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California dog groomer rakes in $1.3M a year by transforming pooches into lions, giraffes, zebras and more

A small business owner in San Diego, California, earns a pretty penny with a creative dog grooming business that brings in clients from all over the U.S. Gabriel Feitosa shared his work.

When he was just 12 years old, Gabriel Feitosa, now 31, started a dog-grooming venture on the streets of Sae Paulo, Brazil — washing and trimming animals for extra money.

Finding the job "amazing," he then started volunteering at a dog groomer's after school, as SWNS, the British news service, reported, and as Feitosa confirmed in an email to Fox News Digital.

From there, Feitosa "fell into" his career and started working at dog shows before moving to the U.S. and opening his own shop — Gabriel Feitosa Pet Boutique — in San Diego, California, during the COVID pandemic. 

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Today, his unusual grooming designs for dogs have him "transforming" canines into pandas, lions, cheetahs — even zebras — using a variety of dye techniques and unique clippers.

He charges a flat rate fee of $800 for small dogs and $1,200 for big dogs — raking in some $1.3 million each year, he said. 

"I turned my dog into a Pokémon, I turned a pit bull into a leopard and a poodle into a giraffe," he said. "There are no limits to what we can do."

After appearing in 2021 on "Pooch Perfect," a dog grooming reality TV show on ABC, business is booming, he said — and he said he has customers flying in from all over the U.S. for his creative designs.

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"I get inspiration from anywhere," he said. "It can be a game, a tattoo or a sign on the street. It can come from anywhere — it brings out my geeky side."

He said he works with his clients to create what is best for their dog. 

He said some clients even come in with "a request to turn their dog into a unicorn" — and that he'll get inspiration "from video games."

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Feitosa said he earns $1.3 million a year, which is "beyond what I ever thought I could make being a dog groomer."

He added, "This shows that no matter what you do, if you do it with your heart you can go anywhere."

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He said that when he first opened his shop, "my specialty was the standard haircut and I focused on making each pet [look] their best" — trusting that customers would respond to his work.

"I then started to dabble with colors on my dog and wanted to push the cuts as far as I could," he said.

He said that after he appeared on TV, "I started posting my designs on social media — and more and more clients followed."

Feitosa said he typically spends three to four hours on each dog, no matter its size.

He said that his designs can last up to eight months, depending on when the dog sheds its fur.

"A Frenchie will shed its fur twice a year, so it depends on when you apply the dye," he said. 

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"If you apply the dye when the dog is about to shed, then it might last two to three months. If you apply the dye when it's just shed, it can last seven to eight months."

He added, "It really does depend on the dog's shedding cycle and hair growth."

Since opening his store, he said he's launched his own clipper tool collection for other dog groomers to use.

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Feitosa said he is "incredibly grateful" to his clients and others for his success. 

On TikTok today, he has some 2.5 million followers. 

Among his best designs for dogs, he said, are these:

For more Lifestyle articles, visit www.foxbusiness.com/lifestyle.

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