Gabriel Feitosa is an innovator when it comes to dog grooming.
His profile continues to rise in the industry thanks in part to appearing on ABC’s competition series, “Pooch Perfect,” where he was a finalist. And he’s going viral with nearly 1 million TikTok followers.
“I’m proud of the portfolio that I’ve created,” he says. “The show gave me an opportunity not only to showcase my skills, but also to help educate dog owners on the importance of grooming.”
From creating internationally awarded classic looks to transforming pups into giraffes, Feitosa is redefining the world of dog styling.
He is an artist, and an advocate for the safe and effective grooming practices every pet lover should know.
“Pet ownership has been changing as the dog becomes more and more of a family member,” he says. “There are pet hair dyes and people don’t know that they are FDA-approved and vegan. I take the time to educate pet owners that dyeing the fur on a dog doesn’t hurt it at all. My mission now is getting the correct information out to dog owners. One bit of information all dog-owners should know: Never wash a dog with dish soap.”
Originally from Brazil, Feitosa started his grooming career at the age of 12 at a local shop in a small town. He has since groomed award-winning, internationally competitive dogs with some of the most influential people in the field.
During the pandemic, he opened up Gabriel Feitosa Grooming Salon and GFG Pet Store in San Diego, where he strives to offer quality service, using the best tools, products and training to stay on top of the game.
The salon features a state-of-the-art scissoring and finishing room that is a calm space filled with music, climatized tables, fresh patches of grass, beds and fresh water to pamper your furry friends.
With decades of work under his belt, Feitosa says the inspiration for many of his designs comes from literally everywhere.
“If I see a different flower, I imagine it carved into a dog’s fur,” he says. “If I’m texting and I send an emoji, that might be the inspiration for the next groom I do.”
One drawback to his job is dealing with unrealistic expectations from dog owners.
“A lot of people do dog grooming because they don’t want to work with people,” he says. “As groomers, we make it look easy. But it takes a lot of hard work and patience. Many times, the dogs are (not) trained or they don’t feel comfortable with grooming. The dog needs to be sensitized to all the sounds made while being groomed. The best bet is to take your dog to the groomer multiple times a year.”