For many of our KB homeowners, their pets are important and loved members of their families. Here are five tips on how to design a pet-friendly home you and your pets will love.
1. Create a Dog (Mud) Room
There are few things more satisfying than witnessing the pure joy of a dog enjoying the great outdoors. But with this satisfaction comes a price, and re-entering your home without creating a mess can be difficult.
Incorporating a “Dog Room” into your home can make a clean re-entry easier. Use existing laundry rooms or mudrooms to be a place to keep your dog supplies, leashes, etc. or can be outfitted with custom features such as a dog shower.
2. Choose pet-specific items that blend into your design theme
With a little creativity, you can work these necessary pet-specific products and items seamlessly into your décor.
Cat litter boxes are the main offender, but a litter box cabinet hides it from view and can cut down on odor and mess. There are also plenty of DIY tutorials on how to modify an existing piece of furniture to hide a litterbox, such as this cabinet.
Built-in features will blend in even more! Dog crates can be big, bulky, and take up precious space, but this kitchen design incorporates a cozy dog crate into the construction of the kitchen island. Not only does it provide a stylish, roomy, and space-efficient alternative to traditional dog crates, but Rover will love being in the center of all the action.
3. Combat destructive cat behavior by accommodating their instincts
While most veterinarians agree that it is safer for a cat to be indoor-only, many indoor cats don’t get enough exercise and suffer from boredom. Here again, simple tweaks to the design of your home can help ameliorate the problem.
Many cats will instinctively seek out higher ground, so you can encourage your cat to be more active by arranging your furniture in a way that gives them access to the taller pieces.
Keep in mind that the height-accessible areas are not appropriate places to store or display breakable or heavy items, as cats can and will knock them over. Cat shelves are fun way to help your cat get up high! While you can easily DIY some simple cat shelves and there are also several commercially available products on the market.
For those who want to completely blow the lid on the concept of elevated living space for your cat, take a look at this custom piece that can only be described as a vertical cat playground in a space that would otherwise go unused.
Climbing isn’t the only instinctual behavior that is important to the well-being of a cat. Scratching maintains a cat’s claws but is loathed for the havoc it can wreak on your furniture. Provide your cats with appropriate places to scratch, and keep in mind that you might need to try several different solutions before you find something your cat likes. Place your approved cat scratching areas near the items you are looking to protect, such as your sofa.
4. Choose pet-friendly materials
Some of the most impactful decisions you will make when designing your pet-friendly home is your choice in flooring. Flooring represents a large investment in your home and choosing the wrong kind of flooring can be a costly mistake.
Ceramic tile or laminate floor is a logical choice in terms of durability, and also comes in wood-look design to offer the timeless look of wood floors but with increased durability and easy maintenance.
For those who prefer the warmth of carpet underfoot, a darker or patterned carpet is preferable for hiding stains. Choose a low-pile for easier cleaning and avoid continuous loop since claws or nails can snag on the loops and tear a whole run.
Also, residential carpet tiles allow for a section to be easily pulled up and replaced should it be irreparably stained or damaged. Large area rugs can add a cozy touch to a hard floor without a commitment to caring for wall-to-wall carpet.
When it comes to choosing fabrics for your home, many of the same principles apply. Darker colors and patterns hide stains, but you may also want to take into consideration the color of your pet’s hair or fur. Make sure your fabrics don’t snag easily and keep in mind that some fabrics are easier to clean than others. For example, microfiber is easy to clean and considered to be a pet-friendly material, while tweed is a nightmare for trapping hair. Leather can be wiped down, but can also be punctured or damaged by claws and nails. You may want to consider using slipcovers for your furnishings and a duvet with a duvet cover for easier cleaning.
5. Promote the health and wellness of your pets within the home
You want your furry friends to be comfortable in your home, and that means using products that won’t harm their health. Find out what plants are safe for animals before you begin landscaping; use eco-friendly products that are good for the environment and your pooches; make sure that there is plenty of space and light for your pets so they don’t feel cooped up in the house while you’re at the office, and pet-proof any dangerous areas to ensure that Fido doesn’t take a spill off the stairs.
The unconditional love and loyalty of an animal are well worth spending a little time and applying some creativity toward designing a pet-friendly home. For more inspiration to make your four-legged buddies happy, check out some ideas here.