Dirty dogs in town to smell like ap­ples

South Taranaki Star - - OUT & ABOUT - JANE MATTHEWS

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.

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