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11 Best Self-Serve Dog Wash in San Diego, CA

If you share your life with a dog, you know just how dirty dogs can get. Especially after a romp at the beach or a hike on the dusty trails. But, if you don’t have the option to wash your dog outside, you need to spend time bent over the tub. Not only is this a back-breaking experience, you also need to clean up the mess once you’re done. But now, you have another option. That is going to a self serve dog wash station in the San Diego, CA area.

Self-serve dog wash stations provide you with just about everything you need to wash your pup, including an elevated tub, shampoo and a dryer.

And the best part is, they do all the cleaning up!

But, finding a self serve dog wash station near you can be difficult. There are not that many in the San Diego Area.

To make life easier for you we have done the research to find the best self-serve dog washing stations in San Diego, California.

Information in this post is subject to change without notice. While we strive to insure accuracy on, accuracy cannot be guaranteed. Also, the mentioning of a business in this post should not be viewed as an endorsement. Please call the dog wash for the most up-to-date information.

Best Self-Serve Dog Wash in San Diego, CA - Title pic

How often should you wash your Dog?

How often you should wash your dog depends on their fur type and activities. If your dog likes to go for a swim in the ocean, at a minimum you should rinse them off to get the salt water out of their fur. If your dog has long hair they will also require regular grooming and should be bathed every 4 to 8 weeks. Medium and short haired dogs can go longer, unless they spend a lot of time outside or are prone to getting dirty.

How much does a self-serve dog wash station cost in San Diego, CA?

The cost to use a self-serve dog wash in the San Diego Area is between $14 and $35. While many businesses charge a flat rate, some fees are determined by size or which products you use. In addition to the self-serve pet wash station, many businesses offer add-on services like nail trimming, ear cleaning and even doggy facials.

Usually, add-on services come with an extra fee. Make sure to call ahead to confirm pricing.

An alternative to going out to wash your dog is created a Dog Wash Station in your home. To learn more check out our post on Best Dog Wash Station Ideas for your Home with 75+ Photos

Selecting a Self-Service Dog Wash Station in San Diego, CA

While going to the nearest do-it-yourself dog wash may be convenient, you might be better off checking out a few places, then deciding which one is best. Self wash stations are not all alike.

Differences between pet wash businesses can include the size of tubs, cost and what’s included in the cost of the self-serve wash. Some self-serve dog wash places will offer add-ons while others can be considered “no-frills”. Some offer loyalty programs but not all do.

Deciding which one is best for your really depends on what meets your needs and your budget.

When checking out a dog wash location it’s best to leave your dog at home. This way you won’t be distracted by them.

Also, try to ask questions. Not only will you learn about what you can expect at the dog wash, but even a short conversion with the people that work there will give you a feel for how the place is run.

Here are a few suggestions on what to look for and ask about.

  • Are the tubs clean?
  • Are there walls or dividers between the tubs? If you have a dog that is easily distracted, having a partition between the tubs will help the process go smoothly.
  • Are there gates to keep a dog from running out of the store? This may not be an issue for everyone, but if your dog does not like bath time you want to make sure they can’t escape.
  • Look for safely features like non-slip mats or flooring in the tub and on the floor outside of the tub
  • How do dogs enter the tub? Is there a ramp or steps to get into the bath? Ramps are easier for large and older dogs to use.
  • Are there tub restraints?
  • How much time do you get in the tub for the initial fee? Can you add extra time if you need it?
  • What supplies are included? Typically, shampoos, tubs and air dryers are provided. But some places will also include towels and special shampoos.
  • Do they allow walk-ins or do you need to make an appointment in advance? Check to see if they charge late fees or no-show fees.
  • Do they offer other services? Some stores may offer services like nail trimming and ear cleaning for an extra fee.
  • What form of payment do they take?

How to Use a Self-Serve Dog Wash Station in San Diego, California

After you have chosen the best place for you, it’s time to bring your dog to get washed. Here are some tips based on our own experiences. They may or may not apply to you. Please use your best judgment when using a dog wash.

Before you go

  • If you are going later in the day check to see when the tubs are closed for the night. Many businesses close the self-wash stations early to give employees time to clean the tubs before the store closes.
  • Make sure to gather all your supplies before you go. Items that might not be included are; a dog brush, face wipes, preferred shampoos and conditioners.
  • Thoroughly brush your dog’s coat before going to the dog wash. This is an important step if you have a long or curly haired dog, like a Mini Bernedoodle.
  • If you can, take your dog for a walk or a romp in the dog park before going to the store. This will allow them to burn off excess energy before the wash.

Once you are there

  • If you have an appointment, arrive on time. Otherwise you may not have enough time to thoroughly clean your dog.
  • Check-in with the staff and pay.
  • Select the tub that fits your dog the best.
  • Use the provided tub restraints. Tub restraints are there to keep your dog from jumping out and getting hurt.
  • Never leave your dog unattended in the tub
  • Check the water temperature.
  • Start washing your pup. Begin by rinsing them. Make sure you don’t get water in their ears, as it may cause an infection.
  • Next, apply shampoo and lather. I prefer to start at the base of the neck and move down towards their backside. Don’t forget to wash underneath.
  • If your dog has a thick coat, a rubber bath brush will help you get down to their skin
  • When you are done washing make sure to rinse them thoroughly. Any shampoo that is left behind may irritate their skin.
  • If you choose to use a conditioner this is the time to apply it. Rinse it out if necessary.
  • Now it’s time to dry your pup. Squeeze out as much water from their fur as you can. This will shorten the drying time.
  • Tip: if you place a towel over your dog’s head they will not try to shake off the water.
  • Next, if towels are available, towel dry them before using the air blower.
  • Use the air dryer to completely dry them.
    • If the dryer has multiple settings start out with the lowest setting and them move up as they become comfortable.
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Self Serve Dog Wash in San Diego, California

San Diego has a limited number of self-serve pet wash stations as compared to the size of the city. But they are scattered across the city making it easier to find one close to you. There are also a few that are close to the dog beaches in San Diego.

1. Dog Beach Dog Wash

The Dog Beach Dog Wash is one of the first self-serve dog washes in the U.S. Located just 2.5 blocks from Ocean Beach’s Dog Beach (also believed to be the first official dog beach in the U.S.), Dog Beach Dog Wash is the perfect spot to get your dog clean after some time at the beach.

You can find Dog Beach Dog Wash at:

If you want to see a video of Dog Beach Dog Wash, head over to Happyoodles Facebook page. The video is pinned to the top.

The Dog Beach Dog Wash features: raised tubs with access on both sides, separate drying stations and a nail trimming service. They also offer a smaller puppy tub that is surrounded by three walls making it easier to keep them put. You can wash your cat here too!

Included in the Combo Wash:

  • Raised tubs
  • Shampoo
  • Towels
  • Brushes
  • Air dryers

Make sure to call ahead if the weather is bad. Sometimes they close early on bad weather days. Also, ask about their We Wash Wednesday program if you would rather not wash your own dog.

Dog Playing in surf and sand at Dog Beach San Diego -San Diego Dog Wash

2. Dunk ‘n Dogs

Dunk ‘n Dogs is San Diego’s third self-serve dog wash to open. Located just 15 minutes from Pacific Beach and Fiesta Island, this family-run business offers both self-service dog wash facilities and full-service grooming. In case you didn’t know Fiesta Island also has a dog friendly beach area.

You can find Dunk ‘n Dogs self-serve dog wash at:

Dunk ‘n Dogs features hydrosurge tubs that deliver shampoo & conditioners with the water. Self-wash appointments can be booked on-line

The Basic Tub Wash includes:

  • Hydrosurge tubs
  • Shampoo
  • Conditioner
  • Complimentary Blueberry facial
  • Rubber scrubbers
  • Brushes
  • Towels

Just need a quick rinse after some beach time? They offer the Fiesta Island Spritz.

They also offer a number of add-ons. Here are just a few of the options available:

  • Self Blow Dry
  • Ear Cleaner Solution
  • Eye Cleaner Solution
  • Coat Whitener
  • Teeth cleaning
  • Nail clipping or grinding

Make sure to ask about their Dunk ‘n Dog Loyalty Program.

3. South Bark Dog Wash

Next on our list is the South Bark Dog Wash, located just three blocks from the Grape Street Dog Park. They are well-known for their Blueberry Love Self-Wash that includes a Blueberry Facial. Also included is:

  • Blueberry Brightener Shampoo
  • Blueberry Clove Conditioner
  • Choice of Blueberry or Blueberry Clove Cologne
  • Blueberry Facial

They also offer upgraded packages.

You can find them at:

In addition to the self-serve dog wash, they also offer full-serve grooming, training, and pet products. Appointments can be made using their on-line scheduler.

4. City Dog

City Dog is located near downtown just off of Market Street. This DIY dog wash features full-service grooming, pet products and multiple self-serve tubs. DIY tubs come in a variety of sizes and heights, making it easy to find one that best fits you and your dog.

You can find them at:

  • Address: 550 Park Blvd, San Diego, CA 92101
  • Phone: (619) 269-0201
  • Website:

DIY Dog Wash options include; bring you own shampoo and conditioner for a reduced cost, to basic shampoo included to premium shampoos and conditioners for an extra fee.

Included in the DIY Dog Wash is:

Use of our Blueberry facial

  • Ear cleaner
  • Premium Sprays
  • Brushes
  • Drying tables

5. Top Dog Wash and Groom

The Top Dog Wash and Groom is located just about a mile from the Ward Canyon Dog Park on Adams Ave in San Diego. They offer full-service grooming and a self-serve dog wash. Tub time is limited to 30 minutes but you can add on extra-time for an additional fee.

You can find them at

Top Dog accepts both reservations for their self-wash and walk-ins, if a tub is available.

Included in the self serve wash is:

  • Shampoo and conditioner
  • Face wash
  • Ear wipes
  • Towels
  • Apron

They also offer add-on service’s including: Nail trimming, Anal Gland Expression, Ear Cleaning, Ear Plucking, Nail Painting.

Check out their website for a complete list.

6. Dirty Dogs

Dirty Dogs is one of the larger self-serve dog wash places on this list. They have 5 self-serve dog wash locations in or near San Diego. In addition to their U-Do-It Scrub, Dirty Dogs offers full-service grooming and pet supplies.

The DIY dog wash stations is on a first come, first serve basis. They do not have time limits and no appointments are necessary. If you need a little help there are people there to help you get started.

You can find Dirty Dog DIY dog wash stations at:



  • Carmel Mountain Ranch
    • Address: 11835 Carmel Mountain Rd #1302, San Diego, CA 92128
    • Phone: (858) 451-3647
  • Del Mar Highlands
    • Address: 12853 El Camino Real Suite 106, San Diego, CA 92130
    • Phone: (858) 350-3478
  • The Hub Hillcrest Market
    • Address:1040 University Ave, San Diego, CA 92103
    • Phone: (619) 297-3647
  • Torrey Hills
    • Address: 4639 Carmel Mountain Rd #101, San Diego, CA 92130
    • Phone: (858) 259-3647
  • Solana Beach
    • Address: 112 W Plaza St, Solana Beach, CA 92075
    • Phone: (858) 481-3647

Their U-Do-It Scrub includes:

  • Raised tubs
  • Natural Shampoo & Conditioners
  • Towels & Blow Dryers
  • Brushes & Combs
  • Ear Cleaner & Cotton Balls
  • Cologne & Perfume

They also offer a number of add-ons to your DIY dog wash like; teeth brushing, nail grinding and a paw pad shave. Check out their site for additional add-on services.

7. Dirty Paws Pet Wash

If there was an award for the most informative website, Dirty Paws Pet Wash would get first-place. It has all the information you need before you go. They even have a virtual tour of the place on their website. In addition to a well thought out website, they also offer full-grooming services and Wash and Go. This is where they do the washing. Of course, they also have self-wash stations.

You can find them at:

  • Address:6030 Santo Rd Ste F, San Diego, CA 92124
  • Phone: (858) 569-7387
  • Email: [email protected]
  • Website:
  • Facebook

You can request an appointment through their online form or call directly, but the online appointment is not final until you receive a confirmation. The cost of the self-wash is based on the size of your dog.

Included with the DIY dog bath is:

  • Shampoo
  • Leave in conditioner
  • Towel
  • Blow dryer time
  • Ear cleaner

8. Barkin’dales Dog Wash & Boutique

Barkin’dales is conveniently located near the corner of El Cajon Blvd and Rolando Blvd in the College East section of Sand Diego. This neighbor dog wash features self-wash stations with raised tubs, nail trimming services and full-serve grooming. Plus, they stock an assortment of dog toys, treats and some popular dog foods.

You can find them at:

Barkin’dales provides you with everything you need to get your pet clean including:

  • Raised tubs
  • Aprons
  • Shampoos
  • Towels

When you go there ask them about their loyalty program and their double dog discount.

9. Pet Palace Grooming

Pet Palace Grooming is located in the charming neighborhood of North Park, San Diego. In addition to two self-serve dog wash stations, Pet Palace also offers full-service grooming and some pet supplies. No appointment is necessary for the self-wash stations. They run on a first come, first serve basis, however the last dog accepted for self-wash is 45 minutes before closing time.

You can find them at:

  • Address: 3827 Ray St, San Diego, CA 92104
  • Phone: (619) 291-6565
  • Website:
  • Facebook

Pricing for the DIY is based on the size of your dog. Included in the self wash is:

  • Waist high tubs
  • Three shampoo & conditioner options
  • Towels
  • Water resistant aprons
  • Brushes
  • Air dryer
  • A face wash that is conducted by staff

Pet Palace also offers add-on services like teeth brushing, nail trimming and paw pad trimming. Call for complete list.

10. Diego Dogs Grooming

Diego Dogs Grooming is your one stop shop for many of your dog’s needs. They offer full-service pet grooming, a bakery, doggie daycare, dog walking, dog training, rescue, pet supplies and of course DIY dog wash stations. Their Do-it-yourself dog wash is by appointment only.

They have an assortment of options and prices to fit your needs. From a quick rinse to bring your own supplies to all the works. Plus, a couple more options in between.

You can find them at:

  • Address: 5010 Cass St Ste B, San Diego, CA 92109
  • Phone: (858) 412-5202
  • Website:
  • Facebook

Dog wash includes:

  • Waist high bathtubs
  • Movable stairs for loading dogs into our tubs
  • Towels
  • Apron
  • Access to the powerful hand dryers

Make sure to ask about their loyalty program.

11. Petco self-serve dog wash

Petco is a large pet supply company with locations throughout the nation. In addition to pet products, Petco also offers full-service grooming and self-serve pet washing stations in select stores.

There are two Petco locations in or near San Diego that offer a self-serve pet wash. They are:

Petco – Sports Arena

  • Address: 3495 Sports Arena Blvd, San Diego, California, 92110-4918
  • Phone: (619) 758-1731

Petco- Bonita

  • Address: 304 E H Street, Suite 901, Chula Vista, California, 91910-7843
  • Phone: (619) 691-0289


Petco provides you with just about everything you may need to wash and dry your dog including:

  • Shampoo
  • Conditioner
  • Combs
  • Brushes
  • Towels
  • Blow-dryers
  • Apron

Do you know of an awesome Self-Service Dog Wash Station in the San Diego area that is not on this list?
Please let us know about them in the comments.