What does a panda, zebra and a bumble bee have in common? They are all dogs!
Australia's elite groomers will go wild with scissors at a creative grooming competition in the Gold Coast this weekend, transforming dogs into colourful characters for a chance to win top prize.
The jaw-dropping designs reflect the groomers' artistic flare and skills in one of the fastest growing sectors of Australia's pet industry, with consumer expenditure on dog grooming at more than $204 million (2009) and number of pet groomers more than doubling over the past seven years.
The contest, GroomEx, is part of the annual trade-only PetExpo run by the Pet Industry Association of Australia (PIAA).
"The groomers have carefully shaped and dyed the dogs' coat over a period of several months in preparation for the prestigious event," says PIAA CEO Roger Perkins. "They will have two hours to complete the style and will be judged by their ability to utilise the dogs' coat as an artist's canvas for their skill and talent."
The contest will be judged by the internationally renowned Dawn Omboy, a creative styling champion, author and international creative grooming judge from the United States, also known to the pet grooming industry as 'The Queen of Colour'."
'Full treatment' grooming on the rise
Grooming is becoming more popular as dogs are increasingly being embraced as valued members of the family, says Mr Perkins.
"Owners are realising that their dogs need to be groomed and want the full treatment for their pet, including bathing, blow drying, styling and even colour dying," he says.
Pet owners are also demanding a higher standard - not a quick shave-off - and looking for groomers with formal qualifications.
"Many groomers are investing time and money into expanding on their knowledge and improving their skills. They are pursuing professional development and participating in grooming competitions, which all contribute to setting higher standards in the grooming industry," says Mr Perkins.
What: GroomEx (creative dog grooming competition)
When: Friday, 12 October @ 3.30 pm – 6.00 pm
Where: Gold Coast Entertainment & Convention Centre, Gold Coast Highway, Broadbeach, Queensland
Click to Contact PIAA for more information
Article submitted by Caroline Zambrano