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Erica and Adrian Garcia, owners of The Dog Groomer in Downtown San Pedro, with one of their favorite clients, Coal. (photo: John Mattera Photography)

Adrian and Erica Garcia have been keeping happy tails wagging since 2007.

Originally known for their local mobile dog grooming service Fantasy Spa Mobile Pet Grooming, the long-time San Pedrans recently celebrated their summer grand opening of their latest endeavor, The Dog Groomer Self-Wash & Grooming. Located in the former historic Brown Bros. building in Downtown San Pedro, the combination of a full-service groom shop and self-wash is indeed a family dream that, through daily perseverance, morphed into a life-altering reality.

It all started in 2007, when the Garcias’ mobile pet grooming service was launched and became widely known in the South Bay area. One driver, Adrian’s brother Roland, is a canine hairdresser extraordinaire with an artistic eye. The vivid-colored van promises an array of fur and skin enhancing indulgences as it pulls up to the client’s home and calls out to the dogs, as an ice cream truck calls out to kids. 

The intense passion for dogs boosted the Garcias’ local contacts into a skyrocketing South Bay area business, which has now expanded to their Downtown San Pedro location. From the beginning, the family-owned company has been built on a foundation of stellar service and compassion, and these are the keywords they live and work by. 

Allison Wilson is a devoted client since the company’s first launch. “Adrian customizes grooming to each of my dogs: my pit bull, Ben, and Parker, my Australian cattle dog,” says Wilson. “Ben has a standing weekly appointment that he looks forward to. Adrian knows my pets are my kids and goes above and beyond, as he’s referred me to amazing vets and dishes out extra attention to them when I leave town.”   

The Garcias strive to create a first-rate experience for their clients. In past centuries, dogs that lived in castles were luxuriously pampered along with the kings and queens. While fortresses are certainly not the norm in 2021, The Dog Groomer Self-Wash & Grooming services guarantee that your dogs are treated like royalty with a memorable spa day, from their heads to their paws. 

Erica Garcia uses one of The Dog Groomer’s self-washing tubs. (photo: John Mattera Photography)

Adrian is incredibly pleased that one major goal was realized: “I’ve built a team of extremely talented and dedicated groomers that take great pride in what they do,” he says.

Clients can treat their fur child to a delightful spa day and witness an arresting makeover, with niceties provided such as shampoo, fluffy towels, dryer, conditioner, and all the necessary grooming tools. And for the finishing touch? If desired, a spritz of cologne like “Girly Girl” or take your dog to the tropics with the coconut-scented “Foo Foo.” Mud pouches are an option for self-wash or full groom, offering several benefits from skin moisturizing and flea control to soothing arthritis pain. Mud baths can be equally as beneficial for dogs as they are for us. 

Whether clients indulge in their self-wash or full grooming services, The Dog Groomer products promise quality. The products are made only in the U.S., Italy, and Spain. “No pinch” jelly collars made of silicone are also one of numerous high-quality products sold.

The Dog Groomer also offers membership options with savings benefits that include an unlimited self-wash bath and nail trim for 50-pound dogs or less.

The Garcia family and staff also contribute to and work with several nonprofits, including Animals Rule Rescue, Pedro Pet Pals, and for past years, they’ve teamed up with Honda Corporation, where over 100 dogs were bathed at a Helpful Honda Day. With pandemic restrictions easing, they hope to return to this outstanding altruistic event. The team has enjoyed Santa Paws, an annual event at The Corner Store in San Pedro, the Animal Blessing at Wilmington’s Saint Peter and Paul Church, and many others. Giving back to the world is an integral part of their business philosophy, identity, and success.

Meanwhile, with over 200 five-star Yelp reviews, The Dog Groomer seems to be keeping their clients happy. Satisfied customers consistently state how the dogs feel at ease interacting with the Garcias and staff and how they look forward to their day of pampering. According to Erica, clients’ dogs are considered an extension of the Garcia family, as are their owners. “We all love what we do,” she says, “and we treat our dogs and clients like we would our own family.” spt

The Dog Groomer Self-Wash & Grooming is located at 461 W. 6th Street, Suite 103. For more information, call (310) 832-7387, visit thedoggroomerselfwash.com, or follow them on Facebook and Instagram @thedoggroomer310. 

Valerie Electra Smith-Griffin

Valerie Electra-Smith Griffin is a freelance writer located in San Pedro, CA.