Dog Breed Info

Bathing Stations/Tubs

The bathing stations in salons today are very different than what you would see 25 years ago. A more spa type movement is taking place in the industry, creating a more finished appearance in the bathing area, especially the bathing station. Because of the need for various tools, products and supplies that must be within arms reach, the bathing station must be one of the most thought-out designs in a dog grooming and styling salon so that it is very organized and well planned to create a safe and easy to maintain work space for the pet and the professional.

There are many bathing station design options including, but not limited to, modified residential tubs to height adjustable fiberglass units to stainless steel tubs. An interior designer or architect, particularly one who has experience in hospital or veterinary facility design, can be a great resource for both layout ideas and the selection of materials that are easy to maintain and keep sanitary.

Visual Example

Professional Image
The key to creating and maintaining a professional image at the bathing station is a well organized and sanitized bathing station.

Safety Gear
To create a safe environment in the bathing area, safety mask, glasses and ear plugs should be worn in the bathing area by the professional.
Water Temperature Control Faucets
Temperature controls should be utilized as a safety precaution. The temperature of the water is set so that each time the water is turned on, the temperature of the water is the same, thus preventing water that is too cold or too hot. The temperature controls should be disinfected along with the bathing station. Very little maintenance is required, except checking to make sure the control is working and that there are no leaks.
Hair Trap
The bathing station must have a trap to catch hair before it goes down the drain causing build up and clogging. These traps require constant emptying and therefore should be easily accessible. The hair trap must be cleaned and disinfected to prevent odors. Clean the trap per manufacturer's instructions as required.
Bathing Hose and Nozzle
The bathing hose and nozzle are important parts of the bathing station design. The hose should be strong and flexible. The nozzle needs to produce enough water volume and pressure to clean and rinse the skin and coat; however, you must also be able to reduce the pressure when needed to work around the head area of the dog.
One type of nozzle has its own valve, typically controlled by a lever, allowing the bather to control the flow of water at the valve head. While this type of nozzle allows the water to be turned on and left on during the bathing procedure, the professional must remember to turn the water off at the faucet. If not, the pressure on the hose can eventually cause a leak or rupture. If this happens when the salon is closed, it can cause extensive water damage.
The other type of nozzle has no valve of its own and therefore requires the water to be turned on and off for each procedure. The hose is easily cleaned during the disinfecting of the bathing station and should be checked daily for leaks.
Bathing Ramp
A bathing ramp is designed to transport the dog from the floor to the bathing station. Some bathing units are designed to allow a ramp to be attached. "Stand alone" ramps are also available. They are designed to fit most types of bathing stations. The surface of the ramp should allow the dog to maintain a comfortable amount of traction when entering and leaving the bathing station.  Sanitize the ramp after each use. Check overall structure monthly for loose screws, bolts, etc.
Safety Hook
All pets must be safely secured in the bathing station. The best way to secure a pet in the bathing station is to use eye hooks. Eye hooks are placed at different heights to accommodate all size pets. The eye hooks must be large enough for the safety loop to fasten and secure enough to hold any size pets. The wall must have additional support added to secure the eyehooks and to prevent them from pulling out of the wall.
Floor Mat
Place a floor mat on the floor next to the tub if you have the type of flooring at the bathing station that has a tendency to get slippery when wet.
Electrical Outlets
Electrical outlets in the vicinity of the bathing station should be the 'ground fault interrupt' or 'GFI' type. These outlets, typically found in bathrooms, kitchens, and other areas where water is present, are designed to 'interrupt' the flow of electricity to prevent electrical shock. The outlet should be tested periodically by pressing the reset button.

The bathing station should be placed at a height so that the professional does not have to bend. If the salon is large enough for more than one bathing station, set each tub at a different height. If there is going to be just one tub, setting the tub for the average individual would be the best choice and plan on space for a ramp or steps if possible. If more than one tub is used, keep in mind when placing the lowest tub that large dogs can step up, so the need to place the tub at floor level is not necessary unless you create a bathing station for pets with special needs that does not require the pet to step up or be picked up.
The design must also allow for the professional to stand comfortably, with plenty of room to place his or her feet under the bathing tub, and the station must be equipped, within arm's reach, with all the necessary products and tools to properly bathe a dog.

Sanitation is a breeze if the station is designed correctly. If not, you can create a maintenance nightmare.

Time Management
To create excellent time management create a station that is easy to keep clean and design it so that you can arrange all necessary tools, products and supplies to be at your fingertips.

The overall station must be maintained by checking for leaks and cleaning the hair trap. Clean the trap per manufacturer's instructions as required.
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