Wag and wash

The Tribune (NZ) - - FRONT PAGE - RICHARD MAYS

It’s good news for dirty dogs.

Hos­ing down the hound has taken on a whole new hue. Craig McKen­zie, of Dog­wash NZ, has just opened Palmer­ston North’s first 24/7 semi-au­to­mated dog­wash ma­chine.

Sit­ting at the end of the Pet Es­sen­tials carpark on Al­bert St, op­po­site New World, it’s the fourth Aus­tralian-sourced K9000 ma­chine McKen­zie has in­stalled around New Zealand, af­ter New Ply­mouth, Whanganui and Porirua.

‘‘It’s prov­ing pop­u­lar with do­gown­ers, es­pe­cially those who have mid-size short-haired dogs,’’ McKen­zie said.

‘‘The K9000 is a top qual­ity ma­chine – best in the world. There are over 400 of them set up around Aus­tralia and af­ter four years op­er­at­ing the first one in New Ply­mouth, it’s prac­ti­cally bul­let-proof.

‘‘There are sen­sor lights and sur­veil­lance for the se­cu­rity of users and the unit. Once they’ve tried it, peo­ple love it.’’

And yes, own­ers do take their dogs for a wash in the wee small hours of the morn­ing.

McKen­zie started hunt­ing for an­other way to wash dogs af­ter a wash­ing fail with his own dog.

‘‘I have a black lab and one day I couldn’t be both­ered tak­ing him down to the river to wash him and de­cided to put him in the shower at home. That was fine, but then he got out and shook off. I spent the next 40 min­utes clean­ing up the hair.’’

The dog-wash ma­chine has three fil­ters to catch that hair. The warm wa­ter unit dis­penses a flea treat­ment sham­poo, fol­lowed by con­di­tioner, with a blow dryer to fin­ish off.

Fenced off from the car park, the dog can also be re­strained once in­side the wash­ing tub, and there’s man­ual over-ride on the set­tings so own­ers can cus­tomise the process.

Catherine Han­non and her 6-year-old labrador Dex­ter are fa­mil­iar with the New Ply­mouth ma­chine and came along to chris­ten the unit.

It’s ideal, she said, for an­i­mals who shy away from be­ing washed in the back­yard with a cold-wa­ter hose, and saves hav­ing to mop up a mess in­side. As for Dex­ter’s re­ac­tion... ‘‘He loves the warm wa­ter, but he’s not too keen on the blow dryer.’’

‘‘Once they've tried it, peo­ple love it’’

Craig McKen­zie

Catherine Han­non gives Dex­ter the labrador a good soak­ing in the new dog-wash ma­chine.

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