The BarkBath gets your dog clean without making a mess of your bathroom

It’s a brave owner who tries to clean their dog in the bathtub. The mightier the mutt, the greater the struggle, the bigger the mess. It’s time consuming, too, and uses a ton of water from start to finish.

So check out the BarkBath, a new piece of kit that hopes to transform this tiresome chore into something quick and easy for both you and your four-legged family member.

Dubbed “the next generation of dog bathing,” the BarkBath is the creation of Michigan-based floor-care specialist Bissell. Considering its line of work, it’s little surprise that the BarkBath resembles a canister-type vacuum cleaner, with a main base, flexible hose, and cleaning head.

The BarkBath requires just a small amount of water and shampoo to clean your canine from head to tail, with the dirty waste collected in a separate tank for simple, speedy disposal.

You begin the process by simply moving the cleaning head gently over your dog’s coat. As you do this, the head sprays warm water and a no-rinse shampoo onto the animal’s fur. The nozzle gets beneath the hair, right down to the skin, to allow a deep clean that removes both dirt and odor, while a soft suction mechanism pulls the grime and water away, depositing it in the tank.

The fact that the system creates little to no mess means you can use the BarkBath anywhere in the home, with a full clean likely to take around 20 minutes.

“We’re actually changing the way that you wash the animal,” Chuck Martin, Bissell’s general manager of innovation, says in a video (above) promoting the BarkBath. “Normally you would wash from the fur down, and what we’re doing is cleaning from the skin up.”

Martin explains that “in a traditional bathtub method of washing a dog, you’d use about 19 gallons of water to wash an 80-pound dog. We use less than 48 ounces of water because we’re much more efficient at the process.” He adds, “Our shampoo is really unique because it doesn’t have a lot of the harsh chemicals that other shampoos might have, and it’s really safe and effective on the animal.”

One note of caution: Bissell points out that the machine makes a sound similar to that of a vacuum cleaner, which most people know can scare the bejeezus out of some dogs. “For best results, your dog should not be afraid of the sound of a vacuum,” the company helpfully explains.

The BarkBath is currently an Indiegogo project with a month left to go. It’s already more than doubled its $50,000 funding target thanks to pledges from more than 1,000 backers.

At the time of writing, some early bird deals for the machine remain, allowing U.S.-based dog owners to make a saving of up to 27 percent on the expected retail price of $150. Shipping is scheduled for June 2017.

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