To feed the pet grooming market in the Park Cities, husband and wife Dan and Ashley O’Laughlin decided to open a pet wash and spa with some tail-wagging traits.
According to the American Pet Products Association, in 2015 around $5.2 billion was spent on grooming and boarding services nationwide.
The Pet Bar offers a self-service wash, or charges a monthly fee for full-service washes, along with the typical one-time full-service wash and one-time grooming prices.
The self-service wash process is more hands-on for the customers, Dan O’Laughlin said.
“Basically, we show [the client] how to work the tub, how to work the drying rooms and such,” Dan O’Laughlin said. “We give the customer everything they need as far as to groom and clean their dog. This means ear clean, nail clip, all the essentials.”
Rather than just dropping their pet off, owners come in, fill out the necessary paperwork, and have their pet weighed to determine pricing. Then human and animal are shown to a metal tub and the washing commences.
Once the dog climbs into the tub, the owner has three shampoo options, depending on the degree of dirtiness, and one conditioner. Following the washing, the owner is given a towel for drying.
According to the O’Laughlins, the self-service wash isn’t just another way to wash your dog. For some, it turns into a family event.
“On the weekends, especially Saturdays, I’ll be loaded down with people bringing in their families,” he said.
The other draw for customers is the monthly fee a customer can pay to bring their animal in for a maximum of six full-service washes per month. For Debbie Garrett, owner of Abby, a golden retriever and former show dog, the monthly services are easy and convenient.
“It’s so much work to dry them and wash them,” Garrett said. “[The Pet Bar] is spotless clean, and all the dogs that are in here … are well taken care of. This is so needed, plus it’s reasonable, if you want your dog washed all the time.”
Located on Asbury Avenue, across the street from SMU, the Pet Bar’s business is growing, according to the O’Laughlins. While its client base is currently concentrated in the immediate area, they are exploring options to expand their reach. Along with looking to add an additional trained groomer to their staff, the O’Laughlins are considering adding a day care and dog-walking option for clients.