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

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

A second wave of COVID-19 is probable, if history tells us anything

B.C.’s top doctor says that what health officials have learned this round will guide response in future

Council talks trash: New garbage bylaw in the works

Draft bylaw to be voted on at Monday, May 25 council meeting

UPDATE: Police oversight agency investigating after shots fired Saturday night in Chilliwack neighbourhood

RCMP reported a ‘distraught male’ fired at police officers on Christina Drive – IIO is on scene Sunday

Prospera Credit Union, Westminster Savings lay off over 100 staff following historic merge

2020 merger was largest credit-union merger in Canadian history

‘Service beyond the classroom’: Gerry Palmer wins UFV award

Palmer has been involved with UFV for more than 30 years, starting as an instructor

LIVE: Procession to honour Snowbirds Capt. Jennifer Casey comes to Halifax

Snowbirds service member died in a crash in Kamloops one week ago

RCMP facing ‘systemic sustainability challenges’ due to provincial policing role

Provinces, territories and municipalities pay anywhere from 70 to 90 per cent of the cost of the RCMP’s services

‘Not a joke’: Promoter wants to rocket-launch man the length of White Rock pier

Brooke Colby says he’s building an eight-foot rocket in his backyard

RCMP confirm man dead in Chilliwack shooting incident

The Independent Investigations Office of B.C. is investigating the RCMP’s role in the death

B.C. employers worry about safety, cash flow, second wave in COVID-19 restart

A survey found 75 per cent of businesses worry about attracting customers

Ex-BC Greens leader Andrew Weaver says province came close to early election

Disagreement centred on the LNG Canada project in northern B.C.

Canada’s NHL teams offer options to season-ticket holders

Canadian teams are offering refunds, but also are pushing a number of incentives to let them keep the money

Boy, 2, left with ‘soft tissue injuries’ after being hit by car in Squamish intersection

Boy was release from hospital, police continue to investigate

B.C. premier says lessons to learn from past racism during response to pandemic

B.C. formally apologized in the legislature chamber in 2008 for its role in the Komagata Maru tragedy

Most Read