Boston terrier having a bath

The Best Dog Bath Tubs Australia -
An Overview

Our #1 Pick

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The Best Value for Money

SAG Portable Folding Pet Bathtub

  • Economical
  • Good reviews
  • Lightweight
  • Foldable for portability

You catch a whiff in the air. What could it be? Old socks? Softly ageing cheese? A musty rug?

Nope, that’s your stinky dog you are smelling! Keeping your dog clean and fresh requires regular-ish bathing but your human bath is not always the best choice for them.

Purchasing a dog bathtub specifically for you pooch makes the bathing process far easier, leading to fresher days.

In today’s article, we are going to dive deep into the world of dog baths. We’ll talk about how to wash your dog properly and why you need a dog bathtub. We’ll then end with our reviews of top dog bathtubs in Australia. Stick with us and we’ll find the right option for your stinky pooch!


Can’t You Wash Your Dog In Your Regular Bath?

Yes, you can wash your dog in a regular bathtub in your house. There are several reasons why it is better to have a dedicated bath or paddling pool to bathe your dog:

Height of the bathtub

If you have an old or arthritic dog, you’ll know the trouble of having to haul them into your main bath to wash them. (1) Getting them in and out of a normal bath is often a two-person job because the slides are so high and your dog isn’t agile enough to lift themselves into the bath.

Space to spin around

Our baths are meant for laying pretty stationary. Nothing better than a long, horizontal soak in steaming hot water that you have to edge into millimetre by millimetre (can you tell I love baths?).

But our baths are not always the best shape for our pups to be fully comfortable in. Large and extra-large dogs feel particularly enclosed in the average human bath, not fully being able to turn around freely. A round paddling pool is a much better shape and format for your pup to feel more comfortable.

Hygiene reasons

Though your bathtub is very easily cleaned, some people prefer not to have their dogs in their regular bath for hygiene reasons. If your dog is extremely muddy and dirty, you may not want their paws to be sullying your fresh bathroom floors.

 An outdoor dog bath is therefore much more preferable, keeping their muddiness outside. This is entirely down to personal preference though.


Can You Wash Your Dog In The Shower?


Yes, you can wash your dog in the shower, but the main issues are the same with baths. Showers are even more limited usually in terms of size. The temperature control can also be more unpredictable with a shower than with the outdoor garden hose that is already at a cool temperature. Showers can burn too hot or too cold for your pup.

The noise of running water can also be very frightening to your dog.

"The sound of water rushing through a shower head or faucet can be really noisy. For many dogs, noisy = frightening. In fact, if your dog hates the bath, it might not be the water but the sounds of bath time that scare them.” - Shoshi Parks from Rover


How Do You Wash Your Dog?

1. Prepare the bath beforehand

As we mentioned before, the sound of rushing water can be quite startling to your dog so it is essential to prepare the water in advance. Use your hand or elbow to measure the temperature. The bath does not need to be filled to the brim. One third or half full should be perfectly fine.

2. Set the mood

Your dog may be anxious about getting in the bath. Generally, bathing is not your dog’s favourite thing. It feels weird. The slippery surface feels unsafe. The sounds of the bath are startling sometimes. You need to be as calm and collected as possible to ease any of your dog’s anxiety. A soft tone of voice also helps hugely.

3. Give your dog a brush

This is the same principle as brushing through your own hair before you shampoo it. It helps rid any tangles and also shakes loose any dust or caked dirt lying on your dog’s fur before the bathing begins. Brushing is also quite soothing to your dog and helps with the de-stressing process in many ways. (3)

4. Cover your dog with water before shampooing

Don’t apply shampoo to dry fur. This can cause itching and irritation. After your dog is damp all over, apply specially formulated dog shampoo and massage in with a shampoo tool or your fingers. Massaging in circular motions feels good to your dog but avoid tangling if your dog has a double coat or particularly long hair. They are dog shampoos of all kinds. If your dog suffers from eczema or skin sensitivities, there are soothing shampoos for their delicate skin. (4)

5. Rinse off the dog shampoo thoroughly

Make sure there is absolutely no shampoo left in your dog’s fur or on their skin. Imagine leaving soap on your hands and drying straight away. Itch city! It’s the same for your dog. Be particularly vigilant about this if your dog has sensitive skin.

6. Allow your dog to air dry


It is good practice to grab a towel for a gentle towel dry and then leave your dog to fully dry naturally.

You may be tempted to whip out your favourite hair dryers to get the dog done quickly. After all, the smell of wet dog is not exactly appealing. Your dog often wants to rub themselves all over your furniture after a bath too. But resist the urge to use human blow dryers on your dog and let them air dry slowly.

Why? For one, human blow dryers are quite hot - usually too hot for canine skin. Secondly, the sound of a hairdryer can frighten your dog. The last thing you want to do is further traumatise them when bathing probably wasn’t their favourite pastime, to begin with. Lastly, there are blow dryers made for dogs that will do the trick in a more gentle way if you really want to use one.

7. Give your dog a treat

You want your dog to associate bath time with good things. This is extra-important if your dog is super anxious about being bathed and dreads the whole experience. Reward your dog with their favourite treat to reinforce that this is all a positive experience. They have nothing to worry about next time.

8. Don’t let your dog ruin your hard work!

Rubbing themselves all over your rose beds and caking themselves in fresh mud after a bath is one of the more annoying behaviours that dogs do. To avoid this, you may want to have a lead on your dog straight after you bathe them to whisk them inside or into an outdoor crate until they are completely dried off.


What To Look For In A Dog Bathtub

Bathing your dog may seem like the easiest thing in the world and in many ways it is. What you bathe your dog in is entirely your choice. But the factors we are going to go through next are more so about your dog’s comfort than yours.

Durable material

You want your dog’s bath to last as long as possible of course. Not only as a return on your investment but because your dog will start to get used to the sight of the bathtub as their bath time. Having consistent markers of what your dog can expect can help with the anxiety that dogs sometimes feel around having a bath.

You are looking for a leakproof basin made of a durable flexible material like PVC or a tough material like solid metal or plastic. It should be able to handle changing temperatures and hold your dog’s weight comfortably. The manufacturer will indicate what sized dog the bath will be suited for.

Size

If you have a puppy or a tiny breed, you should be fine with the more intimate baths that look very similar to human baths - just mini. You will be washing your dog a bit more like you would a baby.

For larger breeds, a paddling pool type size and shape works well. Your dog has plenty of room to spin around and you can keep the water contained unlike using just a garden hose in the yard.

Easy to store

The beauty of dog baths is that you can easily store them when you are done. Some are collapsible and fold up into a neat little disk. Some are like children’s paddling pools that you blow up and deflate accordingly. There are even models that are made of waterproof nylon that unfold wherever you need them to and create the perfect bathing environment when you are on the go. This could be extremely useful to those who do dog shows and competitions.

It depends on your specific circumstances of course. It is rare for owners to want their dog bath to be a main piece of furniture in their homes in most cases. So, a compact or easily stored model is very helpful. 

Portability

This is linked to the ability to store easily. If you need your dog bath to be portable though, the ability to pack it away is not the only factor.

You also want a dog bathtub that is lightweight and easy to carry around. Look out for the weight of bathtubs that advertise as portable. It’s not enough for them to be foldable. Can you lift them?


Best Dog Baths 2021 Reviewed

Dog baths - more than meets the eye! Now that we have gone through all the aspects of bathing your dog as if it were a fine science, let’s dive into our recommendations for the perfect dog bath for your specific needs. We have collated a selection at different price points and sizes to help you find the right option for your pup.

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What sets this product apart from the rest?

  • Economical
  • Good reviews
  • Lightweight
  • Foldable for portability

The SAG Portable Folding Dog Bathtub is everything you need and more. It has a decent size for small to medium dogs, measuring 120cm in diameter and 30cm in height. The sides are not too high to make it difficult for your dog to jump in and out. Even arthritic dogs may be able to step in relatively easily.

As for durability, the foldable bathtub is made of a hardy PVC material. The structure is reinforced with fiberboard to make sure it retains its shape. The material is completely leakproof and doesn’t soak up any water either.

It is worth noting that there is no hard base to this tub which is a good thing and a bad thing. It’s good because it reduces the chances of your dog slipping. It’s bad because of the longevity of the base of the bath. It needs to be placed on grass or some other soft-ish surface to ensure the durability of the product. If you place the bathtub onto a patio surface with nothing underneath, it could cause the base to wear prematurely.

Onto the foldable nature. This bathtub is incredibly easy to store because it packs down completely. The bath is easy to assemble and disassemble, simply by folding it into a concertina shape. It is less than 1kg in weight too, making it highly portable.

There is a plug inside the bath, so you don’t need to tip out the water manually. When the water is dirty or you need to change the water during the bath, simply unplug the stopper to release the old water and pour in some more.

The circular shape is comfortable for your dog to move about freely.  The SAG dog bath is also very economically priced for the quality and good reviews.

Overall, this product is a prime candidate for the medium-sized dog bathtub you seek.

Verified Review - 25/01/2021
Good Quality Construction
"Bathtub purchased for our Labrador Jessi to help her cool down in the QLD heat. Medium size more than ample for her."

Pros

Cons

  • Economical
  • No hard base
  • Good reviews
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  • Lightweight
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  • Foldable for portability
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#2: Budget-Friendly Pick: LILYS PET Portable Folding Bathtub

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  • Foldable
  • Lightweight
  • Great price point
  • Durable materials

The SAG foldable bathtub is pretty economical, but we can go even cheaper with this unique product. The Lily’s Pet Portable Folding Bathtub is part bag part bath. Yes, sounds strange, but bear with us.

This product is ideal for puppies and small dogs who need a truly portable bath. Maybe you are going on holiday with your pup or are entering competitions. This is the product for you.

The inside is made of a leak-proof PVC fabric, and the outside is made of nylon Oxford fabric. Both are known for their super durable features - they are scratch-proof, chew-proof and waterproof.

It folds and unfolds in seconds. It is very lightweight. The handles on the sides of the bathtub also make it easy to carry around. There are even pockets on the sides for holding any shampoo products and combs you need on the go. This portable dog bath was definitely made with the travelling pooch in mind.

With a diameter of 45cm and a height of 23cm, only the tiniest of canines will fit. If it is a good fit, you won’t be disappointed!

Pros

Cons

  • Foldable
  • Only comes in one small size
  • Lightweight
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  • Great price point
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  • Durable materials
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#3: Best Dog Baths For Home: Pet Gear Pup-Tub

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  • Ideal for indoor use
  • Rubberised base to prevent slipping
  • Storage trays to hold shampoo
  • Easy draining

So far, we have discussed the SAG which is an outdoor bathtub and the Lily’s Pet which can be used anywhere and everywhere. We also wanted to recommend an option for an indoor dog bath. Introducing the Pet Gear Pup-Tub.

This cute little bathtub is ideal for puppies and small dogs to use inside the home.

It has a traditional bath structure in that it is oval/rectangular in shape, with high-ish sides. The sides aren’t as high as they would be in your regular human bathtub, so it is easy for your dog to get into and out of.

The base is rubberised to prevent it from slipping around. There are also tethers attached that you can use to secure your pup in place if they really really hate bathing and might attempt a great escape during your bathing session.

There are two handy storage trays on the side to hold your shampoo and any other tools you use when washing your dog.

As for portability, this bathtub doesn’t pack down like the others do which makes it a little more cumbersome to carry around. It is very light, however. Weighing 1.5kg, it is lighter than most laptops.

The one con here is the sizing. Measuring 76cm in length, 45cm in width and 22cm in height, this is really only meant for small dogs and puppies. Medium and large dogs will have to use one of the other options on this list.

Pros

Cons

  • Ideal for indoor use
  • Only one size fit for small dogs and puppies
  • Rubberised base to prevent slipping
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  • Storage trays to hold shampoo
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  • Easy draining
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#4: Best Dog Wash Tub For Medium Dogs: LXBH Pet Bathtub

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  • Good reviews
  • Durable material
  • Compact when folded up for easy storage
  • Relatively lightweight

It’s fair to say that small dogs are well-catered for on this list. What about our medium pooches out there? Think Springer Spaniels, Standard Schnauzers, and Shetland Sheepdogs.

For your medium-sized canine, the LXBH dog wash tub is the perfect choice.

Measuring 104cm in diameter and 30cm in height, your pooch has plenty of space to feel comfortable. The manufacturer recommends this bathtub for dogs up to 20kg in size which is ideal for medium breeds.

Though it looks a paddling pool, this tub doesn’t need inflating before use. You simply unfold it, and it is ready to go.

The material is completely imperishable, leakproof and waterproof. It is made of heavy-duty Oxford nylon fabric.  No tears or punctures will defeat this tub. To maintain the structure, there is a wire frame that is concealed within the layers of nylon. You don’t need to fear that the wire will pop out and hurt your dog.

The bath folds down into a compact square, weighing around 1.6kg. It’s not the lightest product on this list but it is still portable and easy to store.

We prefer bathtubs with plugs. This one, unfortunately, doesn’t have one. You need to pull down one of the sides to release the water. It’s not the end of the world but the convenience of a plug cannot be beaten.

If the size is right, this is a really good product to look into. It’s on the pricier side of the spectrum but the excellent reviews attest to its greatness!

Pros

Cons

  • Good reviews
  • No plug
  • Durable material
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  • Compact when folded up for easy storage
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  • Relatively lightweight
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#5: Best For Extra-Large Dogs: SSAWcasa Foldable Dog Bathtub

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  • Large size options
  • Durable PVC material
  • Comes with a plug
  • Foldable design

Finally, our large and extra-large dogs need a bath too! The SSAWcasa range is fantastic for our large and in charge, chunky yet funky canines.

It comes in 3 sizes. The medium is 81cm in diameter. The large size is 122cm. The extra-large size is a whopping 160cm in diameter. This is a fabulous size range for big dogs without compromising on quality and durability.

This is a PVC outdoor bathtub that is leakproof, tear-proof and waterproof. The base is reinforced with a double layer to ensure that it can withstand daily use (though no dog needs to be washed daily really).

The SSAWcasa is a completely collapsible and foldable design. It packs down into a portable concertina.

Because this dog bath is so much larger than the others, it is also heavier. It’s not unbearably heavy but certainly about double the weight of the others on this list. That is worth bearing in mind.

For the size, the price point is very reasonable. We love that this model comes with a plug for easy drainage.

All in all, this is the ideal outdoor bath for large dogs in your life.

Verified Review - 3/07/2020
Happy Dog
"My Chesapeake bay retriever loves his pool."

Pros

Cons

  • Large size options
  • A little heavy
  • Durable PVC material
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  • Comes with a plug
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  • Foldable design
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The Final Verdict: Best Dog Bath Australia

For a great allrounder, the SAG portable dog bath will do just fine. It is durable, lightweight and decently priced for the quality.

If you have a large or extra-large pup, however, we recommend the SSAWcasa for that extra room. It may be a heavier product, but it has all the features you need in a reliable dog bath. Durability, ease of use and portability.

FAQ

Do dogs really need to be bathed?

Yes, they do! Dog’s need bathing for many reasons.

Firstly, their skin secretes oils and sweat just like ours which will begin to smell musty if not regularly washed.

Secondly, your dog lives an active lifestyle, rolling in all kinds of things in the great outdoors that can linger on their fur. Bathing your dog rids them of all of these nasties.

Finally, bathing your dog ensures the upkeep of their coat. You want your dog to have clean, healthy skin with fresh, shiny fur/ Not grooming your dog regularly can lead to mats in their fur which are annoying and sometimes painful to remove.

Dr Adam Denish of Rhawnhurst Animal Hospital tells PetMD, “Dogs groom themselves to help facilitate the growth of hair follicles and to support skin health. However, bathing is needed for most dogs to supplement the process. But bathing too often can be detrimental to your pet as well. It can irritate the skin, damage hair follicles, and increase the risk of bacterial or fungal infections.” (5)

Should dogs be bathed in warm or cold water?

Lukewarm water is perfect for your dog. A good measurement could be the temperature you would use for a toddler. There may be occasions when it is particularly hot outside and a cooler bath would feel better. You can use your best judgement for this.

How often should you wash your dog?

How often you wash your dog, by and large, depends on three things:

  1. Your dog’s coat type
    Dogs with oilier coats need to be bathed more often than those with water-repellent coats. Similarly, short smooth-coated dogs and double-coated dogs typically need less bathing too.
  2. How active your dog is
    If your dog engages in a lot of high-octane activities where they sweat often, you may find they need to wash more often.
  3. Your dog’s skin sensitivity
    Pups with very sensitive skin that are prone to eczema or rashes do better with fewer washes. The soap and water can dry out their skin leaving it feeling irritated and delicate.

Once a month is usually fine for most dogs, but you can always consult your vet for advice. (6)

References
  1. Racine, E. July 22, 2019. “Osteoarthritis in Dogs — Signs and Treatment”. American Kennel Club. Retrieved January 24, 2021. https://www.akc.org/expert-advice/health/osteoarthritis-signs-treatment/
  2. Parks, S. “Help! My Dog Hates the Bath: A Trainer’s Guide”. Rover. Retrieved January 24, 2021. https://www.rover.com/blog/dog-hates-the-bath-advice-trainer-tips/
  3. Erb, H. September 25, 2015. “A Bonding Opportunity: Groom Your Dog”. American Kennel Club. Retrieved January 24, 2021. https://www.akc.org/expert-advice/health/groom-your-dog/
  4. Clark, M. “Eczema In Dogs: Symptoms, Causes, & Treatments”. Dog Time. Retrieved January 24, 2021. https://dogtime.com/dog-health/57367-eczema-dogs-symptoms-causes-treatments
  5. Kramer, D. February 16, 2017. “How Often Should You Bathe Your Dog?”. PetMD. Retrieved January 24, 2021. https://www.petmd.com/dog/grooming/how-often-should-you-bathe-your-dog
  6. “Dogs 101: Everything You Should Know About Bathing Your Dog”. Dog Time Editorial. Retrieved January 24, 2021. https://dogtime.com/dog-health/general/129-bathing
Olivia De Santos

Olivia is a professional writer and animal lover. She loves spending time with her Podengo and Flat Coated Retriever, and writing pieces to help people to be better dog owners

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