Pets in Emporia can now have a spa day.
Dog Tag Pet Wash, a new 24-hour pet wash facility, has recently opened at 1107A Commercial St.
Siblings and co-owners Linden Stueve and Lea Taylor, as well as Lea’s husband Ben Taylor, put into motion a business they had considered for about a year. Dog Tag Pet Wash offers a 24-hour facility with a state-of-the-art washing system, and other accoutrements, for pet owners to wash their pets and save on the mess at home or while traveling.
Stueve originally saw the wash system at a veterinarian’s office in Dodge City and shared the idea with the Taylors about creating their own pet wwash business. They agreed it was the proper fit for them and the community.
“We bring different talents, different aspects and different views to situations,” Lea Taylor said about working with her brother, “so at times we don’t see eye to eye, but at the end, it’s definitely for the greater good — both of the perspectives we bring.”
Lea saw the available business space advertised on Facebook, and, within 90 days, Dog Tag Pet Wash was born.
“We thought there was a need for it,” Stueve said. He added that many Emporians are passionate about caring for their pets and regularly walk their dogs down Commercial Street, hence the convenient location.
The owners are all originally from the area and grew up with dogs. Though none of them currently have dogs and they all currently live out of town, they wanted to serve other dogs and give back to their hometown.
Dog Tag Pet Wash offers an Evolution Dog Wash system that allows pet owners to wet, shampoo, condition and blow dry their animals. The washing supplies are chemical-free and all-natural, including a flea and tick shampoo, and patrons are allowed to bring their own washing supplies, if they prefer.
The final setting of the machine is a disinfectant for the wash basin. The machine takes debit/credit cards, cash or tokens (available for purchase at the Dusty Trail Gift Shoppe) and charges $10 for 12 minutes of bathing time. Additional minutes can be purchased.
“I think if people use it one time, they figure it out pretty easily, and it will come second nature,” Stueve said.
A vending machine dispenses drying towels, treats and edible dental brush chews, though patrons are encouraged to bring their own towels. The floor is also water resistant, and the area as a whole is pet-safe.
The name is inspired by military dog tags, partially in connection to Ben Taylor’s active duty position in the Air Force, and additionally in connection to Emporia being the founding city of Veterans Day. Ben Taylor carries his grandfather’s World War II dog tags during every jump he does.
The owners have also discussed donating excess funds to local veteran organizations. The Taylors said they tell their military family friends how supportive Emporia is of veterans.
“We feel blessed to be able to have grown up here and to be able to have seen the places we’ve seen,” Lea Taylor said. “It’s funny, because wherever we’ve gone, we always want to come home … Home for us is Lyon County [and] Chase County.”
They all still have family members in the area and collectively plan to check on the facilities regularly. Their security system allows them to check in remotely, too.
Dog Tag Pet Wash is intended to fill the gap between bathing pets in a bathtub and visiting a professional groomer. It is also an accessible option for those who do not have the proper space or materials to wash their pets at home.
So far, the owners have received a positive response and good traffic. Since they have been in town for the official Dog Tag opening and the holidays with local family members, they have enjoyed meeting a few new people who have used the facility, so far.
“It’s a service that Emporia can use, and if we can echo that, and they can echo that and tell us that they’re enjoying it, that’s what we’re here for,” Stueve said.