How to design a purrfectly pet-friendly home

How to design a purrfectly pet-friendly home

Since February 20 is National Love Your Pet Day, we thought it was a good time to talk about these important bonus members of our families, and how we can enhance their home lives.

It’s important to us that our houses are functional and comfortable in a way that suits our lifestyles, but our pets have different needs than we do, and require different considerations. 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 to can make your home pet-friendly without sacrificing a drop of style.

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 child; they aren’t going to find the same enjoyment out of a designated room like a child would with a playroom.

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 an ultra-comfy bed that will fit seamlessly with your own décor.

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.

If your pet has claimed the corner of your couch or a favourite armchair, consider buying a slipcover for easy cleaning. If you’re especially crafty, you could even create one of your own, but even a nice throw that’s coordinated to your decor will work, and it’s easy to toss into the washing machine to clean.

Keep things tidy

When you need to keep the kitchen chaos-free and your pets out from underfoot, an inset sliding gate, much like a pocket door, does the trick cleanly. You can have this type of gate added as an extension of the lower cabinets and even use 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.

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.

Bath time

Speaking of keeping things tidy, after a run at the dog park it can feel like your pets might never be clean again. Giving your dog a scrub in the tub is a recipe for a ruined bathroom if they’re a large dog with big claws or you have more than one, so installing a pet shower in your mudroom, laundry room or garage is a total lifesaver. Not only will it keep the muddy paw prints from spreading through the house, it’s a great pampering station for your pooch.

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 shoes. 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). These devices really do work to help keep your pets feeling connected to you.

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. You can also buy stylish absorbant mats to soak up any spilled water if you have an especially messy drinker.

Did you know?

There are pet dishes designed to meet the needs of every dog breed. 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. These types of stands are available in many styles that will complement even the most stylish decor.

Your pet is the queen or king of your home, so make sure they live like one, too! A professional REALTOR® can help you find the purr-fect home to suit both you and your pet’s needs.


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