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Becky Harris

Becky Harris currently lives in a 1920s cottage in Atlanta that she describes as "collected." She got into design via Landscape Architecture, which she studied at the University of Virginia. She has been writing about design online for quite a few years over at Hatch: The Design Public Blog.

Dog's Life: Home & Garden
8 Revamped Laundry Rooms That Make Room for Fido
Canine amenities include pet beds, crates, bowls, washing stations, doors and even a designated pet water bowl filler

As our lives revolve around our beloved critters more, we need to make space for them. If you have at least a medium-size laundry room, or a combined laundry room-mudroom, it’s prime real estate for dog needs. Pet-washing stations can also double as a place to rinse off muddy boots and rinse out laundry. And if well-planned, these rooms can also provide space for pet beds and crates, food and treats, toys and leashes. See how some people are outfitting their laundry rooms to work for their dogs too.

Grooming. Pet washing stations can be quite handy, and the laundry is an ideal place for them. A dirty dog doesn’t make it past the mudroom before cleaning up, and they are also a good place to clean off muddy cleats and let snowy boots drip dry.

Photo by mdt design - Look for laundry room pictures

An elevated dog bath is a good option for those with bad backs and knees who have small to medium-sized dogs. It can also double as a utility sink. But the main reason I absolutely had to include this photo is because the dogs in the photo match the dogs on the wallpaper. 

Wallpaper: Thibaut

Photo by Harrison Design - Look for laundry room design inspiration

Beds and crates. Rather than lower cabinets, these built-ins incorporate a dog bed. Yellow and white stripes and beadboard make it a cheerful design asset as well.

The designers did a great job of maximizing this laundry room wall to fit in a pet washing station and bed.

Photo by Woodshapers - Discover laundry room design ideas

These clever Murphy dog beds fit right in with the rest of the cabinetry, then flip down for nap time. Though narrowness doesn’t appear to be a problem in this laundry room, this is a clever solution for a tighter space. You can flip the dog bed up if you need the room to access a front-loading washer or dryer.

Built-in dog crates are another good option. Cabinetmakers can trick out cabinets to serve as dog crates for a seamless look.

Photo by Wood-Mode Fine Custom Cabinetry - Search laundry room design ideas

Pet food. Keeping pet food close to where the pets eat makes mealtime easy. Laundry-mudrooms are often a convenient place to set this up.

The space under a utility sink is prime for a domesticated version of a trough. Pet bowls slip right into custom holes for easy filling. They stay in place rather than sliding all over the floor when a hungry dog is going to town on them.

Photo by Jenkins Custom Homes - Look for laundry room pictures

Easy entering and exiting. This laundry room has a motorized pet door. The door opens when the pets wearing their power door collars want to go in and out, thanks to directional ultrasonic detection circuitry.

Electronic pet door: High Tech Pet

Dog's Life: Home & Garden
7 Outdoor Pet Projects Your Dog Will Love
These bubbling fountains, shelters and other creations are treats for pets and inspiration for other owners
7 Outdoor pet projects your dog will love.

Houzzers, we put out the call, and once again you answered. Your unconditional love for your pets shines through with the care and thought you've put into building things that make them happy. And your projects have also made your patios and yards more interesting. Get ideas from some homegrown responses to pets' love of the outdoors — and to the need to keep pets safe and comfortable. Have a look, then please share your own outdoor pet project.

In Arizona’s hot climate, plenty of water for dogs is imperative. Houzz user Diane Way created this fountain from bored green granite and river rock, with underground circulating water that a sprinkler system freshens once a day. “Luna loves it, and it’s just her size,” she says.

 

By Reader Pet Projects, original photo on Houzz

 

"After my two large dogs starting drinking out of my neighbors' birdbath on a regular basis, and seeing some great ideas on this site for dog-friendly backyards, I decided that I would make my own water fountain for them," says Houzz user katiek78.

"I wanted something that I could afford and would circulate the water to try and keep things from growing in it." She fashioned the doggy fountain from a planter and a garden pond pump, and the dogs can't get enough.

 

By Reader Pet Projects, original photo on Houzz

 

Everyone loves a porch, including Houzz user jkpp04's dog Oscar and his friends. The dogs spend a lot of the day outside and have a great shelter to enjoy.

 

By Reader Pet Projects, original photo on Houzz

 

Houzz user osvold11 recently completed a dog-friendly backyard makeover. Oz has this fetching strip.

 

By Reader Pet Project, original photo on Houzz

 

There is also a sunning and resting spot for Pilar in osvold11's yard. The yard does not have any lawn, and all of the plantings are tolerant of the dogs' doing their business and can recover from heavy pet use.

 

By Reader Pet Projects, original photo on Houzz

 

"To help our dogs, we built 'windows' into our privacy fence," says Houzzer Amanda Naughton. It has stopped one dog from trying to dig underneath the fence, and the other just enjoys checking out what's going on beyond the yard. "To help them with the neighbors' dogs, we put a window from our yard to their yard. Now our two dogs and their two dogs can sniff and see each other, so there is a lot less barking."

The two windows in the fence gates were such a success, Naughton built the dogs a raised and covered corner area, called "the fort."

 

 

When Houzz user dzanoff designed a garage with a guesthouse over it, a doghouse was included in the design. The exterior entry gives access to an indoor space underneath the stairs that includes a light, a raised bed and a heated water dish for winter. Visiting kiddos also like to use the dog space as a fort.

This little shelter was inspired by a garden shed on Houzz, and it even has its own dog weathervane. "I made this doghouse for my mom's two pups and painted it to match the house," says Houzz user Feels Like Home. The house also serves as a pass-through with a doggie door to the inside on one end. Inside is a carpet to wipe wet paws on, and the structure gives the pooches shelter on rainy Seattle days.

Dog's Life: Home & Garden
15 Doggone-Good Tips for a Pet Washing Station
Turn a dreaded chore into an easier task with a handheld sprayer, an elevated sink or even a dedicated doggie tub

This is going to sound harsh, but your dog stinks. Don't feel bad — it's natural, and you are nice to let him swim in that creek and run in the mud and roll around in yucky things. You don't notice anymore, because your schnoz is used to it. But when I come over to visit, the smell of your dog's bed and the smell on my hand after I pet him is very noticeable, so chances are, the same smell is in your carpets, car and any furniture Fido lounges on. 

You probably mean to wash the dog more often, but it's a pain in the neck. Large dogs are tough to get into bathtubs, the big shake afterward makes a mess, and the whole thing can be quite an ordeal. 

Now that we've got that out of the way, a home pet washing station isn't looking so crazy. In fact, you can use them for other things, too. A builder who's been adding them for years, Vincent Longo, says that one client uses his pet care station for cleaning dirty golf clubs, gardening tools and even the kids after a busy day making mud pies. 

Whatever your thoughts about pet wash stations, there's no denying their popularity. If you're thinking about adding one, here are some ideas to consider.

Incorporate the washing station into the mudroom. Mudrooms are a very popular spot for dog wash stations. Dogs enter from the back or side door, and their muddy paws never make it into the rest of the house.

Include a handheld showerhead or sprayer. Not only will it help you get your dog's entire bod nice and clean, but it will also let you do a quick paws-only wash.

Be prepared for the big shake. Anyone who has ever washed dogs knows that afterward they shake off the water with gusto and get the entire area wet (including the person doing the washing). Having a surround and floor that can stand up to water will keep the big shake from damaging drywall and floors. 

If your dog is the type that runs around the house in crazy circles after a bath, all I can recommend is shutting the mudroom door until Sparky dries off and calms down, or else letting him into the garage for the runaround.

 

Photo by Angelini and Associates Architects - Discover traditional laundry room design ideas

 

Go bigger with the drain. Longo recommends using a 3-inch drain in a pet washing station. It will handle dog hair better than the standard 1½- to 2-inch shower drain. He also recommends adding a hair filter over the drain.

Clearly, this dog loves the pet wash station and is just begging for a rinse.

 

Photo by Designs Dell'Ario Interiors - Search contemporary laundry room design ideas

 

Consider an elevated dog bath for smaller pets. It will be easier on your back and knees in the long run, as long as your dog is willing and able to jump into it, or you don't have a problem lifting your pet into place.

Step it up. In this clever design, the counters double as steps up to the basin. The middle step serves as a drying station and has room for a cozy pet bed underneath.

For smaller dogs a large utility sink plus a sprayer is all you need.

Use what the pros use. You can find professional bathing stations complete with ladders or ramps at places like ProGroom.

 

Photo by BACK Construction - Search traditional laundry room pictures

 

Combine gardening and pet grooming. Pet washers are also great places to water plants, rinse off mucky Wellies and clean your gardening tools.

Incorporate your own style. This custom dog bath utilizes vintage tiles that the homeowner had been collecting for years.

 

Photo by Morning Star Builders LTD - Search traditional laundry room pictures

 

Have drying towels handy. An overhead drying rack is a handy spot for drying dog towels as well as laundry. If you utilize this kind of system, be sure to remove your people laundry before the big shake.

 

Photo by Witt Construction - More traditional home design photos

 

Embrace the theme. This area celebrates dogs in the wallpaper and has plenty of shelves for dog supplies.

Consider going high-end. Do you and your pet have luxurious tastes? If so, try a dog-specific tub. When family-owned company Hydro Systems decided to dip into dog bath design, the owners collaborated with their groomer of more than 20 years, adding features like skidproofing to prevent slips and slides, and even an optional jetted whirlpool system. 

Is your dog the spa type? Do tell, because this idea is certainly new to me, and I can't quite wrap my head around it. Unless the dog's name is Zsa Zsa. Then it makes sense. (Seriously, though, the folks who designed this tub and added the spa option say it's a matter of personality on a case-by-case basis.)

Hydro Systems Petopia II - $377.25

This model is for smaller dogs. I included it because a photo of a dog sitting in its own personal bath wearing a bling-bling necklace simply must be shared.

 

Photo by Schachne Architects & Builders - Browse traditional bathroom ideas

 

Think about storage for supplies. Just like a human shower area, this one has handy shelves for dog shampoo and sponges.

 

Photo by Phil Kean Designs - More contemporary patio photos

 

Take it outside. Homeowners are increasingly incorporating pet washing stations into their outdoor showers. All it takes is a handheld sprayer or showerhead that can reach down to the ground. Rinse off muddy paws here before they can get inside and muck up your rugs.

A second, lower handheld spay is good for pets and for rinsing off your own feet before going indoors.

Provide a clean path to the door. A concrete, gravel or stone walkway will prevent your dog from dirtying up his paws on the way in from an outdoor wash. Unless, of course, the dog breaks free and does that crazy circle thing out in the yard.