A Place for Them: Designing Pet-Friendly Homes

We’re making our favourite member of the family a priority in the home this year and designing for pets. While dogs are content to curl up wherever you are and cats will sooner claim a cardboard box as their new favourite spot than the elaborate cat condo that came inside it, incorporating their needs into your home design solidifies their place in the family.

Let’s look at a few ways we can make your home pet-friendly without sacrificing a drop of style. 

A man sipping coffee with a cat beside him
Image via Priscilla du Preez, Unsplash

Keep them close

Your furry best friend wants to be at your side. Your cat or dog typically ends up following you from room to room as you go about your day at home. For this reason, it’s important to remember your pet isn’t the same as a kid; they aren’t going to find the same enjoyment out of a designated room like a child would with a playroom. 

Two cats on a bed by the window
Image via Harry Grout, Unsplash

Make sure they have a corner in each room to curl up in and call their own, but won’t make them feel restricted or isolated. Many pets are content with a blanket thrown down in the path of their favourite sunbeam or at the end of the bed. But, if your canine and feline companions love being pampered, pet beds have planted their flag firmly in the world of fashionable home furniture and it’s easier than ever to find a ultra-comfy bed that will fit seamlessly with your own décor.

Check out some of these pet bed ideas

From custom builds to raised, memory foam cushions to cave-like cat pods and even deeply plush pillows designed to help reduce anxiety (especially useful if your pet gets anxious when left alone) designers are taking careful consideration when it comes to crafting luxurious thrones for our four-legged pals.

Two cats on beds
Image via Tinker Trading Co.

If your pet has claimed the corner of your couch or a favourite armchair, consider rolling up your sleeves and creating a slipcover for easy cleaning with the help of our DIY reupholstery tips.

Sliding gate in kitchen
Image via HGTV

Keep things tidy

When you need to keep the kitchen chaos-free and your pets out from underfoot, an inset sliding gate, like this custom-made pocket gate, does the trick cleanly. The gate acts as an extension of the lower cabinets and uses the same coloured wood to keep things harmonious and discreet. Plus, if you have a rambunctious pup, there’s no risk of this gate toppling over if they jump against it. 

three dogs in their beds
Image via M. House Development

If you have the room, creating custom space for your dog’s crate under the kitchen counter has been a go-to for many homeowners. The kitchen is a great spot for this installation as your pet will feel more comfortable being in the room where your family typically spends most of their time.

Two bulldogs getting into a pink-tiled bath
Image via Three Birds Renovations   

Bath time

Speaking of keeping things tidy, after a run at the dog park it can feel like your pets might never be clean. Giving your dog a scrub in the tub is a recipe for a ruined bathroom so installing a pet shower in your mudroom or laundry room is a total lifesaver. Not only will keep the muddy paw prints from spreading through the house, it's a great pampering station for your pooch. Check out these ideas.

A black dog lying on a couch
Image via Sandra Seitamma, Unsplash

A closer eye and your peace of mind

Sadly, many dogs suffer from separation anxiety when left alone and that anxiety can manifest itself in the destruction of things like doors, blinds, cushions and pillows. While a veterinarian should always be consulted when a pet starts to exhibit signs of stress, there are tools out there to keep you and your pet connected even when you’re apart. 

App-controlled feeders keep your pet’s mealtimes on schedule, even if you’re running late, while other gadgets offer three-in-one benefits like a camera, mic and treat-dispenser to let you check in on your pup throughout the day (while tossing them a treat or two to keep them content).

A french bulldog lying near a food bowl
Image via Chris, Unsplash

Pretty plates and bowls

While they don’t need to eat off of your fine china, keep your home looking stylish all the way down to your pets food dishes. Many of your favourite retailers and homegoods stores are stocking up on food and water bowls that look good enough for your own table. 

Did you know?

There are pet dishes designed to meet the needs of different dog breeds. Finding the right option could make a world of difference for your Great Dane or your Teacup Yorkie. Raised bowls, for example, relieves strain on joints and helps prevent the chances of bloat for bigger dogs while shallow bowls are best for the snubby snouts of Pugs and Bulldogs.

A poodle sitting by its owners
Image via Sarandy Westfall, Unsplash

Your pet is the queen or king of your home, make sure they live like one, too. 

article credit:  www.realtor.ca/blog

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