Either way, Elston’s miniature pinscher mix, Francesca, will be sure to say hi!