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Barking Up Northbrook's Spa for Dogs

The Spa for Dogs owner built her Northbrook business one dog at a time.

In an office space where insurance agents once consulted with their customers, near the intersection of Dundee and Waukegan Roads, the clientele are now told to sit, stay and “shush!” 

But Sharon Thalmann, owner of the Spa For Dogs, wouldn’t have it any other way. A Northbrook small business owner, Thalmann started her enterprise as a one woman operation that offered mobile dog grooming. Back then, she travelled to her customer’s homes to deliver doggie makeovers. Then she opened the spa at 819 Waukegan Road.

“It was a big jump... a big thing,” said Thalmann, who used to travel through all weather conditions in order to service her clients and their Cockapoos. Now, with a brick and mortar locale, she employs five dog groomers under one roof.  

The move came three and a half years ago. And in addition to being able to offer your Schnauzer the star treatment, Thalmann’s staff is ready to baby sit Beagles, or as it’s known in the trade, deliver doggie day care. 

However, her introduction to the business was as unusual as it was tragic. “I left my dog to a groomer,” Thalmann said. While there, her pet fell out of a tub and broke his neck. The loss was so great that Thalmann, dog lover that she is (she currently owns five dogs) decided to learn the dog grooming and care business herself, and went back to school to learn the trade.

But there’s more to it that simply giving a dog a bath, Thalmann said. Proper cleaning of a dog’s ears, pads, plus professional grooming, and brushing of a canine’s canine’s, which the Spa for Dogs offers, requires mastery of multiple skills. 

In addition to all of the above, the spa includes a boutique, where dog owners can pick up collars, treats, coats, dog harnesses and food before they pick up their pups. Speaking of pickup, Thalmann’s business also offers pickup and delivery of dogs, which comes in handy for elderly or otherwise incapacitated pet owners who desire beautiful dogs, too. 

Thalmann recommends Northbrook as a location for others to start their small businesses because, she says, the village has been accommodating, easy to deal with, and offers a strong customer base. For the Spa for Dogs, of course, that means Northbrook is a dog lover’s village.

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Elizabeth Manaster November 16, 2012 at 06:30 PM
We take our Akita there and it's great! We were a little nervous because of his temperment, but they were very cautious and it worked out well. It's also great because we can get him in and out quickly and he doesn't have to stay the whole day.
JEB May 08, 2013 at 05:14 AM
HORRIBLE! PETS INJURED AND CHOPPY HAIR. It was my first time there due to the great reviews. When we picked up our dogs, we were told we had to pay cash due to the computer being down which happens. When we asked for a receipt SHE WROTE JUST THE AMOUNT ON A POST IT NOTE. . Our small dog was WHEEZING! An employee said "oh, she is just sneezing"...our dog has never made that noise nor sneezes that way! Panicked at the fact that this went on for a few hours! Our other dog has not stopped limping since we left! Both dogs look horrible with choppy hair cuts and parts not trimmed nor combed. I wouldn't RISK your pets health and safety after our experience!

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