I saw the second picture in this article (of a dog washing machine in Japan) over my wife’s shoulder during a leisurely reading of the Sunday Seattle Times yesterday. I think it was in the Parade magazine, and as I started writing this article I found the same picture posted two years ago here, so it became clear that this idea – a dog and cat washing machine – has been already productized and in use for at least a year in Japan. But then I found the first picture in this article (which looks a lot like my daughter’s dog) in an article about the Dog-o-Matic that appeared in The Daily Mail back in 2009, meaning some inventive Brit appears to have beat out someone from Japan by nearly a year.
Now, I can say with reasonable certainty that very few dog or cat owners really enjoy giving Fido or Princess a bath, and so the idea of a machine that you lead Fido or Princess into and shut the door and push a button to accomplish the job, sounds very appealing. It can be an incredibly messy operation fraught with danger and frustration (thus the rise of self-service dog washing places), but when you look at the first picture, is the emotional trauma of the experience something that dog or cat owners (or dogs/cats for that matter) could endure over the long term?
Looking at these images, they remind me of an experience my wife and I (or mostly my wife) had in an automatically cleaned public restroom at a train station in Versailles, France that was just about as traumatic. But that’s a story for another day…
So, what do you think? Invention or innovation?
Is this something that will catch on with dog owners around the world?
I’ll leave you with a video of the Japanese version in use: