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

Columbia Valley RCMP searching for missing person

Police ask for help in finding Elizabeth Stewart, who hasn’t contacted family since Jan. 14

Biologists discover another female calf in depleted South Purcell Mountain Caribou herd

Calf will be moved to Revelstoke maternity pens, then released

Man seriously hurt after police shooting near Nelson

Incident has been reported to provincial police watchdog

Snow storm hits East Kootenay

Fernie expected to get the most accumulation at roughly 20-25 centimetres by the end of the day

Trudeau’s principal secretary, Gerald Butts, resigns amid SNC-Lavalin furor

Butts categorically denies the accusation that he or anyone else in the PMO improperly pressured former attorney general Jody Wilson-Raybould

Lost a ring? This B.C. man will find it for you

Chris Turner founded The Ring Finders, an international directory of metal detector hobbyists

Poverty coalition has high hopes for B.C. poverty reduction strategy

Funding allocation expected to be released with 2019 budget

East Kootenay mine deaths prompt safety initiatives

Teck produces educational video, introduces new procedures after contractor drowns at Fording River

‘How did we get here?’: B.C. mom of transplant recipient worries about measles outbreaks

Addison, 7, cannot get a live vaccine because she has a heart transplant

NDP Leader Jagmeet Singh calls for public inquiry over SNC-Lavalin questions

Vancouver member of Parliament Jody Wilson-Raybould resigned from cabinet last week

Canadian airlines waiting for guidance from Ottawa over X gender option

Major U.S. airlines said they will change their process so passengers can identify themselves along non-binary lines

Moose Hide campaign takes message to Canadian schools

Campaign launches new K-12 education platform

‘Violent’ B.C. man wanted on Canada-wide warrant

Prince George man with ties to Vernon sought by police

Most Read