Jan 212011

It’s bath time for your dog. You can take your dog to the groomer, where they have large metal tubs for washing the pet. But if you want to do it yourself, you have at least three different choices for cleaning your pooch. There’s the built-in pet bath, the portable pet tub, and the regular bathtub. In this article we’ll look at the built in and standard tubs. Read Using a Portable Tub for your Pet Bath for details about the other type of dog bath.

Built-in Pet Bath

A built-in pet bath, also called a pet shower, is a permanent fixture that has been specially constructed for the area where it is located. If you have the space and money, this pet shower option is actually the more preferred one, since it has numerous practical benefits that make it stand out from the rest.

Although it can cost the most, custom pet showers can be built with tiled walls and floors and a short lip for the entrance so your dog can easily step in and out. By choosing different types of tile, this pet shower can be a visually appealing addition to your home.

The height of the built in pet shower can also be predetermined, meaning you don’t have to build all the walls to the ceiling. You can make the side walls short enough so that you only have to do minimal bending when it’s time to bathe your pets. This planned shower height contributes to the comfort of your knees and back when it’s time to bathe your dog.

With a permanent built-in pet bath you won’t have to think about where you will be giving your dog its bath on a regular basis. You’ll be assured that on any given day, at any given time, you can have a pet tub that will always be there to help make your pets look hygienic and clean. What’s more, your pet will start thinking of the pet shower as its own space, meaning he or she will be less fearful of taking a bath.

Because they can be expensive to build, some people also use these as part of a mud room. If located near the rear of the house, the built-in shower can then also be used to wash off muddy boots and gardening tools. If you already have a mud room with a small shower area, a low cost solution would be to simply attach a flexible showerhead hose to the faucet to wash your dog.

Standard Tub

If however, you choose a regular bathtub for bathing your dog, you have to think about numerous considerations before you do so. You want the height of the tub to be comfortable so washing your dog is not a back breaking job. If you are short, or the side of the bathtub is high, you may want to get a small stool you can kneel on. You’ll be surprised at the strain this can take off your back from bending low into the tub.

Is the edge of the bathtub smooth or are there tracks for sliding shower doors? The tracks can make bending over the edge of the tub very uncomfortable. If this is the case, you may want to put a towel over the edge of the tub.

Traditional shower heads tend to be very rigid when it comes to the angle and the height that the water comes from. If you do not have a flexible shower head, you might have a hard time ensuring that you are hitting the right spots with water as you bathe your pet.

And make sure you can easily grab the sliding door or shower curtain for when your dog shakes himself off. This will help prevent you and the bathroom floor from getting wet.


Other items to use in a pet tub

Some people swear by tub restraints that hold your dog in place. This can be good for a frisky dog that might try to jump out of the tub right in the middle of his or her bath!

To prevent your dog from slipping around, you may want to use some kind of non-slip mat at the bottom of any tub you use.

Some people put a shower chair or shower seat in their tub. Your animal, especially if it’s large, can rest his or her front paws on the chair to let you reach under him or her. For a smaller dog you can put him or her on the chair so you don’t have to reach all the way down in the tub.

Finally, be sure any pet tub you use has a good drainage system – you’ll probably have a lot of pet hair floating around after you clean your dog off. Tub drain strainers are available to catch all that hair.


A standard tub and built in tub offer you a low and high end choice when it comes to bathing your pet.

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