It’s common knowledge that having a pet can have a positive impact on your life. Less publicized is the impact a pet can have on your home.
When planning to share your home with a pet, there are certain considerations you should make. A good design that keeps your pet in mind will not only enhance your pet’s experience in the home but will also simplify the job of caring for your pet.
Pet-friendly spaces are gaining popularity. The type of pet, as well as a pet’s size, age, health, and temperament, will likely affect which pet-friendly features make sense for a home.
Pet-friendly features to consider in your home design
1. Pet entrances
Whenever anyone visits your home, the first thing they see is the entrance. Your home’s entrance is a person’s first impression of your design, which is what makes it so important.
For a pet entrance, the key is to provide an easy way to get in and out, giving your fur-baby total freedom to come and go safely. Functionality is the target here, instead of great design. That said, get creative with your pet’s entrance. Try to incorporate a space to wash and dry off your dog after a park run or beach swim and you can keep your home free of muddy paw prints and sand.
2. A fenced-in yard
A fully-fenced yard keeps your pet off the road and away from traffic and other dangers. There are a variety of options available, which you can match to your budget, your style, and the different ways you use your yard.
Fences constructed of steel, wrought iron, or aluminum are some of the best options for pet fencing as they can’t be chewed or climbed on. These materials offer strength and durability, so while they can be expensive to install, your investment will last for years to come. Other options include wooden fencing (great for privacy) and chain link fencing. Just remember that whatever material you choose, take steps to prevent jumping or digging.
3. Pet bed
Nothing screams ‘pet-lover’ more than having built-in sleeping spaces. This tells visitors to your home that your pet is a major priority in your life and that the home is every bit theirs.
Where you integrate built-in sleeping spaces is up to you. A bed can be added to a kitchen cabinet or kitchen island, at the foot of a bed, or even under the stairs. Windowsill benches work well if you’re wanting to add storage, giving your pet their own little space where they can watch the world go by.
4. Food bowls and storage
Food bowls are thrown on the floor always look like a bit of an afterthought and they can be a trip hazard for the midnight snacker. The solution is to integrate food and water bowls and storage in your cabinetry, giving a purposeful space for eating, storing toys, and keeping pet food separate from human food.
Pets are treasured family members and they shouldn’t be an afterthought. Create a special feeding and watering cubby and not only will you reduce clutter on your floors you can place your pet’s food and water at a height that’s comfortable for them.
5. Litter box
A litter box is another hazard that’s waiting to trip someone up and let’s face it, they’re not the most beautiful of things. A cat’s waste functions are best left unseen, so why not create a hidden litter box area in your bathroom or laundry? This kitty litter tutorial from A Beautiful Mess isn’t just about function; it upgrades the look of a basic litter enclosure to make it feel more like a cherished piece of home decor.
6. Washing station
While a bathtub, shower, or utility sink can suffice for washing your pet, having a designated space will ensure you keep unwanted smells from taking over your home. A home grooming station can also save you tons if you’re used to taking your pet to a professional groomer.
A home washing station may seem like a big investment, but over time it can pay dividends. If you’d prefer to keep it simple, consider installing a detachable showerhead so you can get underbellies and better control the spray.
7. Doggy gate
Integrated doggy gates are a must if there are certain rooms in your home that you want to protect. Gates can be simple, stylish, and even built-in as a slider or pocket door. The latter allows you to get the job of keeping boundaries done, without sacrificing the openness of your home.
An alternative option to a doggy gate is to invest in a freestanding, foldable, and portable separator. This can work for a small or older dog but is likely not a suitable option for a large or boisterous puppy. A highly active or inquisitive dog will need a sturdy, wall-mounted option that can’t be moved or knocked over.
8. Open layout
Older pets make for wonderful companions but they need a bit of extra care. Clear pathways are best for older pets with cataracts and poor vision, so try to keep hallways and floors free of clutter. If your home doesn’t support an open layout, then try to keep things the same. Pets with poor vision often memorize the layout of a house and when you move things regularly it can confuse them.
Decorating with your pets in mind
To keep your home looking as pristine as the day you moved in you’ll need to choose furnishings that aren’t prone to damage caused by scratching, chewing, or pet hair. Black steel, copper, and brass are bang on trend right now and make for some hardy options. Leather sofas are another great hard-wearing, stain-resistant option.
Pets are an element of house design that is often overlooked but they are a major part of your life. They deserve to be a major part of your house too, so whether it’s through the design of the home itself or through your choice of furnishings, consider what’s best for you and your pet. Considering your pets from the outset will not only maximize the quality of life for both humans and animals but will also keep your home looking great for years to come.
Jacqui Coombe is a blogger, marketer, wife, and now mum to a beautiful 1-year-old daughter, Lily, and cavoodle puppy, Max. Finding the right work/life balance is always a juggle, but Jacqui loves being able to combine her learnings and insights of parenting with her passion for blogging.
Read also: 3 Valuable Lessons Kids Learn When Raising Pets