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From Muck to Magic: The Mud Daddy Portable Dog Washer Test

Updated: May 7

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Winter dog walks can feel as if you accidentally signed up for a Muddy Dog 5k Challenge with the mud, sweat but no cheers!


Your favourite summer walks seem be transformed overnight into muddy swamps.


Tired of the constant muddy car, wellies, dog, hands and kitchen floor at the end of each walk, we decided to put one possible cleaning solution to our mud-covered dilemma through it's paces.


Mud Daddy portable shower with dog at park

After reading some hugely positive reviews about the Mud Daddy we bought and fully tested the Mud Daddy 5L portable washer.

 

TABLE OF CONTENTS

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Mud Daddy Review


1. What is a Mud Daddy for Dogs ?


A home-grown UK company, their hugely popular flagship product - the Mud Daddy is essentially a portable dog shower.


It's marketed as a totally mobile and environmentally friendly solution to washing dogs, wellies, bikes, horses even camping, the list is endless.


washing a dog with the mud daddy 5l dog shower

The product range includes three different sizes of Mud Daddy - 5L, 8L and a whopping 12L version of their portable shower.


You can even buy accessories including an insulated jacket to keep the water warmer for longer and a soft brush with shampoo dispenser alongside pre-qash sprays and drying coats.


Freddie our Cockapoo and his much larger friend Holly, a German Shepherd, put the compact Mud Daddy 5L model to the test.


Could this innovative little dog shower be the answer to our mud-caked problems?



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2. How does a Mud Daddy work ?


The portable washer is incredibly easy to prepare at home before heading out on your dog walk. The hose simply pushes into place and the securing nut screws on by hand (you only need to do this for the first use).


As it was quite a chilly day, we were particularly thoughtful and filled the Mud Daddy with warm water for our pampered pooch.


Cockapoo in car boot with a green mu daddy portable dog washer

Even full, the Mud Daddy wasn't too heavy to carry to the car and sat neatly in the boot with Freddie.


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3. How Easy is a Mud Daddy to Use?


After our walk we just pumped the handle to build up the pressure and it was ready to go!


The water flow was better than we'd expected and amazingly it was still fairly warm after our leisurely dog walk.


Admittedly it wasn't as powerful as a hosepipe or the bathroom shower but it was warmer than the hosepipe and there would be no muddy dog shaking in the bathroom.


The headline feature has to be the silent operation. We felt that this is a crucial selling point for those of you looking for a portable shower suitable for anxious dogs.


We did need to pressurise the Mud Daddy tank a couple of times to maintain a good flow of water throughout the shower, but giving my arms a mini-workout is considerably more eco-friendly than an electric motor.


It's worth mentioning that as the Mud Daddy is not very tall, you will need to bend or kneel down to pump and re-pressurise the unit. If you think this may be an issue, take a look at the Petacarium washer which is taller and we found easier to pump in testing.


At the park with the 5l mud daddy and a cockapoo

For me (and for most people, I suspect), the key is being able to reach those tricky 'under-carriage' areas. We were particularly impressed by the long 2m hose as it gave us lots of flexibility as Freddie moved around.


It's fair to say that Freddie wasn't very keen on the bright green box on the first test run, but to be honest he wasn't very keen on his first few experiences in a bath or a shower at home either.


We used a handful of dog treats and lot of encouragement and sure enough, after a few muddy walks he seemed to know what to expect and he relaxed.


The 5L model dog washer was a perfect size tank for Freddie (12.5 kg Cockapoo) and the brush was great for scrubbing the mud off my wellies after the walks too.


Cleaning dog paws with the mud daddy portable dog shower

Our other tester, Holly (a beautiful German Shepherd), was also initially unsure of the Mud Daddy but as you can see after a couple of trials, she took it in her stride.


Not particularly keen on standing still and having her paws cleaned, Holly was much calmer with two people helping.


A considerably larger dog than Freddie, Holly's parents felt that the Mud Daddy 8L would be a more suitable portable dog shower as they ran out of water towards the end of the rinse.


The combination of water flow and the integral soft brush worked really effectively together to remove the mud from both Freddie and Holly with very different types of coat.


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Our Verdict


We feel that the Mud Daddy portable dog shower is a really innovative idea. It certainly does the job of making sure that your dirty dog is mud-free before they leap back in the car and get mud everywhere.


Whereas some of Mud Daddy's rivals simply offer a portable water hose, Mud Daddy takes the design a step further and offers an integral brush for dislodging those pesky clods of dirt.


Green Mud Daddy dog washer in a car with a dog

As mentioned earlier, the flow of water is obviously not going to be as powerful as your hosepipe, but it will be warmer and it's fully portable.


The 5L and 8L versions are lightweight enough to throw in the car boot before heading out on a dog walk or you could use them at home before letting your pooch back indoors.


You don't need to be on a grand expedition to make use of one either. It's ideal in the winter and would make a great addition if you're heading off to the beach for the day, perfect for removing all that sand.


There are lots of other uses too. Our Mud Daddy has already been nabbed for bike cleaning!


We felt that there were a couple of minor design flaws -


The lack of a hose clip. We felt that it would be ideal to clip the hose and brush to the body of the unit for easy storage and carrying in a similar way to a standard iron or vacuum cleaner.


As mentioned earlier, it is low level and the pump is angled not straight like the Petacarium dog washer so a little harder to pump.

The crucial decision would be the the size of Mud Daddy you need. As as our tests revealed, larger dogs like Holly would certainly benefit from the 8L version

Pros

+ Compact & light

+ Fully portable

+ Integral brush head

+ Eco-friendly solution

+ Multiple uses

+ Different sizes

+ Lots of accessories available


Cons

- Slightly pricier than alternatives

- Less power than a hosepipe

- No hose clip for storage

- Trickier to pump



Mud Daddy 5L

5l green mud daddy portable dog shower

Not keen on green? The Mud Daddy 5L is also available in orange and blue.


Initially, it may appear expensive but there's no ongoing costs and in the long run a portable dog shower saves money and time on car cleaning after a muddy dog walk.


Also if you're in a rush, the Mud Daddy is available on Amazon Prime for next day delivery.



Mud Daddy 8L

8l portable dog shower - mud daddy

If, like Holly, you think a larger Mud Daddy will be needed to do the job, take a look at the larger sizes available.


The 8L is ideal if you have a large breed dog or more than one muddy four-legged friend!


In our opinion, the 12L version is not as portable because of its sheer size, although it does have wheels to help. Unless you have several dogs to wash, the 5L or 8L would be your best value options.



Mud Daddy Accessories


Mud Daddy have expanded their product range to include pre-wash sprays, micro towels, dog drying coats and insulated jackets to help keep your water warm for longer.


We would recommend taking a closer look at the insulated jacket if you're planning long winter walks and are looking to keep your water warm for when you return to the car.


You may be interested in our range of articles exploring car boot liners, car seat covers, dog walking bags and treat bags



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Mud Daddy Alternative


Not sold on the Mud Daddy ? There are other alternatives including the best-selling Petacarium portable shower which we mentioned earlier in our review.


Petacarium dog shower - alternative to mud daddy

Petacarium are a small family run business based on the South coast.


Experienced pet owners with a successful dog walking, day-care and boarding business, they designed the Petacarium portable shower to be used anywhere and have multiple uses including washing your dog.


Their colourful range includes two sizes of portable showers the 5L and 8L version. Each one comes with -

✅ an insulating neoprene jacket

✅ a 1.3m hose

✅ a 8-setting shower head


If you're interested, why not checkout our in-depth review of the Petacarium dog shower.




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FAQ's


1. Does a Mud Daddy need batteries?

No. The Mud Daddy is a completely eco-friendly design and you naturally build up water pressure without the need for batteries, electricity or a motor.


If you opt to add the Power Brush, this comes with a rechargeable battery and a USB charging cable.


2. Does it hold enough water to clean my dog ?

We found that the 5L version is perfect for a 12kg Cockapoo however a much larger German Shepherd or Labrador sized breed would be better off with the 8L version.


3. Can you add shampoo?

Yes. For those dogs that love to roll in the mud, Mud Daddy sell a range of shampoos and pre-wash anti-bacterial sprays to help keep your dogs fur and skin clean, or you can simply use your own.


4. Does the water stay warm ?

We found that warm tap water kept fairly warm after a one hour walk. If you enjoy venturing off the beaten track for several hours, Mud Daddy now sell an insulated jacket to ensure your water stays warm for longer.



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Extras - Dog Towels


Nobody likes that wet dog smell or them rubbing against sofa and carpets when they're wet ! So it's worth buying a towel designed specifically to take the hassle out of drying your dog


Hooded dog towels by DotDotPet

Dot Dot Pet are an innovative, award winning new company offering a capsule range of pet care products.


Everything from the bamboo towels to the shampoos and eco towels (single use and biodegradable) are not only well designed, but they look nice around your home too.


They are also great for your carbon pawprint as their whole product range is responsibly sourced and sustainably made.


dog wearing DotDotPet dog towel

So why do we love their dog towels so much ?


Arguably the best feature is their drying hand pockets and a hood, which helps you dry your dog without getting wet yourself. This was a game-changer for us ! We loved the pockets, they made drying quick and easy.


Not only perfect for after walks but a great bath time investment too.


DotDotPet's towels are soft and absorbent which you'd expect but they're also light enough to throw in a dog walking bag for a quick dry after a sudden downpour or dip in the river !


Made from sustainable materials (45% bamboo, 35% polyester & 20% cotton), the towels are available in two sizes, so you have a choice depending on the size of your dog -

🐾 Small 50 x 50 cm (pink & purple)

🐾 Large 75 x 75 cm (orange & purple)


BUYING OPTIONS


RECOMMENDED READ

Best Dog Shampoo Guide Your secret weapon for keeping your dog looking & smelling their best


Thanks for stopping by and reading our Mud Daddy Review. We hope you enjoyed reading it as much as Freddie and Holly enjoyed getting muddy.


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