It would have been considered laughable some time ago for you to think that you would consider building a pet-friendly home. However today pet culture has taken off and pets are now considered members of their family and their needs are considered when building and renovating.
If you are looking for ways to make your pet more comfortable in their new space, there are many options which can house, feed, and entertain your beloved pet.
Would you like to have pet food hidden away sometimes? Many cabinet designers can incorporate food and water dishes into the bottom of base cabinets in a kitchen or mudroom. This keeps food bowls off the floor and prevents a tripping hazard as well as they pull out like a drawer and when not in use, they recess into the cabinet. Also popular are converting a large lower cabinet to hold pet food in it’s own pull out sealed container. If your pet is a messy eater, a dustpan built into your baseboard or cabinet that connects to your central vac system is a convenient idea to quickly sweep spills away.
When it’s time to wash your pet, the mess of water and hair all over the house can get overwhelming. Also in our climate, the cold water of an outdoor hose isn’t practical so many homeowners are incorporating simple to elaborate grooming features into their home to simplify things. By adding a hot and cold water tap to your garage space allows you to keep water warm all year round. For the deluxe washing station, a stainless steel sink with a plank for your pet to walk up and into the washing area makes it so you don’t have to lift a nervous pet up, and keeps them safe in one spot while they undergo their spa treatment.
The days of putting child gates across doorways are now a thing of the past. You can install dutch doors allowing a pet not to feel like they have been locked into a room, or a pocket door that has one compartment with a door, and a second one with a gate.
A luxury item would be an electronic dog or cat door, which opens in response to a magnetic key on the pet’s collar and otherwise remains shut, keeping four-legged and other intruders out. Owners can program times to allow access for their pets. Each key is unique and owners can even view on a camera when their pet uses the door.
Moving into a new home without landscaping in the backyard can be really difficult when you have a pet that needs to go outside. Having a pet run installed for when you take possession of your home provides a safe space for your dog to spend time outside while keeping your fresh new floors clean inside. Pet runs generally include crushed rock with wire fencing around it so your pet can be outside and not wander off, which should help tie them over until grass is installed in the spring.
Pet friendly flooring like laminate or tile are good choices because they are easy to clean and non-porous. If you choose a wood floor, look for harder wood species as soft woods are easy scratched by pet nails.
Washable paint used in areas where your pet might spend a lot of their time is money well spent as your pet will likely bring in dirt and water and rub against the walls. Look for eggshell, satin or semi-gloss sheen.
If pets are a part of your family, it’s nice to know you can design areas with them in mind.
Sue Wastell is the President of the London Home Builders’ Association and Owner of Wastell Homes in London