Cool Home Feature: Dog Washing Station in Mudroom

Cool Home Feature: Dog Washing Station in Mudroom

At this point, I don’t think custom dog washing stations at home are just a trend.

Whether in your garage, laundry room, or mudroom, having a dedicated space to wash, brush, and groom your beloved furry baby (or babies) is a cool home feature that is no longer uncommon and not just in luxury homes.

It sounds pretty self-explanatory, but what is a mudroom anyway?


a small room or entryway where footwear and outerwear can be removed before entering a house.” a proper mudroom would be far more useful; somewhere to take off wet coats, to air clothes, for dogs to sleep in”

This Oxford Dictionary definition literally states that it is also for dogs to sleep in. However, many family pets sleep in their own beds in the main part of the house, if not in the actual bed with their favorite people.
If you love sharing your home with a dog (or other beloved pet) but not muddy paw prints on the floor, carpet, or furniture, or if they simply won’t suffer the indignity of being hosed down in the backyard, a dog-washing station might be the best home improvement you’ll ever make.

Especially if you have a large dog. No need to carry them from the door into the tub when they realize what is about to happen. In fact, many dogs will prefer the ease of walking into their own bathing space that smells familiar to avoid the slippery tub struggle.

Even though this project can cost $1,500 or more, it pays for itself with the savings on trips to the groomers, carpet cleaning, and damage to the interior of your vehicle while transporting. It’s also far less stressful for your pet, especially if they suffer from anxiety or motion sickness.
Let’s be honest here, it makes it much more likely that you’ll actually give the dog a regular bath, keeping the “dog smell” at bay, especially on rainy days.
Historically, mud areas originated in rural settings where roads were unpaved and boots perennially muddy. They were usually just a small vestibule off the kitchen on the backside of a manor or farmhouse.
Today’s mudrooms are designed to reflect our busy lifestyles as well as the interior design of the home. Prior to the age of the Coronavirus outbreak, many Cary, Apex, Fuquay-Varina, and Holly Springs homes incorporated small drop zones near the entry or foyer.

These smaller spaces consisted of coat and backpack hooks, a bench, and a few cubbies for shoes and boots underneath. In some cases, these drop zone built-ins were equipped with cabinet doors to hide the contents, as well as add architectural and design features to the home.

Now many folks are opting for this feature in new construction homes in addition to (see what I did there? lol) adding them to existing homes. The size and layout may vary, but many mudrooms are multifunctional to use as a laundry room, and can even save you space if planned and executed correctly.

The other cool thing about a dog washing station is that they’re useful for other things as well. Many designs often work double duty for rinsing muddy boots, hosing down sports equipment, and other messy jobs or activities.

As of February 2021, 84.9 million or 67% of American households have at least one pet. While 63.4 million of those households have at least one dog.

If you are considering adding a dog washing station to your existing home, here are some design tips to consider and factor into your budget.


You will need to have a source of water and a drain that connects to your main sewer line. You also want to have hot and cold water hook-ups, and just like any other shower, a drain cover that prevents hair clogs.

Leash Clip/Hand Bar

Any tub or shower can get slippery when wet. Installing a hand bar or two to clip a leash to will keep your soapy furry friend from escaping or slipping and falling amidst their spa time.

Hand Held Sprayer

This is a must have for any washing station! Whether you need a quick paw rinse (i.e. the April pollening in North Carolina), or a full shampoo and rinse; it can help the task go more smoothly and keep water and soap out of your pet’s eyes and ears. It should be easily reachable from the tub’s edge. Place the faucet and the sprayer high enough on the wall so that your dog won’t bump their noggin.

Workable Size and Height

This will depend on what’s comfortable for you as well as the size of your pet. A 20 x 20-inch floor-mounted tub no more than 15 inches deep will allow a dog to climb in, but you’ll have to kneel to bathe them. Many stations are at floor level for larger breeds. However, waist height with a few steps will save your back from strain. If you have a small dog, consider installing the basin at a back-friendly height and lifting them in.

Water-Water Everywhere

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. Large-format, easy-to-clean ceramic tiles are a solid choice. You could also try waterproof beadboard made from solid surfacing. Mop sinks are ideal because they’re deep enough to keep in water but shallow enough that it’s easy to guide your dog inside. Opt for one made of durable, scratch-resistant material, like terrazzo.

Shelving and Supply Storage

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

Tips for A Successful Bathtime

Once you’ve got the right space to clean up your pup, here are suggestions from the American Kennel Club for keeping the experience a positive one for all involved:

Avoiding Injuries

One of the biggest causes of injuries (for both you and your dog) is due to your dog acting up at bathtime on a wet and slippery surface. Ensure that your dog won’t be scrambling to keep her feet with non-slip surfaces in the shower and surrounding it. Keep your dog’s nails clipped to help them keep their footing. Textured tile, a rubber mat, and a non-skid rug on the floor for them to step on when they get out will help keep bathtime faceplant-free.

Check the water temperature before you turn the hand sprayer towards your dog—it should be no hotter than lukewarm. Use a gentle setting on the sprayer to keep your dog calm while rinsing.

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 time and money spent at the dog groomer.
  • Less money spent on carpet cleaning.

As we continue to resume life outside our homes, installing a dog washing station will mean you have more time to spend on other things, like snuggling your sweet dog!

If you need a list of local contractors,  recommendations on how to select features and upgrades for your new construction home, or if you want help with your current home buying search, send me a text or give me a call today. I’m happy to help you, and your pets find their next cozy place!

All my best,


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