If there is one thing my fiancee Tag won’t tolerate, it’s having our house smell like dogs. She hates when you walk into someone home and the first thing you notice is a dog smell. That’s why she does a great job of keeping our house AND our dogs clean.

Our Australian Shepherds

Kona is in the front and Sydney is in the back

Our two dogs, Sydney and Kona, love to play outside and wrestle. That means they are constantly getting dirty and smelly. We have had them groomed, but that cost $30 each dog (plus tip!), which makes grooming and unsustainable expense for our budget.

We have also tried bathing them ourselves in a bathtub using a plastic cup to pour water over them, but with Australian Shepherds and their double-coats it’s very hard to get them completely clean. Then even if we do get the shampoo into their second coat, it’s terribly difficult to rinse it. Finally, I can’t even talk about all the dog hair that found its way down the drain.

We needed a better solution to bathing our dogs, and this is what we found:

Rinse Ace Pet Shower – Tag and I took a chance on a $28 Rinse Ace Pet Shower Deluxe PLUS, and we were not disappointed. It’s similar to those shower heads that are detachable, except it is made specifically for pets and you can keep your regular shower head attached at the same time.

This is an upgraded model (the company sells a cheaper version) but we like it because it has 3 different settings, which is helpful for our two dogs. One of them is a little jittery, so we need to use the softer setting for him. The other doesn’t know the meaning of the word “nervous” so we can use the high pressure setting for her.

This was 1000 times better than the cup, as it easily penetrates into their second coat and gets them clean. It’s also convenient because you can turn the water on and off at the handle so you don’t have to mess turning it off at the wall.

This is the single most important thing that has allowed us to stop grooming the dogs and bathe them ourselves.

Hair Catcher – Tag and I also purchased a hair catcher because we wanted to make sure we don’t clog our drain with dog fur. We bought the Danco Microban Hair Catcher, and while it did catch a lot of hair, it also let a good amount into the drain underneath the edges. It needs a silicone rim or something to stop hair from getting under this catcher. I gave this product a 3 star rating (out of 5) on Amazon because it didn’t work as well as I had hoped. Luckily, it was only $5 and it seems to work well enough that we can continue using it for now.

If anyone knows of a better catcher that they have used, I will update the post and add it here.

Dog Shampoo – The final ingredient for bathing your dogs at home is the shampoo, and unfortunately I can’t give any recommendations here. We still haven’t finished the shampoo that came in our puppy kit, so we are gonna keep using that until it runs out.

There are quite a few highly rated products on Amazon, but I haven’t tried any. If anyone has suggestions in the comments, I’ll be happy to add them here.

Bonus Dog Item: Hammock Seat Cover – This has nothing to do with bathing dogs, but it is incredibly useful if you ever take your dogs in the car and put them in the back seat. It’s called the Solvit Waterproof Hammock Seat Cover, and it’s fantastic.

We used this when we drove from Dallas to St. Louis for Thanksgiving, and it was incredible. It gives the dogs so much more room and you don’t have to worry about them falling off the seat onto the floor, or climbing into the front seat.

Readers: How do you save money in bathing your dogs?