Self-wash dog grooming is a popular alternative to spending a day at the groomer. Maybe your dog is sensitive to new people, or (like mine) a bit older and in need of extra special attention. Self-wash dog grooming is a great way to get access to all the tools the professionals use (including clean up!) for a fraction of the price.
What to Expect
Most self-wash dog groomers will provide you with a tub, towels, brushes, nail clippers, and shampoo for your pup included in their standard fee, which will usually range from \$8-25 if you're doing everything yourself. For most dogs, whats included in the standard, but if your dog needs something more than a bath, like ear cleaning or a hair cut, then you may need to consider a facility that offers a la carte services in addition to their main fare.*
In our experience, self-wash dog grooming facilities come in two kinds: those that mainly focus on self-wash grooming and provide full grooms as an extra service, and those that mainly focus on traditional grooming, with self-wash services considered extra. The difference is subtle. A traditional grooming facility will have a larger staff of groomers, and a larger staff-only segment of the facility, whereas a mostly self-wash facility will only have a handful of groomers and very large public space.
What Not To Expect
Some facilities will provide extras like conditioner, coat perfume, furminator's, dremel's, and bowties at no additional cost —others will not. Shop around until you find something that works for you.
You should also know that while all self-wash dog grooming shops have employees that are happy to answer any of your questions, 99.9% of them will not be able to help you actually groom your dog, or show you how to do it properly. For that you'll need to do a little bit of research to get your technique right, or invest in a la carte services, which most groomers will provide for a small fee.