A clean dog is a happy dog. You might not think it from the way your pet rolls in mud and dirt all the time, but a dog that’s freshly bathed will enjoy the sensation of being clean. What’s more, their coats will stay shinier and their skin healthier if they’re washed from time to time. Unlike cats, dogs have neither the instinct nor the will to clean themselves up, so you have to do it for them!
For many owners, bath time is a chore, but with the right equipment close to hand, it becomes easier to manage a slippery, soaped-up dog. Here, we look at some of the best bath tubs for dogs on the market, their features and accessories, to help you take some of the difficulties out of your decision before you buy.
Best Bath Tub for Dogs Buying Guide & FAQ
Now you’ve seen some of the best bath tubs on the market, you need to decide which one is right for you. Here, we look at a few of the most frequently asked questions and some factors that might help inform your decision.
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What to Consider When Buying Bath Tub for Dogs
There are various factors to consider when shopping around for the right dog grooming bath.
- If your dog is particularly large or heavy, or you suffer with back related problems, then an elevated bath is a good idea. While smaller baths could stand on top of a stable surface, this is not as good an option in terms of safety.
- Another question to ask yourself is where you will bathe your dog. If you’ll routinely do this outdoors, then check the unit you’re buying contains features such as a drainer to get rid of the dirty water afterwards.
- Non-slip features are very important, both the bath’s surface itself and the legs or base that connect with the floor. This can prevent accidents and help make your dog feel more secure while in water.
- Cleaning the bath tub itself is another important factor: look for one that’s easy to keep clean.
- If storage is an issue, you want one that will break down into several pieces, or comes in one piece but folds down small.
- If you know for a fact that your dog hates baths with a passion, choose a dog tub with a three-point restraint system for your own and your dog’s safety. You won’t then have to worry about them running away mid-wash!
The Purpose and Benefits of Using Bath Tub for Dogs
While you can use your own bath tub at home, there’s much to be said for having a separate one for your dog. In terms of hygiene, many owners prefer to keep a bath tub specifically for their canine friend, saving the one in the bathroom for the humans in the household!
As well as that, if your bath tub belongs to your dog and he learns that, then he’ll come to associate that with the routine and respond with good behavior accordingly.
A dog grooming tub is also an essential accessory if you’re thinking of starting your own dog grooming business; if this is the case, then you’ll want a flexible, highly durable and sturdy unit as you’ll no doubt be accommodating a wide range of dogs of all sizes.
Q: What is a dog bath tub?
A: Dog bath tubs come in all shapes and sizes. The majority of dog bath tubs are made of easy-clean materials. This covers everything from the simple paddling pool type, similar to the sort you use for your kids to play in during the summer, to professional dog groomers’ equipment that comes fully equipped with all you need to bathe your dog quickly and efficiently. These latter ones tend to be rust-resistant for long term use and have their own faucets, spray hoses, storage slots for your dog shampoo, brushes and so on.
In between, there are mid-range fixed units, often on legs, that have some features making bath time easier, such as raising your dog to a comfortable height for you to work on cleaning him.
Q: Where should I put my dog bath tub?
A: One of the first things to take into account is whether your dog loves or loathes bath time. If he hates the very idea, then outdoors might not be the right location – it’s easy for him to run off. At least indoors, he’ll be in a more confined space and you can keep tabs on where he is more easily. More than that, he can’t roll around on the grass or in mud to get the water off him.
If he’s not averse to the odd soaking, then outdoors can be great – you can use a hose to rinse him off in warm weather, if he’ll tolerate it, and the water won’t ruin your interior furnishings. You could also try keeping him on a leash so he can’t disappear on you halfway through!
Wherever you choose, make sure the floor surface is as non-slip as possible. It’s likely to get wet and you or your dog could have a nasty fall if taken by surprise. If you’re using your bath tub on a tiled surface indoors, place non-slip mats or towels underneath the bath and the area beside it where you and any helpers will be standing or kneeling.
Q: How can I get my dog in the bath tub?
A: This is a case of training and acclimatization. While it’s a process best started with a young dog, most pets can be trained to get in the tub, given time and patience. Start off with a dry tub. Encourage him to jump in by using treats. Praise him when he gets in.
Next time, use a command, like ‘Get In!’. Offer treats when he does as he’s told. There’s no need to reward him for getting out again, but reward him if he’ll ‘sit’ and ‘stay’ in the tub on command.
Then, try adding a little water, then spraying him gently with a hose. If he’ll tolerate that (and it may take a few tries), then add more and more water till you reach the ideal level.
Praise good behavior and stay calm at all times, and with patience, your dog will come to view bath time with equanimity – or even better still, enjoy it!
Q: What size do I need?
A: You need a size that’s appropriate for your dog. It’s potentially dangerous for them to be crammed into a confined space that’s too small for them. They will not enjoy feeling cramped and they can risk hurting themselves if they panic as a result. If your pet can move around a little and stretch out, it will be easier to clean them.
Likewise, you don’t want a bath that’s too big for your dog as you need to be able to keep them under control while in the water. Choose a bath tub that’s recommended for the size, weight and/ or breed of dog you own for best results.
Q: Should I clean the tub after every use?
A: You’ll be bathing your dog when he’s dirty and so it stands to reason that the water will be filthy when it’s time for him to get out. Dirt and bacteria is likely to build up fast in a pet bath that’s never cleaned. As well as the smell while it’s in storage between uses, you’ll be bathing your pet in water that’s dirty from the outset, which doesn’t make sense. It’s unsanitary; so yes, it’s best to clean out the tub after every use.
Q: How often should I bathe my dog?
A: The answer varies from breed to breed, depending on factors such as the type of coat they have, what their daily lifestyle is like and even whether they have any allergies or skin conditions.
As a general rule, experts recommend bathing your dog every one to three months, or more frequently if he’s the type to roll around in dirt or swim in the sea on a regular basis. Dogs with longer coats may need bathing anything from weekly to every month or so. Over-bathing can strip essential oils from a pet’s skin though and/ or cause aggravation, so always check with experts, from your vet to online specialist dog websites, for advice on your own dog’s requirements.
Q: Can I use my bathtub for other animals than a dog or cat?
A: If noted by the manufacturer, then yes, of course; although some animals – like cats! – may be less keen than others. Several of the collapsible pools on our list above, for instance, are great for ducks!
Our Top Pick
All the above have their own merits, but in our opinion, the best bath tub for dogs for all-round use is the Booster Bath Elevated Pet Bathing in large size. Light and portable, it’s easy to assemble, but can be stored or left in the yard when not in use. Because it’s freestanding, you have 360o access to your dog at all times; and he can’t run away either because it comes fitted with a three-point harness. All these features and more, in conjunction with an affordable price tag, makes this our best buy when it comes to dog bath tubs.