40% of UK homes own a pet, with dogs and cats being the most popular. While we may love our furry little friends, not many of us buy a house based on its suitability for our pets. But considering the needs of your dog or cat when you're remodelling or updating your bathroom can make life much easier in the long run. It would be madness to design any room in the house solely for a pet (unless you happen to be rich), but there are many features which can make a bathroom pet-friendly as well as human-friendly. Read on for our tips on successfully creating bathrooms for pets.
Families with dogs will know how filthy the family pet can be after a long walk in the woods, they just love to splash around in the mud! Some dogs will stand quite happily in the bath while you wash them down, whereas others are more reluctant and make it a constant struggle to get them anywhere near the water. So, anything you can do to make a bath less stressful for both owner and pet is a bonus.
A shower attachment over the bath is ideal for hosing down the dog and giving it a good wash, and it's far easier to use this sort of attachment than trying to put the dog into the bath or into a small shower cubicle, especially with larger dogs. If you don't have a shower hose above the bath then this is cheap and easy to buy and fit, or at a push, a simple shower hose which slips over the bath taps will do the job.
Sleek and shiny flooring has become increasingly more fashionable in recent years, but dogs and other animals can find it difficult to get enough grip on shiny floors to walk properly. This may not be a major issue for homes where pets are infrequently in the bathroom, but if you have to wash your dog regularly in the bathroom then it could make everyone's life easier by thinking about a floor with some sort of texture. This doesn't have to mean installing tiles with a raised pattern; look at alternatives such as real wood flooring or rubber tiles which will make the floor less slippery. Small children and older people with mobility issues will benefit greatly from this sort of flooring too. It's fantastic for all-around safety.
We all know that we need to keep bleach and cleaning products out of the reach of children in the bathroom, but we often don't remember that pets can become seriously ill or even die from swallowing bathroom products too. Pets are perhaps less likely to drink chemicals than children, but it is still good practice to keep all medicines and chemical products out of their way.
Take a look into vanity units or cupboards with special catches or locks which are designed to stop pets or small children getting into the cupboard easily, or move them off floor level where they will find them impossible to get to.
Perhaps more likely than your pooch deciding to take a swig of your shampoo is a dog getting into the bathroom and knocking items onto the floor by accident. This can also be prevented by fitting a bathroom door with a sturdy catch so that the door does not simply push open, and by getting some bathroom shelving units or storage where you can keep your expensive perfume and make-up well out of reach. Plants can also be toxic to many family pets, so keep them off the floor level or take a look at some of the lifelike artificial alternatives which are on the market.
Having pets or kids in the house can mean a lot more cleaning, as any pet owner or parent will be well aware of, so thinking about how easy things are to keep clean when updating your bathroom can save you a whole lot of time and stress in the long run. In general, tiles, flooring and bathroom suites which have simple lines and no raised pattern or added decoration are far easier to keep clean than more elaborate items. Tiles, wood, and lino are much easier to keep clean than bathroom carpet, which is one of the most impractical bathroom floorings around, especially with pets. Plastic and acrylic baths are also easier to keep clean than enamel, which needs to be cleaned with products free from bleach. Enamel baths may also be more prone to chipping or getting scratched than plastic, which isn't ideal when your dog is gripping the bath with its claws.
For more tips on keeping your bathroom clean, read this article.
A bathroom that's going to be a stress-free escape for your family will always be at the forefront of any bathroom renovation, but let's not forget that pets are also part of the family too. Making a few simple changes to suit their needs without compromising any of the bathroom comforts we cherish will aid your pet's wellbeing and make your life far easier.