Self serve doggy-wash poised to change dog grooming industry

Add money, start spraying to wash dog in the K9000

Until now cleaning your dog meant bathing it at home or taking it to the groomer.

That was all fine until the age of self serve, do-it-yourself dog washing arrived in Canada via Saanich entrepreneur Evelyn Rutherford.

It started four years ago when the Gordon Head resident adopted Odin, her Bernese Mountain Dog.

“I hadn’t had a dog for years and I started to realize how difficult it was to keep him clean,” she said.

Rutherford was sifting through social media online with an eye for both business opportunities, and dog cleaning suggestions, when she found the answer to both, the K9000. The Australian invention (from 2005) is the equivalent to a doggy wash vending machine. No appointments necessary, you just walk right up, tap your credit card, choose your soap settings (regular shampoo or flea shampoo), open the door and place your dog in the bathing area.

READ MORE: Saanich doggy census tracks most popular names, breeds

“Once I saw the video of the K9000 on social media I thought, ‘that’s it, that’s what I need,’” Rutherford said. “It’s messy washing the dog at home, this avoids that, and it’s more affordable than a dog groomer.”

So, after 25 years as a management consultant, Rutherford is now in business for herself, as she owns the exclusive rights to distribute the machines in Canada. So far she’s sold 15 with more on the way. There are more than 1,700 installed worldwide.

Two K9000 machines operate in Victoria, one at Rutherford’s Esquimalt shop, the Furever Clean Dog Wash (602b Esquimalt Rd.), and one at the Mr. Pet’s store in Tillicum shopping centre. Mr. Pet’s actually has six of them at stores in B.C. and one in Alberta while Woofy’s pet store has one in Comox with another on the way in Courtenay.

The machines are built to last at least 20 years with high quality parts. It has it’s own “on-board hot water unit” so it only needs access to a 240-volt outlet, cold water and a drain.

“A short haired dog takes about 10 minutes, maybe 12 or up to 14 for dogs with longer hair,” Rutherford said.

She’s found regulars tend to use them on a three week cycle. There’s also no appointments necessary. Her own store is open from 6 a.m. until 11 p.m.

Using the K9000 is akin to using a do-it-yourself car wash, with a knob that selects each stage of the wash. In fact, there are K9000s at car washes.

The wash cycle finishes with a blow dry and also – free of charge in the newest machines – a short cleaning stage to ready it for the next customer.

The last stage is key, as many of the machines are in unmanned storefronts, such as Rutherford’s Furever Clean storefront in Esquimalt.

“The doors automatically unlock at 6 a.m. and lock at 11 p.m.,” she said. “I can watch the store through video feed on my phone and monitor the sales at anytime.”

The machine gains increased interest at each pet industry trade show Rutherford attends. Trends from Australia, home state of the K9000, show it is becoming popular to install in pet-friendly condos.

reporter@saanichnews.com


Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Just Posted

Painting collage brightens space at Parksville’s MAC

Donna Matilla and Tony Martin fill the room with vibrant colours in new exhibit

Parksville Qualicum Beach legions set to launch Poppy Campaign

Annual fundraiser to run from Oct. 25 to Nov. 11

Bear sightings up significantly in Parksville Qualicum Beach area

Fruit trees number one food attractant, says conservation officer

Parksville Qualicum Beach crime report: Thieves pilfer laptops, tools, big-screen TV, cash and more

Oceanside RCMP received 256 complaints between Sept. 29 and Oct. 5.

Qualicum Bay writer Linda Tenney dies after battle with cancer

Celebration of life set for Nov. 2 at Lighthouse Community Centre

In the news: Liberals eke out a win, but will need NDP, Green support to pass bills

Conservatives say they are ready if Trudeau should falter

Second young woman dies after rollover crash near Williams Lake

‘Someone’s going to get her heart, which is awesome, because she has the best heart in the world’

Google searches for ‘how to vote’ surge on Election Day

Interest spikes despite social media campaign by Elections Canada

Union says Western Forest Products refuses to budge from ‘unreasonable concessions’

According to a press release, both parties met on Oct. 16, 18, 19, and 20.

Alberta man pleads guilty, fined for hunting without a licence in North Island

It’s the responsibility of each hunter or angler to know whether they are considered a B.C. Resident.

B.C. mayor apologizes for removal of Queen’s portrait from council chambers

‘I prefer to be inclusive of the many aspects of our history’

Environment Canada issues gale warnings for western Vancouver Island

Gale warnings in effect for most of Vancouver Island and west coast Mainland

Report suggests new BC Ferries terminal near YVR

Metro Vancouver currently has two ferry terminals at northern and southern reaches

B.C. woman must pay $1,000 after unleashed dog bites another

Owner should never have left Bibi unattended, tribunal member wrote

Most Read