If you love having a dog but are less fond of muddy paw prints, adding a dog washing station to your laundry room or mudroom is a great idea. It’s also one that’s been gaining in popularity in the last few years: they’ve been features added to high end condos all over the US and Canada – even in Ottawa.

It’s also hard not to notice them appearing more frequently on places like Houzz and Pinterest. A search for them on Pinterest will pull up thousands of images, so there are lots of ideas out there.

It’s easy to see why: Fido just walks in the door, and into the shower he goes. No paw prints on the carpet, no damage to the finish in your bathtub, and no need to carry a large dog from the door to the bathroom. It also makes it so much more likely that you’ll actually give the dog a regular bath, keeping the “doggy smell” at bay. Cold or wet weather outside? No problem. Your pet can dry off in the warmth and security of your home.

The other cool thing about dog washing stations is that they’re really useful for other things too. Many often do double duty for muddy boots, hosing down sports equipment, and other messy jobs.

As of 2014, about 34% of Canadians own a dog, so only consider adding one to your “forever home” – if you’re planning to sell soon give it a miss.

If you’re considering a dog wash station in your home, here are some design tips to consider.

Dog Washing Station featured in Better Homes and Gardens.


Any dog washing station will need to have a source of water and a drain that connects to your main sewer line. Having a hot water supply is also essential, so factor in some plumbing work into your budget.

As with any shower, using a hair trap will save you clogs and headaches down the line.

Hand Held Sprayer

If you’re going to create a washing station at all, a sprayer is a must. It will allow you to do a quick paws-only wash or a full shampoo and rinse. It can also help you keep water and soap out of your pet’s eyes and ears. Get a simple wall-mounted shower sprayer, or indulge in a chef’s rinsing faucet.

Workable Height

This will depend on the size of the dog or dogs. Many stations for larger animals are right on the floor, but unless you own Marmaduke your back will thank you for making it waist height. A set of stairs or a ramp will mean you won’t have to lift your furry friend into the bathing area – unless they hate bath time, of course.

Supplies Storage

As with any kind of design, it pays to think about workflow. Having somewhere nearby to put the brushes, shampoo, conditioner, and other treatments. A stack of towels nearby comes in really handy – microfiber towels minimize drying time.

Shake it Off

Most dogs love a good shake after a bath, and there’s nothing you can do to stop it. Instead, plan ahead with a water-resistant surround and even glass doors, like in this example from ElleDecor.com:

Dog washing station from Elle Decor.
Dog washing station from Elle Decor.


One of the biggest causes of dogs acting up at bathtime is slippery surfaces. Ensure that your dog won’t be scrambling to keep her feet with non-slip surfaces in the shower and surrounding it. Textured tile or even rubbery mats will help keep bathtime faceplant-free.

Saving Time and Money

Installing a dog washing station will cost money, but it yields incredible benefits:

  • Less time spent on cleaning up pet hair.
  • Less money spent at the dog groomer.
  • Less money spent on carpet cleaning.

Life keeps getting busier, and installing a dog washing station will mean you have more time to spend on other things, like cuddling your dog!