It’s a fact: we are a nation of pet lovers, with 40% of us owning a pet of some sort. So, why not make your bathroom more pet-friendly? We show you how…
At Victoria Plum, it’s not just bathrooms we’re passionate about. Many of us are dedicated pet owners, with dogs and cats being some of our most popular family members, whilst cockatoos and whip scorpions are amongst some of our more unusual and exotic choices!
One thing that many of our pets like to do is follow us around the home. It’s not unusual for your pampered pooch or fussy feline to end up joining you in the bathroom, no matter what you’re doing in there! In this article, we take a look at some easy ways to make your bathroom safer and more inviting for your pets, so you can enjoy a space that works for every member of your family, whether human, furry, feathered or other!
Whether they enjoy it or not, at some point your pet is likely to need a bath. As THE most popular pet in the UK, with around 23% of us owning one, dogs are most likely to need a regular wash. The Kennel Club offer some great advice on bathing your dog.
If you are training a puppy, it is a good idea to get them used to bath time from a very early age. Much like you’d do with a child, it’s a great idea to bring toys into the bathroom with them, so they associate the bathroom with fun and play. A storage box or basket is a great place to stow these away after use.
The next most popular pet, by a long way, is the cat, with around 16% of us owning one. And, if you’re a cat-owner, you’ll appreciate how they like to keep themselves as clean as possible, using all the tools available to them—namely their tongues and teeth. Therefore, unless they’ve rolled in something unpleasant or somehow got themselves in a sticky mess, you shouldn’t need to regularly wash them.
As you probably learnt from a very early age, cats are very different beasts to dogs and don’t particularly like getting wet in the same way their canine counterparts do. Therefore, it is often much more difficult getting a cat to play ball when it comes to bath time!
Of course, other pets may require specialist washing and you must always follow expert guidance to ensure they remain happy and healthy. You'll find plenty of excellent advice on looking after all sorts of pets on the RSPCA website.
When bathing, lukewarm water—as opposed to hot water—should always be used to keep your pet comfortable. A manual mixer valve or tap doesn’t always keep water temperature consistent, so, if you don’t already have one, it’s best to invest in a thermostatic mixer valve for your shower or bath.
A detachable shower head is handy for washing your pet, however the noise and force of the water can be a little intense and frightening for some pets. It is often better to pour water from a jug or container and rinse your pets using this gentler method.
No heavy lifting
Getting a large pet in and out of the bath can be a struggle, especially if you own a dog breed like a Great Dane, for example! For larger animals, it may be worth considering a wet room, with a level access shower tray and easily accessible washing facilities. That way, there is less concern about your furry friend shaking water everywhere and no need to carry the load all by yourself.
Warm towels = Happy pets
It’s not just us humans who enjoy a nice warm towel after bath time. Your pet will certainly feel more relaxed and cosy when being dried in some lovely toasty towels. Of course, a heated towel rail is the most efficient way to do this and, if you use a heating element, you can even use it when your central heating is switched off.
Avoid slipping and sliding
When it comes to flooring, it’s always best to choose a surface which your pet can get to grips with! Tiles are nice and easy to clean but can become slippery when wet, so, it’s a good idea to keep an eye out for anti-slip ratings, as this will help you choose the best grip flooring. You should also ensure your dog or cat’s nails are trimmed before bathing, so they don’t end up skidding across the floor like a curling stone!
Vinyl and laminate flooring also offer good low-cost yet durable options, but avoid carpet like the plague!
Non-slip bath mats can also be beneficial, used inside the bath and out, to ensure everyone remains firmly on their feet.
Safety with storage
If you have an inquisitive or mischievous pet, the last thing you’d ever want it to do is get hold of toiletries or cleaning materials and, at worst, managing to open and swallow something potentially harmful.
It’s always best to make sure you have enough closable storage in your bathroom for this purpose. Replacing your pedestal basin with a vanity unit, not only makes great use of space but gives you a handy, pet-safe storage area. Additional bathroom cabinets, like a tall wall cabinet or mirror cabinet, also provide areas in which items can be stored safely, away from your pets.
However, you must also follow good housekeeping rules. Put cleaning materials away immediately after use and make sure doors or drawers are closed. If you have an inquisitive cat, try and ensure there’s no way for it to climb up to shelving or cabinets where items are kept.
A less startling seat
It’s always best to keep your toilet seat down, at least to prevent your pooch from drinking toilet water and, at worst, ingesting harmful cleaning chemicals. With a soft close seat, it will lower gently, so, even if your pet accidently knocks it, they won’t get startled.
Deterring escape artists
We have one final tip for pet-friendly bathrooms. If bathing your pet, keep the door and any windows closed, just in case they decide to make a break for it! For good bathroom ventilation, even with your doors and windows shut, make sure you have a high quality fan fitted.
Discover more family-friendly bathroom ideas
Whether you’re sharing your bathroom with furry friends or little tykes, at Victoria Plum you’ll discover loads of great bathroom ideas for families. We’ve got some handy tips on making your bathroom safe for babies, along with practical ideas and advice for planning your perfect family bathroom.