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Helpful Canine Washing Gadget or Bathtub Time Gimmick?


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The term “shower thoughts” takes on a whole new meaning when you consider the Aquapaw. Invented by dog lovers and made famous by television show Shark Tank in 2019, the Aquapaw Pet Bathing Tool is a handheld spray and scrubbing device that attaches to a shower or a hose. It was designed to make bath time easier for both dogs and their humans, and it mounted an impressive $42,000 campaign on Kickstarter before it hit the market.

But does the world really need a dog-specific spray device? And is the Aquapaw actually effective, or just a gimmick? Rover test pup Logan and I decided to find out.

What’s the Difference Between the Aquapaw and the Aquapaw Pro?

Diagram showing how to use the Aquapaw

The Aquapaw comes in two versions for dogs: the original Aquapaw Pet Bathing Tool and the Aquapaw Pro Grooming Tool.

Both are handheld devices with silicone scrubbing nubs and an adjustable rubber strap to keep them secure in your hand. They include 8-foot-long hoses, which can be attached to an outdoor hose or an indoor shower head. The water flow can be turned on and off with just one hand, promising convenience and control.

So what’s the difference? The original Aquapaw is smaller than the pro version. It covers just the palm and is turned on and off with a squeeze of the fist.

Dog in shower with aquapaw on hose and lickmat on wall

Logan waits to be towel-dried after his Aquapaw shower.

The Pro, in contrast, is larger and thicker, more like a handheld brush. The bristle-nubs are longer too, better suited for bigger dogs and thicker coats. It has two spray settings: gentle and strong. The gentle setting is perfect for cleaning dogs’ heads and ears. A button at the top of the brush allows easy switching between modes.

For this review, we tested the Aquapaw Pro Grooming Tool.

Setting Up the Aquapaw Pro

The Aquapaw can be installed indoors or outdoors and comes with three different attachments to suit both configurations: a shower adaptor and two hose adaptors to fit North American and international garden hoses.

Aquapaw with attached hose, shower adaptor, and garden hose adaptors

Everything that came with the Aquapaw: the sprayer with attached hose, shower adaptor, and two garden hose adaptors.

I originally planned to use the bathing tool outside in the backyard. However, when a cold snap brought freezing temperatures to Southern Arizona, I moved the experiment indoors to my tiny master bathroom. Even the Aquapaw can’t make an ice-cold hose bath more fun.

Setting up the Aquapaw was super easy. The instructions are included on the box, with five steps for indoor setup and two for outdoors.

To install the Aquapaw in my shower, I simply unscrewed the existing shower head and put the shower adaptor in its place. I do recommend having a wrench and some thread seal tape on hand for this part. Both tools will help to ensure a tight fit at every connection point.

Aquapaw installed on shower head

The Aquapaw Pro installed and ready for bath time.

The adaptor has nozzles to reattach a standard shower head and the Aquapaw hose, plus a hook to hold the sprayer handle when not in use. A switch on the side of the adaptor redirects the water from the showerhead to the Aquapaw as needed.

Once everything was reattached, we were ready for bath time—or almost ready. There was one more thing to set up.

Aquapaw Slow Treater: Bath Time Motivation

While I was testing the Aquapaw Pet Grooming Tool, I also got to try the Aquapaw Slow Treater, a simple yet effective (and dishwasher safe!) way to keep pets distracted and happy during bath time.

The treater is made of molded silicone, with a recessed center filled with nubs. It’s shaped like a triangle with suction cups on each of the three corners, allowing it to be attached to any smooth surface. I spread some peanut butter across the slow treater and pressed it to the wall of the shower, then guided (and maybe pushed a little) my dog Logan into the bathroom.

He wasn’t happy—until he found the peanut butter.

Dog licks Aquapaw Slow Treater attached to shower wall

Logan was less opposed to being in the shower once he found the peanut butter in the Aquapaw Slow Treater.

Is the Aquapaw Worth It?

As much as I want to say that the Aquapaw is all gimmick, I really liked it. It was easy to install, didn’t dramatically change my current shower setup, and the hose was nice and long for easy maneuvering. The nubs were super helpful in getting the water deep into the fur, making it much easier to wash the soap out of my dogs’ hair.

Wet dog stands in shower, looking at camera

Miss Bennet got a bath with the Aquapaw too.

Plus, the slow treater was a hit. I wasn’t sure how my dogs would do—they don’t usually go wild for peanut butter by itself—but the treat was just right to distract them during the bath. They almost didn’t mind me bathing them while they happily licked away. Logan even snuck back into the bathroom after being dried off for another taste. (He continues to periodically wander in there to see if any more peanut butter has appeared.)

Dog peers around corner, looking at peanut butter on Aquapaw Slow Treater

Logan trying to sneak back into the shower for more peanut butter.

Anyone who bathes their dog indoors and already has a handheld shower head installed may not be motivated to try the Aquapaw. While the grooming tool was convenient and easy to use, I’m not completely convinced that it’s way better than a standard shower head with a hose. If you already have one, you probably don’t need the other.

However, the Aquapaw may be especially helpful for people who regularly wash their dogs outside with a garden hose. The ability to easily turn the flow on and off was a nice feature even indoors. It helped to control the water while shampooing or moving the dogs around, so neither of us was accidentally sprayed in the face. And it helped make clean-up a breeze. I just directed the spray at any hair remaining in the shower, pushing it toward the drain where I could collect it.

So while the Aquapaw might be a bit gimmicky, it’s also a handy tool that some pet parents—and their pets—will love for bath time.

Handheld Aquapaw spraying water

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Dog licking Aquapaw Slow Treater stuck to shower wall

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