How to create a pet-friendly house

As most designers will tell you, your lifestyle should always factor into the design of your home. Seeing that your pet is inevitably a part of that lifestyle, you should consider factoring these four-legged family members into the layout of your home when renovating a space.

The key is to think about their needs in relation to your own — not to mention their safety. Plus, you’ll often find that a pet-friendly home is much more comfortable for people, too. The space will just seem more welcoming to any and all guests.

If you’ve got pets, consider the following for your next remodeling project:

  1. Dedicated space. Storage isn’t just a problem for people. Pets often come with a lot of stuff, and a dedicated space to store it is always wise. One of the best spots for this is often near an entryway. If your dog goes out a particular door, account for this in the design with built-in bins or cubbies to store leashes and other supplies. If you can afford it, outfit a mudroom with a washing station: a sink for small to medium-sized pets or a shower-style stall for larger pups. To make the most out of the space, it could double as your laundry room, making it easier to throw dirty towels in the wash after bathing your pet.
  2. Feeding area. A pet-friendly home will almost always have a feeding area for food and water bowls. Design this dedicated space clear of traffic lanes so they won’t get knocked over — and near where you store the bags of pet food and treats. Depending on the design of your home, and where the feeding area is located, you could convert a pullout, built-in trash bin into the storage receptacle for pet food. All you need is scoop to toss the kibble in the bowl.
  3. Suitable flooring. By now, no one needs to tell you that pets spend most of their time on the floor. So, it only makes sense to consider their needs when choosing flooring. While wall-to- wall carpet may seem comfy, it’ll just absorb odors, trap hair, and soak up those inevitable accidents. Instead, go with easy-to- clean, non-porous surfaces. You can also choose hardwood or bamboo. Just remember that your pet may leave a scratch mark or two. And if you really want to splurge on your four-legged friend, radiant heat flooring can keep your pet warm during the coldest of months.
  4. Washable paint. Many pet owners feel as if their dogs or cats are their children. And like kids, pets can do a real number on your walls. But instead of tiny little fingerprints, you’ll find yourself dealing with dirt and body oils. Make sure to choose washable interior paint, like satin or semi-gloss sheen.
  5. Stain-resistant fabrics. Going with stain-resistant fabrics is more so for you than for your pets. After all, when’s the last time Fido complained about your couch? He’s just happy to be up there — but that’s beside the point. Synthetic fabrics are usually resistant to stains, smells, and bacteria. Better yet, if you’ve got a shedder, go one step further and use the color of your pet’s coat to inspire the color palate for your home. It’ll make the left-behind hair less conspicuous in between cleanings. Who said we weren’t problem-solvers?

Thanks to Mike Otto of Fair & Square Remodeling for today’s post. If you would like to learn more about renovating a home with your pets in mind, they would be more than happy to answer your questions or schedule an appointment for a consultation.

Written By

Mike Otto is owner and CEO of Fair & Square Remodeling. His goal is to provide homeowners a full-service remodeling company with a team of the most trusted and skilled designers, artisans and craftsmen in the Twin Cities area.

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