Va Va Groom - dog groomer animal awards - Vanessa Barber

A Nantwich dog groomer and trainer has reached the finals of the prestigious Animal Star Awards for the northern region.

Vanessa Barber, who runs VA VA GROOM, received more than 700 nominations in the Dog Groomer of the Year category.

Vanessa began the business back in June 2020 during the pandemic and has never looked back.

“I re-evaluated my life and as part of my own recovery I embarked on my training to become a dog groomer,” she said.

“After each training day I would go home and show my husband the before and after pictures of my grooms.

“He always said that the dogs looked really happy in the before photos and really miserable in the after photos, and this got me paying much more attention to the effect the groom was having on the dogs.

“One of the tutors had noticed the calming effect I had on the dogs and advised me to look up Stephanie Zickmann and Holistic Grooming.”

Vanessa finished a Level 3 Diploma in Dog Grooming & Salon Management in June 2021 and started a Level 5 Holistic Grooming & Behaviour Diploma, graduating the following year.

She has since completed a DAATA (canine dermatology) Level 1.

“Holistic grooming places the emphasis on the dog’s wellbeing rather than the styling of the groom,” she added.

“The styling comes once a relationship of trust, cooperation and consent has been established.

“As a relatively new pet professional, I feel very honoured to be a finalist for Dog Groomer of the Year and be able to champion Holistic Grooming.

“I have such great customers, who sought me out for the specialist bespoke service that I offer, and hope to grow the business so I can help more dogs find the pleasure in grooming.”

Vanessa Barber - dog groomer - animal star awards
Vanessa Barber

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