Portsmouth pet shop and grooming parlour Muttkuts opens in Paulsgrove with Covid safety precautions for pet supply shoppers

A Paulsgrove dog parlour opened its doors to pet supply shoppers earlier this week.

Thursday, 4th March 2021, 3:15 pm

Muttkuts Dog Grooming & Pet Supplies is now welcoming customers looking for food, treats, shampoos, perfumes, clothing, and doggy pick’n’mix for their furry friends at 175 Allaway Avenue.

The shop’s opening marks a return of a pet store to the location for the first time in two decades, as Allpets operated from this shopfront between 1977 and 1998.

Muttkuts started life in the home of Paulsgrove resident Caroline Saunders, who launched a grooming service in 2019.

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One of the owners, Ellie Howden, with Poppet. Picture: Sarah Standing

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Caroline had worked with grooming parlours locally for nearly 20 years before building up a clientele from mobile grooming, but dreamed of opening her own shop.

She said: ‘It’s something I’ve always wanted to do - ever since I started grooming at 17, I always wanted my own business so it was amazing to finally achieve it.’

Caroline decided to pursue her dream of expanding Muttkuts and moved into the new shop premises in the summer of 2020.

Owners of Muttkuts Dog Grooming and Pet Supplies (l-r) Ellie Howden and Caroline Saunders. Picture: Sarah Standing

She is joined by two business partners - her husband Lee, and fellow dog groomer Ellie Howden, whom Caroline has trained in grooming over the last two years.

The Muttkuts team have faced a number of challenges as they set up their business.

Council and planning issues as well as Covid delays meant that it took seven months to get the necessary paperwork done, and the November lockdown was announced the day after they signed the lease.

They opened at in Allaway Avenue on November 21, but the lockdown restrictions meant that they had to shut the shop off, providing a collection only service, and offering limited essential grooming services.

Muttkuts Dog Grooming and Pet Supplies has recently opened up in Allaway Avenue, Paulsgrove. Picture: Sarah Standing

Despite these challenges, Muttkuts now has more than 600 dogs on their books, being cared for by four members of staff.

Caroline, who has been nominated for grooming awards, said: ‘Opening the shop was a bit scary, but I’m really, really happy about it.

‘December was absolutely amazing - we got so many new clients, we’ve had so much support from the local people and my original grooming clients.

‘It’s been going pretty well - hopefully it’s onwards and upwards now.’

The shop is open with necessary Covid safety precautions such as restricted number of entries, a one way system, and hand sanitisers, and it is hoped that Muttkuts will be able to return to offering the full range of grooming services in April.

Caroline and Lee have lived in the area for more than 15 years, and their children go to school in Paulsgrove.

Their parents and grandparents have also lived in Paulsgrove for the past 60 years.

Lee said: ‘It really is a local business and part of the community, with also managing and running the local Paulsgrove and Cosham Dog community group too.’

The business also offers ‘Muttshots’, a professional pet photography service, and is set to launch a Muttkuts bakery range of biscuits, pupcakes and birthday cakes.

A message from the Editor, Mark Waldron

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