August 6, 2022

Cvb Dienste

Never Knowingly Pets

Connecticut sees a trend in Instagram-friendly dog spaces

Given the high rates of dog adoptions during the COVID-19 pandemic, the pet industry has been booming around the country. In a recent interview with the Associated Press, the CEO of Petco, Ron Coughlin, described dogs as a “furry annuity” that would benefit dog grooming businesses and pet stores for years to come. 

In 2020, the pet products industry set a record, reaching over $100 billion in annual sales, according to the American Pet Products Association (APPA). “This past year presented a host of challenges that resulted in consumers across the country turning to their pets for comfort and companionship,” Steve King, CEO of APPA, said in a press release. 

Connecticut is not immune to the trend. Lana Giancarli who opened Neon Dog, a modern dog groomer and boutique in Norwalk, last February said her store has been flooded with demand from the public. After opening on a basis of a few days a week, Giancarli said she quickly had to move to a five-day-a-week schedule to satisfy the rush.

But Neon Dog doesn’t just sell dog products and grooming; it also provides a photogenic Instagram-friendly space for trendy customers. The logo is a balloon animal dog a la Jeff Koonz, and inside everything is rainbow-colored and — as the name implies — neon. A matte black back wall is adorned with a hot pink neon light bearing the store’s name and mascot. For sale are dog toys, treats and human fashion.

“We wanted something different,” said Giancarli who incorporated into her shop a permanent photo space where dog owners can take pictures of the final grooming result. 

Like Giancarli, other dog groomers around the state have decided to make their dog spaces equally fashionable.

“My idea was to make a salon for dogs that looks like [the ones] for people,” said Stephanie Pietri, owner of the dog grooming salon Ruff and Tumble in South Windsor. 

Pietri’s business is located in an antique building circa the 1850s that has been renovated to create a luxurious dog grooming salon. “It’s a very open concept so when somebody walks in, they can see the entire process happening,” she said. 

Take a look at 5 Instagram-worthy dog groomers and shops around Connecticut.

Neon Dog


Neon Dog provides grooming and sells clothes, treats and bakery ideas for dogs in Norwalk, Conn., Thursday, Jun. 24, 2021.

Contributed by Neon Dog

Neon Dog was inspired by Giancarli’s dog Isabella, a Shih Tzu mix. Giancarli’s store offers in-store products that are carefully-chosen and made in the U.S. It also has an online store where people around the country can order from their shop. After grooming, clients can photograph their dogs in the photo space that includes a letter lightbox that gets personalized with each dog’s name. 

Location: 536 West Ave., Norwalk
Grooming services: Grooming, bath, and nail trimming

Ruff and Tumble

South Windsor

Ruff and Tumble distinguishes itself for its high-skilled groomers. Pietri has more than 20 years of professional dog grooming experience and all of her staff is trained to offer breed-specific grooming. Dog parents can photograph their dogs while being groomed or inside Ruff and Tumble’s signature clawfoot tubs. 

Location: 251 Sullivan Ave, South Windsor
Grooming services: Grooming, nail trimming and baths

Paw Haven

New Haven

Paw Haven offers dog grooming, daycare and boarding. The university-style business is nearly 15,000 square feet, giving dogs the ability to exercise while they are away from home. Clients can capture their dogs inside the preppy style facility or take screenshots of their dogs through the pet cameras offered by Pet Haven. 

Location: 1175 State St., New Haven

Grooming services: Grooming, daycare and boarding.

The Pet Spa


The Pet Spa offers salon-style grooming that focuses on one pet at a time. It also provides grooming services for cats. Clients can photograph their freshly-groomed dog with The Pet Spa’s seasonal backgrounds. The Pet Spa is set to open its doors to the public on July 1; it was previously operating with curbside service. 

Location: 199 Riverside Ave. Bristol

Grooming services: dog and cat grooming

Woof Gang Bakery & Grooming

West Hartford

Woof Gang is a locally-owned franchise. Apart from offering dog grooming, Woof Gang provides a great variety of dog bakery items such as treats and dog birthday cookies. Parents can capture their post-grooming dogs eating Woof Gang’s cookies or ask the groomer to take a picture in their signature bath space. 

Location: 62 Isham Road, West Hartford

Grooming services: Dog grooming, baths, nail trimming and ear cleaning



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