Simple Tricks That Make Giving Your Dog a Bath at the Pet Wash Easier

A Pet’s Life | Aug 19, 2019

pet-friendly apartments with dog washing station
Griffis Pine Avenue's Dog Washing Room with two dog baths and a drying table.

Do-it-yourself dog washes allow you to save money and bond with your dog without the mess and logistical can of worms that comes with washing your dog in your own tub. Even better, dog-friendly apartment communities like our own Griffis Union Station, Griffis North Austin, and Griffis Belltown offer this amenity for free, and are always stocked with dog shampoo and air dryers.

So, how do you know when it’s bath time?

The general rule to follow is to let your nose make the decision–if your dog stinks, wash them. But you can’t always let it get to that point. According to the American Kennel Club, there are a whole range of factors that dictate when it’s bath time, such as hair length, breed, lifestyle, and health. For example, hairless dogs may require weekly baths, whereas dogs with thick coats, like Labs or Huskies, are best left to the smell test because over-bathing can strip their skin of vital oils. Lifestyle-wise, working or hunting dogs or dogs that like to swim in questionable bodies of water will need more baths than dogs who spend most of their time inside. If you’re not sure, it’s always best to ask your veterinarian for recommendations.

So, you’re heading to the self-serve dog wash. What’s the best way to get the job done without ending up frustrated and soaking wet?

  • Make the wash a happy place by bringing treats or toys with you. The idea is to make bath time a positive experience. If your dog is especially nervous, bring them to the wash several times just to hang out in the tub, with plenty of treats before trying to bathe them.
  • Avoid spraying the ears. Getting water in your dog’s ears can be very uncomfortable and can cause health problems.
  • Brush your dog before the bath. Removing excess hair allows the shampoo to get into the coat more quickly, which can make for a shorter bath. It also lets you work out any mats before the water sets them in.
  • Fill the tub before putting your dog in it. Sometimes the sound of rushing water can make a dog nervous. Some dogs are uncomfortable with air dryers, so be prepared by bringing a towel, just in case.

Learn more about our dog-friendly apartment communities today at