Bathing your dog is often a complicated affair.
You have to prepare the bathroom, gather all of the necessary supplies, and herd your dog into the bathroom before you can even get started. And then, once you’re finished bathing your precious pooch, you’ll spend an hour cleaning up the mess in the bathroom.
Many people try to avoid this by having their dog bathed by a groomer which, although very convenient, can get quite pricey in the long run.
But there is another option – one with which relatively few dog owners are familiar: There are a variety of tools that make it easy to wash your dog in places other than your bathtub. They will make it easy to wash your dog in a number of alternative locations and reduce the amount of time you spend cleaning up.
Best Portable Bathing Tools for Dogs
- AquaPaw [Best Budget Option]: A convenient, affordable spray hose unit with a soft hand-held silicone bristle brush that allows you to give your pup a massage as you bathe him.
- Waterpik Pet Wand Pro [Best for Pressure Control]: This portable hand-held bathing wand allows you to adjust the unit’s pressure and spray style as you bath your pooch.
- Booster Bath [Best for Elevating Bathing]: A handy, portable raised bathing tun that makes it easy to clean your dog without breaking your back.
Below, we’ll discuss these products further, explain the ways they may benefit owners, and recommend a few great products to make your dog-washing chores easier.
The Five Best Portable Dog Bath Tools
If you need a way to give your pup a bath on the go, start with the following five products.
Be sure to select the product style that best suits your dog and personal situation, but any of the products listed below should help you keep your dog clean, no matter where you need to bathe her.
1. Bissell BarkBath Portable Dog Bath System
About: The Bissell BarkBath is a vacuum-style bathing system, designed to make it easier to wash your dog just about anywhere.
Just like a carpet cleaner, this tool sprays water and shampoo onto your dog’s skin, and then sucks the water and remaining shampoo residue right back off your dog, making bath time quick and easy.
Features: The Bissell BarkBath Portable Bathing System comes with everything you need to bathe your dog, except canine shampoo (you’ll need to get a no-rinse version to use with this bathing system).
This includes the portable bath unit, along with several different kinds of spray nozzles and grooming clips, which allow you to choose the best custom setup based on your dog’s fur length and fur type. This allows the BarkBath to get beneath the fur, down to the skin, allowing water and shampoo to wash your pup clean. The unit’s soft suction power pulls up the dirt and dirty water into a separate dirty water tank.
The Bissel BarkBath is designed to be convenient for owners and effective for washing dogs, but it also gives owners an easy way to help protect the environment, as it saves a great deal of water compared to traditional washing in a tub.
Bathing a typical 80-pound dog in the bathtub often requires nearly 20 gallons of water, but the Bissell BarkBath can accomplish the same thing with only 68 ounces of water.
On top of that, the BarkBath can be used to keep your home clean too! This two-in-one unit is designed to pull double duty, as it can also clean up canine messes on carpets, rugs, and upholstery.
- Easy to set up and use
- Convenient cleaning for dogs and furniture
- Can be used with warm water too for a luxurious bathing experience
- Too scary for dogs who are frightened of the vacuum, as it makes a similar sound
2. Aquapaw Pet Bathing Tool
About: The Aquapaw Pet Bathing Tool is a hand-held dog bathing aid, which is designed to make it easy to wash your dog wherever you’d like.
Consisting of an 8-foot-long hose with a textured spray nozzle designed to fit on your hand, you can use this tool to spray your dog down while you are simultaneously lathering her up.
Features: The Aquapaw Pet Bathing Tool consists of three primary parts: a hand-held, palm-mounted spray nozzle, a long hose and an adapter that allows the hose to be connected to any faucet – whether located outdoors or indoors.
The spray nozzle is designed to fit hands of all sizes, and the included strap serves to keep it securely attached while in use.
The sprayer head for the Aquapaw features rubber bristles, which can be used to massage and scrub your pet. And because of the unit’s unique design, you can actually use both hands to control your dog while washing her. A toggle switch located on the palm even allows you to turn the water on and off as necessary.
Additionally, the Aquapaw can reduce the amount of time and water it takes to wash your dog, which will help keep her stress level low during the process.
- Makes it quicker and easier to wash your dog
- Toggle switch allows you to use less water if desired
- Massaging bristles improves the bathing experience for many pups
- A few found the palm-mounted spray nozzle was tough to keep on their hands
- If used indoors, it’s a pain to screw on and off the shower head, so it’s best used as a semi-permanent setup in a secondary bathroom
3. Waterpik PPR-252 Pet Wand Pro
About: The Waterpik Pet Wand Pro is a professional-grade hand-held sprayer attachment that you can connect to an indoor or outdoor faucet.
Made with a unique, elongated spray handle, this tool is specifically designed to soak your dog quickly and efficiently, to make bath time faster and easier.
Features: The Waterpik Pet Wand Pro is packed with a number of features designed to make bath time easier – no matter where you like to wash your dog.
Unlike lesser-quality sprayer heads, the Waterpik not only works well, it comes with a number of clever features, which make it very helpful for bathing your pooch.
For example, the Waterpik can be used in two different ways, depending on your needs. You can use the WaterComb mode to get maximum coverage, or you can quickly switch over to the narrow spray mode, which is better for sensitive areas (such as your dog’s head and face).
You can switch between the modes or control the overall pressure via a single knob on the handle.
The Waterpik comes with a handy storage hook for keeping the wand out of the way, and it comes with adapters for both indoor and outdoor use.
Finally, the Waterpik Pet Wand Pro is backed by a limited lifetime warranty, which will allow owners to purchase with confidence.
- Easy to install
- Owners love the water control switch that allows you to change pressure and spray style
- Somewhat expensive compared to other options
- Some found the suction cap used to store the wand would often slip or fall off the wall
4. Pet Gear Pup-Tub
About: At first glance, the Pet Gear Pup-Tub resembles a simple plastic tub. But, upon closer inspection, it becomes obvious that this is a purpose-built bathing container designed specifically for washing dogs and other pets.
The Pup-Tub is made from durable materials, and it incorporates a number of design features to make it easier to bathe your pooch.
Features: The Pup-Tub is packed with a number of innovative features, including four non-skid feet to keep the tub in place, a built-in drain plug in the bottom, which makes it easy to empty the tub after baths, and two separate trays that can hold shampoo or other items.
The Pup-Tub also helps you to keep your pup safe during bath time. It features two quick-connect tethers that will keep your dog securely, yet comfortably restrained, and it also features a rubberized bottom surface, which even provides your pooch with traction once the tub is filled with water.
Small enough to handle and manipulate in kitchens, laundry rooms or other tight places, the Pup-Tub measures about 30.5 inches long, by 18.5 inches wide and 9.4 inches deep and weighs only 3 pounds.
According to the manufacturer, it is suitable for dogs up to about 20 pounds.
- Convenient height allows owners to wash their dogs on a counter
- Only suitable for smaller-sized dogs
- Fairly expensive for what it is – a plastic tub!
5. Booster Bath Elevated Pet Bathing System
About: The Booster Bath is an all-in-one pet bathing tub, which is made with a number of time- and labor-saving features.
Features: The Booster Bath is a raised bathing tub complete with a drainage hose, shampoo caddy, and leash restraints for safe, secure bathing.
The tub only features walls on three sides, allowing easy access for placing your dog in the tub, and picking him up to remove him afterward. It’s made to hold dogs up to 75lbs, so it works great for most small and medium-sized dogs.
Have a dog that’s too big to pick up? If you get the Booster Bath Stairs, your dog can walk right up into the tub himself!
The Booster Bath tub also features a few important safety features, such as the grooved bottom surface, which will give your dog great traction in even the soapiest water. It also includes leash restraints to safely tether your dog, preventing him from jumping out mid-cleaning.
When you’re done with bath time, the unit’s legs can be detached and stored inside the tub itself, allowing for easy and convenient storage. It also comes in three color options for some added style!
Oh, and if you have a larger-sized pooch, check out the Booster Bath XL, which can hold dogs up to 175 lbs!
- Fans agree that it’s much easier bathing a dog with the Booster Bath, and is a life-saver in terms of back strain
- Holds dogs up to 75 lbs
- Many agree that adjustable height legs would make this perfect – at this height, it’s still better than bathing on the ground, but will likely still cause back strain for some from bending over.
- Some complain that the legs are not as sturdy as they’d like
6. Flying Pig Stainless Steel Dog Grooming Bath Tub
About: The Flying Pig Grooming Bath Tub is probably not what most owners are looking for (and it’s certainly not portable). But, if you run a dog daycare, boarding facility, or have multiple dogs that often need bathing, this professional grooming station may be worth paying the big bucks for.
Features: The Flying Pig Stainless Steel Grooming Tub is for folks who are serious about their pet’s bathtime.
Sure, it’s pricey. But you can see why – it’s made of rust-resistant stainless steel that will outlast any plastic tub on the market by years.
It includes everything you need for regular canine grooming, including a spray hose, a tub faucet, an overhead arm, a stainless steel shampoo rack, and a drainage kit with a flexible hose and hair trap.
It also boasts removable backsplash and side-splashes that allows you to adjust the tub depending on what’s easiest for you and your grooming style.
On top of that, the floor grate is removable and can be adjusted to higher or lower levels, allowing you to change the level based on whether you’re bathing a small or larger-sized dog. The tub door locks and includes tether attachments too, ensuring your pup stays safely in place during grooming.
- Users were big fans and found this unit relatively easy to assemble
- Most didn’t have any issue with leaks
- Very pricey – probably only makes sense for those several mud-prone dogs or for semi-professionals
- Some find that – while the tub itself is fantastic quality – the faucet and lines aren’t as high-quality
Reasons You May Benefit from Portable Dog Bath Tools
There are a variety of reasons that you may want to use portable bath tools, rather than the tub in your house for bathing your pet. Some of the most common include:
- You have a large dog. It can be difficult to lift a large dog into your bathtub. And if your dog doesn’t particularly care for bath time, it can even be dangerous to do so. But most portable dog bathing tools eliminate the need to lift or wrestle your dog into the tub at all.
- You have a fancy bathroom. Nobody wants to see dog hair plastered on the curtains and walls of your bathroom, and this is especially true of those who put time, effort and money into their home’s décor. But by obtaining portable pet bathing tools, you can wash your dog outside, in the garage, or a laundry room.
- You have an active or working dog. If your dog returns to the home covered in mud and dirt several times each week, you’ll probably enjoy the convenience that portable dog bath tools provide. This also includes those with hunting dogs or service animals, who often get themselves covered in grit and grime.
- You have a disability or physical limitation. Even if you have a small and willing dog, it can be uncomfortable to hunch over the bathtub while bathing your pooch. But several portable bathing tools can eliminate the need to do so, and allow you to bathe your pet while standing or sitting comfortably.
- Your dog sheds heavily. Allow enough dog hair to flow down the drain, and you’ll soon find yourself in need of a good plumber. So, those with dogs who shed heavily should look for ways to bathe their dog outside, where the shed hair won’t ruin the plumbing.
- You travel frequently. If you and your dog hit the road a lot, you may find that portable bathing tools allow you to keep your canine clean while away from home. This may be especially important for those who participate in dog shows, field trials, or other activities that often require travel.
- You want to bathe your dog outside with warm water. Not all portable dog bath tools can be used to provide your dog with a warm bath, but some make it very easy to do so. You can hook up most hose-style tools to indoor faucets, and some vacuum-style units can be filled with warm water.
- Your dog is afraid of bath time. Some anxious or nervous dogs will feel more comfortable if bathed outdoors, with only a hose attachment. Others will enjoy the ability to walk directly into their bathtub, as some all-in-one bathing units allow.
- You are a dog walker. Portable bath tools can provide professional dog walkers with a quick and easy way to bathe their charges, without having to wreck their client’s bathroom in the process. This could prove to be a wonderful timesaver, should one of the dogs step in poop or tromp through a mud puddle.
The Different Types of Portable Dog Bath Tools
There are a few different types of portable dog bath tools on the market, and each works in slightly different ways.
No style is inherently better than the others, but each presents different advantages and disadvantages. Just be sure to consider your situation – and your dog’s needs – carefully before making a choice.
Tubs are water-holding plastic containers, which you can use instead of your bathtub or sink. They come in a variety of sizes and shapes, but most are essentially rectangular to accommodate your dog comfortably.
Dog bathing tubs often resemble a simple plastic storage box, but most of the good models feature a number of things that will make it easier and safer to use with your dog.
This includes things like built-in drains, textured bottoms to prevent your dog from slipping, and molded shelves and trays, which can hold brushes, shampoos, or other things.
Additionally, unlike general use storage tubs, most tubs designed as portable pet baths are made from strong and durable materials, such as HDPE plastic.
Hose attachments are similar to showerheads, but they are usually designed with a pet-appropriate spray pattern, and most come with attachments for connecting them to indoor or outdoor faucets.
Some of the best hose and shower attachments for pets include dials or toggle switches on the hand-held portion of the unit, to make it easy to adjust the water pressure without having to walk back over to the sink or spigot.
Some even provide multiple spray-pattern options, so you can soak your dog’s entire body quickly or concentrate on smaller areas.
All-In-One Bathing Units
Most all-in-one bathing units are feature-packed plastic tubs, which also feature a spray hose. Essentially, they are a combination of the two previously explained styles.
All-in-one units vary wildly in terms of the features they provide, so be sure to consider your choice carefully and compare the price of the combination product with comparable individual items.
Vacuum-style units work somewhat like carpet cleaners do.
They feature a hand-held attachment, which sprays water (or a combination of water and shampoo) onto your dog’s skin, and then immediately sucks it back up. Because the water is removed so quickly, your dog will be fairly dry once you finish.
Most vacuum-style dog bathers feature a central console that has two different water-holding tanks; one is filled with clean water and the other accepts the dirty water the vacuum removes from your dog’s fur and skin.
The hand-held attachment usually features a screen to prevent shed hair from clogging the tubes.
Note that these units make quite a bit of noise (they sound like a vacuum cleaner), which can make some dogs nervous. However, the best models come with long hoses so that you can move some distance from the noise-making console, and others come with sound-dampening mats or covers to further quiet the device.
Do you bathe your pet somewhere other than the bathtub? How do you do it? Do you rely on any of the products detailed above? Have you found other products that work well?
Tell us all about your experiences in the comments below!