A recent skunking incident in my backyard resulted in needing to give all three of my Chihuahuas six baths each over the course of four days. (Here’s what I learned from YouTube: Hydrogen peroxide plus dish soap plus baking soda is the best anti-skunk concoction there is.) By the time the smell had finally dissipated, I could barely stand up straight after crouching next to my ancient claw-foot bathtub for so long. A few weeks later, I had a light-bulb moment while watching a pal give her newborn baby a bath in a special plastic baby tub over her kitchen sink, while standing up with ease. I immediately searched the web and was pleasantly surprised to find that a pet bathtub is totally a thing.
The Pet Gear Pup Tub is exactly what it says it is: a well-designed hunk of plastic meant for bathing pets under 20 pounds without having to bend over your human-size tub and break your back. I considered just using a random bathtub meant for a human baby (they are half the price of a pet tub, of course), but soon realized they were all sorts of ergonomically incorrect for a dog. The Pet Gear tub is markedly deeper than a baby bathtub, allowing your dog to marinate in a luxurious bath of warm soapy water — which helps to make quick work of washing. It has a foam rubber mat in the bottom to keep paws from sloshing around — and a pair of clip-in collar restraints for safety. (Dogs are slippery when wet.) It’s also less stressful on a tiny or elderly dog — I’ve got a 20-year-old Chihuahua who is much happier at bath time these days.
The built-in shelves are meant to hold pet shampoo and the doggy scrubber of your choice (I am loyal to the Zoom Groom now and forever), and the whole contraption sits perfectly on top of a standard double kitchen sink — making it easy to fill, and best of all, requiring no crouching, bending, or leaning over. Once you’re done scrubbing, just pull the plug and the dirty water drains easily into the sink. In short: It makes the backbreaking job of dog-washing a breeze. The Pet Gear Pup Tub may seem a bit pricey for what it is, but it’s sturdy, well-made, and easy to clean. (I searched high and low for something else like it to no avail.) One bath at the groomer is more expensive than this little tub, and I’d much rather spend my money on handbags.
Other Strategist-approved pet accessories
Writer Elizabeth Gumport swears by the FURminator: “The FURminator sounds simple, and it is: a metal comb, whose teeth are long enough that they can reach through your pet’s topcoat to any fur trapped or matted beneath it, attached to a plastic handle with a rubber grip. This simplicity (and the $30-plus price tag) makes people suspicious: Google ‘FURminator,’ and you’ll find people on pet message boards asking, ‘Is it worth it?’ The answer is almost always a resounding yes.”
According to writer Alice Gregory, dogs are strangely drawn to this toy: “Everything a dog might do with a toy, Mickey wants to do with the bear octopus: cuddle it, gum it, guard it territorially as though anyone but him would possibly want it.”
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