by: Brenda Jane Johnstone
Furever Clean Dog Wash Inc. (Furever Clean) is a business owned by Evelyn Rutherford, who understands the challenges in surviving as a business, the need to meet customer expectations and the importance of remaining competitive.
Evelyn and her family have lived in the Victoria, British Columbia area since 1994 and are the owners of Odin, a large Bernese mountain dog, the inspiration and mascot for the Furever Clean Dog Wash.
One in three Canadian families own a dog and everybody knows that dogs get dirty. As dog owners, the Rutherford family soon recognized the challenges in keeping Odin clean and were thrilled to become distributors of a world class leader in dog wash machines, the K9000 Dog Wash, and in 2017 opened the Furever Dog Wash store in Victoria along with a distributorship for the K9000 self-serve dog wash.
Making bathing your dog easy, quick, convenient and leaving no mess to clean up afterwards is exactly what the K9000 offers to owners. Manufactured in Australia in 2005, the K9000 Dog Wash was designed and constructed incorporating the robust technologies and construction techniques of the carwash market modified and adapted for dog washing requirements. All the owner has to do is plumb in the water and provide power for the machine to connect to, states Rutherford.
Dogs are sometimes anxious to be bathed so the K9000 was designed to ensure they dogs are safe and happy. It offers a soft coated and non-skid floor and allows your pet to view you through the transparent door.
This unit offers customers with a timed wash that can wash and dry one or more dogs in as little as 10 minutes. Choosing between six wash cycles – shampoo, flea shampoo, condition, rinse, heated blow dry and disinfect, the customer can opt to go through the whole cycle or select portions of the cycle.
Offering a digital display timer makes this unit easy to monitor the wash progress and allows both pricing and timing to be fully configurable for the business owner. The K9000 has an audible beeper warning device to let customers know when the wash cycle time is close to completion.
The K9000 comes equipped with an exclusive soft touch easy to use multiple spray option wash gun with an on/off button for immediate control when washing. There is an adjustable heated dryer and a three-part filtration system to trap the hair of up to 20 dogs while still providing sufficient area for the waste water to drain.
The machine can be equipped with an optional hot water unit. The hot water unit is set up for fast recovery and will provide a constant supply of water at the correct temperature all day long.
A high security locking frame includes locks and lock boxes, providing business owners with additional security and protection of cash and profits.
Several models of K9000 dog wash are available, including Groom Easy, Lite, Standard and Twin (two machines sharing one controller). Shampoo products for the dog wash can be purchased through the Furever Clean Dog Wash site along with a dog treat vending machine to give dogs a treat during and after their bath.
The expected return on investment for the K9000 dog wash is one to one-and-a-half years with a regular daily wash of anything from 5 to12-plus dogs per day. This usually peaks during the summer months when some customers have seen from 30 - 50 dogs per weekend. Operators can expect a net profit of $8.50- $8.75 per wash which includes utilities and shampoos.
The return on investment is not just the dog wash revenue, it is the ability to attract new customers – mom comes with the kids to wash the dog, while dad washes the truck, or vice versa – a true family activity. Once these customers are on site, based on experience in the pet industry, operators could expect to see increases in the sales of their existing carwash and related products and services – some have seen increases of up to 40 per cent. The dog wash is also a useful tool to promote and cross sell other products.
Requirements for plumbing the K9000 are generally not significant for the carwash industry. Often, they are situated in empty bays, in laundromats or alongside washrooms. Lift pumps and pipes can be used to carry waste water from the dog wash to the drain.
Furever Clean Dog Wash offers a 12-month warranty with an optional extra two year extended warranty available. Detailed operation guides and videos are provided as support as well as phone and Skype. If a problem arises, they work with their customers first to diagnose and fix the problem together. If that doesn’t solve the problem, they will send in a local support person to help.
No restrictions other than getting access to power, cold water and a drain. Due to freezing weather, the dog wash should be situated in a building or enclosure where the ambient temperature is at least five degrees Celsius.
Rutherford wants potential business owners to know that she is happy to discuss their specific needs and work with them to get the solutions they want. Their customer base spans the country from east to west. Mikiz Auto and Doggy Wash in Lunenburg, Nova Scotia has just opened its K9000 dog wash in December and love it.
Furever Clean Dog Wash is currently a finalist for Small Business BC Awards 2017 in the category Best International Trade – further evidence that they must be doing something right.
Feel free to give Furever Clean Dog Wash a call so they can get you started on the next chapter of your business success and visit their website www.fureverclean.ca for more information.