BEIRUT: Driving around Beirut and the surrounding suburbs in his large black van, Joe Chbeir, accompanied by his assistant Mo, pampers pets from the back of a truck.
DoGroom is a mobile dog grooming service founded in 2011 by Chbeir, who converted a truck into a roaming dog salon equipped with an animal-sized sink, shampoos, clippers and other grooming staples.
It can be a task to find pet-care specialists in Lebanon. Many pet owners take dogs to be groomed at the veterinary office, which can be stressful for the dog and the owner, as both associate the sterile office with vaccination shots and sickness.
Chbeir’s idea is to help animals and pet owners dissociate baths from a medical environment.
The other advantage of the DoGroom concept is accessibility. With Beirut’s clinics and pet shops spread around the city, it can be a task to transport animals to a groomer during working hours, especially without a car.
“Professional grooming and home service are the two major points,” Chbeir told The Daily Star.
It’s an unorthodox business model, but has caught on pretty well. Interest is so high customers need to book several days in advance.
Since he opened, Chbeir has become an expert of sorts in dealing with dogs, as he encounters a range of canine personalities each day. He has learned how to comfort scared dogs, relax energetic ones, and even tame the bad-tempered.
Bathing a dog at home can be a messy chore, which is why some customers prefer to hire DoGroom. Some dogs are uncooperative and take a while to get into the bathtub – or worse, they get distracted mid-scrub and send a trail of soap suds through the house.
An animal lover by trade, Chbeir is also active in the animal protection community. He helps to spread the word about pets in need of homes through his company’s Facebook page, which shares articles and photos about dogs. His line of work has earned him the title “Grooming Joe.”
Chbeir explained the idea came about when he was hanging out with a friend from Australia, and a van similar to the truck from which Chbeir now runs his business passed by. The friend mentioned that when he lived in Australia he used to have his dog groomed in similar vehicles – and so DoGroom was born.
Customers said their dogs emerged from DoGroom looking clean, trimmed and cute as ever.
DoGroom can be reached at 76-133-221 or by email at info@DoGroomPetCare.com.