Unleashing Health and Style

Artificial Intelligence is barking up the right tree at Well Groomed Pets

Article by Julie Ann Tripp

Photography by Julie Ann Tripp, courtesy photos

Originally published in Parker City Lifestyle

Embracing a dog-focused business seemed like the obvious choice for Julie Patten, who just opened a grooming and wellness center in Parker. In addition to lather, rinse, and blowout, the staff at Well Groomed Pets note and track each and every dog’s physical and mental condition through lump and lesion mapping and a wellness exam. Groomers record 54 points of data.

“There’s actually a 3-D rendering of a dog, and we can rotate that dog image however we need to. So you can note on there each time the dog comes in,” Julie says, noting that 50 percent of dogs develop cancer in their lifetimes. 

To ease a furry customer’s anxiety, the center is doused in pheromones, encouraging pups to happily step onto the dog scale to catch a whiff of the living wall. The specialized cleansers, fully organic, wash away the smells of prior clients, allowing newcomers a fresh experience. 

The combination of health and wellness prompted the American Kennel Club to exclusively endorse the franchise, providing monthly instruction on best grooming and handling practices. 

Julie started Well Groomed Pets after a decades-long career in corporate banking, managing a team of 4,000 and working grueling hours. As her second daughter prepared to fly the nest to attend CU Boulder, Julie knew she was also ready for a change. The wellness aspect of the franchise is the piece that grabbed her attention during her search for her next foray, as she thought back to years ago when a simple follow-up call sent her into a panic.

“I remember I got a call from the vet—while I'm volunteering at the kids’ swim meet—and the vet called me and they said, ‘You know, his bloodwork came back abnormal, and so it could be a marker of cancer,’” Julie recalls, referring to her 11-year-old American Eskimo dog, Lucky. After more testing, Lucky’s results turned out to be normal, but the experience stuck with Julie. 

She says that she confides in Lucky, and her daughter’s dog Kiki, speaking to them in both English and Chinese. Although she was born in Denver, Julie picked up Chinese first from her parents, whom Kiki and Lucky love to visit. 

Well Groomed Petss is situated next to Barnett and Son Brewing Co., and Julie hopes to see dog owners drop off their pups while supporting another local business. Her head groomer and 10-year veteran, Sarah Epperson, specializes in doodle breeds, and unlike the industry norm, Sarah is paid a salary instead of commission, allowing each dog to receive quality care.

Let Your Pup Feel Like a Show Dog

  • Stay in Shape

    • Dogs feel most alive when they get plenty of exercise and playtime. 

  • Read the Nutrition Label 

    • Some dogs react poorly to certain ingredients, so check the label and ask your vet to make sure your pup is getting a proper diet.  

  • Make Grooming Glorious 

    • Practice grooming techniques, like paw-holding, brushing and even setting them on a countertop, to help them enjoy their next spa-day. 

  • Don’t Forget Oral Hygiene

    • Dogs experience dental problems just like people, and require a good brushing or dental chew to maintain a healthy smile. 

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