The Dog Wash Etc., a family-owned pet grooming business, has relocated to 1037 Forest Ave. The move highlights the business’ recent name change and expansion of retail space, goods and services. 

Q: Sounds like you’ve undergone a lot of changes recently, can you tell me a bit of the business’ history?

A: My brother Greg Goodwin and I founded it in May of 2004 based on a similar model in Maryland. We were originally known as the Portland Dog Wash because we primarily were a self-serve dog wash. We changed our name to The Dog Wash, Etc. to reflect the fact that we were expanding to offer full grooming services and pet supplies. Our move in September has effectively tripled our retail space. 

Q: Tell me about the self-service dog wash part of your business. Sounds like a cash wash.

A: In theory, it is. We provide the set-up for people to walk in with their dirty dogs and wash and dry them themselves.

Q: What are the benefits of bathing a dog at your shop versus at home?

A: Here, pet owners don’t have to fight to get their dogs into the tub, like at home, where the animal may have had a bad (bathing) experience. This is neutral territory. And, it is easier on the owner’s knees and back because they don’t have to lift the dogs into the tub or bend over to wash them. We have waist-high, stainless steel grooming tubs with small doors on them that the dogs walk into using a ramp or stairs. Our tubs have grooved mats inside them so dogs are not slipping and sliding around; that helps the animal feel a bit more secure.

Q: How many bathing stations are available?

A: Six. Those are available first come, first-served. Each of them is equipped with a variety of shampoos and accessories like aprons, air dryers and towels. The dryers use forced air that purposely blasts more air into the dog’s coat to dry it faster and have different fittings on them so that you can adjust the air flow. Another convenience is that everything is done right inside the tub stall, from washing to drying, making it easier on the pet owner. For new customers, we give a short tutorial on how it all works but we are always here to help anyone who needs us. Another perk is that pet owners don’t have to clean up the aftermath of pet hair and water all over the floor when they are done. We clean and disinfect everything when before the next customer uses it. 

Q: What other kind of services do you provide?

A: For an additional fee, we will now clean the dogs ourselves; that takes about an hour. We do nail trimming for a small fee and give free lessons on trimming to clients who prefer to do that themselves. And, we have hired a professional pet groomer. 

Q: What do you think makes your business popular?

A: In this economy, a lot of people are cutting back on their dogs’ grooming appointments, spacing them out longer and coming in to wash their dogs in between appointments. 

Q: Tell me about your new product line.

A: We carry pet treats, grooming supplies, toys and a large assortment of collars, leashes and harnesses. We also carry all-natural dog and cat foods, canned food and dry kibble and work to help our customers identify the best types of food to feed their pets. Some common pet allergies are the result of the ingredients in the food they eat. We try to bring in foods that commonly eliminate those allergies. We’ve recently begun a service to deliver pet food to customers who live within a three-mile radius. Usually that’s for large quantities. 

Q: What else would you like folks to know about your business?

A: We’ve done a lot of research to build this business and have tried to keep the economy in focus when offering our services. We sought out a bunch of holistic pet foods that are competitively priced for great bargains. Most of it is made in the U.S.A., and some of it in Maine. 

Staff Writer Deborah Sayer can be contacted at 791-6308 or at: [email protected]