Becoming Four-Legged Friendly

 by Heather Steines, All Paws Pet Wash

I heard it once said that, “Pets are miracles with paws.”  So true isn’t it?  Pets become part of the family.  Growing up I had a dog named Pepsi Cola, Mr. P for short.  We give them nicknames, take them on vacation with us, and make every effort to give them the same (sometimes better) care that we give ourselves.  It comes as no surprise then that Americans spend billions every year on pet care.

At this very moment, we are witnessing the birth of an entirely new car wash industry.  It was that perfect storm of bad economic conditions, which propelled the downfall of the car wash industry back in 2008 that is now driving the success of the self-serve pet wash industry.  Perhaps now more than ever before, consumers are being conscious of the value given for a particular service compared to their money spent.  Despite this though, we still love our furry friends.  Enter self-serve pet wash stations.  A budget friendly, economical, albeit fun way to care for your pet.

Self-serve pet wash stations are popping up at car wash locations around the globe, as owners welcome them as low investment, added revenue opportunities.  In my experience, the most successful self-serve pet washes possess the following characteristics.

Modular/Open in Nature:  Visibility is key.  I recommend that owners place their pet wash in a highly visible location near their car wash.  The openness promotes a sense of security for the customer.  Those placed in the back corner or in a modified self-serve bay tend not to be used as frequently after dark or by women fearing harm.

Non-Porous Material Usage:  Pet washes will get dirty; it’s what you are aiming for.  However, using porous material, such as wood, plaster, etc. will hold the smell and dander of pets.  Using material that is impervious to water, such as glass, PVC, etc. will allow the owner to efficiently and effectively clean the pet wash with a simple rinse.

Safe:  Above all else, safety is the top priority.  Non-slip floor and tub mats, safety collar restraints, non-porous material usage, etc. are a few ways to reduce the chance of mishap and increase overall customer and pet safety.

Pet wash customers often say that self-serve pet washes are the safest, most reasonable and simple way to groom their pet.  If you listen closely, what they’re really saying is, “Thanks for a great way to care for my little miracle.”

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