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Must be ‘ruff’: The Backyard now pampering dogs and cats with full-service grooming salon

The Backyard Store Manager Taylor Doll and the store's new full-time pet groomer, Joan Ekblad, stand in front of a grooming table inside the new in-store salon. Marie Johnson/FOCUS1 / 2
The new grooming facility inside The Backyard was designed with a rustic, farm-style look. The salon offers a complete list of grooming services for dogs and cats. Marie Johnson/FOCUS2 / 2

The Backyard pet supply store in Perham has a new in-house grooming salon to cater to those much-beloved four-legged family members.

The full-service pet salon offers baths and blow-dries, hand-scissored haircuts, brush-outs, dental care, nail care, ear cleaning, dematting and more for dogs of all breeds and sizes, as well as cats. It officially opens today, Monday, March 20.

“We’re pretty excited,” said Taylor Doll, store manager. “We’ve been thinking about this for the last few years. I think it compliments our store well, and will fit a need around here.”

The Backyard has been selling a variety of pet foods, toys, bird seed and more since 2013. Doll said customer requests were the driving force behind the addition of the grooming salon.

“There are a lot of dogs around here, and we’d heard a demand from customers,” he said. “People were going to Detroit Lakes, Fergus Falls and even Fargo (for grooming services).”

The salon is open for appointments from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m., Monday through Friday.

Joan Ekblad, The Backyard’s new full-time groomer, is an Ottertail resident with several years of past grooming experience. She has also shown dogs professionally at competitions.

A part-time groomer, Laura Osborn, will be working at the salon every Wednesday. Osborn has more than 30 years of experience as a groomer, and has worked extensively with cats, as well as dogs.

The salon has been constructed as its own unique space inside The Backyard, separated by a rustic-looking barn-style wall and sliding barn door, with a pair of windows giving retail customers a view of the grooming activities going on inside.

Doll said The Backyard team has been working on the remodel for about the past two months.

They realized the time was right to start the salon, he said, after deciding to put an end to their sales of milk, cheese, meat and other refrigerated products. This allowed them to remove several large coolers that had lined the back wall of the store, making room for the grooming facility.

“There are just so many other places in town to get things like milk and cheese,” Doll said of their decision to stop selling those kinds of products. “The demand for pet grooming rose above our need for the coolers, and having the space open worked out well for the pet grooming.”

It also made more space available in the store for expanded offerings of bird seeds and toys. The store sells not only pet toys, but also some farm-style toys for children, such as John Deere tractor toys and dairy farm play sets.

Doll said community and customer response to the new grooming salon has been swift and positive. Groomers started taking some appointments last week, before the salon was even officially open, he said, due to early demand. He anticipates that the salon will grow its list of offerings over the coming months, as customers request more speciality services.

The Backyard is located in the Perham industrial park, at 105 9th Ave NE. For more information, or to make an appointment, call 346-7487 or visit

Marie Johnson

Marie Johnson joined the Detroit Lakes Tribune in November 2017 after several years of writing and editing at the Perham Focus. She lives in rural Frazee with her husband, Dan, their young son and daughter, and their yellow Lab.

(218) 844-1452