Spa in Business of Pampering Pooches

Grooming and more is offered at Hampton location

By Kary McCafferty

Hampton Union, Tuesday, January 3, 2012

[The following article is courtesy of the Hampton Union and Seacoast Online.]
M the Dog Spa owner Nancy Massett and manager/groomer Jodi Danforth colored Marilyn Monroe a sparkly green and pink to be festive for the holiday season.
[Kary McCafferty photo]

HAMPTON -- Soft, soothing music plays overhead, with a wall fixture waterfall to the right when you enter the front door. Light green walls add to the serene atmosphere. The ideal setting for a spa.

A dog spa.

"I want you to walk through the front door and smell clean," said Nancy Massett, owner of M the Dog Spa.

M the Dog Spa opened in October, offering an array of baths, drying, grooming, coloring, blueberry facials, bubble bath paw soaks, show cuts and more.

Massett and manager/groomer Jodi Danforth said poodles and Shih Tzus are common visitors to the spa, but all breeds are welcome, with a full grooming being the most popular service offered.

Cats may also be groomed after hours or on days when the business is closed. That way the felines will not feel stressed out by any surrounding canines.

According to Massett, she has been grooming dogs for 17 years with experience at places like Seaside Grooming and Picasso's.

Danforth has 15 years of experience and spent some time at Picasso's, where she met Massett's sister.

Both Massett and Danforth said their love for working with animals led them to the dog grooming field. Massett was also a hair dresser at one point, and while the dogs sometimes bite, she still prefers it. Danforth and Massett said they have also both worked as veterinary technicians.

"I've brought every stray home there was," said Massett, on her lifelong love for four-legged friends.

Settled at 28 Depot Square in Hampton, M the Dog Spa has a great location. The two marched in the 2011 Hampton Christmas Parade for more exposure, with Danforth donning a St. Bernard suit.

The spa has worked with Granite State Zoo, helping to raise money and supplies for the organization, holding raffles and accepting donations for the educational group.

In the future, Massett plans to add a day care using a large space in the back of the site that is currently free. Dog training at night is another planned expansion as well as selling dog spa robes.

"The goal is to grow," she said.

Danforth is certified in canine massage and acupressure too and would love to begin incorporating these skills into the services offered by M the Dog Spa.

Massett and Danforth are determined to make M the Dog Spa the ultimate spa experience for canines. There are no drying cages, all dogs are dried by hand.

After the grooming, dogs can either stay in a basic cage or an open air cubby that their leash is clipped to. Keeping the space clean 24/7 is another must, with vacuuming and cleaning tables after each dog is treated.

Making sure that the dog's owners are comfortable with the location is also key to having a successful business.

"They're their babies and we want to make them feel like they're at home," said Danforth.