We love our furry, four-legged friends, but not so much after they’ve been romping through mud. But how do you get them clean and sweet smelling without carrying them through the house to reach the garden hose or have them scratching up your bath?
House-proud Zoe Marquis has come up with a neat solution to cleaning her two dirty pups, and we think its just brilliant! She has turned part of the garage of her house in Windsor, Berkshire, into a spa for for the dogs, complete with bijoux shower, and it only cost £500 to do.
- Keep reading: Garage conversion ideas - 21 ways to marry style and function
Zoe and her family bought their four-bedroom house in Windsor, Berkshire, at the end of 2020. It was trapped in the 1970s, so they carried out a full renovation before they moved in. Zoe, a PA, captured their makeover adventures on her instagram @homestuffonly (opens in new tab).
But after they installed a beautiful new bathroom, Zoe was reluctant to use it for cleaning her dogs, Martell and Henny, when they got grubby.
‘I love to take my two dogs on walks in the local fields whatever the weather, and them coming home muddy is inevitable so showering them is a regular occurrence. Once we'd ordered a freestanding stone bath for the family bathroom, cleaning the dogs in that room became a no-go, and the dog shower idea was born!
'I’d been combing Instagram for months looking at home accounts to gain inspiration and saw 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.’
- Keep reading: 28 genius garage storage ideas to straighten up your space
‘Our garage was integral and we'd have never used it to store our cars. Once we decided to convert it into a utility room the idea was even more attainable.
'There was this huge void under the stairs that needed filling. Several people suggested making it a storage cupboard. But we really didn't need another cupboard in the house and let's be honest, they’re boring. I thought to myself “That's where the dog wash will go!'
Zoe soon discovered that her builders also thought it was a wacky concept – at first. ‘Every tradesman laughed at the idea and it's still a running joke today. But now it's built and they've seen it in use, they all agree it's been a good and creative use of the redundant space,’ she explained.
Zoe was able to keep costs low by buying her materials direct from the builder’s merchant, and by calling on the services of a builder friend. His 'mates rates' for labour were a godsend.
She continued to save money through DIY efforts in the utility room. 'We finished off the smaller jobs ourselves like grouting the tiles and silicone sealing the dog shower instead of hiring a mastic man.' When it was finished, the stylish dogs-only spa had only cost £500.
Zoe was concerned this rather niche niche might confuse future buyers of this house, but the recent upsurge of interest in pet ownership will make the compact shower a must-have.
‘This isn't our forever home so I did wonder if installing it would be a hindrance when we do decide to sell up and move,' she said. 'But with something crazy like 33 per cent of UK households including a dog, I highly doubt that will be the case. In fact, it'll probably be a good selling feature!’
Leading bathroom suppliers Drench (opens in new tab) agree that this inspired solution for a sticky/smelly/filthy problem is a winning idea: ‘A walk-in shower is perfect for animals, but one built specifically for your pet washing is genius,’ says Dominic Lees-Bell, bathroom expert at Drench.co.uk (opens in new tab).
‘We love what Zoe has done for her two furry friends. 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.’