How To Build a Dog Shower / Tub

By Todd Fratzel on Design & Planning

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.

Laundry Room with Dog Shower How To Build a Dog Shower / Tub

Dimensions

Doggy Shower Rough In1 How To Build a Dog Shower / TubThe 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.

Materials

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.

FixturesDog Shower How To Build a Dog Shower / Tub

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.

About the author

Todd Fratzel

I'm full time builder for a large construction company in New Hampshire. I run their design-build division that specializes in custom homes, commercial design-build projects and sub-divisions. I'm also a licensed civil and structural engineer with extensive experience in civil and structural design and home construction. My hope is that I can share my experience in the home construction, home improvement and home renovation profession with other builders and home owners. I'm also the author of Tool Box Buzz and Today's Green Construction. Please feel free to contact me if you have any questions, suggestions or you'd like to inquire about advertising on this site.

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3 Comments

  1. Love this! Nice work. I’ve definitely though about adding one of these to my new property – but it’s low on the list.

  2. John says:

    I would to add that adding a clip that you can tie the dog to is not just important to keep the dog in the actual shower but also to keep the little critter from running around while you are trying to dry them!

  3. Great idea, I was wondering for this so long, thanks for sharing this post here!

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