Where to Groom Your Dog Outside of Your Tiny NYC Bathroom
A new East Village self-serve grooming salon features high-tech automated wash pods that are designed to get your dog in and out of the bath without drama.
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In New York City, the act of grooming one’s dog is more of an art than a science. To start, the pandemic boom in pet ownership overwhelmed the city’s groomers, with many businesses having appointment waitlists up to five months out from the date of service. That leaves most of the city’s pet owners with no choice but to take the task upon themselves, except for one major issue: New York City’s famously minuscule apartment bathrooms. If you have ever tried to wash your dog in a normal size bathroom, you know that it can very quickly become a contact sport. Try doing that in a bathroom the size of a closet that was built circa Newsies era and your amateur grooming session can turn dangerous for both pup and human.
Thankfully, Now You’re Clean, a self-serve grooming salon and pet store in the East Village, has answered the cry and whine of every New York pup and their owner. Started by seasoned NYC dog parents Arlette Sarkissians and Nicola Leggo as a response to the pandemic’s pet ownership boom, Now You’re Clean features high-tech automated wash pods that are designed to get your dog in and out of the bath without any drama. The pods utilize an easy to maneuver touch screen and are big enough to service any size or breed. However, their best feature might also be their simplest — their height. While a regular bathtub or self-serve grooming station often requires you to bend over to really get to work, Now You’re Clean’s pods are tall enough to save your back from days of heating pads and extra-strength Tylenol.
So let’s talk numbers. By New York standards, Now You’re Clean is one of the more affordable luxuries available to the city’s pet parents. To reserve a pod for a 20-minute session it will run you thirty bucks, with 50 percent off your first wash. But, as with any spa service, the real savings come with the packages. A package of five washes is 100 bucks, or 20 bucks a wash, and a package of 10 is 180, or 18 dollars a wash. Still, if your dog has a penchant for investigating New York City trash/rats/grates, you might want to invest in the unlimited yearly package for just under 400 dollars. Just think of it as a 380 dollars worth of peace of mind that you’re not cuddling with the microbiome of Union Square’s sidewalks.
But it’s actually what’s behind the high-tech grooming pods and bougie pet goods that lies NYC’s best-kept secret (at least for pet owners, that is). Now You’re Clean’s subscription Buddha Club gives NYC pups access to their private dog run — and a series of other perks. With a limited attendance of four to six dogs per 30-minute play session, the Buddha Club is perfect for shy pups looking for a small circle of familiar friends. Membership also grants you discounted use of the space to host your dog’s private birthday party, along with free events like dog-friendly comedy nights and happy hours.
Recently the success of Now You’re Clean’s East Village location has led to the opening of a second storefront in the West Village. So now all downtown pup parents can keep their pups squeaky clean — at a price that allows them to keep shelling out the rent of those tiny NYC bathrooms.
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Rebecca Caplan is a writer based in Brooklyn whose work has been featured in The New Yorker, Reductress, and Vulture. She lives in Brooklyn with her perfect, toothless dog Moose.