As the pet industry continues experiencing explosive growth, with 63.4M households owning at least one dog – Salty Dawg Pet Salon, the premium dog grooming brand that challenges people to “Pet Differently,” has announced their national franchising opportunity. Salty Dawg Pet Salon has innovated the approach to pet grooming with an organic solution: sourcing licensed hairstylists and barbers and providing them with an exclusive dog grooming training program to transition from styling humans to styling our furry companions.
“When people visit a salon, they expect a great haircut, style and service, and they expect an experience,” said Salty Dawg co-founder and CEO John Kanski. “Why should your pet be treated any differently? At Salty Dawg, we create a safe, loving experience that leaves your pets feeling as beautiful as they look. We’re excited about expanding our footprint, offering an unparalleled opportunity to our franchise partners and a one-of-a-kind grooming experience to dog parents nationwide.”
Kanski founded Salty Dawg Pet Salon in 2018, when he noticed that typical grooming shops took his Springer Spaniel behind closed doors and left her in an anxious state during her visit. Kanski, a Paul Mitchell School owner with locations across four states, dreamed of redefining the grooming experience by creating an expedited process to teach licensed hairstylists and barbers to groom animals. Turning his dream into a reality, Kanski teamed up with Winn Claybaugh, founder and co-owner of Paul Mitchell Advanced Education (the franchisor of 100+ cosmetology and/or barbering schools operating under the Paul Mitchell School brand) and Gary Ratner, a lifelong expert in the beauty industry with more than 40 years of experience in retail, real estate, store operations and franchising.
Thanks to their robust experience in the hairstyling industry, the three co-owners offer ties to prestigious talent pools, giving Salty Dawg an array of options when it comes to finding pet stylists. The brand works to develop relationships with potential candidates rising through the beauty industry to ensure that the stylist’s and brand’s mission align. In addition, Salty Dawg’s tailored training program caters to the stylist’s individual learning style, allowing them to thrive. This approach, replicating that of the Paul Mitchell School network, has resulted in talented and prepared pet stylists who feel confident in their transition from human to pet clientele. This attractive program not only trains candidates but offers a successful career path.
“Salty Dawg’s unique approach to attracting and training stylists is certainly a key ingredient to our success, but what truly sets us apart is our culture,” Claybaugh adds. “We’ve built a culture of being nice, structured on meeting three basic needs: helping our customers and pet stylists feel safe, feel that they belong and feel that they have a purpose.”
Claybaugh developed the “Be Nice” culture when he founded Paul Mitchell’s school division. It translated into a national phenomenon, leading Claybaugh to become a bestselling author and speaker as well as the dean of 100-plus schools nationwide. Implementing his approach at Salty Dawg Pet Salon has ensured that the brand provides a welcoming community for customers and employees alike. The brand is also committed to pursuing philanthropic endeavors.
Although Salty Dawg may be a new player in the pet grooming industry, the brand’s founders have been in the beauty and hair industry for more than 40 years and have an impressive record of investing in their communities. To date, Salty Dawg’s co-founders have been instrumental in helping the nationwide network of Paul Mitchell Schools raise more than $23 million for charity, including $700,000 for animal-related nonprofit organizations, donated through the Andrew Gomez Dream Foundation. The primary animal-related recipients include American Humane Society, Best Friends Animal Society and Morris Animal Foundation. “One of my fondest memories was working personally with Morris Animal Foundation trustee, board president and spokesperson Betty White, as we raised more than $520,000 for the animals she loved so much,” Claybaugh says.
With three locations currently operating in Georgia, Illinois and Texas, the grooming brand is actively seeking single and multi-unit franchise partners in 41 states. While they encourage those with franchise experience to apply, Salty Dawg’s approachable system is designed to accommodate first-time franchise partners as well. Above all else, Salty Dawg Pet Salon wants partners who embody the Salty Dawg culture and have a love for dogs. Including the franchise fee, the initial investment for a Salty Dawg Pet Salon location ranges from $145,300 to $414,000.