After first running a mobile dog grooming salon, Sara Hand opened Salty Dog in Marathon.

With billions of dollars in growth over the last few years, the pet industry is absolutely booming. It doesn’t take advanced statistics to realize that many owners are choosing to add to their families with furry companions. However, as lovable as they are, not every dog is easy to keep clean and healthy. With such an explosion in the field and so many furry ones to care for, it’s no wonder that groomers are in high demand. Enter Salty Dog Pet Grooming, Marathon’s new resident groomer.

Full Name? Sara Hand.

How long have you worked as a groomer? About 10 years.

How did you get started? I raised race horses for awhile, and I worked as a bather at a large boarding facility in Illinois. At the time, the shop owner needed a new groomer, so she trained me.

What brought you to Marathon? I lived in Key Largo a long time ago and just loved it down here. I always told myself, “I’m coming back here one day,” and I finally did it.

How did Salty Dog start? Since there are a lot of dog owners in the Keys who just want grooming and bathing without day care, I originally did mobile grooming for about four or five months. I didn’t have a name for the business yet, but the name Salty Dog came when I opened the shop on Friday, Jan. 18.

Why switch from a mobile service to a shop? My clients suggested it. They all had more and more friends who needed grooming services and wanted to get their dogs in and out quick. When I was doing mobile grooming, I would spend an hour to set up and tear down equipment at each house, plus travel time. At the shop, everything is always set up, so I can do twice as many grooms in one day.

What services do you offer at Salty Dog? We have a big list of services we offer. Off the top of my head, we can do baths, nail trims, brush outs, full grooms, Furminator treaments, haircuts, and ear cleanings. The only thing we don’t offer is boarding and day care; we just don’t have the space. Our objective here is to get the job done and get the dogs home as quickly as we can, and I think a lot of people appreciate that. They can drop their dogs off without waiting for eight hours to pick them up.

What if owners need to drop their dogs off for short periods of time? If the dog needs to stay a few hours because the owner is still at work or something like that, that’s totally fine. The only time we charge a small extra fee is if the dog is there all day, since, like I said, we just don’t have the space for day care.

Want to contact Sara to schedule your dog’s spa day at Salty Dog? Call 305-922-2535 or stop by 11400 Overseas Highway, Suite 101 in Marathon.

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