Anyone who owns a dog knows that dogs can get dirty quickly. Especially during the muddy season. For these days, having a dog wash station at home is what some people dream of.
While it might seem out of reach, adding a dog wash, or as some people call them a dog bath or dog shower, in your home is easier than you think. Especially if you already have a mudroom with either laundry or a sink in it.
Join us, as we show you 75+ dog wash station ideas for your home. These projects are sure to inspire you to create your own beautiful and functional dog wash. We will also go over some things you need to think about before deciding to build one in your home.
In this post you will find:
- Should you add a dog wash station to your home?
- Cost to add a Dog Wash to your Home
- Planning your Dog Washing Station
- Things to consider
- Ideas for building a dog wash
Even if you can’t build a dog wash in your home you can still bathe your dog in comfort at a self-serve dog wash business near you. To learn more, check out our post on Self Serve Dog Washing Station – Where to find one near you.
Should you add a Dog Wash Station to your home?
Before you start to design your new dog washing station, you should determine what your main goals are for the dog bath and room that it will be located in.
In our case, we wanted a place to wash off the mud and snow Molly, our English Springer Spaniel, would track into the house.
Her long, coarse hair was a magnet for bits of leaves, small twigs and dirt which would that drop from her fur once she was inside. In the snowy season, the warmth of her body would quickly create mini snowballs that attached to her long fur.
Getting them off required a blow dryer, which was slow going, or a warm bath to melt off the snow. Just trying to pull it off would pull on her fur. Making it a painful experience for all around.
Since our bathtub and shower are on the second floor, bathing her meant bringing her through the house and up the stairs. Which as you can imagine, resulted in a trail of water and dirt from the back door to the bathroom.
So, when we decided to create a mudroom from a portion of our family room that stretched from the garage door to the kitchen door, we also decided to add a small dog shower. You can see a picture of it below.
We created our dog washing station as a DIY project. But we have been doing DIY projects for years. If you have never worked on a DIY project that involved plumbing you should hire a plumber to make sure it is done correctly.
5 Reasons to add a Dog Wash Station to your home
Your reasons for wanting a dog bath may be different than ours. Your project scope may also be different. Either way take some time to think about what you really want to accomplish when creating this space.
Here are a few reasons people choose to build a dog washing station in their home. These reasons will help you think about your goals for your own dog wash station at home and the room it is in.
1. Easy dog washing
When asked, most people say they want a dog washing station to make bathing their dog easier. If this is your primary goal you don’t necessarily need to locate the dog washing station near a door. You could locate it in the basement (like the first picture below) or in a dedicated laundry room (see the next picture below.)
This next project included a dog wash with enough height for an adult human to shower in, plus a washer and dryer, sink and craft table.
2. To keep the rest of the house clean
If your main goal is to keep the rest of the house clean, then locating it near a door to the outside is the best option. This can be in a mudroom, laundry room or even the garage.
Here are a few dog shower projects that are located right next to a door that leads outside.
In our next photo, the homeowner took the concept a bit further and added a dog door that leads directly into the dog shower. There’s no escaping from a quick rise here.
Here are a couple of Dog Wash Station ideas that are located in the garage
You might not believe that our next washing station is actually in a garage based on how nice it looks. But it is.
This multipurpose area was created just inside a large garage. Although this washing area was designed to rinse off boots, fishing gear and the like, it can easily double for a dog washing station.
If you live in a warm climate, placing your dog wash station in the garage may make sense for you. But if you live in an area that gets cold in the winter you will need to figure out how to keep you and your dog warm during the bath.
Another way to keep you home and yard clean is with a designated Dog Potty Area – You can find out more at our post Dog Potty Area Guide: Tips and Ideas
3. Full Grooming Salon
For anyone who has a dog that needs regular haircuts, setting up a grooming station complete with a dog bath is a dream come true. Not only does it make it easier to groom your own dog, but you will save money in the long run.
In the picture below that homeowner added a large sink to bath their small dogs. Next to the sink is a drying platform which double as steps into the bath.
This large laundry room (photo below) includes a professional dog wash and dryer with plenty of cabinet space for towels and cleaning supplies. A stacked washer and dryer are close by, making for an easy cleanup after the bath.
4. To keep your primary bath or shower clean
Let’s face it, when you clean your dog in the tub, the tub gets dirty. This means scrubbing and disinfecting the tub before anyone else can use it. Having a separate dog shower eliminates the need to clean the bath right away. Though you should still clean the dog bath after each use.
5. To add value to a home
While adding value to a home is not the top reason for a homeowner to add a pet shower, builders and flippers are using dog wash stations as a way to differentiate their homes and add extra value.
According to Forbes, 65 million U.S. households own a dog, so it’s no surprise that a pet shower might entice home buyers to choose a house with a pet shower over one without.
In fact, in a study completed by Zillow, it was determined that homes in Denver, Co with a pet shower sold for 25% more than similar homes without one.
How much does a Dog Wash Station for Home Cost?
A DIY Dog Wash Station in your home can cost $1,500 to $4,500 depending on what needs to be done. A DIY Dog Wash that reuses existing plumbing will cost much less than one that needs all new plumbing. Your choice of materials and location will also greatly impact the cost of your pet wash station. A professionally done Dog Wash in a home can cost $3,000 and up.
How to create a Dog Washing Station for under $500?
If you don’t want to spend thousands of dollars on a dog wash station, you may be able to turn a laundry room or mudroom sink in to a DIY dog bath. You just need to replace your faucet with one that has a pull-out hose. You can find these types of faucets for under $500. Of course, your dog needs to be small enough to fit into the sink.
Tip: Choose a faucet with a high arch and long hose.
Even though we have a dog wash station, it’s easier to bathe Bella in the mudroom sink since she small. All we needed to do was add a pullout hose.
How to Plan for a Dog Wash Station
Before you begin construction, you need to decide on a few things, like where to locate the dog bath, what else it may be used for, should it be elevated, how big should it be and if you should install a dog bath or a dog shower. We will cover all of this and more, but let’s start with the where.
13 Ideas for where to locate a Dog Washing Station in your home
As I touched upon above, you have a few options as to where you place your dog bath. Here are a few ideas on where it can be located.
This is probably the most common place to build one. It can be in a mudroom you already have or like us you can create a mudroom from space you borrow from another room.
The mudroom is a popular choice since they are generally located by an outside door and near a kitchen providing access to plumbing.
This stable turned into a home (pictured below) features a mudroom that gives a nod towards the building’s origins while providing a functional space to bathe the dog. I love the dog towel rack.
Both of these mudrooms serve the same purpose, but look totally different.
2. Laundry Room
The laundry room is also a popular choice for a pet washing station since it has easy access to plumbing. In some cases, your laundry room and mudroom might be in the same space.
Here is an example of a mudroom/laundry room with a dog bath. As you can see from the next two projects it doesn’t need to be elaborate to be functional.
The project below consists of a laundry room, mudroom and dog shower.
If your hallway is wide enough you might be able to squeeze in a dog bath near the backdoor. In the photo below a large dog washing station is tucked in behind the half bath near the back entry. The dog shower is extra-large to accommodate the homeowner’s St. Bernard.
Even a coat closet can be turned into a dog wash station. Especially if it is near a bathroom or laundry room that already has plumbing to tap into.
This next dog washing station has a stainless-steel counter and sink that tucks neatly behind frosted glass rolling barn doors hiding it away from the rest of the kitchen.
5. Spare room
If you have an underutilized room in the house, this may also be a good candidate for a dog wash station. Especially if it’s located near plumbing.
In the next project we will look at, the homeowners had an extra-large half bath. To make their mudroom/ laundry room more functional they got rid of the oversized powder room to open the space up and allow for a dog wash station.
However, you should think twice before getting rid of a bedroom or bathroom. Bedrooms and bathroom generally add more value.
The small dog wash below is located in a converted garage. The homeowners decided to add a sink that can be utilized as a pet wash thanks to the pull-out hose. There is also a washer and dryer and storage in the converted room.
Don’t overlook your basement as a space for your dog wash, especially if you have a walkout basement. Here are two examples of well-done basement dog washing stations.
The garage might not the first place that comes to mind for a dog washing station, but if there is access to plumbing it might work for you. Below is a few more examples we found of dog washing stations that are located in the garage.
This first example is not your ordinary garage. Clearly it is more of a showplace than your typical garage. It’s also hard to see the dog bath through the opening to the right of the photo.
Our next garage dog washing station is less fancy then the first, but still gets the job done.
8. Half bathroom
If you have extra space in a power room you can add a dog shower there too. Here is an example of a homeowner that did just that. The raised dog shower is tucked in next to the sink.
Here is another example of the dog shower that is located in a bathroom.
You can also turn a half bathroom into a full bathroom by adding a shower. If done right, the shower can double as a dog wash station.
We did this in our previous home. The half bath was located near an entrance to the backyard which made it the perfect spot to wash off muddy paws after playtime in the yard. Just remember to install a spray hose with an extra-long hose or install it lower to the ground.
Here is a photo of a large shower with a water sprayer that is located in a convenient spot to use while washing a dog.
9. An addition to your home
If you have the budget you may want to consider a home addition. This will allow you to have more room and to customize the space to your needs.
The dog shower below is part of a garage addition that included a mud room. As you can see they tucked the shower in an alcove next to the stairs into the home.
This next dog room addition is highly customized for the homeowner’s five dogs. Beneath the dog bath are pull out stairs for easy access in to tub. Next to it, is a food prep area.
There are also five built in food bowels and a water bowl with a convenient water faucet above it. Four of the bowels are on the other side of the room, along with a storage cabinet and a place to hang their leashes.
10. In an existing bathroom
If you can’t find space anywhere else you might want to at least make washing your dog in your shower easier. That is what the next homeowner did. The picture below shows part of a larger shower that has a lower water sprayer and controls.
Here you can see the bathroom and full shower. To the left is a shower head and controls for people and on the right is the handheld shower hose that is lower.
11. Convert a sink
If you already have a sink in either a mudroom or laundry room, you could convert the sink to a large sink with either a pull-out hose or wall mount sprayer next to the regular faucet.
In the picture below the sink is located in a mud/laundry room. This sink can do double duty as a pet wash and regular sink for soaking clothes or cleaning up a mess.
Here is another example of a large sink that can easily double as a pet wash with its pull-out sprayer. It is set at a lower height to make it easy to wash a medium sized dog.
Here is one more example of a farm sink that does double duty as a dog bath. In this case the farm sink is set below the normal counter height to allow easy washing of their pup.
12. Create a shower outside
If you live in a warm climate, you could build a pet shower outside of you home. In the photo below the homeowners had a raised platform built to make washing they two large dogs easier.
13. Under the stairs
Where you can place a pet washing station is really only limited to your imagination and ability to get plumbing to the area. Here is a small pet wash that is located in a cubby hole in a garage. It appears it is tucked under a staircase.
How do you plan to use your at Home Dog Wash Station?
Dog wash stations can be used for more than just washing your dog. We have used our dog wash to clean sand off of our kids, clean shoes, and water plants. It has also served as a place to hang wet clothing and umbrellas to dry.
Take some time to really think about how you might use your dog wash beyond just bathing your dog.
How you plan to use your dog bath will affect were you place it, at what elevation and the type of dog wash station.
10 Things to consider when designing a Dog Wash Station for home
The first thing you should decide on is how much you are willing to spend on your at home pet wash station. As I mentioned above a pet wash station can be fairly inexpensive if you reuse existing plumbing and have a small project scope.
Example of a compact dog washing station
But it can also be very expensive if you are not careful with budgeting your project or if the dog bath is part of a larger project like a laundry room or mudroom update.
If you are trying to keep your costs down, look for an area in your home that has easy access to water pipes and drains. If you need to add all new plumbing or you need to break up a floor to add plumbing your project costs are going to increase quickly.
Also, make sure to get a hair catcher drain cover to catch fur so you don’t clog your pipes. If you are adding new plumbing, ask your plumber if you should increase the size of the drain pipes to handle potential fur going down it.
You can see in the project below that the dog bath is located next to the washer and dryer taking advantage of the nearby plumbing.
Here is another example of a dog wash that is located right next to the washer and dryer.
3. Dog Bath or Dog Shower? Which should you choose?
The words dog bath and dog shower are often used to describe a dog wash station, but they are not the same thing. A dog bath refers to a tub or large sink that can hold water. A dog shower is generally open in the front, has a low entry and does not allow water to pool in it.
Which one you choose will depend on how you plan to use it. If you are looking for someplace to soak things, a dog bath is a better choice. Dog baths may also help to contain water since it has sides.
Ideas for Dog Baths
One way to add a dog bath to your home is to use a four-foot bathroom tub as a dog bath.
You could also use a large farm sink as a dog bath like in the photo below.
Here is the homeowner’s dog in the sink shown above.
Ideas for Dog Showers
Dog showers work best for when a dog needs to get into the wash area on their own or you need a customized size. As you can see in the photo below, this dog shower does double duty as a place to keep wet shoes. The wooden grate allows the water to drain away from the shoes.
Here is another pet wash station that also doubles as a place to clean off boots for an outdoorsy family.
But you can get tubs that have doors for easy access and you can also add glass to the front of the shower to keep the water from spraying out, so the choice between tub or shower is really up to your preferences.
This next project combines a deep basin with an open shower.
As you will see in most of the pictures in this post, the majority of dog wash stations are dog showers.
4. Should you elevate your dog bath?
Elevating your dog bath makes it easier to wash your dog. The higher your bath is, the less bending over you will need to do. But you also need to take into consideration other things like:
- If you have a large dog you will need a way to get them in the tub. This can be done by
- Keeping the dog bath at a level where they can easily jump into it.
- Creating a set of stairs or a ramp for them, like in the photo below.
- What else do you plan to use the dog bath for
- If you want to be able to wash off dirty feet a lower tub will work better.
If you are looking for a quick install this prefabricated dog bath eliminates the need for a lot of tile work. It is also raised and a matching ramp is available to go along with it.
5. How big should the pet wash station be?
When we did our DIY dog wash project we were trying to cram as much as possible into a relatively small space, so we measured out the length of our dog at the time and created the shower just large enough to fit her. Looking back, I wish we had some more space around her. If I was going to do it again I would add ten to twelve inches to her length and cut down on the size of the bench.
Our dog shower is all tile, like the one shown above, so we could make it any size we wanted. If you are looking for an easier installation you may want to use a shower basin. They usually come in fixed sizes that are 36″, 48″, 54″ and 60″, will varying depths.
Also think about what your future might hold. If you always wanted a larger dog then you have now, it might make sense to build a larger shower now for your future pups.
I touched on this above but you want to think about how easy it will be to get your dog into the tub and then how easy it will be to reach in and wash them. Tubs or showers that are long and narrow like the one in the picture, make it harder to reach in and wash a large dog. This space will work better for a small dog. Of course, the smaller opening also means that less water will escape from the shower.
Having an open space like the shower pictured here will make it easier to wash them.
If you have the space, having access on three sides is helpful.
You also need to think about how your dog will access the shower. In the picture above, they have a pull-out step for easy access.
Don’t forget to think about storage. A small shelf will work to keep shampoo bottles in reach and under counter storage or more shelving will work to store towels for drying. Here are a few examples of pet wash storage ideas.
In this laundry room a dog wash station was created using an industrial mop basin and commercial style faucet on a raised cabinet. The additional cabinet provide ample storage.
Here is another example of storage around a dog wash station.
In our next brightly colored dog bath there is storage above and below the dog wash station. They even though to have a cubby to keep the shampoo in easy reach.
8. Water containment
Whether you choose a dog bath or shower, you need to think about how you are going to keep everything else in the room dry.
Some ways to do this, is by adding tile on adjacent walls, installing barriers to the front of the dog wash area and installing waterproof floors.
In this next project, the homeowners had all the walls and floors covered in tile. They also had a partial wall built on the front side of the shower to help contain the water.
The dog shower below is an example of a glass enclosure with a door to help keep the water in. Once the dog is inside you can simply lend over the glass to wash them. They also have a water proof floor and a rug to soak up any water that does get out.
Here is another example of a glass enclosure. This one has a double door in front of the dog shower.
9. Keeping it safe
When you are picking out materials for the base of the dog shower or bath think about how to make it not slippery. You can do this by using a tile with a rough surface or by adding not slip mats to the floor. Same thing goes for the floors just outside of the wash area.
If you have a dog that might jump out, consider adding a bar or ring to attach a leash to.
10. Building Permits
Before you start your project make sure to call your local permit office to determine if a permit will be required and what is required to obtain the permit in your town or city. If you are making any changes to your existing structure or plumbing you will most likely need to obtain a permit to do the work.
While individual towns or cities may have different procedures, a permit in our town requires that you:
- Submit your plan including a detailed diagram of what you plan to do
- Wait for your plan to be approved. You will get a paper permit that needs to be displayed
- Schedule inspections for work that is being done before the walls are closed up. Different parts of the project might require different inspections.
- Final inspection.
If you are new to plumbing and construction it is best to hire a professional to submit the paper work for the permit and do the actual work.
Ideas for building a Dog Wash Station for home
Most at home dog washing stations will be made of tile, stone, stainless steel or solid surfacing. Tiles allows you the most options and can be used to match the feel of the rest of your home.
When we designed our small mudroom more than 15 years ago we picked out a square white tile. This was done to keep cost down and also to give the room a fresh, clean feel.
Now you can see that over the years we have lost the battle to keep the grout white. If I were to do it over again. I would pick a different color tile and grout.
In the picture below the designer choose this beautiful light blue tile with gray accent and shower floor. The homeowner’s gray pup matches it perfectly.
Next is a prefabricated dog wash station. The opening can be closed with a drop-in panel
This compact room has it all, including a generous sized dog shower, sink, storage and a stackable washer and dryer. The basket weave tile adds interest and depth to the small space.
This next dog shower is located in the laundry room. The homeowners were looking for a modern farmhouse design, which was accomplished with black and white tile in two different patterns. One of the things I liked about this design was the fold up grey counter.
Here we have a dog shower that gives off a refreshing, spa feel with the gray and white tile. To create interest the designer used three different tiles all in the same color hue.
However, trying to keep the white grout clean requires frequent cleaning. If you don’t want to spend your time cleaning grout, consider using a darker tile and grout on your shower floor. Here are a few examples of white wall tiles with darker floor tiles.
In the next photo they used white subway tile with gray grout and matching gray square tiles on the floor of the shower.
This custom dog wash is located in mudroom and provides plenty of color and storage. They even have a pull-out staircase to allow easy access to the shower.
Here is a dog wash station with a black shower floor and black tile sides. Only the back tile is white.
This dog room features a horse feeding trough for dog washing, concrete counter tops and Cypress cabinets.