Going mobile: Alternative pet grooming during COVID-19

  • Trevor Yanuszewski with repurposed van for Cool Cats and Hot Dogs. —Courtesy

Manchester Ink Link
Published: 7/17/2020 3:58:01 PM

Trevor Yanuszewski is offering up a safe and convenient alternative to the pet grooming industry with Hot Dogs and Cool Cats. The company offers grooming services for both cats and dogs in the general Southern New Hampshire area, and has garnered interest in mostly dog owners thus far. Launched in March, Hot Dogs and Cool Cats began with the onslaught of the COVID-19 pandemic, an un-planned yet surprisingly good time for business in the mobile grooming industry, according to Yanuszewski, of Derry.

“It was actually a shock because I had been preparing this business for about a year. And finally I had all my ducks in a row and then COVID came and I thought I was going to be waiting even longer but it turned out that it was kind of a blessing in disguise,” Yanuszewski said.

Cat grooming services include a hydro-massage bath, fluff dry and a nail trim, for $100. Services for dog grooming come in more comprehensive options. The full groom, starting at $70 includes nails, ear cleaning, bath, hair cuts and more. 

For Yanuszewski, Hot Dogs and Cool Cats is a new endeavor, though caring for animals has been a life-long passion.

“My first dog Cosmo was diagnosed with Leptospirosis at age 4. He spent 16 days at Tufts Medical Center. The disease attacks the kidneys. I had to administer IV fluids to him every day for 60 days, then every three days for the remainder of his life. He made it to 13. I also took care of dogs for friends and family when they went away. Unfortunately, my dog Chief and my friend’s dog Rugar once had an altercation and I ended up with a broken back. My transition was abrupt. I quit my job, lived off savings, went to school and then started my search for a vehicle and company to retrofit it for me” said Yanuszewski.

A lover of all animals, the New Hampshire native Chinook breed hold a special place for Yanuszewski.

“I cannot see myself going without a dog for the remainder of my years. To take it a bit further, I cannot see myself without a Chinook. Not only because it’s the state dog of New Hampshire, but it is a very special breed. The breed nearly went extinct in the 1980s. There was down to about 11 dogs for breeding at one point.”

Yanuszewski graduated from the Whole Pet Grooming Academy in Porstmouth, became Pet-CPR certified and is fully insured. Following his licensure completion, Yanuszewski’s biggest task was how to renovate his van to meet business needs. Aside from its eye catching logo, the newly remodeled van is self-sustaining, eco-friendly and has no need for a generator or plug on site. Complete with a washing station, table, supply space and waste disposal mechanisms, the van is a safe, clean place for your pup or cat.

As soon as the business really took-off, COVID-19 began to spread rapidly in the U.S. and abroad. Although The CDC reports that risk of spreading the virus between animals is low, many clients feel safer and more comfortable knowing that the grooming service can come to them and be conducted in an outdoor space. Yanuszewski found that many clients prefer a mobile service for other reasons that are more accommodating to the dog and the owner. Some clients report having dogs who fear rides to unknown destinations, suffer from a disability, anxiety or difficulty with being in an environment around other dogs. Completing the grooming process at the dog’s home location has helped to alleviate some of these stressors.

Yanuszewski doesn’t sell any of the products he uses, but is always happy to make a recommendation when customers want to know what products they can use at home to keep their pup clean and silky.

“I do prefer certain products and tools. I love Chris Christiensen and Les Pooches brushes and combs. I love Quadruped’s All In One Dematting Undercoat Remover Rapid Dry Aid. This is a leave-in conditioner. There are many fantastic shampoos out there. Right now my favorite come from B3 Salon Products,” he says.

Hot Dogs and Cool Cats LLC makes pet safety their number one concern. Yanuzewski sanitizes his van and tools completely after each grooming session and is careful with the treatment of each pet during the grooming process. Prospective clients can locate reviews and view pricing estimates by vising the main website, hotdogsandcoolcatsmobilegrooming.com. Pet information, appointment booking and FAQ area is also available for those with interest.


These articles are being shared by partners in The Granite State News Collaborative. For more information visit collaborativenh.org. 

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