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Dog Groomer Banks $1.3M a Year With Creative Canine Designs


Rare is the person who can turn artistic passion into a lucrative career. But Gabriel Feitosa, a 31-year-old dog groomer based in San Diego, has managed the impossible. According to NBC News, he banks $1.3 million a year providing canines with impeccable coifs.

Dog groomer builds million-dollar business

Feitosa doesn’t just do traditional hair trims. Instead, his grooming salon specializes in out-of-this-world ‘dos. He turns poodles into Pokémon and Bernedoodles into giraffes. And he does it all with pet-friendly, vegan dyes. His business boasts 10 employees who groom around 20 dogs daily, and a minimum of 500 dogs monthly. Even more impressive are his social media stats: Feitosa has 2 million TikTok followers and 400,000 Instagram followers.

Before you book an appointment, however, you might want to double-check your bank account balance. Feitosa’s designs will set you back from $500 to $1,200. Start to finish takes three to five hours, though the dogs do get bathroom breaks and snacks during that time.

“This salon is a dream for me,” Feitosa told NBC. “I came to the U.S. with two scissors and a clipper, and now I have a place where I feel like an artist and show the world that this career is possible.”

Turning passion into profits

Feitosa began grooming dogs at the tender age of 12. While escorting his sister’s canine companion, Icaro, to the groomer, he became fascinated with the ins and outs of the trade.

“I thought, ‘Wow, this lady gets to play with dogs all day and make money?’” he said. “I just got obsessed.”

He got a job at the salon after school, and honed his craft there. At age 23, he accepted a grooming internship offer in Sacramento, California. Later, in San Diego, he received an opportunity to buy a grooming salon.

“Sometimes, you need to take a leap of faith not knowing if it’s going to work out,” he said. “But I was excited to create a safe space where people — and their dogs — could feel good, and I could do what I love.”

Then, in 2021, Feitosa landed on ABC’s “Pooch Perfect” program. It’s a competition TV show for dog groomers. As a finalist, Feitosa gained notoriety and a strong social media following. Up next? A second salon in Los Angeles.

At the end of the day, however, it’s not about the money and fame for Feitosa.

“The designs might seem fancy and unnecessary, but the amount of smiles you put on people’s faces by walking by with a dog in one of these designs is an unforgettable experience,” he told NBC. “It brings so much joy to people.”

What Feitosa does isn’t without controversy, however. Some dog lovers believe you should never dye your furry friend. Here’s why.


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