How to build a self-serve dog-wash station

Written by anise hunter
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How to build a self-serve dog-wash station
Get dogs clean at a self-serve dog wash. (Life On White/Photodisc/Getty Images)

Dog walking, grooming and day care are popular services for busy dog owners. Dog-washing services are an essential part of a grooming service and are especially popular after muddy trail walking. For people who want to bathe their dogs themselves but do not want to do it at home, a self-serve dog-wash station is a good option. Dog-wash stations provide all of the gear required to wash a dog and don't lead to a messy house for the dog owner.

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Things you need

  • Bathtubs
  • Spray nozzle for shower head
  • Hair catcher for drain
  • Shelving
  • Dog brushes and combs
  • 2 hooks per washing station
  • Dog shampoo
  • Dog conditioner
  • Flea shampoo
  • Towels
  • Pet dryers
  • Nail clippers

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  1. 1

    Set up a portion of a dog grooming business or pet store as a dog-wash station. The size depends on the number of dogs you want to serve at one time. For each dog, you will need to install one elevated tub, which makes it much easier to reach the dog. You also can add removable steps so that owners of larger dogs can use the steps to get their pet into the tub.

    How to build a self-serve dog-wash station
    Elevated bathtubs make it easy to wash a dog. (bathtub fixures image by Leticia Wilson from
  2. 2

    Hook up a sprayer in each tub to make it easier to wash the dog. Place a hair guard over the top of each of the drains. The drain and bath should have accessible plumbing, preferably just underneath the bath. That way if a ring or dog tag goes down the drain, it is possible to undo the plumbing and retrieve it. Also, it is a good idea to be able to open the drains in case of hair blockages.

  3. 3

    Install shelving on either side of the dog tub. On the shelves, put dog brushes and combs so that people can brush their dogs before and after washing them. Put dog shampoo and conditioner and towels on the shelves as well. It's also helpful to attach hooks so that people can leave such things as a purse or a dog's leash.

    How to build a self-serve dog-wash station
    Supply towels, shampoos and conditioners for canine customers. (towels horizontal image by Tasha from
  4. 4

    Install a self-serve pet dryer and a basket for wet towels away from the water and bathtubs. These pet dryers quickly remove water from a dog's coat. Human hair dryers are too hot for a dog and can cause coat damage and dehydrate a dog. The area around both the baths and the dryers should have nonskid floor mats so people do not slip on wet tiles.

    How to build a self-serve dog-wash station
    Do not use a human hair dryer on a dog. (dryers image by timur1970 from
  5. 5

    Create a grooming station beside the dryers. Stock it with brushes and a wastebasket for pet hair. Add extra grooming supplies, such as nail clippers. This is for pet owners who want to go an extra step to keep their dogs looking good.

    How to build a self-serve dog-wash station
    Add supplies to a grooming station near the dryers. (three nail clippers image by timur1970 from

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