Do-It-Yourself Dog Wash Shops

A dirty dog is the perect candidate for a do-it-yourself dog wash.
abandonned dog image by jeancliclac from

Washing your dog can be quite a chore. Bending over the bathtub while trying to convince your dog he's having fun can be a back breaker. Then, there's the messy job of cleaning up after the bath. Do-it- yourself dog washes offer a pleasant alternative. They supply all the equipment and supplies and even clean up for you. All you do is walk in with a dirty dog and within 30 minutes you leave with a clean dog. It makes easy work out of a dirty job.

Step 1

Call the do-it-yourself dog wash to inquire about hours. Ask if an appointment is required. If appointments are not taken, inquire about slower times unless you don't mind waiting in line.

Step 2

Arrive at the dog wash before your planned time so you are not rushed. Do-it-yourself dog washes operate on a timed basis.

Step 3

Purchase tokens at the counter. Most washes will sell you tokens for the wash before you go into the wash room. The average time range for a dog wash is 20 to 30 minutes. Buy the number of tokens required for this amount of time. Sometimes the wash room will have machines inside where you can purchase additional tokens if needed.

Step 4

Enter the wash room with your dog and acquaint yourself with the surroundings. Take note of the location of all items. Locate towels, dryers, hoses and shampoos. Usually all shampoos and conditioners will be in units connected to the tub and will dispense with the push of a button. Familiarize yourself with the equipment. Read all instructions on the equipment as well as ones posted on the wall. You want to learn all this before your time starts running.

Step 5

Make sure the ramp is attached to the tub if you have a larger dog. Lead or lift your dog into the tub and close the door across the front. Remove your dog's leash and attach the short leash on the tub to your dog's collar.

Step 6

Place stopper into drain if you want the tub to fill. You may also simply allow the water to flow down the drain as you wash. Take a few minutes to assure your dog. If he's not done this before, he may be apprehensive. Remove nozzle from hook and insert tokens into machine. The timer will begin to count down.

Step 7

Saturate your dog thoroughly with the water, which will be at a maintained, comfortable temperature. Push button on shampoo dispenser. You will usually have a choice of regular or flea shampoo. Some shops may offer additional choices, such as sensitive skin formulas. The shampoo will draw up through the water hose, depositing on your dog's fur. Use your hands to massage it into the fur, working your way from head to tail, top to bottom and side to side. Push the rinse button and move the hose around your dog's body until he is suds-free. Select the cream rinse button if you wish to use the product. Work the cream rinse through your dog's hair and rinse again until all product is out of the hair.

Step 8

Allow any water in tub to drain until the tub is empty. Towel dry your dog while he is still in the tub. Get him as dry as possible.

Step 9

Walk or lift your dog from the tub and allow him to stand on the floor or place him on the grooming table if the shop has provided one. If you use a grooming table, be sure to connect the attached lead to his collar to prevent falls.

Step 10

Utilize the hand held dryers to blow him dry. Move the dryer up and down his body, keeping it about 10 to 12 inches away. Keep the dryer moving, never allowing it to stay fixed on one spot to avoid burning his skin. Brush your dog and he's ready once again to face the world, sweet smelling and clean.

Step 11

Decide if you want to purchase any additional services. Many pet washes have a groomer on-premises, offering such services as: ear cleaning, trimming, toe nail clipping and teeth brushing.


  • Make sure your dog is up to date on all vaccinations before taking him to places where other dogs have been.

  • Inquire about how the tub and surrounding areas are sanitized before allowing your dog to use it


  • Visit the do-it-yourself wash shop ahead of time if possible to familiarize your dog with the surroundings.

  • If you are unsure of how anything works, don't hesitate to ask before you begin to avoid wasting valuable paid minutes.

Items You Will Need

  • Tokens
  • Leash
  • Brush