Our Local Love series highlights the many independent pet retailers that we've grown to know and love over the last twenty years. In the latest installment, we're featuring South Bark Dog Wash, a companion-loving hotspot located in San Diego, CA that's been open for 21 years! We've asked them to answer a few questions in the below Q&A.
South Bark Dog Wash
Q: Please tell us a bit about South Bark Dog Wash—when you were founded and how you've changed.
We opened October 3, 2000. We are a retail market for dogs and cats, spa, dog training center and more for pets. Pre pandemic we were primarily a self-service spa and started to offer full-service spa services in 2019. Thank goodness we did start to offer full service. Because of the pandemic we now offer full-service grooming services Monday thru Friday and weekends are reserved for Self Service by reservation.
(The South Bark Dog Wash team celebrating 21 years!)
Q: What would you say sets your store apart from others?
We are involved in community groups, local business groups, and assist in helping several local dog rescue organizations. We also educate our staff on various areas related to cats and dogs. We take pride in educating our clients. We don't just sell.
Q: Besides product sales and the famous South Bark Dog Wash, what other services do you offer?
- Weekdays: Full-service Grooming Appointments
- Weekends: Self Service Spa by reservation
- Dog training classes
- Non-Anesthesia Teeth Cleaning (A veterinarian exam is included with service)
- Delivery 92102 & 92104; Must be at least a $50 order
- Community events to raise money for Rescue Groups
(Handsome Koda in the Self Service Wash)
Q: Do you work with any local vets?
Yes, many of our customers go to B Street Vet in Golden Hill. But we have others that we work with too.
Q: The South Bark Blueberry Facial has a cult following; for anyone who hasn't hear of it before, could you explain what it is? And for those who may not live in the area, is there any way to try it out at home?
Ha! Sure does have a cult following! Our signature product, South Bark's Blueberry Facial was the first facial product for dogs and cats. It is also an overall brightener and body wash. We also have colognes, conditioners, scrubs, de-shedding shampoo, and more in our Blueberry line!
Here is our website: https://www.southbarkprofessionalpet.com/
Products are in retail sizes as well as groomer sizes. Stores all across the US sell the products, as well as other countries too.
Q: Do you typically host any events at your store, such as anniversary celebrations or annual promotions?
We always have an anniversary sale in October and we have a big Small Business Saturday in November.
We also have community events too. In December 2021, a girl scout troop planned an event at our store and collected donations for the San Diego Humane Society Community Pet Pantry. We will highlight this on our Instagram page.
Q: Are there any new trends that you’ve noticed within your customer base, as a result of life in a pandemic?
More dogs equals more problems with socialization, behavior, and more. In the heart of the pandemic dogs were not being socialized, staying only with their owners. When people started going out more, they found that their dogs were not as well socialized. Our training classes have always filled but fill even more quickly because of these concerns.
We have also had an increase in sales of treats, longer lasting chews, and toys to keep their dogs and cats busy while their human parents work from home.
Q: Anything else you’d like to share?
We have had customers state that THK food has changed their animals' health. We have sold THK since its inception. Often clients might be using food that they think is healthy for their pet but after education and trying THK, their pets' lives prosper more. We tell customers to stuff their favorite dehydrated food in a Kong toy and freeze it for a fun longer lasting toy.
We also recommend that if people cannot afford to feed THK for their pets' entire meals, feed at least one of their meals THK.
We also have given boxes away of dehydrated and clusters. People were so grateful as many couldn’t afford to buy better quality food.