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

B.C. BUDGET: Surplus $374 million after bailouts of BC Hydro, ICBC

Growth projected stronger in 2020, Finance Minister Carole James says

Battle of the Bands winner set to perform at Char’s Landing

Sean Lyons is a singer-songwriter originally from Port Alberni

Port Alberni sends large contingent of athletes to Special Olympics Winter Games

Veteran curler Simone Myers dreams of gold in her seventh provincials

Steelhead LNG stops work on Kwispaa LNG project near Bamfield

Huu-ay-aht First Nations ‘deeply disappointed; Steelhead says funding is the problem

West coast group campaigns for seal, sea lion harvest

‘Salmon are going the way of the buffalo unless we do something’

Mermen calendar targets ‘toxic masculinity,’ raises big money for charities

Newfoundland and Labrador Beard and Moustache Club gave a cheque for more than $202,000 to Violence Prevention NL

‘Bullet missed me by an inch’: Man recounts friend’s killing at Kamloops hotel

Penticton man witnessed Summerland resident Rex Gill’s murder in Kamloops

B.C. BUDGET: Income assistance raise still leaves many below poverty line

$50 per month increase included in funding for poverty and homelessness reduction

B.C. BUDGET: Indigenous communities promised billions from gambling

Extended family caregiver pay up 75 per cent to keep kids with relatives

B.C. BUDGET: New benefit increases family tax credits up to 96 per cent

BC Child Opportunity Benefit part of province’s efforts to reduce child poverty

B.C. BUDGET: Carbon tax boosts low-income credits, electric vehicle subsidies

Homeowners can get up to $14,000 for heating, insulation upgrades

B.C. man survives heart attack thanks to Facebook

A Princeton man suffered a heart attack while at an isolated property with no cell service

B.C. man sues Maxime Bernier’s People’s Party over trademark

Satinder Dhillon filed application for trademark same day Maxime Bernier announced the new party

New trial ordered over banning whales, dolphins at Vancouver aquarium

Park board’s appeal reverses previous decision that found it had no right to implement a ban

Most Read