LIFESTYLE

DIY Dog Grooming Table: Save Your Back and Money

Cute dog Spitz at groomer salon
John Walton
Written by John Walton

Frequent grooming is good for you dog as it makes him feel better and look better. However, grooming a dog can be a tiring affair—especially if you have a large dog or one that does not enjoy being groomed. A grooming table can help. However, most of the available commercial dog grooming tables do not come cheap. Most of them retail from $75 upwards. Did you know that you could spend less than half of this amount if you decide on a DIY dog grooming table?

A DIY dog grooming table not only makes grooming your dog easier, but it will also save you many a trip to groomer’s, so you can save even more money while bonding with your dog at the same time. It also eases the strain on your body. In our quest to make your weekly grooming sessions easier, we will show you how to make different types of DIY dog grooming table.

A dog on a dog grooming tables

We’ve prepared three DIY grooming table projects for you in this article. But before you go ahead and start repurposing old tables or making a new one from scratch, there are some things you need to take into consideration. You can’t play it by ear; you have to create a blueprint. Remember that you’re creating something that will be used many times over a long period, so you will want to do this right.

The Benefits of Using a Dog Grooming Table

Many dog owners tend to groom their pet either on their laps or on the garden table. The floor and the bathroom tiles are two other favorite places for grooming. While these locations can get the job done, once you find out what a simple DIY dog grooming table has to offer, you’ll never want to go back to your old ways again. We look at some of those benefits below:

Convenience

A dog grooming table is convenient for you as it allows you to put your dog in a place and on a level where you can easily reach him as you groom him.

Little white dog on a grooming table

You no longer need to lean over or to keep turning him over while you groom him. Both the dog and your own back will thank you in the long run.

Safety

Most grooming tables have a non-slip material or cover for your dog to grip. In addition, grooming tables have metal arms that can keep your dog from hurting himself in case he slips or slides on the wet floor. These safety measures ensure that your dog is protected against any and all risks as you groom him.

Easy to Step On and Step Off

We all know how hard it is to lift a heavy dog. Furthermore, if your dog is the type that tends to become stressed right before a grooming session, forcing him onto the table might not be the best idea. With a grooming table, you can lower it all the way down—such that you can walk your heavy dog to the tabletop, adjust the height, and after grooming, lower it again for your pet to get off.

See Also: How to Calm Down a Dog

Made for Dog Grooming

Some of you may be wondering about professional dog groomers’ trade secret. How is it that they can handle your dog easily whereas when you do it at home, each session is a battle of wills? Most probably, it’s because a professional groomer uses a grooming table whereas you use a normal table.

Little brown dog on a grooming table

Your pooch will not just stand still and wait for you to trim his nails or hair. Very few dogs like grooming, so do not worry if your pet makes every effort to evade your grooming; you are not alone. However, using a normal table might make your one or two hours of grooming far more miserable than necessary. A dog-grooming table, on the other hand, has specialized features that allow you to access all the dog’s body parts without straining your back.

See Also: How to Get Knots Out of Dog Hair

What Makes a Good Grooming Table?

A homemade grooming table can be customized according to your dog’s needs. Before making one, consider the following:

  • How often will you use the table?
  • How portable do you want it to be?
  • Where will you store it?
  • The safety measures or other additions that you will need to make for you and your pet’s comfort

If you’ve answered the questions above properly, you should have an easier time deciding on the crucial factors that will determine the final blueprint of your grooming table as specified below:

Height

The right height ensures that you don’t strain your back or your shoulders while grooming your pet.

A dog getting its fur shaved at the dog groomer.

The table’s height should be adjustable so you can easily access all parts of your dog. An adjustable table is also convenient for dogs that are heavy, old, or uncomfortable with the idea of grooming.

Strength

Safety is an essential factor to consider while tending to your pet. A wobbling table is not safe for your pet. The table has to be strong and sturdy to prevent injuries. The legs of the table have to be strong enough to hold the weight of your pet. If your dog likes to move a lot when you are grooming him, ensure that the arm and the noose can sustain him well.

Working Area

Your table should have enough space left after you’ve secured your dog or after standing him upright. If there is no space left, then the table might be too small, and your dog will feel uncomfortable.

A dog on a grooming table

You can measure your dog before you make the table to ensure the table will be big enough. If you have multiple dogs that are different in size, you can consider making a large grooming table that has multiple hooks, harnesses, and loops.

Securing Mechanism

If you are a new pet owner, you might think that nooses or harnesses are bad for your pet. This can’t be further from the truth. They are humane, and more importantly, they reduce the risk of injury to your pet.

The right noose or harness will depend on the size of your dog. Nooses are often used for smaller breeds while harnesses are ideal for larger breeds. Another safety mechanism you might prefer is the cross tie which has an adjustable cord that can be put on the dog’s neck. It is secured to the table by anchors.

The Grooming Arm

You can use a single arm that extends vertically or horizontally and is adjustable according to the pet’s height. However, if your pet does not like grooming and often gets agitated, you can consider the H-arm instead.

Apricot poodle getting his hair cut at the groomer.

The H-arm would be two arms that have hooks and nooses to secure your pet. However, H-arms can make it hard for you to reach some areas of your dog while grooming as they can obstruct your arms’ freedom of movement.

Material

You don’t want to make your table and after a few weeks have to redo it again. This should be a one-time investment. Choose materials that are durable, such as wood or stainless steel.

3 Types of Dog Grooming Tables You Can Make At Home

Dog grooming tables come in different shapes and sizes. If you have considerable DIY experience and skills, you should consider making an advanced level grooming table, whereas if you’re a beginner, you should try your hand at a simpler one first, then see where you can go from there.

Type #1: Repurposed Old Table

The easiest way to make a grooming table is to use a premade table. If you have an unused fold up or a banquet table at home, the better, but if you do not have one, you can use a small table around 30 inches square. However, such tables have slippery tops, so you will have to make it safe for your pet by adding a rubber cover.

old wood & rusty chain and table

The advantage of using a premade table is that the job will be easier. However, you will not be able to adjust it, as the size and the height are already predetermined. Below are the instructions on how to make a medium-sized grooming table using a repurposed wooden table:

Materials

  • ½ an inch of copper wall plate elbow
  • ½ an inch of compression elbow
  • ½ an inch of copper pipe
  • ½ an inch of saddle pipe clips
  • Carpet tiles; you can find some cheap ones at a nearby hardware store
  • Planed timber

Tools

  • Staple gun
  • Staples
  • Self-tapping screws
  • Small machine screws and nuts for the dog lead hooks

Instructions

  • Wall plate the elbow screws to the table runner
  • Cut the pipe to the desired length for the vertical part and tack on the elbow
  • Cut another pipe length that will run horizontally
  • Finish the pipe with a push end stop
  • Add the pipe clips. These are for the dog leads. You will need both the head and the tail leads
  • Cover the table using carpet tile. Place it rubber-side up, cut it to size, and staple it to the table

Type #2: A Large-Sized Grooming Table Made from Scratch

If you have a large dog, you’ll need to make a sturdier table with a lot of table space. If you do not have a ready-made table, you can make one yourself.

A Senior dog on a grooming table

The table should be low enough for your dog to easily step up on but high enough to allow you to work on him without hurting your back. Find the complete instructions below.

Materials

  • ¾-inch thick plywood
  • 2 x 4 inches wood cut to the right length for the table legs
  • Carpet rubber mat
  • Rubber cups for the feet

Tools

  • 1-inch nails
  • Wood screws
  • Hammer
  • Sandpaper

Instructions

  • Buy a pair of collapsible legs at a nearby hardware or home improvement store. These will cost you less than $20. Request the hardware store to cut the legs to 24 inches
  • Buy the ¾-inch thick sheet of plywood at the hardware store and request the wood to be cut to 26 inches wide and to a length of 40 and 48 inches.
  • Sand the edges of the plywood until they are smooth
  • Tack vinyl edging on the rim of the sheet and secure this with small nails at 3-inch intervals.
  • Attach the legs to the plywood top using the screws. Ensure the legs are firmly held.
  • Attach some rubber pads to the table legs to enhance stability and support.
  • Turn your table upright. Use a rubber mat or carpeting to cover the top of the table and secure it with small nails to prevent your dog from slipping

Type #3: Ringside Grooming Table for Small Dogs

Small grooming tables are ideal for small dogs. These tables are referred to as ringside tables because they are usually used on dog shows.

little chihuahua dog being groomed

Here is how you can make a ringside table for your cute dog:

Materials

  • 2 x 4 inches plywood, around half an inch thick
  • A roll of anti-slip rubber surface
  • Spray adhesive
  • ¼-inch and ½-inch nuts and bolts
  • 4-1 wagers to match the bolts
  • A tabletop mat
  • A repurposed workmate
  • Weights such as a landscaping brick to give the table stability

Tools

  • Saw
  • Drill with ¼-inch bit
  • Utility knife
  • Crescent wrench for your nuts
  • Pencil

Instructions

  • You start by cutting a foot off the board length
  • The second step is to drill the holes that you will use later to join the board to your workbench. Turn the workbench and the board over and center the workbench on the board. Use your pencil and trace the predrilled holes in the workbench—marking where you will drill the holes in your work surface. It is advisable to center the board to the workbench to enhance the stability of the table.
  • Put everything right side up and cut your mat to fit the grooming surface.
  • When the piece is a good fit, apply your spray adhesive to the board and press the mat onto the board, leave it for a few second so it will have a solid bond.
  • Feed your bolts through the board bottom. Using a utility knife, score the mat and allow the bolts to pass through.
  • Remove the bolt. Insert it from the top side through your mat, board, and workbench, and add the washer and nuts to tighten each of the bolts
  • Attach your grooming arm by cramping it to the workbench
  • Add some weights to make your table sturdy. You can use a landscaping brick on the base to lower the center of gravity. You can place some scrap material across the horizontal braces and add your brick on the base.

How to Make a DIY Grooming Arm

Most pet owners are tempted to forgo a grooming arm once they have their grooming table ready. However, a grooming table is not complete without a grooming arm. This essential item enhances security and mobility for your dog.

Image showing an Adjustable Grooming-Table-Arm

You can buy a grooming arm from a pet store and attach it to the table’s end so that you can use it as a leash to hold your dog steady as you groom him. Alternatively, you can make your own grooming arm and attach it to your table. Below are easy to follow instructions on how to make a grooming arm at home.

Materials

  • Straight metal conduit
  • Elbow conduit
  • Metal outlet cover
  • (3) ½-inch connectors
  • C-clamps or a hand clamp
  • An old dog leash

Tools

  • Wood screws
  • Threaded eye bolt
  • Drill
  • Hacksaw
  • Measuring tape

Instructions

  • Measure your dog from the top of his head to the front paw. Using the hacksaw, cut the straight conduit to the measured length.
  • Drill a hole in the straight conduit and another four holes to the exterior cover. File the rough edges.
  • Insert the eyebolt to the conduit. Using the elbow conduit, attach the two pieces to the two connectors.
  • Using the other third connector, attach the L-shaped arm to the exterior outlet cover.
  • Mount your cover to your table using the hand clamp or the C-clamp ensure it is stable by clamping both sides firmly. If you want it to be permanently secured, you can use some wood screws.
  • Use a leash to make a grooming loop to complete the arm.

Wrap Up

In conclusion, we have taught you how to make three simple dog grooming tables and a grooming arm. Our homemade grooming tables use readily available and cheap materials, and they are safe for your dog. Further, they will save you numerous trips to the groomer.

Additionally, grooming is a physical exercise, and a homemade grooming table will reduce the strain on your body. You should have all the necessary equipment somewhere in your garage already, so all you have to do now is to get building.

A dog at the groomer

Tell us your experience with building a DIY grooming table! Does having a grooming table make your weekly grooming sessions less of a battle? Did we miss anything important? If, instead of an easier way to groom your dog, you’re looking for an easier dog to groom, check out this article on the best low maintenance breeds.

About the author
John Walton
John Walton

John Walton lives in Somerville, MA, with his two dogs, two sons, and very understanding mate. He is a Certified Pet Dog Trainer, a member of the International Association of Animal Behavior Consultants, a mentor trainer for the Animal Behavior College, an AKC Certified CGC Evaluator, and the Training Director for the New England Dog Training Club.

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