Anyone who has washed their dog at home knows that it can be a bit messy. Multiply that by 20 washes a day and you’re looking at clogged drains, water everywhere and perhaps even some shampoo from a dog who thought he could get away.
Erik MacPherson, president of TMC Dog Wash Solutions of St. Pete Beach, FL, a supplier of coin operated self-serve dog wash equipment, said that for those who have or are thinking of adding on a pet wash, the cleaning and maintenance can actually be quite easy. All is takes, is a little planning.
Friday night checklist
MacPherson said that with a standalone pet wash, about 15 minutes, twice a week, is all that is needed. He said doing the work on a Friday, in preparation for the weekend, and then again on Monday should do the trick.
“You should be able to get 20 to 30 washes before needing to clean out the unit,” he said. “Look for equipment with a system override cleaning feature and multiple built-in hair traps for simple cleaning. Also, you want a system that will contain the water and hair to minimize clean up in the area around the dog wash.” If not, you will need someone to clean up after every wash — which really defeats the purpose of a coin-op dog wash.
Customers can accidentally cause damages, and MacPherson said it’s usually with the money machines, so it’s important to check them on a regular basis. They can get jammed and can interfere with the bills and credit card readers.
Lastly, ensure the wash-gun hose and dryer hose are securely tightened periodically, as MacPherson explained they can become loose over time.
Keeping it clean
According to MacPherson, one of the best things an owner and operator can do to make their wash run more efficiently is to keep the equipment and area as clean as possible. “If not contained properly by the dog wash equipment, water and hair can become a mess after every wash thus requiring daily if not multiple times per day cleaning. If the dog wash equipment and space is messy, it could turn away business. You get one shot with your dog wash clients to have a positive experience so they return regularly.”
For washes that are open late or 24/7, MacPherson said it’s important to make sure they have the proper security and lighting. He said you’d be surprised at the times that dog owners will want to wash their pets, that is, if they feel the site is safe.
Keeping the lines short
Saturdays and Sundays are a wash’s busiest days, especially in the summer. MacPherson said that if your wash is getting a lot of long lines it’s time to consider adding another station. “If the line is forming, it is time to add another dog wash,” he said. “But this all depends on location and population/demographics. Look, a long line is a good sign. But the dog wash owner will need to address that pretty quickly. There is competition right down the street these days.”