Dirty dogs in town to smell like apples
One day Max the black labrador made the mistake of rolling on a dead fish on the beach at Mo¯ kau.
This was at the start of a family road trip to Northland for Max and his owner Craig McKenzie. Luckily for Max the incident resulted in more than just a bad smell - it spawned a business idea.
‘‘We got to Whangarei and said to my mum ‘where’s your hose?’ She said ‘there’s a dog washing thing down town, go down there’,’’ McKenzie said. ’’I washed him in it and thought ‘actually this thing’s a bit crappy, but the idea is great’.’’
McKenzie now owns Dogwash NZ and has just set up his fifth K9000 Dogwash System - a 24/7 self-service dog wash - this one in Ha¯ wera.
The system costs $10 for 10 minutes and includes shampoos, flea shampoos, conditioner - apple scented, and blow drying options.
‘‘I’ve got one in New Plymouth and one in Whanganui and it just seemed like Ha¯ wera is the next biggest town,’’ McKenzie said. ’’We get a lot of people coming from Ha¯ wera to the other two.’’
McKenzie said the original idea of not having to use a hose has grown.
‘‘Most people will come in and say, ‘I’m not spending $10 to wash my dog’ and they nearly always leave going ‘I’ll be back next week, that was fantastic’,’’ he said. ‘‘We get a really good core of regular users.’’
McKenzie said there was also convenience in leaving the mess for others to clean up.
‘‘I’ve got a black labrador and a white shower. I once put him in the shower, just to see how it would go, and it was fine - then he shook off and there was hair everywhere,’’ he laughed. ’’You come to wash your dog and you leave all the loose hair and the muck and the dirt all behind. It just gets washed down the drains.’’
The products they use are very high quality, and McKenzie said people would be spending much more than $10 maintaining those products at home.
As for Max, his fishy encounter paid off for him too. ’’He was an outside dog until we got the first dog wash,’’ McKenzie said. ‘‘He spent the first three years of his life living on our porch and he never came in the house - we didn’t want it smelling like dog.
‘‘Now he smells like apples all the time and he’s actually an inside dog.’’
The dog wash is based at the Taranaki Veterinary Centre on Albion St.
Max and Tanya Peters of the Taranaki Veterinary Centre - where the new dog wash is based.