Dog owners in Lexington, Kentucky now have access to an exciting new venue, offering pet wash stations and canine-only activities they won’t find anywhere else in the area.
Yappy Place is central Kentucky’s canine-only indoor enrichment and wellness center. In November 2022, Yappy Place opened its self-service dog wash area, and the remaining space and activities opened early this year.
In addition to the dog wash stations, “we also have aquatic treadmills, a dry treadmill, a swimming pool, and an area we call the Amusement Bark which is open space used for dog training, exercise, play and birthday parties,” says Kimberly Badenhop, who co-owns Yappy Place with Dana Taylor. “And we recently started offering puppy yoga!” This is where humans do yoga led by an instructor while the puppies roam around. After 45 minutes of yoga, participants have 15 minutes to play with the puppies. “The variety of options allows us to attract a wider audience to our location,” explains Kim.
Yappy Place all started with the idea to bring Evolution Dog Wash machines to Lexington. “I used an Evolution Dog Wash in Bismark, North Dakota at the Wash Barn Car Wash in 2006 and absolutely loved it,” says Badenhop. After doing their research and learning there were no Evolution Dog Wash machines in the Lexington area, the hunt began to find a space to house two or three dog wash machines.
Unfortunately, finding a space small enough proved to be a challenge, so they explored other options. They looked into building a mobile dog grooming trailer and even partnering with the city to offer dog wash stations in local dog parks with a portion of the proceeds going to support the dog parks. “The local government wasn’t open to the idea at the time. With the response we’ve had to the dog washes so far, perhaps we can get back to the dog wash in a trailer idea in the future” she says.
During the initial planning stages, Badenhop and Taylor were met with some resistance as various pet stores in the area did offer pet wash stations — but they were basic tubs. “It is NOT the same thing!” says Badenhop.
As she quickly learned after using the Evolution Dog Wash all those years ago in Bismark, Evolution’s automatic dog wash machines make giving your pet a bath much easier than in a basic tub. “My dogs had gotten muddy playing at a friend’s house in Bismark. My house was 90 years old with only a second-story bathroom, and I didn’t want to track mud through my house,” says Badenhop. “My friend told me about the dog wash at the Wash Barn. I could not imagine taking my dog somewhere just to use a tub, but using the Evolution Dog Wash is an experience that makes dog washing so easy and even fun, it’s worth driving somewhere to use.”
And customers of Yappy Place have quickly come to prefer using Evolution Dog Wash over the tubs at local pet stores or their own tubs at home.
“While I looked at other dog wash systems online, I really never considered another brand, because I had already used an Evolution Dog Wash and knew I was happy with what Evolution offered.” says Badenhop. “I have never had dogs that shed. I had no idea how much fur comes off dogs that shed when they bathe. I absolutely love the triple catch drain system and how easy it is to clean the Evolution Dog Wash. I tell our customers, we are happy to deal with all the fur and they don’t have to worry about the mess or clogging their drains at home!” Plus, Yappy Place uses the dog wash machines as a cleaning feature – both with the built-in disinfectant as a way to wash off and sanitize dog toys or equipment, and as a safe drain after mopping the floors with wet dog fur.
The Evolution Dog Wash stations are a foundational element available to customers at Yappy Place. “We spent over a year locating the right space, and we wanted to make sure we had a separate exterior entrance option, so we could have the dog wash open during extended hours and on holidays,” says Badenhop. “We matched the hours of a laundromat across the street, so there is another business open during the same hours. Our dog wash space also connects internally to the rest of our business. We always wanted it to be available either from within the business or from the exterior.”
Yappy Place has already developed a loyal customer base for their dog wash stations, with repeat customers, and is getting new customers every day.
“People who understand the services we offer are very excited about Yappy Place. We have amazingly positive feedback about the dog washes,” says Badenhop. “People love how efficient and easy the dog wash is to use. “We know what we are doing is different for this area, and we are excited to see how the business develops. Now that the rest of Yappy Place is open, we cannot imagine having the rest of our business without the Evolution Dog Washes!”
The Evolution Dog Wash stations at Yappy Place are open daily from 7:30am to 10:00pm. All other services and activities are available Monday through Friday, from 10:00am to 7:00pm, Saturday from 10:00am to 6:00pm and Sunday from 1:00 to 5:00pm.