Unleashing Sustainability: From Muddy Trails to Wagging Tails at The Fetching Dog's Eco-Salon in Whistler


Happy Dog taking a Bath at The Fetching Dog Grooming, Boarding & Pet Boutique in Whistler


In the heart of Whistler Creekside, a new local business has emerged, one that embodies a deep connection to the mountains, a dedication to animal welfare, and a resolute commitment to sustainability. The Fetching Dog, founded by Whistler local Sam, is a unique addition to the community, offering essential pet grooming and boarding services alongside a beautiful selection of eco-friendly treats and toys for your beloved fur babies.

In this blog post, we'll dig into Sam's story and explore how her dog salon distinguishes itself through its commitment to sustainability and environmentally-conscious practices.


Q: Sam, it's great to have you here! Could you tell us a bit about yourself and what inspired you to start The Fetching Dog, your dog grooming and daycare venture in Whistler? We'd love to hear how a walk in nature with your furry companion, Deus, blossomed into the vision it is today!

A: Thank you for having me! It all started with our dog Deus, a fluffy boy who needed a tidy up. Our house didn't have the set up for it so we looked for a grooming salon around town. We quickly realized there were very limited options for locals, and our friends had to travel to Pemberton or even Vancouver just to get their dogs groomed! We saw an opportunity to help the community by providing a much needed service :)

Q: Could you share with us why grooming is so important for our furry companions, and how The Fetching Dog approaches helping dogs that may be afraid of bath or nail trims? We'd love to know more about your approach to ensuring a positive and stress-free grooming experience for every dog in your care.

A: For most dog breeds, grooming is essential to their well-being. A groomer is the first check point before the vet. During the bathing process and with the help of our deeply cleansing bathing system, we can clearly notice any skin condition, tick, ear infection, scratch, or anomaly on the dog and relay that information to the owner. We also use a conditioner treatment on all our dogs, which helps moisturize their coat. Regular grooming also prevents extensive mats from forming. Mats can trap moisture and bacteria close to the dog's skin, causing irritation, infection, and discomfort, especially between paw pads. It is shown that a clean cute pup receives more love and affection too!

Being a grooming salon in Whistler, we see a lot of rescue dogs and mountain mutts that are more used to running the trails than being bathed. For many, it's a first and each has its own baggage just like us humans. That's why we find it essential to use a soft and patient approach with all our dogs. Allowing the dog to get used to the space beforehand, gradually working with the dog and the owner, and handfuls of treats and peanut butter are some of the ways that help us build a trustworthy relationship. We encourage people to stop by our shop during their walks and grab a treat from the jars as a way to help dog's associate our store to a happy place!


Q: Sustainability is close to our hearts too, and we admire your dedication to making a positive impact! What inspired you to take an eco-friendly approach with The Fetching Dog, and how do you ensure your grooming and daycare services align with eco-conscious principles? Kudos for putting the planet's well-being at the forefront of your business!

A: I wouldn't say that we were suddenly 'inspired' to take an eco-friendly path, it's more like it's a requirement that is engrained in us. If we were to open a business in 2023, it had to align with that value in every way possible. Before we signed anything, I wanted to know if we could keep this promise. Opening our salon meant that people wouldn't need to drive an hour or two to get their dog groomed, greatly reducing emissions. That was our first motive.

After hours and hours of researching, we found a local all-natural grooming product supplier and partnered up with other amazing companies that shared our vision. Biodegradable toys, hemp towels (zero microplastics released during a wash cycle), handcrafted dog bowls and upcycled leashes made from climbing rope, the list goes on.

 We wanted to do more, so we decided to associate a wildlife charity to each of our boarding pens. Every time a pup stays with us, we set aside 20% of the profit and after a year, we will gather up those funds and send it to the organizations. Many of these non-profits are places that we have volunteered at and are close to our hearts.

Q: Giving back to the community is truly wonderful. Could you share more about the charities you support and the positive impact of your contributions? It's inspiring to see local businesses like yours making a difference!

A: As mentioned above, we associated each boarding pen to a charity that has a special place in our hearts. We hope to raise enough money per pen to be able to send off a decent amount of funds that could help each and every one of them. WAG is one of our chosen charities closest to home, we also have The Salmon Cabin dedicated to salmon population research on the island and The Pod that is linked to research of the Southern killer whales in the Salish Sea, BC.

The dens are one aspect of the salon. Our retail section is another that helps support local craftsmen and women by promoting their products. There are so many great dog products out there, but we decided to prioritize our community's talents instead. Keeping it local, minimize packaging and global travel emissions, it's all part of the vision.


The Fetching Dog Pet Boutique, Grooming and Boarding in Whistler 

Q: Whistler attracts adventure-loving hoomans, and their pawls are no exception! Although the resort itself and provincial parks may not allow dogs, it's reassuring to know that The Fetching Dog offers day care for those hoping to get a few hours on the slopes. Can you tell us how you create a welcoming and comfortable environment for both the dogs and their hoomans during their daycare visits? And what exciting activities do the dogs get up to during their stay?

A: We decided to build dens instead of getting metal cages or kennels. The goal was to try and recreate a home environment. Each den is hand-painted with a theme associated to a charity to add colours and a sense of 'ambiance.' We have a jungle-themed one, ocean, Tundra forest and will be painting an African-themed one soon! The dens also have a comfy bed and treats hidden all over to entertain the dogs while they wait for their owner. We try to take the dogs out as much as possible, minimizing their time indoors. If the store is quiet, we let them roam around and hang out with us. We offer Bully sticks and interactive toys for the owners to purchase, and encourage them to bring a blanket or toy from home to help with any anxiety.

Q: For our readers eager to explore Whistler's trails with their furry friends, do you have a favourite dog-friendly hike that you'd love to recommend?

A: There are many hidden trails all over, but I alway recommend Train Wreck to tourists. It's easy, it's beautiful, and fun for everyone. There's a really nice one by Twin Lakes off the road that leads to a waterfall that is one of my favourites.

Q: Do you have any fun or quirky dog stories from your grooming experiences that still bring a smile to your face whenever you think about them?

A: Dogs are funny. I mean how many of us spend hours watching dog videos? We definitely have fun at the salon, giving them shampoo mohawks or watching them try to hide behind towels before their bath.

There is one story that makes us smile and reminds us why we are here. I would say the most rewarding story was of this one dog that couldn't even enter the building. He was so anxious we could barely get him in the bath. When I started to bathe him gently starting with water, he was highly reactive and nearly took my arm off. But I knew there was good in him, just like every dog. After speaking with the owner, a muzzle was necessary for both our safety. We took our time, slowly introducing every sound and tool, from brushes to towels. The next time he came in, it was as if he was a totally different dog. He trusted us at every step, and we trusted him without a muzzle. Now, this pup sits in the bath and lies down for the entire drying process nearly falling asleep, and happily walks in and out of the shop. That is what we are here for and this is what makes all of this hard work worth it!


Q: We're all ears! Is there anything else you'd like to convey to our readers or any exciting plans on the horizon for The Fetching Dog?

A: There are definitely exciting plans ahead. We are working hard to make this new project happen, fingers crossed we can announce it before this Christmas! A clue? We think it will definitely be a great service for anyone with a busy life and the dogs will love it :) We are always expanding and open to new ideas so if you want to see a specific dog product in our shop, please feel free to email us or stop by!


The Fetching Dog Pet Boutique in Whistler

Q: Lastly, do you have any tips for pet owners on how to embrace a happy and sustainable lifestyle with their pawls?

A: Take the time to build a relationship with your pup. A simple task such as brushing can give them a sense of importance and a feeling of love. Getting them used to being handled from the start is essential but it's never too late! Playing with their paws, introducing odd objects to them, bathing them at home, stopping by our salon even for just a quick hello are all ways to help your dog enjoy the grooming experience. Feel free to check out our website and click on our 'Education' page if you have questions on how to help prep your dog. To all doodle owners that want to keep that beautiful look, please remember to frequently brush your curly-coated companions so that we don't have to shave them ;)

Lastly, take the time to research what products you are giving to your dogs. Many toys have harsh dies or come in heavy plastic packaging, most raw hide companies still use bleach, and well some food brands are the equivalent to McDonalds. Try to keep it local and avoid ordering from across the ocean. There are so many wonderful dog companies right in BC! Again, if you need any guidance, we are right down the street.


Thank you, Sam, for sharing your remarkable story and for being a beacon of inspiration for dog lovers! Your dedication to sustainability is a reminder that every small effort counts, and that, together, we can make a positive impact on both pets and the planet.

Whether your furry friend needs grooming, a comfortable boarding experience, or you're looking for natural grooming products and locally crafted pet gifts, be sure to visit Sam and her team at The Fetching Dog in Whistler Creekside. To learn more about their services, visit The Fetching Dog.

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