This weekend my Siberian Husky, Cannoli, rolled in the mud, again!  It’s been quite rainy here and the holes Cannoli has dug in the backyard have all turned into mud pits.  Mud pits that she enjoys rolling in!  Instead of being her fluffy self, she was one big red mud dog.  Yuck!  Of course she would have to do this the morning of her scheduled training class!  I didn’t have time to take her to the groomer for a good washing, and I couldn’t take her to class looking like a mud monster, so I decided to try out the Self-Service Dog Wash at our local Petco.

Dog Wash
I had never used this service before, opting instead to have her groomed, each time costing me close to $100.  She is a Husky and needs lots of brushing, specially when she’s blowing her coat, like she is now.  (Husky’s shed their undercoat twice a year, big mess!)
We headed out to Petco hoping to get there as soon as they opened at 9:00 a.m.  We had 2 hours to get clean, our class was at a different location at 11:00.  I had no idea how the dog wash worked, how much it cost, and what was included.  I didn’t have any pet shampoo, but I figured I could always pick up a bottle at Petco, imagine my surprise when I was told shampoo was included in the kit!

We arrived just as they opened their doors, great, we were the first dog wash customers!  I paid the cashier $10 plus tax and she gave me a kit and walked us to the Self-Service Dog Wash area in the back of the store.

Dog Wash
The kit includes shampoo ( I was given 2 bottles), conditioner, a rubber scrub brush, 2 hair brushes,
towels, apron, and a collar so you can latch the dog to the tub or table for safety.
Dog Wash

There were 2 stations in the wash area allowing for 2 dogs to be bathed at the same time.

There was a tub with a removable side for dogs to walk in.
The tubs were all clean and had no-slip mats in place.  There are 3 hooks attached to the tub so you can latch the dog to one of them while bathing. The hand held nozzle sprays warm water when needed.

Dog Wash

Next to each tub was a grooming table complete with a post to attach the dog to when grooming.
There’s also a 2 speed blow dryer by the table.

Dog Wash

It took a bit of persuasion, but I was able to get Cannoli in the tub and latched the collar to the tub.

Dog Wash

Got the supplies ready, donned the apron, and was ready to go!

Dog Wash

I ended up shampooing her twice to get all the mud off.  I used a whole bottle of shampoo.

Dog Wash

Rinsed her off and worked in a bottle of conditioner, she has lots of fur!  We had to leave in the conditioner for 3 minutes before we could rinse.

Dog Wash

After towel drying her, we used all 4 towels, she was ready for brushing and blow drying.  It was easy enough to get her to walk out of the tub after I removed the side.

Dog Wash

A small treat got her to “Place” on the table.  (That’s our command when I want her to hop up on a table for brushing.)
I latched her on to the post and got the blow dryer and brushes ready.

The brushes in the kit, one of them was the Furminator, were great.  We filled up the trash bin with fur.

Quick word about brushing and the Furminator.  Before you give your pet a bath you should always use a rake to get the loose debris off the coat. (I’d done this at home, if you’re going to Petco’s Dog Wash you should either do this at home or bring a rake with you, the kit doesn’t have a rake.)  Raking is specially important for long haired dogs.

The Furminator is a great tool, at least I think so.  (There’s a whole debate about this, you either like it or you don’t).  This tool has a blade so use it carefully.  It’s great for picking up the undercoat, but if you over brush it ends up taking off the guard hairs.  Over brushing may also irritate or burn your dog’s skin.  Also use the correct Furminator, they have them for short, medium, and long hair dogs.

Dog Wash

Once she was dried and brushed we sprayed on some minty breath spray and some papaya/coconut moisturizer/deodorant.  She smelled lovely!

Dog Wash

Less than 2 hours later Cannoli was clean, dry, and fluffed.
She looked like a Siberian Husky again!  (To be fair she could have used another half hour of drying and brushing, but we had to get to class so we had to leave just a bit damp.)

Best of all there were no towels to wash, hair to clean out of the tub or sweep off the floor.  When we were done we walked over to the cashier to let her know we were done, got a free doggie treat and were on our way to our training class.

I thought this was a bargain!  I normally pay close to $100 for grooming, but that includes nail trim, gland extraction, and 2 hours of brushing.  When I drop her off for grooming it takes about 5-6 hours.  I have to say they do a better job, but for in between times, and emergencies, the self-service dog wash is great.  I’m sure we’ll be heading back again very soon.  It’s still raining here, and she does love to dig and roll in the mud.

Not all Petco’s have a self-service dog wash.  You can check online to see if there’s one near you.

Update 1/26/2016

I recently visited my daughter and her family in Atlanta, they have a year old Rottweiler pup named Bolo.  I took her to the Petco Unleashed not far from her house to introduce her to the self-service pet wash.  The set up in Atlanta is almost identical to the Petco wash in Hawaii, they just do things a bid differently.  Instead of charging before the wash and giving each customer a basket of grooming needs in this Petco the supplies are set up at the pet washing area and you pay after bathing your dog.  Not a big difference, and the price is still $10.  The tubs and grooming tables are the same and will fit all dogs no matter how big.

Dog WashBolo is a 100 pound Rott, he fits comfortably in the tub.







Dog WashThe sprayer makes bathing any size dog easy.








Dog WashThe pet wash includes shampoo, conditioner, and brushes for your use.  The dryer has 2 speeds and the grooming table make drying and brushing easy.