A muddy Bernese Mountain Dog sparked the idea for Bubbly Paws.
“She would get messy and we had no place to bath her,” said co-owner Keith Miller.
Armatage residents Keith and Patrycia Miller opened a self-serve dog wash in 2011 and have since grown to open a fourth location at 4737 Chicago Ave. They also own the Pampered Pooch Playground in St. Louis Park.
The dog wash comes complete with towels, toothbrushes and shampoo, with a separate room available to blow-dry dogs.
“If there is a wait, most of the stores around here are dog-friendly,” Miller said.
(A co-owner of Primp Boutique, a friend of the Millers, is partly to thank for the new dog wash — she said their 48th & Chicago store sees the most dogs of all their stores.)
Groomers are available for appointments as well, and they take in a limited number of dogs each day to keep the atmosphere calm.
“We try to be a lower-stress grooming salon,” Keith said.
He and Patrycia visited dog washes across the country and brainstormed ways to make a better one.
“They were missing the whole cute salon atmosphere,” Miller said.
They also worked with a North Dakota vendor to develop their own shampoo scent.
“We know that dog wasn’t bathed in flowers,” Miller said. “This is more like a natural, woodsy scent.”
The business donates to local pet rescues and foundations including Good Karma Animal Rescue of MN, Secondhand Hounds and the Animal Humane Society. Last fall, Bubbly Paws staff met about 20 dogs from Texas that had been awaiting rescue prior to Hurricane Harvey, giving them baths before they headed to local foster homes.
“We want to be more than just a business,” Keith said.