From playing in the mud to rolling around in the yard, it’s a fact of life that man’s best friend needs a good bath every so often. Setting up an at-home dog bathing station is a relatively easy project to DIY, and it’s a great way to keep both large and small breeds of dogs clean and happy. Here’s how to make a dog washing station at home:
Choosing the Right Place to Create a Dog Salon
The basic necessities of dog bathing are going to dictate which rooms you can turn into a place to bathe your pup. The most essential elements are going to be a tub with running water (and/or a sink for smaller dogs), easy-to-clean floors, and a place to dry off the dog. Beyond that, the room should ideally be comfortable for both you and the dog during the bathing process.
If there’s no preexisting space in the home that appeals, consider a home improvement that will add to your home’s value by adding a bathroom or half-bathroom. As a bonus, this will let you customize the space to fit the dog wash area.
For many people, the bathroom is going to be the most obvious choice when it comes to setting up a dog salon at home. It has all of the basic elements that you need, and most people already spend a lot of time in there on a daily basis.
However, bathing a dog in a typical bathtub can be uncomfortable thanks to all of the crouching or bending over required. Most professional groomers and public dog washing stations are raised to a more convenient height.
Some great places to consider setting up a dog bathing area include:
- Laundry rooms
- Outdoor sheds or workshops
- Unfinished basements or cellars with drains
Other good qualities to look for are storage spaces for dog shampoos, brushes, towels, and other accouterments; a warm water tap; electrical outlets (suitable for rooms where things are likely to get wet!); climate/temperature control; and good lighting.
The Components of a Dog Wash Station
There are a number of components that go into a home-based dog washing station. You can customize these to create exactly the setup that you need.
The most obvious component is going to be the tub itself, whether it’s a human bathtub, a sink, or a purpose-built dog tub. If you don’t have a tub already in the room where you will be washing your dog, you’ll need to add one. A room that’s already set up for plumbing is likely to be the best bet since it will make water access and drainage a much simpler process. Adding a sink to a laundry room, for example, can boost the room’s functionality and provide the water for the dog bath with a hose attachment from the hardware store.
The tub walls should be tall enough for at least some splash protection for the walls, floor, and human bathing the dog when the dog inevitably shakes to dry itself, as well as high enough off the floor for the human to comfortably bathe the dog. Size will depend on the type of dog being washed, but here are some general rules of thumb:
- For those planning to bathe a dog while standing, the height from the floor should be about the height of your wrists when they’re at your sides
- The wall height of the tub can be determined by adding 3–6 inches to the dog’s shoulder height
- The back wall of the tub is usually taller than the front
Within the tub, an anti-slip mat is a recommended addition for the dog’s safety and comfort. A hair trap for the drain is practically a necessity.
If the tub is raised off the floor, consider adding a set of pet-sized stairs so that the dog can get into the tub without having to lift them in and out.
Properly bathing a dog requires plenty of bits and bobs like bottles, brushes, combs, towels, and hair dryers, and all of these will need to be stored somewhere. Bathroom storage pieces are already a great way to spruce up your bathroom, so consider adding a few to keep your dog-bathing equipment organized and tucked away when not in use.
Climate control and a warm water tap are important for your pet’s comfort—no one likes to shiver after a cold bath. If you plan to use a hairdryer (high-velocity hair dryers are particularly good for breeds that blow their coat) make sure there’s an electrical outlet nearby to plug it into.
Before You Get Started
If you need to make structural changes to the room, swap out appliances, or do other work to make the space suitable for grooming your dog, be sure to check with your city’s permit office to see if your home renovation requires a permit. Sometimes it won’t, but if it does, having unpermitted work in your home can cause problems down the line. If creating your dog wash station is likely to involve electrical or plumbing work, you’ll likely want to hire a professional, too.
Happy Dogs and Happy Humans
A well-designed dog salon at home can make bath time a breeze for both you and your pup. Keep these tips in mind when creating your own and enjoy the convenience of never having to leave home (or track mud through it) to get your dog clean again!