DIY Dog Washing Station: How to Build One Yourself

DIY Dog Washing Station
Anna Smith
Written by Anna Smith

It goes without saying that regular grooming is essential in keeping dogs healthy and happy. But let’s face it—washing dogs can be quite a chore for anyone especially busy people like you. And bathing dogs at home can be quite a hassle because you end up not only cleaning your pet but also your whole place. That’s why DIY dog washing stations have become popular these days.

Did you know that you can make your own dog washing station at home? And the good news is that you don’t really need to be an expert DIYer in order to create one. Making your own dog washing station is a great way to save money as well as your back. It will allow you to wash your dog without having to bend down too much, and clean-ups will be a breeze.

This post will explain step-by-step procedures for building a DIY dog washing station. We’ll also let you in on the advantages of having a dog washing station at home. By the time you are done reading this post, you should be able to build a dog washing station where you can wash your buddy without causing a mess in your home.

What is a DIY Dog Washing Station?

dog washing station

As the name suggests, a do it yourself dog washing station is where you bathe your dog. This is the area where you can effectively clean your pal.

It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to figure out and understand the benefits of using a DIY dog washing station such as:

#1: No more mess to clean up after bathing a dog

You likely know how big of a mess bathing a dog can be. Your dog shakes his body vigorously even before you can put the towel around him.

Within seconds, the walls and floor of the bathroom are covered in hair and water. Thus, you are obliged to clean up the mess which you can only do so after drying your pet. To put it simply, bathing a dog at home can be very stressful and tiring.

With a DIY dog washing area, you are sparing yourself from such trouble. A dog washing area also has a bigger drain to better accommodate or handle dog hair.

#2: No more aching back and knees

Another reason why you should have a dog washing station is that it can do wonders to your body in the long run. Bathing dogs at home can be physically demanding as you have to lean over a tub or crouch in the shower to do so. These movements can be hard on your back or knees.

However, these can be a thing of the past if you have an elevated dog washing station as you won’t have to bend much or at all.

When to Wash Your Dog

washing a dog

Most healthy adult dogs will benefit from being bathed every other week. You should aim to clean your pet at least once every three months. But the frequency of baths will also differ depending on the age, fur types, and level of activity of a dog. Below are some considerations in determining when to have your dog cleaned:

#1: Fur type

Canines who have oily coats like Basset Hounds need to be washed every week. Dogs with water repellent coats like Golden Retrievers don’t need regular washing. The same goes for canine companions who have thick coats as they can be groomed instead of needing regular bathing.

#2: Activity level

Dogs who love the outdoors are more likely to get dirty than those who prefer to stay indoors. If you let your dog roll around on the ground or splash across muddy puddles, then you will really have to bathe him more frequently.

#3: Age

Puppies should not be bathed more than once a month because regular washing can remove the natural oils produced on their coats. Instead of bathing regularly, you can groom puppies to keep their coat clean.

Finally, if your dog has skin allergies, it is better to consult with your veterinarian on the frequency of bathing. Some dogs with sensitive or itchy skin can suffer from skin irritation if they are washed too regularly.

Preparations to Build a DIY Dog Washing Station

DIY Dog Washing Station

Sure, you can always buy and install pre-assembled canine wash stations, but you may be turned off by the skyrocketing prices. Depending on the materials used, build quality, and design, a pre-assembled dog wash station costs around $2,500 to $3,000. And this does not even include the cost of shipping.

Moreover, you may still have to hire the services of a plumber in installing a pre-assembled dog wash area. These are the reasons why you should seriously consider building your own dog wash station.

There are basically three parts of a DIY dog washing station:

#1: Tub


This is where you will be bathing your dog. As such, it should be large enough to accommodate your pet comfortably. Aside from the size, it should have provisions for hot and cold water with good water pressure. Consider getting a hose with a minimum length of 5 feet to give you more flexibility in washing your pet.

The tub should be positioned at an elevated level so that you won’t have to bend while washing your pet. But it should also not be too high for your dog, especially if he’s a big one

You can also install racks over or next to the tub where you can place towels, soap, conditioners, and wash clothes.

#2: Enclosure

This is a must-have if you have a dog who sheds heavily. With an enclosure and the use of a blower/dryer, you can have an easier time in cleaning up dog hair.

#3: Grooming Table

Grooming Table for a dog

This is where you groom your pet. Activities such as brushing, nail trimming, and shaving can all be done here. It should be tall enough for you to sit on a stool or chair while you groom your pet. Moreover, it must be sturdy so that your pet will feel secure while sitting on it.

Make no mistake about it—your DIY dog washing station can have all or any of these parts. It’s really up to you to decide on the components of your DIY dog washing station.

You can do away with the enclosure, for example, if your pet is of the short-haired type or if he doesn’t shed heavily. But obviously, you need to have a tub in the washing station.

2 Different Methods to Build a DIY Dog Washing Station

In building your own dog wash station, find an appropriate place or spot in your home. You can have it in the garage or basement.

It is also practical to set up a washing station in the mudroom. Here, your pet will enter from the side or back door, and his muddy paws won’t make it to the other parts of the house.

We have two different methods here you can choose from on how to build a DIY dog washing station:

DIY Dog Washing Station #1

DIY Dog Washing Station with old tub

In this section, you’ll learn how to build a dog washing station using an old bathtub.


  • Plastic container
  • Sandpaper
  • Measuring tape
  • Stanley knife
  • Multi-purpose cutting bit
  • Vulcanized rubber strips
  • Binder clips
  • Super glue

Step-by-step guide:

  • In order to determine the size of the tub, you will have to get your dog’s body measurements. First, measure his forelimb while he is in a sitting position by measuring the distance from the floor to his elbow. Then determine the length of your dog’s body while sitting down. This can be done by measuring the distance from his tail to nose. Make sure that the bath is large enough for your pet to lay down.
  • Purchase a container that is large enough based on your dog’s measurements. We recommend getting a four-wheeled container because two-wheeled versions typically have irregular floors. You can also use a second-hand container as long as you thoroughly wash it before use. For small dogs, you may use a garden waste container while a large trash can may be big enough for medium breeds. Meanwhile, a wheeled industrial bin can be suitable for large breeds as long as it is watertight and waterproof.
  • Remove the lid as it can create an obstruction. Draw a line around the side of the container. The height of the container’s side should be approximately 10 inches for small dog breeds, 14 inches for medium breed dogs, and 20 inches for bigger breeds. Of course, these numbers will also vary depending on the height of your dog while he is sitting. The idea is for the container to be able to hold enough water for your dog to step into and for you to reach into it.
  • Using a multipurpose cutting bit, cut around the line so that you can remove the top portion of the plastic container. This will also lower the sides of the container and reduce the volume without affecting its area.
  • Measure the container’s perimeter, which has now been modified. Cut the rubber strip into two sections. Each of the sections should be equal in length to half of the circumference of the container. Bear in mind that if the container is tapered—cutting it in half may reduce the circumference.
  • Now let’s place the rubber edges to protect your pet when he climbs in and out of the bath tub. Using sandpaper, buff the newly-cut edges. Apply glue around the top edges of the container. Place a strip of rubber on the top of the container and, using four binder clips, fix it in place. Attach the other strip. Allow the glue to set for a couple of hours. The rubber edging can also give you a surface where you can give your arms a break when bathing your buddy.

DIY Dog Washing Station #2

Plastic washing tub

Here’s another DIY dog washing station which is elevated and thus suited for small to medium sized dogs. Prepare the following materials:

  • Plastic washing tub
  • A couple of plywood boards (2 inches thick)
  • Electric drill
  • Saw
  • 16 2×4 timbers
  • Electrical router
  • 1/8-inch wood drill bit
  • Vulcanized rubber strips
  • Sandpaper
  • Stanley knife
  • 8 binder clips
  • Super glue
  • Hose pipe

Step-by-step guide:

  • Determine the size of the washing tub by measuring your dog. Your pet should be able to lie down or sit in the tub.
  • Put the tub top down on the plywood board. Draw around the circumference and cut out the shape using a saw.
  • Cut a couple of 1-inch diameter holes in one side of the tub with the use of a router. The holes would come in handy when sliding the hose of the hot and cold faucets.
  • Cut four of the timbers to around the length of your leg so that you would find the elevated washing station comfortable to use. These will be used for the legs of the tub frame.
  • Cut four of the timbers to a width equivalent to that of the plywood board. Cut another four to the equivalent length but deduct 3 inches. You’d end up with four long and four short woods that you can use to create two rectangular frames.
  • Insert two of the shorter timbers perpendicularly on the ends of the longer 2 by 4s to create a rectangle. Repeat this with the four remaining pieces to create a second rectangle and match the rectangular frame. Screw the timbers together using two screws per corner.
  • Attach the legs to the corners of the frames with screws. You can place the legs in the corners and thrust a couple of screws through the 3.5-inch plane of each legs. Then drive at least one screw through the 1.5-inch plane of the legs.
  • Reverse the partially completed frame and place the four legs in the remaining frame. Screw the frame and legs together following the discussed method.
  • Put the plywood board on top of the frame then screw it on.
  • Slide the tub into the cut-out. You may also have to devise a ramp if necessary, so your dog will have an easier time getting in and out of the tub.

Wrap Up

wet dog

A DIY dog washing station is clearly something you need to invest your time and efforts in building. Creating one in your home will spare you the backbreaking woes part of washing your dog. And this place could be an area where you can strengthen your bond with your pet.

So what are you waiting for? Try to build your own dog washing station now! Which of the two methods we’ve mentioned above are you more inclined to try out? Leave us a comment below, and don’t forget to check out our next article on DIY Dog Grooming Table.

About the author
Anna Smith
Anna Smith

Anna Smith resides in beautiful Santa Monica, CA, where she works as a Pet Nutrition Expert in a leading retail pet store. She is responsible for nutritional strategies for different breeds and development of new products on the market in compliance with Association of American Feed Control Officials. Anna's passions are education about proven methods and best practices in the industry and her dog Max, who is always well-fed.