I think they're worth it. I don't have a dog accessible tub and dryer in my house, so sticking them in the tub and then rubbing them with a towel to dry isn't easy or sufficient (Fine with my mini doxie, but my mutt? Try lifting a 60 lbs porker who has no interest in the bath into the tub ) that and I only bathe our Elkhound once or twice a year.
Most people don't have professional equipment, so, being able to use a facility that offers use of an HV Dryer is well worth the nominal fee. For that matter, the elevated tub alone makes it worth it! LOL
I used to use the facilities at Dog House and Pet Center. Since that time, lots more have sprung up around the valley.
They had all the supplies: shampoo, conditioner, brushes, towels and - most important - the big commercial dryer that would actually get my lab dry in the winter before we went back outside and extract a truly incredible amount of loose fur. The water supply was temperature controlled.
We got to leave the mess behind, though we cleaned up some when we were done.
I wasted about half of my first session trying to get my 115# dog up into the huge sink. At one point, I actually tried to pick him up, and I pulled muscles I wasn't previously aware of. I couldn't lift a gallon of milk for about six weeks after that.
On subsequent visits, I washed him on the floor. There were floor drains everywhere and squeegees to tidy up afterwards.
I always took a couple of teenage offspring along, since washing Cubby was a lot like washing a truck - one that's in gear and slowly wandering away.
well, here in a wk or so (hopefully it won't be so muddy when i go, so there'll be more than just a few days of clean) i'll take mine in and get them done, give it a go....it'll be about $30 for 3 of them....
We have one here in town called the "Dancin' Paws Dog-O-Mat". We take my wifes Guide there about once a month. Elevated tubs with hot water, chamois, warm air dryers, and the best of all-------no clean-up! Everything is included: shampoo, conditioner, face wipes, and she even gets a cookie (there is a full-service "barkery" where they make dog treats in the Dog-O-Mat) when she is finished. Plus, with the grooming salon in the back, her Guide gets a nail trim as well. All for about $15.
We have a doggy day care and dog wash in our area. I have taken Susie there quite a few times. It is $15.00 and they supply all the soap, conditioner etc. They have a ramp up to a raised tub and after they are washed and rinsed, they have another ramp on the other side of the room, up to a grooming table. With a seventy pound dog it sure saves the back. They have a high velocity dryer that really blows all that loose hair out when they start to shed. I would not want to try and clean up all the mess in my own home. Susie only sheds twice a year but when she does, it is wall to wall hair. Well worth the money.