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Self-Service Pet Wash Offers Space for People to Bathe Their Dogs

By Serena Dai | June 26, 2014 6:46am
 Ania Rogalska's pet Ella inspired her to open a self-service pet wash business.
Ania Rogalska's pet Ella inspired her to open a self-service pet wash business.
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Facebook/BFF Self-Service Pet Wash

GREENPOINT — A new Greenpoint business wants to provide a space for you to wash your pet yourself.

BFF Self-Service Pet Wash and Supplies, at 192 Driggs Ave., opened about a month ago and will host a grand opening party Friday to show local dog and cat owners what it's all about.

For owner Ania Rogalska, the business's stainless steel washing tubs offer a roomy space for her to wash her own "BFF," a Dalmation named Ella, whose anxiety around groomers went to the point of defecating in the bath.

The Greenpoint native, 30, recently moved back home from Colorado, where self-service pet washing places were more commonplace.

"It was a little bit of a headache," she said of washing Ella. "I found a place like this in Colorado and absolutely fell in love. When I moved back here, I was back to having a big problem of having a very anxious dog."

The shop aims to provide everything pet owners need to wash their animals themselves — with none of the clean-up or hassle when using a personal tub in a small New York City apartment, Rogalska said.

The shop has eight stainless steel tubs with ramps so that bigger dogs don't have to be picked up. It offers a variety of dog and cat shampoo and conditioners, including medicated options for animals with itchy, dry skin.

It has brushes, high velocity dryers, restraint collars and even waterproof aprons for the owners.

"You leave the mess behind and leave with a clean pup," Rogalska said.

Each wash costs $15 and includes the shampoo, conditioner and other amenities. A five-wash card costs $70, and BFF also offers longer membership cards for different costs.

In the month that she's been open, she's seen mostly repeat customers, who say they love the bonding experience of washing their own dogs, Rogalska said.

More than 100 pets have come in, including a couple of cats, with around 200 visits total, she said.

Already, more than 20 people have bought unlimited packages, with many owners stopping by to rinse off pets after a trip to local dog runs, she said.

"It is an anxious activity," she said of bathing pets. "For the person they trust the most to do the bathing is very soothing and comforting. There's a lot to be said about that."

Friday's party is from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m., with food from Greenpoint Cheese and Meat, wine and dog food samples. Caricature artist Cathy Nolan will be drawing free caricatures of pet owners with their animals.

On Saturday and Sunday, money from washes will be donated to Badass Brooklyn Animal Rescue.