Dog owners will likely know how it feels to have taken your pet for a walk, only to come home and have them walk muddy paws inside. To combat this ongoing issue one savvy lady decided to turn her garage into a place she could shower her two dogs.
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Zoe Marquis from Berkshire spent £500 building a shower area for her two dogs – and it's an incredible transformation. After moving into her home back in October 2020, Zoe set about planning a full-house revamp, but it wasn't until after she'd given the family bathroom a makeover that she knew she needed a separate wash space for her dogs.
'I love to take Martell and Henny on walks in the local fields, whatever the weather,' Zoe told bathroom and heating retailer Drench. 'Them coming home muddy is inevitable, so showering them is a regular occurrence.'
Dog shower garage makeover
'Once we'd ordered a freestanding stone bath for the family bathroom, cleaning the dogs in that room became a no-go and so the dog shower idea was born,' she continues. 'I'd been combing Instagram for months looking at home accounts to gain inspiration and saw that a lot of American homes have dog washes. At first, it was just a wacky idea, but I soon realised it was actually possible and not at all expensive to create.'
The garage was a nice sized space, but as the family didn't need it to house their cars, they'd already decided to convert it into a utility room.
'There was part of the room that ran under the stairs and had a huge void,' says Zoe. 'Several people suggested turning it into a storage cupboard, but we really didn't need another cupboard in the house and, let's be honest, cupboards are boring! I thought to myself, "that's where the dog wash will go."'
Planning out the space first to include room for the washing machine, a sink and the dog shower was key, and it's clear from the finished result that Zoe had a vision of how it should look from the start. 'Every tradesman laughed at the idea, and it's still a running joke today, but now it's built and they've seen it they all agree it's been a good and creative use of the redundant space,' she says.
So, how did she keep the cost down to just £500? To start with, Zoe was able to buy her materials direct from the builder’s merchant, cutting out the middle man, and she also employed a builder friend to do some of the work. 'His mates rates for labour were a godsend,' she says.
Other ways the family saved money were by finishing off the smaller jobs themselves, like grouting the tiles and applying the silicone sealant in the dog shower.
Making use of the alcove
What was originally the strange-shaped area under the stairs has become a neat little shower spot, with lighting, tiles and a removable handheld shower to make cleaning the dogs much easier.
Zoe chose small hexagon-shaped mosaic tiles for the shower (as well as for the splashback behind the sink) in order to protect the walls and make them easy to wipe down. She's thought of everything, right down to a recessed bathroom shelf inside the shower for all the dogs' pampering products.
Adding the finishing touches
Above the sink area sits a neat shelf that houses a laundry room print and plants to give the monochrome room a touch of colour. Smart soap dispensers sit next to the sink, and the worktops are just the right size for sorting laundry.Satisfied customers
Dogs Martell (left) and Henny (right) look pretty pleased with their new modern shower, don't they? 'A walk-in shower is perfect for animals, but one built specifically for your pet washing is genius,' says Dominic Lees-Bell from Drench. 'For anyone looking to do the same, we recommend purchasing a removable handset shower, too, as it makes it a lot easier to get all of the shampoo out of their fur.'
Zoe admits that this isn't their "forever home" and that she did wonder if installing something so niche would be a hindrance when they decide to sell up and move house. 'With something crazy like 33% of UK households including a dog I highly doubt that will be the case, though,' she says. 'In fact, it'll probably be a good selling point!'
To see more of Zoe's home, you can find her on Instagram here.
Has this got you thinking about how you could include your own pet shower?
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Laurie Davidson is a professional stylist, writer and content creator, who lives and breathes interiors. Having worked for some of the UK’s leading interior magazines, styled homes up and down the country and produced sets for TV shows, adverts and top brands, it’s safe to say Laurie has had a pretty exciting career. Find her on Instagram at @lifeofaninteriorstylist or over at lauriedavidson.co.uk
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