5 Best Outdoor Dog Baths for Bathing Your Pup at Home

Written By: Kelly Rowett | Last Updated: November 5, 2020

Outdoor dog baths and washing stations are great for bathing your dog without getting your bathroom messy. In this guide, I review five of the best outdoor dog baths, and explain what you need to consider before buying

There are also practical problems with washing your dog in a regular bath. Leaning over to lather and rinse can strain your back, and, unless you have a freestanding tub, giving a thorough clean on all sides is awkward. If you have a large dog, it can even be difficult to get them into the bathtub in the first place.

Outdoor dog baths are a great solution to this mucky problem. These baths have convenient features like shower attachments, non-slip bases, easy-drain plug holes, and an elevated design so you can wash your pup in comfort.

In this article, I’ve put together a list of the 5 best outdoor dog baths and washing stations. I’ve also included a useful buying guide, so you can find the ideal model for your pooch.

Our #1 Pick

Booster Bath Elevated Dog Bathing

Booster Bath Grooming Centre

Versatile and great for washing most dogs

The Booster Bath Grooming Center is our top pick for an outdoor dog bath. It has a U-shaped entrance to help your dog get inside, a non-slip mat, and a shower nozzle attachment. It’s also available in three sizes and has a durable design.

5 Best Outdoor Dog Baths and Washing Stations

Here’s our list of the top five outdoor dog baths and washing stations. We’ve focused on baths designed for home use, rather than salon standard models. 

Important Note: We recommend bathing your dog in warm water, as cold water can be uncomfortable or even dangerous. Short-haired breeds, elderly dogs, puppies or those with medical conditions are at greater risk, as these dogs find it harder to maintain their body temperature. Of course, this might not apply if the weather is hot, so use common sense and watch for signs of your dog getting too cold.

1. Booster Bath Elevated Dog Bathing and Grooming Center (For Most Breeds Including Large Dogs)

Booster Bath Elevated Dog Bathing

Our top pick is the Booster Bath Elevated Dog Grooming Center. This model is available in a choice of three sizes, which makes it suitable for most breeds, including large dogs. It’s also convenient, durable, and easy to use.

The Booster Bath is made from lightweight plastic and is simple to assemble. In contrast to a regular bathtub, the U-shaped opening makes it easy to get your pup in and out. It also stands at a comfortable height of 33-inches from the ground, so you can bathe your pup without straining your back.

Many dogs dislike taking a bath because they slip and slide on the smooth, wet surface. The Booster Bath eliminates this problem with a textured rubber non-slip mat in the base that gives your pup more grip. There’s also a 5-foot drainage hose that diverts water away from your feet, and a built-in shampoo holder.

However, the best feature of this model is the shower nozzle attachment that sprays water in a precise, sheet-like stream. The top of the showerhead has a dial to adjust the water pressure, and there’s an attached hook so you can hang it on the side of the basin when not in use. 

There are a couple drawbacks to this model, though. The drainage hose has a tendency to slip off during use, and it can be frustrating trying to reattach it mid-way through your pup’s bath. 

Also, while this model is sturdy and suitable for large dogs, it can still tip over if your pup leans too much to one side – so you’ll need to be careful to keep them centered during use. 

Why We Recommend It: The Booster Bath Elevated Dog Bathing and Grooming Center is simple to set up and makes bathing your pup easy. It stands at a comfortable height, so you can wash your dog without bending over, and includes a non-slip mat. The shower attachment with adjustable water pressure ensures you can thoroughly rinse your pet.
  • Elevated Design: Yes
  • Shower Attachment: Yes
  • Sizes Available: Medium, Large, X-Large
  • Suitable for most breeds, even large dogs
  • Elevated, freestanding design is comfortable to use
  • Has a non-slip mat, safety harness, and shampoo holder
  • Comes with shower attachment with adjustable water pressure
  • Quite pricey
  • Drainage hose is prone to slipping off
  • Can tip if a large dog leans into the side

2. Flying Pig Grooming Elevated Dog Bath Tub (For Medium or Small Dogs)

Flying Pig Grooming Elevated Dog Bath

Another great option for mucky pups is the Flying Pig Grooming Elevated Dog Bath Tub. Also featuring an elevated design to save your back, this model is suitable for medium or small breeds. 

The Flying Pig outdoor bath has a deep basin that’s enclosed on all sides, so you’ll have to lift your pup in and out. The freestanding design with stainless steel legs is capable of supporting up to 150 pounds and provides 360-degree access, so you can lather up your dog from all angles. 

Unfortunately, this model doesn’t come with a built-in shower attachment, so you would need to purchase one separately for your outdoor hose or faucet. It does have a drain in the base, but you have to attach your own drainage pipe.

The Flying Pig has three attachment eyelets on the inside of the bath for securing your dog safely. The base has a textured surface to prevent slipping, and we like that it has molded slots to stand your doggy shampoo bottles. 

The legs also have built-in levelers for stability on uneven ground, which is particularly useful if you’ll be bathing your pup on a grassy surface. 

On the downside, the Flying Pig Grooming Elevated Dog Bath Tub product description states that it requires no assembly, but that’s not strictly true. The tub comes in one piece, but the legs and drain have to be installed, which can be rather fiddly as the instructions aren’t great.  

Why We Recommend It: The Flying Pig Grooming Elevated Dog Bath Tub is a great pick for small to medium-sized dogs. The freestanding and elevated design makes it comfortable to use without straining your back, and the stainless-steel legs keep the bath stable on uneven surfaces. We like that it has a non-slip base, but it’s a shame there’s no shower attachment.
  • Elevated Design: Yes
  • Shower Attachment: No
  • Sizes Available: One Size
  • Elevated design makes it comfortable to bathe your dog
  • Stainless-steel legs have integrated levelers for stability
  • Textured base and eyelet attachments to keep your pup safe and secure
  • Includes holders for shampoo bottles and accessories
  • No built-in shower attachment or drainage hose
  • Enclosed on all sides, so you’ll have to lift your dog in and out
  • Assembly can be fiddly

3. Pet Gear Small Dog Bathing Tub (For Small Breeds or Puppies)

Pet Gear Small Dog Bathing Tub

If you have a puppy or a small breed, this simple bathing tub by Pet Gear is worth a look. It’s not elevated and doesn’t have a shower attachment, but is a simple, affordable tub to make washing your muddy dog more convenient.

Unlike the first two outdoor baths, the Pet Gear Small Dog Bathing Tub is molded from a single piece of durable plastic and doesn’t have any legs. It’s meant to be used on the floor and has a rubberized bottom so it won’t slide around.

The base of the bath also has a textured rubber surface, which prevents your dog from slipping while you clean them. This makes it a good choice for nervous dogs or those who find it difficult to stay still during a bath!

There are built-in tethers on each side, so you can secure your dog until you’ve finished washing them. The drain in the base makes it easy to empty the dirty water after use and the molded trays in the side are perfect for storing your shampoo bottles and combs within easy reach. 

This is a decent model that’s useful for bathing little dogs without unnecessary mess and stress, but as you need to kneel or sit on the floor, it can be a little uncomfortable to use. 

It also doesn’t include a shower attachment, so you’ll have to buy one separately if you want to give your pup a thorough rinse. 

Why We Recommend It: The Pet Gear Small Dog Bathing Tub is a compact option for bathing small breeds and mucky puppies. The lightweight design is convenient to use, while the non-slip bottom and base prevent sliding on wet surfaces. We also like that it has a built-in drain for easy emptying, but the low profile design and lack of a showerhead mean it can’t match the Booster Bath when it comes to grooming convenience.
  • Elevated Design: No
  • Shower Attachment: No
  • Sizes Available: One Size
  • Great size for puppies or small breeds
  • Non-slip bottom and base
  • Affordable price
  • No built-in shower attachment or drainage hose
  • Low design can be a little uncomfortable to use

4. Tubtrugs Flexible Large Shallow 2-Handled Tub (Budget Pick)

4. Tubtrugs Flexible Large Shallow 2-Handled Tub (Budget Pick)VIEW PRICE

If you’re looking for something simple to bathe your pup on a budget, the Tubtrugs Flexible Large Shallow 2-Handled Tub could be just what you need. It’s best suited to small dogs and doesn’t include any extra features, but provides an affordable alternative to the more expensive outdoor baths on this list. 

As you can see from the photo, the Tubtrugs is a basic multi-purpose tub. It can be used for bathing a dog, but it hasn’t been designed specifically for this purpose. It’s not elevated, there’s no drainage hole, and it doesn’t have features like an integrated shower or shampoo holders.

So why have we included it?

If you only need a tub to quickly rinse a small dog who doesn’t mind bathing, then you may not need to spend money on a more expensive model. A simple tub that you can fill and then tip over at the end may be all you need – and the Tubtrugs is excellent for this purpose.

Made from phthalate-free plastic, it’s durable and safe for your pup. It also has UV-resistant qualities and strong handles, along with reinforced ribbing to prevent the shape changing too much when it’s full with water.

The Tubtrugs isn’t a good choice for large dogs or extended grooming sessions though. In these situations, a drainage hole and showerhead are essential, as you don’t want your dog sitting in dirty water.

Why We Recommend It: The Tubtrugs Flexible Large Shallow 2-Handled Tub is a low-cost option for bathing your pup. It’s durable, resistant to UV, and has reinforced sides that ensure it keeps its shape when holding water. It doesn’t come with any special features for bathing dogs though, so we only recommend it for quickly rinsing small dogs or puppies.
  • Elevated Design: No
  • Shower Attachment: No
  • Sizes Available: One Size
  • UV-resistant and frost proof
  • Made from highly-durable, food-grade plastic that’s safe for your dog
  • Reinforced sides and strong, comfortable handles
  • Great budget choice
  • A very basic model with no extra features
  • Not suitable for extended grooming sessions
VIEW PRICE

5. Aquapaw Pet Bathing Tool (Outdoor Dog Shower)

Aquapaw Pet Bathing Tool

The Aquapaw Pet Bathing Tool is not an outdoor dog bath – but we’ve included it as a wildcard option. While there’s no tub, it’s a handy tool that can make bathing your dog outdoors much easier.

It’s effectively a handheld shower tool that’s designed to be attached to your hose or shower. Once attached and hooked onto your hand, it’s easy to direct water exactly where you need to wash. You could combine it with a tub, or just use it on grass so that the water drains away.

The Aquapaw handheld pet tool is a good option if your dog is a little nervous in the bath. The textured rubber surface works away mud and dirt, but it’s still flexible and soft. This can make washing feel more like being petted, which some dogs may prefer.

We like that the flow of water is easy to control, and you can adjust the fit so that it feels comfortable in your hand. It can also be used in just one hand, leaving the other free for lathering shampoo or controlling your dog.

A downside to this product is that the universal connector doesn’t always fit correctly. If this is the case, water is likely to leak or spray out of the sides.

Note: Unless the weather is warm, we only recommend connecting this tool to an indoor tap or shower with a hot water supply (although check that it’s not too hot.) Using it with cold water isn’t fair on a dog in cooler weather, and could be particularly dangerous for short-haired breeds, elderly dogs, or puppies.

Why We Recommend It: The Aquapaw Pet Bathing Tool is a great alternative to a hose or shower head for nervous pups. The soft, flexible rubber scrubbers allow you to wash your dog down while petting them and it attaches securely to your palm so you can keep both hands free.
  • Elevated Design: No
  • Shower Attachment: Yes
  • Sizes Available: One Size
  • Can be connected to hoses and showers
  • Enables you to wash your pup while petting them
  • Water flow can be switched on/off from the tool
  • Adaptor isn’t always 100% watertight

How to Choose an Outdoor Dog Bath for Home Use

When choosing the best outdoor bath for your dog, there are two main types you will encounter: washing stations and basic tubs

Washing stations are the most expensive option, but they include extra features, such as built-in shower attachments and safety features. Tubs are more basic compared to a bathing station, but are a cheaper option if you’re on a budget. 

Here’s what to look for when buying a dog washing station or tub:

  • Shower Attachments. A shower attachment makes bathing your dog much easier. Some models allow you to control the water flow directly from the attachment, which is a good option for nervous pups who may be put off by high-pressure showers. Models that can be connected to indoor faucets are also a great choice, as they give you the option to use warm water. 
  • Suitable for Outdoors. All outdoor dog baths should be durable enough for use outside, but some models are designed to remain outdoors permanently. If you’re planning on storing your dog bath outside, we recommend looking for a model that is made from UV-resistant plastic to prevent color fading. 
  • Size It’s important to get the right size bath for your dog, otherwise you’ll struggle to bathe them in it. If the tub is too small, you’ll find it difficult to reach particularly mucky areas under the belly, while if it’s too large, your pup will have too much space to move about. 
  • Safety Harness. A built-in safety harness is a great feature that will help your dog to remain safe and secure during their bath. The best options have multiple connection points, so your dog can’t jump out of the bath on one side. Some models also have tether attachments. These tethers or safety harnesses should never be used unattended though – particularly on raised baths.
  • Elevated design. Some models have legs and an elevated design that eliminates the need to bend over. These models are great if you often get uncomfortable hunched over the bath, but they’re not suitable for every dog. If you have a large breed or a dog who suffers from joint pains, getting them into an elevated bath could be difficult or even unsafe. Most elevated models are designed for small to medium-sized dogs, but there are some exceptions. 
  • Cutaway Entrance. Outdoor dog baths with a cutaway entrance are easier to get your dog into. Some models come with separate steps that are great for larger breeds or if you’re not able to lift the dog yourself. 
  • Foldable or Other Storage Features. Foldable dog baths are a good choice for traveling or if you need to save storage space at home, but keep in mind that it can reduce overall durability. Alternatively, you could look for a model that has removable legs, so it’s easier to store but doesn’t have any weak points.
  • Material. Professional grooming baths are usually made from expensive stainless steel for strength and durability, but this isn’t always practical (or necessary) for home use. We recommend looking for outdoor dog baths that are made from hard-wearing PVC for good longevity. 
  • Textured or Anti-Slip Bottom. Soap-suds, wet paws, and smooth surfaces will inevitably lead to slipping and sliding. Make sure your outdoor dog bath has a textured or anti-slip bottom to prevent your pup from taking a tumble. 
  • Storage Holders for Brushes and Shampoos. Built-in holders for shampoos and brushes will make bathtime go more smoothly and save you from chasing a slippery bottle around your pup’s legs. 

It’s important to remember that many dogs are anxious about baths. You should help your pup to feel calm and comfortable using positive reinforcement, otherwise this anxiety is likely to get worse.

Keep bath time short, use a reassuring tone of voice, and keep lots of treats on hand so they will associate it with a happy and positive experience.

Whatever you do, never just dump your dog into the bath the first time you use it. Allow them to get used to it gradually, by letting them sniff around the bath and go inside without any water at first. 

Treats and praise always help, too!

Tip: Just need a quick way to wash your dog’s paws after a muddy walk? Take a look at our guide to the best paw washers. We’ve also written guides to the best dog shampoos and conditioners.

The Dangers of Over-Bathing a Dog

If you have a home bath, it can be tempting to bathe your dog frequently. However, for most dogs, one bath a month is enough, especially if you use shampoo on their coat. Bathing your dog too often can strip the natural oils from their skin, leading to dry skin and irritation. 

Of course, the right number of baths for your dog can vary depending on their activity levels, the type of coat they have, and whether or not they have a skin condition.

If you’re unsure how often to bathe your pup, we recommend discussing it with your vet who can give you the best advice. 

Summary

Outdoor dog baths are a great tool to keep your pup (and home) fresh and clean. 

By using an outdoor dog bath, you save all the mess, slipping, and sliding that comes with indoor bathing. And, if you use an elevated model, it’ll be more comfortable for you, too. 

Our top pick for the best outdoor dog bath is the Booster Bath Elevated Dog Bathing and Grooming Center. This model is strong, durable and stands at a comfortable height, so you can wash your mucky pup without straining your back. 

The cut-away design makes it easy to load your pooch into the bath, while the built-in shower attachment with adjustable flow ensures a thorough rinse.

What do you think? Will you be buying one of these outdoor dog baths for your pup? Be sure to let me know in the comments below – I’d love to hear your thoughts!

Image of Kelly Rowett

About The Author: Kelly Rowett

Kelly is a full-time freelance writer who’s passionate about pets and animal welfare. In the past, she has volunteered at shelters and veterinary clinics, worked as a part-time pet-sitter/dog walker, and played a hands-on role in rehoming street animals from the Middle East to forever homes in Europe. When she’s not writing about pets, you’ll find her hiking coastal trails with her rescue pup, Sidney.