How to Design a Dog Wash Area

by Madeline Masters
    Specially designed washing areas make bath time easier.

    Specially designed washing areas make bath time easier.

    Chris Amaral/Photodisc/Getty Images

    As much as they may not like it, sometimes dogs just need a bath! Having a designated, easy-to-use dog washing area can make bath time smoother (and even fun!) for you and your dog. The keys to a good dog washing area are comfort for both dog and human, as well as adapted fixtures for use with a dog.

    Designing a Dog Wash Area

    Step 1

    Consider the space available in your home for your dog-washing spot. Do you have room for an additional tub or will you need to use an existing tub? Common places to put a dog washing station are in a mud room, laundry room or basement.

    Step 2

    Modify your design to suit your dog or dogs. For large breeds, make sure the tub basin is deep and wide enough that the water will be contained during bathing. Ideally your dog-washing tub will be high enough that you can reach into the tub while standing. Consider making the tub more accessible with stairs or a ramp. Small breeds can use this access point or be lifted into a raised tub.

    Step 3

    Choose a faucet and shower head that is maneuverable and appropriately sized for your dog. Hose-style shower heads are ideal for dog bathing. Install the faucet and shower head where they are easily reached from outside the tub but high enough that your dog won't reach them during bathing.

    Step 4

    Include a grooming loop, or wall-mounted ring with waterproof chain and clasp, in your dog washing area so the dog's collar can be anchored during bathing. Anchoring the dog's collar allows some freedom of movement but will prevent the dog from jumping out of the tub before bath time is over.

    Step 5

    Use a bath mat or apply a non-slip coating to your tub. Slipping and sliding during bathing can make dogs feel uncomfortable and anxious, leading to a less enjoyable bath time for them.

    Step 6

    Add a wall-mounted shelf where dog shampoo can be kept and easily reached by you (but not your dog) during bathing.

    Items You Will Need

    • Bathtub
    • Shower head
    • Bath mat
    • Stairs or ramp


    • Line the floor outside the tub with towels before the bath to catch the spray when your dog does his inevitable post-soak shakedown.
    • Encourage your dog to shake in the tub rather than outside it by blowing in his ear.
    • If your dog is reluctant to walk up the ramp or stairs to his bath, encourage him with a treat at the top of the steps and another in the tub.
    • If you are working in a standard height tub, rest your knees on a folded towel or knee pad to make the process more comfortable.

    Photo Credits

    • Chris Amaral/Photodisc/Getty Images

    About the Author

    Madeline Masters works as a dog walker and professional writer. In the past she has worked as a fitness columnist, fundraising copywriter and news reporter. Masters won two Pennsylvania Newspaper Association Awards in 2009. She graduated from Elizabethtown College with a Bachelor of Arts in English.

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