Dogs En Vogue, a popular place to have dogs groomed, has expanded to include a full canine boutique. Little dresses, fancy collars, nutritional food and special shampoos are available to dog lovers in the Middle Keys. Plus, it offers a very special boarding service.
The expansion of the 15-year-old business has to do with a second-generation of professionals. Dina Doyle’s daughter and son-in-law — Elizabeth and Matthew Hunter — are active partners in the business, focusing much of their efforts on inventory and boarding with an eye toward retail opportunities.
“I have a lot of specialty dog clothing by Betty’s Tropical,” Elizabeth said. “She’s makes outfits for every season — Easter, Christmas, etc.”
Elizabeth also has a special interest in animal nutrition. Dogs En Vogue stocks Fromm and Lotus brands of dog food. Elizabeth said she’s been grooming dogs as long as she can remember and that an animal’s health is dependent upon what it eats — just like humans. Often, a poor diet can lead to skin issues.
“Animals should eat food that is natural and organic. I’ve learned that what a dog eats will reflect in the condition of its skin,” she said, adding that proper nutrition should be paired with proper grooming products such as carefully formulated dog shampoo.
If Elizabeth’s passion revolves around an animal’s diet and beauty, Matthew zeal is reserved for the boarding side of the business. It can only be described as a boutique doggy hotel with ultra-customization available.
“This is a 24-hour facility with someone always on the premises. Literally, we’re less than six feet from the dogs,” Matthew said. “And we try to match the dog’s regular schedule — feeding and going outside. Why break the habits they’ve already established?”
Dogs En Vogue’s boarding services cater to the dog that needs a little more “special care” — those that need medicine administered, are anxious, or need to go out more often. Matthew said there is no group play and all animals must current immunizations.
“In just a short time, we’ve acquired a regular clientele. Some owners are dropping pets off while they go to the Dry Tortugas for a day, or on a boat trip, or to Miami,” Matthew said. “Others come to stay with us while their owners are at work.”
Dogs En Vogue is located just north of Vaca Cut on the Oceanside at 12237 Overseas Highway in Marathon. The phone number is 305-743-0535.