SOME people think it’s barking mad.
But giving pampered pooches extensions, glitter manicures and rainbow highlights is all in a day’s work for Danielle Murphy.
Creative grooming is fast becoming the latest in canine couture and when it comes to chic claws and tousled tails, she’s a real wizard of paws.
The 25-year-old, who has been grooming dogs for over a decade, loves nothing more than giving mutts marvellous makeovers.
She dyes dogs and decks them out in diamantes before adding a perfect polish . . . for a salon style that’s guaranteed to raise the woof.
“The dogs love it – and so do I!” Danielle said.
Following in the footsteps of dog-grooming mum Margaret, Danielle joined the family business, Pampers Dog Stylists in Stirling, aged just 15. Three years ago, she started training in creative grooming after spotting pictures of divine dogs with colourful coats online.
After completing training courses and workshops, she started offering the service in the salon.
Now, Danielle runs her own seminars training other groomers in the pawticulars.
“It’s a bit like going to the hairdressers,” Danielle explained. “Different people like different hairstyles – and it’s the same with dogs.
“People like their pets to stand out, and creative grooming really gives them the wow factor.
“Some clients do it for a special occasion, like if their dog is going to be at their wedding, or birthday party. But a number of our customers have their dogs dyed regularly, simply because they like to have an unusual-looking pet.
“And, as you can imagine, the dogs absolutely love the extra attention.”
Most of her clients are just looking for some flamboyance with jewels, feather extensions, a rainbow tail or some coloured ears or paws.
But one of Danielle’s favourite furry transformations is turning tail-waggers into tigers.
All dyes are natural and contain no harsh chemicals that can be absorbed into the skin, so it’s perfectly safe.
Prices start from £25, and can go into hundreds of pounds, depending on the size and breed of dog, the length of its coat and the intricacy of the design.
Dog-daft Danielle has two pet pooches of her own – Pekingese Mr Chee and Lhasa Apso Tyra – and she admits they are rarely seen looking ruff.
“I always colour them in whacky styles.
“They love getting coloured and lots of glitter and jewels.They’re so used to it now that I think they get a bit down when they’re not all done up!
“When I take them for a walk, people follow us taking pictures and videos of the dogs. They just love how different they look, especially the kids.”