Dog grooming that supports the local economy and the planet.
by James Gunter
Don Steward of The Dog Show grooming shop is a tall, energetic man with an enthusiasm for dogs that may be unsurpassed in Salt Lake County. After being raised on a New Zealand sheep farm as a child, Don immigrated to the US in the 80’s and partnered with Dick Dotson, an experienced dog trainer, to found The Dog Show in 1989.
Although Dick passed away last February, that has not kept The Dog Show from strutting its stuff in the same 15th and 15th location (across the street from the King’s English bookstore) for over 21 years. Although Don has seen the introduction of the big box pet stores like PetSmart and Petco to the Salt Lake Valley, he’s been able to stay in business for so long because of his deep commitment to canines and the community.
“About 95% of what we carry in the store is made and manufactured in the US,” says Don. From the Big Wolf dog collars and leashes made in Logan to the ceramic feeding dishes created by a local Salt Lake artist, he says he focuses on supporting the local economy and providing high-quality products to his customers.
And he gets excited talking about quality, small-business-made dog products. “I’m a big design guy,” he says. “I like to see well-designed products from a company that knows animals—stuff that’s functional for you and your dog and that you’ll both be able to enjoy for a long time.”
The Dog Show is also Salt Lake’s leading retailer of eco-friendly pet products, from hemp collars to organic, dye-free dog food. “For me,” says Don, “eco-friendly is not a marketing strategy—it’s just they way I was brought up and the way I’ve always lived.”