Dog washing station ideas might be a bit of a social media trend, but they're perhaps one of the more practical additions you can make to your home as a dog owner.
Some dogs are pre-disposed to jumping, rolling and generally cavorting in mud, and having to get them from outside into the bathroom without covering your home in dirt isn't the easiest of tasks. But even if your home's animal contigent prefers to keep it clean, you still need a place to wash your pooch every now and again.
Including a dog bath as a mud room or laundry room idea is a clever solution, especially if your space has exterior access. Plus, it's more versatile than you might think.
'With four dogs in our house, I loved the concept of them having their very own dog bath,' says Bonnie Hindmarsh of Three Birds Renovation. 'It's also a handy extra space for soaking washing and footy boots when we're not washing dogs.'
'A small toddler could go in here too if you’re desperate after a muddy walk,' adds interior designer Louise Bramhill.
The latest trend in laundry rooms is for built-in, tiled dog washing stations, that you can have made bespoke to suit your needs, such as the size of your dog. We spoke to interior designers and experts who have specified and installed dog baths and showers to get the low-down on what you need to consider.
The beauty of a built-in, tiled dog washing station is that you can have your contractor build it to your specific dimensions, without having to worry about off-the-shelf sink or shower tray sizes.
They tend to be larger than a standard laundry room sink, but if you have space, it can actually be a more useful addition to your home where washing something larger is required.
'To make our laundry room a multipurpose space, I've also placed a pully above the dog shower to hang wet items up so drips go into the shower,' suggests interior designer Louise Bramhill of Studio LBI (opens in new tab).
See, there's no end to the potential benefits.
A dog bath might be a bit of a misnomer, as these spaces tend to be used more for showering pets than giving them a bath so much. With that in mind, you need to select the right faucet for your dog washing station.
'It ideally needs to be a faucet with a handheld shower attachment,' says interior designer Dina Bandman. 'You can't expect your furry friend to sit and wait patiently.'
There are plenty of stylish bath filler faucets that will do the job nicely, but if your dog gets particularly muddy, or has long hair, you might want to look into a specialist attachment for the shower hose.
Hansgrohe, for example, has a DogShower head (opens in new tab) that can be adapted for cleaning fur, legs and paws, plus has a brush-shaped nozzle so you don't have to wrestle with a separate brush too.
A tiled dog washing station means you can use a simple drain rather than relying on a shower tray, but you may want to think carefully about the tiles you use for the base. 'I would recommend a mosaic tile for the base of the shower, its easier to create a gradient and less cuts for the tiler,' explains Louise Bramhill. 'You don’t want any sharp edges.'
Think about water ingress into the rest of your space too. 'I wanted my laundry to be a fun place with some quirky details and the dog bath along with the tile selection definitely adds this touch,' says Bonnie Hindmarsh of Three Birds Renovation, but this space is more than it's pleasing, Instagram-perfect aesthetic.
Once the dogs have been taken out of a dog washing station, there's a good chance they're going to get your laundry room floor wet, but Bonnie's choice of a durable tiled floor and built-in drainage in this small laundry room makes cleaning up in here simple.
Size matters when it comes to specifying your dog bath. 'It should be two to three times the size of the dog,' suggests Dina Bandman. 'The main considerations are that there's enough space for the pup to be able to sit comfortably, but not so much space the dog is able to wander freely.'
'Always leave enough room for a second dog,' adds Louise Bramhill, 'you never know and would be much easier to bath both at the same time.'
'Height is key too,' Louise continues. 'If like me you have a smaller dog that you can pick up, then pick a height that works for you so you don’t need to bend down and get a sore back. If it’s a taller dog, you don’t need to go as high.'
'If you have a larger dog and carrying them is a problem, I recommend putting pull out steps under the shower, so the dog can climb them and get into the shower on their own.'
Making a dog washing station comfortable for your dog is necessary, but don't forget about yourself, too. You need to be able to use it comfortably, whether that means adjusting the height from the ground, or ensuring you have somewhere you can sit.
'I also took into consideration what was most comfortable for me and I realized sitting on the ledge - acting as a bit of a barrier to escaping - was the most efficient & comfortable.'
When you're wrestling a wet dog in your washing station, it's important to have what you need to hand. There's a good chance they might try to escape if you have to wander across the room to find the dog shampoo.
'Remember to accessorize this space, shelves for putting items such as dog shampoo and conditioner and lots of handy storage,' says Louise.
This designer by Monika Hibbs ensures plenty of laundry room shelving next to the dog washing station.
At the least, you need to have a lip on the front of the bath to stop water escaping, but if you're keen to keen spray contained, you should also consider adding glass panels around the dog bath.
'If you add glass to the sides to stop splashing, you would need to make the shower a lot wider to take this, so that you have room to reach in around the dog,' explains Louise.
Finding the right place for your dog shower will depend on a few factors.
'It should be near the backyard as that is most likely the area that will be cause for a need of a bath,' says Dina Bandman.
Laundry rooms and mud rooms adjacent to a kitchen may have the best potential if you don't want to undertake costly renovations. 'The location in the house and ideally in a laundry or utility room, as you'll need an existing water supply,' explains Louise Bramhill.