BarkBath Review: Portable Dog Washing System

BarkBath is a portable bathing system for dogs that is simple to use, quick, and mess free. Does it really work? Here is my BarkBath review.

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About BarkBath

BarkBath by Bissell is a compact grooming system for canines that allows the user to quickly bathe their dog without making a mess. The official product website is www.bissell.com, which was registered in August 1995. The screenshot below shows how the product website looked in May 2018.

barkbath review

Claims & Features

  • Gets rid of dirt and odors
  • Conserve money on dog grooming
  • Can be used in almost any location
  • Cleans through the fur all the way down to the skin
  • Two water tanks (one for clean water and the other for the dirty water)
  • 48 oz. clean water tank (capable of cleaning an 80 lb dog)

Cost

The price of BarkBath ranges from around $100 to $160 depending on where it is purchased. It can be purchased online from the product website or Amazon, and is also available in stores such as Walmart, Bed Bath & Beyond, Kohls, and Lowes. I picked it up for $99 with a 20% coupon, which dropped the price to about $80.

BarkBath Review

When I stumbled across a BarkBath at a local Bed Bath and Beyond, I knew it was a product I should try out, as I have three dogs at home (including one that appears regularly in my YouTube videos). After getting home and unboxing BarkBath, it reminded me very much of the Bissell Little Green machine. In fact, they are almost indistinguishable, although the BarkBath has a slightly different hose system.

There is minor assembly required which includes attaching the hose brackets onto the main unit. Otherwise, it comes ready to go out of the box. To use BarkBath, you fill the water chamber and then “prime” the unit, which entails spraying water for about 15 seconds. You’ll also fill the shampoo chamber with the included Bissell no-rinse shampoo. You can select the “shampoo” option, which delivers a mixture of water and shampoo, or the “rinse” option, which sprays only water.

The shampoo itself has a very mild scent. I went to several pet stores in town to see if they carried this specific shampoo, but none of the stores I visited did. In fact, it was hard to find any no-rinse shampoo locally. That means you’ll probably have to order shampoo online, which is about $10 per bottle. It is often sold in a two-pack like this for just under $20.

The handle includes a trigger which sprays soapy water against your pet. A plate on the handle can be removed which will allow you to spray even closer to your dog’s skin, which I did find helpful on my golden retrievers. When the trigger is not being pressed while the unit is on, the handle can be used to vacuum water from your pet.

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As you can see in the video below, I tried out BarkBath on all three of my dogs. None of my pets are particularly frightened by sound, so that was never an issue for me. The long hose and cord do allow you to place the unit far away from your pet if it is affected by loud noises. There is a new “QT” model that is touted as significantly quieter than the original if your pets are sensitive to noises.

Washing your pet involved running the handle along the coat while pressing the trigger to dispense soapy water, then rinsing with plain water, and finally drying by running the handle along the coat without the trigger pressed. It does do a pretty good job of cleaning the dog’s coat, although it seems best suited for cleaning the torso. The face, legs, paws, and tail are not areas that are as easily cleaned with BarkBath.

BarkBath does a pretty good job of cleaning your dog’s torso, and will probably allow you to extend the amount of time between professional grooming, but I wouldn’t say that it can entirely replace the work of a pro. With the new “QT” version recently announced, you can probably find the original for sale, as I did.

Be sure to watch my full review of BarkBath below.

Alternatives

There is no shortage of pet bathing tools on the market. One popular option is a shower glove, which also reaches down to the skin and gives the pet the sensation that you’re petting them. In the As Seen on TV world, there is Woof Washer 360, a $10 hose attachment that surrounds your dog’s torso with soapy water.

Television Commercial

Your BarkBath Reviews

Have you used BarkBath or something like it? Tell me your thoughts in the comments below.

James White
James White is based in Las Vegas, Nevada, and has been reviewing strange gadgets since 2011. He also runs the successful "Freakin' Reviews" YouTube channel.
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