4 months ago

You’re going to want to be part of this (Dog) Squad

Dog Squad may have just celebrated it’s 1st birthday but this Wandsworth-based doggy haven is only just getting started…

Credit: @dogsquadldn

Dog Squad London really makes an impression. London is, infamously, an anonymous city. It can feel sterile and hostile, but walking into Dog Squad on Osiers Road in Wandsworth was a tonic. There was the hustle and bustle of dogs happily wandering about, a dog owner coming to collect her dog after a groom and owner, Charlotte, at front and centre welcoming people- all with a mini-poodle perched on her hip. It’s friendly, unhurried… the kind of place that makes you forget you’re in London for a second.

Charlotte grew up on a farm on the Isle of Wight. After doing a stint of ‘serious city job’ in London she quickly realised that the pressure of office life wasn’t for her and decided to change tack. Impressively, she’d always planned to be self-employed by the time she reached 26 years old and knew that there was something bigger and better for her future.

Credit: @dogsquadldn

She saw a gap in the market for small to medium sized dog care facilities. Though there were many ‘field spaces’ services in London, these were geared towards bigger breeds who need lots of exercise and are bouncy and energetic. And though great for the Dalmatians and labradors of London, these kinds of places aren’t as pup-friendly to quieter, smaller breeds. So that’s when Charlotte came up with her concept of creating a ‘living room space’. It would be for dogs who need a couple of good walks a day but beyond that are happy relaxing on a sofa like they’d do at home. Dog Squad was born. After a search for the perfect space, Charlotte found the premises on Osiers Road and opened in December of 2022.

Her vision really worked. The space itself is lovely; there’s loads of space and it’s divided into two main areas so dogs are separated depending on their size and energy. There are pens in each area (they look like mini horse stables, very cute) where dogs can have some alone time if they choose it, or can eat in there without having their supper stolen… Of course, there are sofas dotted all over (with a dog or two curled up). It’s no wonder that, in just over a year, Dog Squad day care is pretty much maxed out. To make sure each gets the very best attention, she’ll only take 20 dogs in total per day, so you’ll be lucky to get your pooch in a weekday slot.

Credit: @dogsquadldn

But you can still get the Dog Squad experience. Charlotte has just introduced a grooming service. Her groomer, Harriett, comes in on Thursdays and Fridays and will groom dogs of any size. We took our obscenely hairy, matted cockapoo in for some love and we were- yet again- really impressed. Before the appointment even took place, we were asked to send over vaccination certificates to ensure the safety of everyone (and every dog) involved, which was really encouraging. Then Harriett took the time to ask us what kind of look we like, what we wanted from the appointment, how our dog usually fares with grooming. We were listened to; our pooch came back to us two hours later looking the best he’s ever done after a groom. We don’t say that lightly- we’ve been to many a groomer around town and have had the spectrum of grooms from the good, bad and the (really, really) ugly… But Harriett’s groom was, without a doubt, our favourite. Our dog also was clearly relaxed and came with new hair and a wagging tail- the biggest win for us. It’s not just us who thinks these are top quality grooms though. Check out the reviews they’ve been getting online. We have a feeling that these grooming days are going to get booked up extremely quickly when word gets out, so make sure you get in fast to enjoy some of the best service you, and your pup, will get in London.

Credit: @dogsquadldn

Aside from things furry, we wanted to know about what it was Charlotte loves about being in SW London. When you drop your pooch off for a groom then she recommends trying out Lockdown Bakehouse (the sausage rolls there are apparently unrivalled) and Little Frenchies in Wandsworth for their coffees and pastries. Of course, the amount of green space in SW London is a big plus when you’ve got a four-legged pal to walk. Her favourite is Wandsworth Common.

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