Bissell BarkBath Review – Don’t Buy Until You’ve Read This!


The BarkBath is a revolutionary new portable dog bath system from Brissell. It is designed remove the hassle from giving your dog a bath while saving you money over the long run. Advertisements show that it can used in any place in the house without creating a mess. It saves you money by using much less water and dog shampoo per bath. BarkBath is designed to be portable so you can take it on vacation or to a friend or relative’s house. But does it actually work as well as they claim? Read our entire BackBath review to find out if it is right for you.

How Does the BarkBath Work?​

The BarkBath has a very unique system that isn’t anything like a traditional hose and bottle of shampoo. It combines water and shampoo into one hose that also has a soft suctioning function. The BarkBath is pretty much a high-tech vacuum designed to bathe dogs. If that statement scares you away from the product, it shouldn’t.


As long as your dog isn’t scared of the noise a vacuum makes, there is no issue with bathing your dog this way. The company claims that the noise isn’t that loud, but you can expect the volume to be the same as a standard floor vacuum.


What is Included with the BarkBath System?

  • Portable BarkBath Bath Unit
  • Bath Tool with Storage Bag
  • Microfiber Mat
  • Face and Paws Microfiber Cloth
  • 16 oz. No-Rinse Shampoo

Check out the BarkBath in action in this video:

Step by step instructions on how to use the BarkBath:

  1. Fill the BarkBath with clean water. Most of the videos from BarkBath seem to gloss over this point. The water has to come from somewhere!​
  2. Add shampoo into the cartridge. This is another point not really mentioned in the videos. It is important to read the manual to find the proper step by step instructions.
  3. Set the microfiber mat down and place the BarkBath unit on top of it. This will muffle the sound and prevent water from leaking anywhere. The microfiber mat is included with the purchase.
  4. Place a towel or mat down for your dog. This does NOT come included with the purchase.
  5. Adjust the nozzle depending on the length of your dog’s hair. This will require a screwdriver that is not included.
  6. Move the switch to shampoo and test the mixture. You should spray the nozzle for roughly 15 seconds to allow the water and shampoo to mix.
  7. Hold the spray trigger and gently stroke your dog with the nozzle. The suction function is always on.
  8. Release and the spray trigger and gently stroke your entire dog again. This will just have the suction function on and dry your dog.
  9. Spray the microfiber cloth (included) and clean the sensitive areas of your dog. This would include the face and paws.
  10. Empty and rinse out the dirty water container. You will need to do this each time you use the BarkBath. You probably want to make sure that the water containers air out so they don’t get moldy.

And that is all it takes! BarkBath is an easy to use system once you try it out the first time. It is designed to eliminate the hassle from bath time and save you money in the long run. But now the question is, does it actually work as well as it says it does?

Does the BarkBath Work?


Before we determine whether or not the BarkBath system works, we have to see what the goals of the product are and break it down from there.

Clean Factor – 4.5

This is the highest weighted factor on our rating and BarkBath definitely passes the test! The unique vacuum-like system is able to clean underneath your dog’s fur and right on the skin. Under standard bathing practices, you would wash from the fur down which can sometimes leave dirt on the skin. With the BarkBath, you start with the skin and clean up through the fur and any excess dirt is able to be wiped away.

Time Saving – 5

The time saving factor is based on the assumption that you dog will sit still and not be afraid of the vacuum noise. As long as those two things are true, the BarkBath system will save you time. You can easily wash your entire dog in a much shorter amount of time. It will also take less time to dry your dog because less water will be used. If your dog fidgets or is jumpy, we would suggesting looking at a dog wash tub.

Messiness – 4.1

One of main reasons Bissell says you should buy the BarkBath is because you can give your dog a bath anywhere with minimal mess. After some testing, we found that more water comes out than you may expect and could cause both you and the floor to get all wet. And if your dog has difficulty staying still during a bath, it can cause even more issues. Bissell provides videos about how to train your dog to keep them still and not afraid of the sound. But they might work in every case and your dog might remain anxious while taking a bath.

Portability – 4.2

The BarkBath unit itself is very portable if you need to move it to a different room, a closet, or to a friend or family member’s house. It weighs 11 lbs so that is not really an issue at all. An issue arises if you have a dog that doesn’t sit still while taking a bath. Sometimes the hose isn’t long enough and it would better if the product was on wheels.

Money Saving – 1.8

Over time, the BarkBath will save you money there is no debating that. But over how much time is the real question. Bissell claims that BarkBath will use less than 48 ounces of water to clean an 80lb+ dog and bathing in a tub can use up to 19 gallons. This may sound like a lot, but the average cost of water in the United States is $1.50 per 1,000 gallons. If you are only bathing your dog once a month, the cost of water is negligible. If you are looking to purchase the BarkBath only due to saving money on water, you definitely should reconsider.


  • Cleans better than a normal hose or showerhead
  • Convenient and easy to use
  • Easily portable and storable


  • Vacuum like noise
  • Can have issues with long hair
  • Bit messier than expected

Overall Rating – 4.4

Overall, the BarkBath is a great product. It does an excellent job of cleaning your dog in a (mostly) hassle free way. As long as you aren’t afraid of getting a little wet, this product is for you and your dog. You should be weary of purchasing BarkBath if your dog moves around a lot during bath time or is scared of the vacuum noise. If your dog is the moving type or doesn’t like the sound of the vacuum, we suggest to take a look at dog wash tubs.

Frequently Asked Questions

Here are the most frequently asked questions about the BarkBath Bathing System. If you have anymore questions please leave them in the comments!

What kind of shampoo needs to be used?

You are only able to use no-rinse shampoo with the BarkBath system. It comes with a 16oz bottle of Mulberry shampoo that should last you 4-6 washes.

Can I use it on my cat/horse/rabbit etc.?

No. The only intended use for this product is on dogs. However, it may be tested on other animals in the future.

What happens to the dog hair?

The hair will build up at the end of the attachment and you can remove it by hand while you are washing.

Does it work on extremely muddy dogs?

Yes, but a rinse is recommended first.

How intrusive is the sound?

It sounds like a small vacuum. Testing is still being done to try and make it quieter.

Does the BarkBath warm the water?

No. Water remains the same temperature that you put into it.

What is the warranty?

1 year warranty

Does it need to be plugged in or is it battery operated?

The BarkBath needs to be plugged in to use.