Do-it-yourself dog wash saves money and mess

<div class="meta image-caption"><div class="origin-logo origin-image none"><span>none</span></div><span class="caption-text">Dog Beach Pet Wash on Tilton Road in Northfield, New Jersey.</span></div>
April 28, 2009 11:31:00 AM PDT
Chesapeake Bay retrievers, like Tom Fitzpatrick's Maggie, need to be bathed every couple of weeks. Paying a groomer to do it can be quite costly.

Lynn Fitzpatrick explains that she and her husband were paying anywhere from $50 to $70 to a groomer to keep Maggie clean and sweet-smelling.

Those fees inspired Tom and Lynn to open Dog Beach -- a self-service pet wash in Northfield, by the Jersey shore.

Michelle Contreras of Egg Harbor Township and her dog, Ben, are regular customers.

Dog owners pay between $12 and $21 to wash their dogs, depending on the animal's weight.

Dog Beach provides everything the owners need -- from specially designed tubs with ramps to waterproof aprons to a choice of shampoos and conditioners, including hypo-allergenic ones. And best of all, Tom and Lynn do the clean-up.

Lynn says that's the part many of the customers like best -- the fact that they don't have to clean dog hair out of the tub, and they don't have to worry about water getting everywhere.

Owners can use as many towels as they need, and then finish the job with special doggie blow-dryers. There are even eye and ear wipes -- though clearly, this is not Ben's favorite part.

Michelle says she appreciates the savings at Dog Beach -- but gets her biggest kick out of how much Ben seems to enjoy his visits.

"It's a spa day for him. And I think the fact that I'm with him the whole time makes it even better," she says.

Dog Beach is located at 331 Tilton Road in Northfield. The phone number is: 609-377-8590. Appointments aren't necessary.

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