All About Self Wash Stations

Knees on cold tile with your back bent over a bath tub, struggling with an uncooperative dirty pup. Attempting to wash the dog in the shower or the back yard can certainly be frustrating. This image sounds familiar to most dog owners.

Have you thought about washing your dog in a self wash station? They are self-serve wash stations that are specifically designed to make a dog wash more enjoyable for both dog and its owner! These waist high, stainless steel tubs with easy-reach water sprayers make bathing your dog a less stressful experience for both  you and your pup. Self wash is also more convenient, easier on your back and keeps the mess out of your home!

How to choose a self wash station

What do you look for when choosing a self wash station for your dog? Here are the essential do's and don'ts and what to keep an eye out for.


Never go to one of those car wash self-serve stations for dogs! The commotion and cars driving around can stress out your dog and turn the event into a nightmare. Same goes for any self wash station that is in some similar setting like laundromats or huge supermarkets. Basically, avoid locations that make your dog anxious and distressed. Private, enclosed rooms in a comfortable environment will make bath-time much more productive and enjoyable.

Try to choose a dog specialized location that offers self wash stations in an environment designed for the well being of your dog. An establishment that offers other dog services will have personnel who know what a dog needs and can help if required. Barx Parx offers high quality stainless steel dog wash stations to turn this chore into something - dare I say FUN for you and your pet.


Hygiene is of utmost importance for the well being of your dog. No one wants to wash their beloved pup in clumps of fur left behind by the previous dog! And no one wants to risk having their dog contract any ailment from a careless owner washing their ill dog in the same wash station. An ideal dog wash station will be in a place that looks well cared for and well maintained. Choose a self wash service with stainless steel tubs that are sanitized after each use.

Other Basics

As already stated a calm atmosphere is ideal. This is usually achieved by having each self wash station in individual rooms. In this way your pup will not get excited or confused with the presence of other dogs or people. Professional self wash service providers will also make sure to supply water that is temperature controlled. More comfortable water temperature for you and your dog and will make bathing your dog a much more enjoyable experience. Additional facilities such as dog specific shampoos, waterproof aprons and free towels are also an additional bonus. Barx Parx offers a selection of several dog shampoos with each self wash and can provide shampoo suggestions for your specific dog.

dog wash soapy dog

How to make it pleasurable

Once you have decided which self wash service is best make sure to familiarize your dog with the area first. For example, if the wash station is at a dog park you might consider first taking your dog there just to enjoy the park. Or if it is part of an indoor establishment with service such as dog day care maybe you can enroll your dog for a couple of days of day care to get used to the place and its people. For a minimal fee, Barx Parx will even wash your dog while he or she is attending daycare so you can pick a nice clean dog up.

Start early

It goes without saying, that getting a young pup accustomed to new things as early as possible will make the process easier. Of course, this does not mean that training an older dog to like the dog wash station is impossible. In both cases, positive reinforcement is key to training your dog to associate it with a positive experience. Make sure to take your pups favorite treats and reward him with every new step.

Plan ahead

Plan ahead and make sure you have all the tools at hand. Prepare a dog bathing kit with your pup's favorite shampoo, rubber scrub, de-matting brush, extra absorbent towels and nail clippers. Don’t forget to include a waterproof apron for yourself! Barx Parx offers all of the above with a standard wash to ensure that the wash experience is a success. We even offer an optional peanut butter lick pad to keep your dog's attention while you focus on getting your pup squeaky clean.

At the wash station

Start slow and do not rush into lifting your dog in the bath and turning on the water! This might scare your dog and start to associate the big stainless steel tub with something scary. Ideally you allow your dog to walk up into the tub using the supplied steps. Always check the temperature of the water first by spraying it against the side of the tub and start with a light flow, testing frequently until it gets to the desired temperature.

Many self wash stations; including those at Barx Parx include a hair dryer. If your dog  is easily spooked by loud sounds and is short haired, you might consider sticking with the supplied towels. For the longer haired dogs, hair dryers have adjustable airflow. Start with a very low setting and work your way up until you achieve the desired airflow or your dog shows signs of becoming uncomfortable with the noise. Barx Parx also provides extra absorbent towels if your dog doesn't like the dryer. After your dog is fully dry, you might consider letting him or her play in the indoor park after the bath to work off excess energy.

Older dogs

You might need to assist your older dog into the self wash station. Barx Parx self wash stations have non-slip steps to ensure that even older dogs can get into the self wash stations with minimal assistance.

In Conclusion

As you can see, getting your dog familiar with a dog self wash station is very beneficial. If you are using a professionally designed dog wash station you will be sparing yourself from hassle, back pain and a possible slip or accident. You will have a squeaky clean pup and ensure that your home (and bath tub) stays squeaky clean at the same time! Just make sure to find a self wash station with a good environment and helpful personnel. A good self wash station can be much better for you and your dog than the hose in your back yard or home shower. Barx Parx self wash is a tremendous value and don't forget that membership discounts apply to already low rates.

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