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Do-It-Yourself: Self-Serve Pet Bathing Facilities

Your Canine and Feline Family Members Can Look Their Holiday Best for Less

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Nearly everyone is trying to cut costs these days, and if you have pets in your family, you can extend your thrift plan to include your canine and feline members, too. You probably want your pets to look and smell their best, but grooming can be expensive. Fortunately, there’s an alternative.

Mind you, I’m not talking about the kind of grooming that involves scissors and razor blades – even Fido doesn’t appreciate having a bad hair day, not to mention that razors are, well, sharp! Those tasks are best left to an expert, unless you truly know what you’re doing.

But soap and water are simple enough for anyone to handle – given the right facilities. If you have a small, short-haired dog, the kitchen sink may work fine, but if you have a longer-haired or larger breed, you know that home bathing can be a risky venture. After all, hiring a plumber to clear the hair out of the bathtub drain costs more than a trip to the groomer!

And if you have a cat, you’ve probably discovered just how disdainful cats tend to find the whole process, and a trip to the emergency room (for you, not the cat) isn’t on your holiday season to-do list.

What to do? Enter do-it-yourself pet-bathing facilities. These places provide tubs large enough to accommodate even Marmaduke, and include shampoo, towels, and such as well. But because you do the actual pet-washing yourself, the cost is significantly cheaper than a doggie or kitty spa or salon. You get to take home a clean, sweet-smelling pet, and leave the mess behind!

Following are three great places to check out.

Wipe Your Pawz!

Location: 5510 Lafayette Road, Suite 210, Indianapolis 46254
Phone: (317) 217-1772
Hours: Mon-Fri, 10:30 a.m.-8 p.m.; Sat, 10 a.m.-5 p.m.; Sun, 11 a.m.-5 p.m. Beginning in 2009, the store will be closed on Mondays, but other hours will remain the same. Note: Dog baths must begin at least one hour before store closing.
Cost: Basic dog wash: $12 for dogs 10 lbs and under; $14 for dogs 11-60 lbs; $16 for dogs 61-100 lbs; $18 for dogs over 100 lbs. Each additional dog from the same family on the same day is $2 off. Basic cat wash: $12.

The basic wash for both cats and dogs includes the use of a tub, warm water, a choice of shampoos and conditioners, combs and brushes, an apron for the owner, towels, dryers, and drying tables. Restraints are available on the tubs and drying tables. Dental wipes, ear wipes, nail clippers, specialty shampoos and other accessories are available for a small fee.

Of special interest to cat owners, Wipe Your Pawz! caters to felines with a specially designed product to keep kitty in place during the bathing process. You just zip your cat from the neck down into a mesh pouch of sorts — the holes in the mesh allow the water in and out.

Healthy Hounds: A Dog Emporium

Location: 9808 Fall Creek Rd., Indianapolis 46256 (At 79th and Fall Creed Rd, by the Geist Kroger)
Phone: (317) 585-WOOF (9663)
Hours: Mon-Fri, 10:30 a.m.-7:30 p.m.; Sat, 10 a.m.-5 p.m., Sun, 11 a.m.-5 p.m. Note: Last baths must start at least 30 minutes before store closing.
Cost: $18 per wash

Two retired racing greyhounds are the inspiration behind this emporium, which caters to all kinds of dogs and the people who love them.

Healthy Hounds offers huge, user-friendly tubs with “hydrosurge" bathing systems -- a revolutionary way of bathing dogs that pre-mixes water, shampoo, and oxygen. It’s quick and easy, and eliminates the need for hand-scrubbing, plus, the soothing hydro-massage it gives your dog feels great!

Pet Supplies Plus

Location: 8810 S. Emerson Ave., Indianapolis
Phone: (317) 889-6311
Hours: Mon-Sat, 9 a.m.-8 p.m.; Sun, 11 a.m.-4 p.m.
Cost: $10 per pet (plus tax)

Select locations of Pet Supplies “Plus” stores now feature a “Do-It-Yourself” Pet Wash, including the Indianapolis location noted above. Aprons, collars, shampoo, towels, and blow dryers are furnished.

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