Dog owners in Singapore can now look forward to bringing their pets home clean and dry after a day of exercise in the park.
National Parks Board (NParks) and Dog Wash Pte Ltd are collaborating to install a dog wash station at West Coast Park Dog Run. A pilot programme, the self-service machine is slated to officially launch this Saturday and Sunday.
Washes are free from 10am to 4pm on both days. After that, it costs $10 for a 10-minute wash.
Mr Chia Seng Jiang, 53, director of parks at NParks, says: "We hope this new facility will offer dog owners the convenience of washing their dogs after a time of play or exercise at the park."
The K9000 Dog Wash shampoos, conditions, treats fleas and ticks, and dries a dog in 10 minutes. It can accommodate anything from a small Chihuahua to a Great Dane in its 215cm by 60cm basin.
Since it was invented in 2005 in Australia, more than 800 of the facility have been installed in pet stores and veterinary clinics worldwide, according to the manufacturer.
After seeing the popularity of the facility during her vacation in Australia in 2012, Ms Vishmi De Silva, 32, finance director of the Singapore Yacht Show, obtained the exclusive rights to the K9000 for Asia and set up Dog Wash Pte Ltd to introduce it to Singapore.
She first proposed the idea under the First Mover Advantage Framework, a platform for entrepreneurs with innovative business ideas, by Pro-Enterprise Singapore, which is a public-private partnership under the Ministry of Trade and Industry.
Under the framework, entrepreneurs may get space allocated or funding for their ideas.
Ms De Silva got a space at West Coast park after getting the approval from the organisation, which paired Dog Wash Singapore with NParks for the West Coast Park pilot programme.
Currently, there is a private K9000 Dog Wash at Sunny Heights, a pet service centre at Turf City. A 10-minute session costs $10 and every additional minute costs $1.
Self-employed business consultant Denise Lim, 26, uses it every week to wash her four-year-old female corgi, Toffee.
She says: "Compared to washing my dog at home, it is easier to use. It's also faster and more convenient because there's everything in one machine. "
Nurse Vivien Lim, 22, and process technician Alex Koh, 23, used it for the first time last week and found the service helpful.
The couple, who are dating, took their one-year-old male poodle, Brownie to swim at the pool in Sunny Heights and washed the pet at the K9000 machine immediately after the swim.
Ms Lim, a nurse, says: "I think it's quite nice that we can shower and dry him in one place for $10, which is quite affordable.
"We can save the hassle of showering him at home."
Plans to install the facility at more parks are still under observation by NParks.
Says Mr Chia: "We will monitor the usage and feedback received on this new amenity.
"If it is popular, we will consider installing more of such dog washes at other parks with dog runs."