When it's time to give the dog a bath, mental images of wrestling matches, a soaked bathroom and chasing a still-soapy pooch through the house often come to mind. Designing a customized dog-wash area for your home can help keep you and your dog more relaxed in addition to making the bathing and grooming process far easier.
Brainstorm ideas for your dog washing area. For 15 minutes, jot down every idea that comes to mind, no matter what form the idea takes. After you've gathered your thoughts and ideas, arrange them into a format that makes sense to you, whether that's a list, flow chart or outline.
Write down the equipment you'll need for your bathing area. In addition to the basics, like a tub, flexible shower head and non-slip mat for the bathtub, many people enjoy having grooming and bathing supplies close at hand. Consider adding a cabinet or shelf for towels, shampoo and brushes. If you have more than one dog, you may want a crate or two so your pups can dry or wait for their turn.
Determine how much space you'll need for the dog wash area. Look at your list of equipment and figure out how much space each item needs. Add enough extra room so movement in the area isn't cramped. If necessary, use a measuring tape to help you visualize sizes and measurements.
Decide on the location for your grooming station. A good location allows your pups to be brought into the bathing area directly from the yard or outdoors before they actually enter the house. The garage, utility room or a corner of the basement tends to work quite well for containing the mess. Ensure there's enough room for all of the equipment and supplies as well as the ability to hook into your house's plumbing lines.
Add final amenities, like hooks in the bathtub to leash your dog to and anti-fatigue or moisture mats to keep you comfortable while standing around scrubbing and grooming dogs.
Finish the dog wash station design process by picking decorations and accents for your area. Consider painting the room in your favorite colors or in bright, welcoming colors.
Since 2001, Kea Grace has published in "Dog Fancy," "Clean Run," "Front and Finish" and an international Czechoslovakian agility enthusiast magazine. Grace is the head trainer for Gimme Grace Dog Training and holds her CPDT-KA and CTDI certifications. She is a member of the APDT and is a recognized CLASS instructor. She's seeking German certification from the Goethe Institut.