Olga, during a grooming session in the Alpha Dogs’ House spa, in Paris, September 25, 2023. GUILLAUME BLOT FOR “LE MONDE”
Frankly, we’re a little hesitant about the treatment menu: after a summer of running everywhere, the mane is a little rough, the dermis dry, the joints put to the test by travel. A relaxing treatment with lavender scents? A massage with chamomile essential oil? Or a thalassotherapy session with its clay wrap and its application of mud, strand by strand? Although a session of aquatic gym, balneotherapy and Jacuzzi, that too, isn’t bad for getting back on track?
Nothing really new under the sun of beauty care, except that if you closely study the menus of these spas, from Cannes to Toulouse via the Dordogne, it is a question of “well-being”, yes, but for dogs . Following in the footsteps of Anglo-Saxon countries, where these institutes have flourished for more than twenty years, a number of classic grooming salons (a necessary practice) are increasingly coupled with “beauty” spaces in our country, such as the Bella Spa in Passy, a chic institute for posh doggies in the capital, founded around ten years ago.
The Alpha Dog’s House, a Parisian spa-hotel for dogs and cats located in the heart of the very touristy Louvre district, opened a year ago, happily mixes the codes of the boutique for tourists, of the Monoprix-where-we-find -everything, the wellness center and the grooming salon. A lady from Tanzania got caught up in it, and she came in to ask for birthday bags for children, no doubt trapped by the cute little toys, the cute little clothes, the snacks too much, uh, just too much (moringa- zucchini, hemp-banana, you had to think about it). All made in France or handmade, with a touch of snob chic like Colette – this ultra-edgy fashion corner which closed its doors in 2017 –, “concept on which we wanted to base Alpha Dog’s House”, explains Patrick Luong, project manager. For now, he is busy plugging in the light therapy lamp in the basement for Grazia, a 10-year-old “Labrador”, who seems overwhelmed under the bulbs.
Light therapy for dogs, then. “It’s good for the skin or osteoarthritis, for example”says Virginie Barbarin, the co-founder of the place, very up to date on the marketing discourse, brushing the doubtful interlocutor in the right direction with the “basic needs of the dog”which would be the pillar of his business: « Curinate, sniff/roll around in anything, and socialize with dog friends or humans, as happens during walks in the forest with the dog-sitters. » Of course, we see the image clearly.
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