Wednesday, December 30, 2009

The Muddy Mutt: A Self Serve Grooming Salon

When the day comes that I no longer lease, and I find myself a homeowner, I have plans of transforming my basement into a dog grooming room. I’ve looked into what tubs are the best, saved up for a professional dog dryer, have selected my grooming table of choice, and even drawn out how I want everything laid out!

Until that day comes I am stuck with either bathing Milly in the driveway with a hose and drying her with a hair dryer on the cold setting, spending $65 at the groomer for a bath and brush (I’m particular about where she goes, because she is geriatric and I need to know the groomer will give her breaks throughout the process), clogging my shower drain and struggling to rinse her in my walk-in shower, or going to the do-it yourself dog wash!

I’ve found a fabulous dog wash in Shirlington (a part of Arlington, VA) called The Muddy Mutt. For $17 (you get your 6th wash free) you are provided with a professional grooming tub that is off the wall so you can scrub from both sides, professional all-natural and organic shampoos (mixed on site for your dog’s particular needs), a professional AirForce brand dryer, all the brushes and combs you could need, an unlimited supply of treats, an unlimited supply of ShamWow’s (they’re great, but the generic sold at AutoZone work even better, incase you were wondering), and the softest wash cloths I’ve ever felt. The Muddy Mutt backs up to the Shirlington Dog Park, talk about prime location, and is owned by the sweetest lady who will help you through the entire process and answer all of your questions. They even have a small retail section, and provide you with aprons so you can leave just as clean as you entered! The Muddy Mutt supports pet adoptions by offering one free wash to any dog adopted from a reputable within the last three months.

A dog waits to be bathed in the grooming area

For senior dogs and dogs with limited mobility they offer ramps!

They have all sorts of fun dog accessories, toys and leashes in their growing retail section!

While I have the money saved up for the Chris Christensen Kool Dry Dryer I’ve been coveting, I’m a bit hesitant to make the purchase in the winter. It truly is back breaking work to bathe Milly in the driveway, and it’s way too cold this time of year, and it is just a big mess to do her in my shower (the drain clogs just from my hair so think of what Golden Retriever fur does to it!). I never thought it could be so painful to be bent over for so long, but after grooming her at home my back usually hurts for two days. So, until I can groom her in the driveway with the hose again, I’m happily spending my money at The Muddy Mutt.

If you’ve never used a grooming tub and professional dryer you don’t know what you’re missing! I can get Milly 90% dry with a professional dryer in under 5 minutes! With a regular hair dryer on the cold setting we’re looking at over an hour of coat damaging work. A professional dryer works by blowing the water off the coat, and then you can adjust the settings for detail work. The lack of heat makes this a pet-safe tool that can be used weekly (or more) with out causing skin and coat irritations. If you are spending a fortune or hurting yourself grooming at home you should check if there is a self-service grooming salon/dog wash in your area – it’s totally worth the money!

The Muddy Mutt is conveniently located (walking distance!) from my very dog friendly office. I can take Milly to work in the morning, let her play and get really filthy for a few minutes at the park, and simply put her in a tub and scrub, scrub, scrub.

This is one business I happily frequent every other week - and where I'll be spending my lunch break today! Miss Muddy Paws gives The Muddy Mutt FOUR PERFECT PAWS!


  1. My Mother was a dog groomer for 30 plus years and my cousin and his mother both have dog shoppes. It is a great business and I'm trying to get my daughters fiance to go into the business because he is soooo good with animals! Good Luck! It is a great job to get into! If you love it, you should do it!!!

  2. We have a self wash place in Phoenix, but it is too far away to help us out much! I usually do the driveway thing, and then crank the heat up in the house. I have found that some groomers will do a "Priority" wash - your dog is their main focus until it is done, but you have to stay near the store. We do this with Cisco because she is prone to seizures.

    Good luck with your dream grooming area!

    Sam and Cisco

  3. That's awesome that you can bring her to work!!

    There's also a self-grooming place in DC called Chateaux Animaux. I used to take Bailey there after taking him to Shirlington :)

  4. I love the fact that there is a ramp for senior dogs. I used to have a Newfoundland that weighed almost 200 pounds. When his hips were problematic, getting him in ANY tub was next to impossible!

  5. Hey Great Article on the groomer! I work for & we've partnered with PetMAC to hold a contest in honor of Nat'l Dress Your Pet Up Day! Send us a pic of your dressed pet by 1/14 to enter for a chance to win $20 to PetMAC

  6. A part of being a responsible dog owner involves keeping your dog looking and feeling his or her best. This involves grooming your pet regularly.

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