Built-In Dog Shower = Happier Owner and Dog
Recently while working with a customer on a new house design they mentioned that one of the “must haves” on the project included a dedicated, built-in dog shower. At first I thought he might be joking but he was dead serious. After doing some research I quickly learned that dog showers are hugely popular right now.
The size of a dog shower really depends on the size of your dog. For the project I mentioned above the homeowner had a Dalmatian which is about 30″ long so we went with a 36 inch wide and 36 inch deep shower plan.
Most of the custom built-in dog showers that we found in our research were built with 3 tall wall sides and an open front with a ledge to keep water inside the shower. The shower base is elevated about 18 inches off the floor. This allows room for the drain plumbing and also gets the dog up off the floor so you won’t have to bend over as far when washing the dog.
A dog shower really is no different than a human shower. In fact, the one we recently built for a customer was built exactly like a normal shower.
- Membrane – You can use the same membrane systems you use for a regular shower; rubber, Schluter, etc.
- Thinset – Use a good quality thin set (DO NOT USE mastic).
- Small Tile Floor – For the floor we opted to use smaller tile, 2″ square tiles give more grouted surfaces and more traction for a dog on the wet tile.
- Wall Tiles – The wall tile matches the rest of the rooms floor tile. Again I highly recommend thinset and NOT mastic.
The fixtures are also a big part of the design. For our dog shower we’re using a regular tub/shower faucet set. We replaced the shower head with a hand held shower head to allow the Owner more flexibility in washing the dog.
For our project we used fixtures and valves from American Standard and their Portsmouth Collection in Oil Rubbed Bronze finish. I’ve been a huge fan of theirs for years because of their high quality and great customer service.
Other Possible Features
The more people see this doggy shower the more they love to give advice for the next one. One of the biggest comments to date has been including a clip or clasp of sorts to tie the dog to it. Another detail you might want to consider if you’re going to build a dog shower is a nook or shelf for cleaning products.
Cost of a Dog Shower
Obviously cost can range all over the place depending on the materials, size and fixtures. For a custom built-in dog shower like this one you’re looking at $2,000 to $3,000 including all materials and labor. You could build a much cheaper version using a fiberglass shower base and some waterproof wall material like fiberglass.