Tonawanda News

Local News

July 28, 2013

Pampering on wheels

Newfane grad starts Lauren's Lavish Pooches, a mobile dog grooming service

Tonawanda News — It’s hard to not notice the van.

“I have friends that’ll call me and say, ‘I just passed you on the road,’ “ said Lauren McNeil, owner of Lauren’s Lavish Pooches, a full-service mobile dog grooming salon.

The concept is simple. Dog owners contact McNeil and she comes to their house. In the van, she grooms the dog until the pooch looks its very best. All in the client’s driveway.

When she was 10 years old, McNeil started working for a professional dog handler. While in school at Newfane, McNeil would spend summers grooming dogs, up until she attended the University at Buffalo. She learned a lot about show grooming during those working summers.

“She was a very successful handler,” McNeil said.

At UB, McNeil graduated with a bachelor’s degree in business administration in 2010, then went to work for a dog groomer in Amherst. A few months later, McNeil became a salon manager, a position she held until May. That’s when Lauren’s Lavish Pooches started. A number of clients followed her and many were referred to McNeil.

“I always wanted to own my own business,” she said. “It was a dream of mine.”

So far, the mobile dog grooming has gone well. McNeil said she broke even the first month and the clients have kept coming.

The van, a 2013 Ford E350, is a self-contained grooming salon on wheels, which makes it easy for the client. McNeil grooms the dogs in the driveway of their master’s home. The owners don’t even have to be home.

The van is a customized unit that is equipped with a generator, full-sized bathing tub, grooming table, water heater, air conditioner, fresh and gray water tanks and all the other conveniences of a regular grooming salon. Wag’n Tails of Indiana did the conversion for McNeil.

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