Lately, car washes have been going to the dogs. Combination car and canine cleaners are cropping up around the country. There are more than 700 nationwide, giving dog-owning drivers two reasons stop in and suds up.
"It does go together. It's your two prized possessions — it's your dog, it's your car. They work," explains Steve Buckhout, operations director at Foam & Wash. "I think the dogs are happy to get a bath and feel good and be clean again. I think the parents are happy because they don't have to do this at home, or they don't have to take them to a salon and be charged $70, $80 or $100 for a service that they can do a lot cheaper."
For Jill Conroy, who has five dogs, a doggie bath at the Foam & Wash Car Wash in Fishkill, N.Y., is a breeze. "I love it. It's the best thing since sliced bread," she says. "My house, the bathrooms are upstairs, so I'd have to wash them, bring them all the way downstairs, get it all over the rug — not worth it. I think this is fantastic."
The pet wash is no ordinary hose-down. Pet owners can customize their dog's bathing experience. From oatmeal shampoo to skunk odor remover, tearless shampoo and conditioner, there's a perfect bath for any pooch.
Once the pup is squeaky clean, there's a vacuum hose that literally sucks the excess water out of the fur, making the drying process faster.
And there's even a vending machine where you can get treats for your dogs, or ear wipes, even dental wipes, and if you don't want to get wet, you can buy a poncho.
For some, like Conroy, the pet wash is the only reason to visit the car wash. "To tell you the truth, I never thought about washing the car," she admits.
The typical pet wash will run you anywhere from $5 to $15, and usually takes around 10 minutes.