In partnership with Petco Grooming. Rescuing a dog comes with many challenges, especially when it’s a pit bull. Scooby is actually a very loving dog (unless you’re the mailman) and often terribly afraid of certain things and new places.

My dog Scooby smiles in the aisle at PETCO.

I’m still a little afraid about how people perceive the breed, so I don’t take him to as many public places as I would like… Petco has always been an exception.

We’ve shopped there since the first week we got him. He has always happily browsed the aisles for his own toys, wolfs down treats from the cashier, and socializes with other shopping dogs.

Dog shopping at a Petco store

There’s no judgment here and somehow I managed to overlook the fact that Petco stores offer grooming until I was asked to try it for the purpose of this review.

Even though he has barely any hair, a serious bath, ear cleaning, and pedicure (I’ve always been nervous about trimming his nails myself) are often in order.

A new store recently opened up in Pacific Beach near our house, so I made a grooming appointment there since I was told I’d need to drop him off and then return to pick him up.

The Petco Certified Stylist was amazing with Scooby, who briefly turned into a nervous wreck (typical) and hit the floor with all four legs extended like a cartoon character. The Stylist lovingly inspected his skin—part of a 7-point pet care check—while simultaneously calming him down.

She noted that the yellow spots on his fur that I was wondering about were actually there due to yeast and that she could use a special shampoo with tea tree oil to treat it. Yeast? He’s had these spots forever, and no one else has ever told me how to fix this.

Yes, in addition to nerves, he also has allergies that lead to strange skin conditions. We have our hands full.

Next, she picked up all 80 lbs of him and took him into the grooming area. This new state-of-the-art grooming facility has floor-to-ceiling windows so you can watch your dog spa. It’s nicer than many human hair salons I’ve seen. However, my daughter and I decided not to watch, just in case he was still nervous.

It turns out that he quite enjoyed himself! The stylist said he relaxed when his service began, probably because he’s used to baths and loves a good rub-down. About an hour later, I received a call to pick him up. He was happy, relaxed, and clean with nearly pure white fur, though frankly, since his hair is so short, he looks the same before and after a bath–but his fur is notably softer, and, of course, he smells squeaky clean.

Take your dog to Petco's state-of-the-art grooming centers

The bottom line is that I wouldn’t hesitate to take a nervous dog for a grooming service at Petco. It also helped that our appointment was first thing in the morning when the store was relatively quiet. When we checked out, the cashier also let him take a treat from the little “buffet” cart near the front. He left a happy and clean camper.

Check out Petco Grooming for your own dog. Have a messy puppy story? The cutest grooming outcome of all time? A haircut nightmare (for your dog, not you!)? Let’s hear it.

Katie Dillon is the managing editor of La Jolla Mom. She helps readers plan San Diego vacations through her hotel expertise (that stems from living in a Four Seasons hotel) and local connections. Readers have access to exclusive discounts on theme park tickets (like Disneyland and San Diego Zoo) and perks at luxury hotels worldwide through her. She also shares insider tips for visiting major cities worldwide, like Hong Kong, London, Paris, and Shanghai, that her family has either lived in or visits regularly (or both).

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