Don’t forget Fido when planning your next remodel; he’s part of the family, too. And according to a recent survey, about 69 million Americans have at least one dog, and 45 million households have cats. As a pet owner, you may like to learn the many design strategies and custom home features that make your pet-loving lives easier. Here are some popular ways to add these attractive yet functional elements to your remodeled home.
Custom Washing Station
No one likes a dirty dog in the house. And, getting one from outdoors to a bathroom for bathing without tracking up the floors can be tricky. That’s why homeowners embrace the idea of a dog-washing station in transition areas like the mudroom, laundry area, or garage. This space typically includes a washbasin, non-slip flooring, specialty cabinets for supplies, and radiant heat. When you partner with a professional design/build contractor, they’ll work with you to make the space perfect for your needs. Here are a few ideas to discuss with them during the planning stage.
- The size of the tub–Many homeowners opt for a standard mop sink. Just make sure it’s deep enough to hold water but not too deep for your doggie to get into.
- The tub’s height–Placing the tub or sink on the floor is great for large dogs but requires you to kneel on the floor to bathe them. Discuss the perfect height for your dog and your back with your designer.
- Placement of the faucet–You want a removable shower wand to make the dog bathing experience more manageable. Locate it high enough on the wall that Fido doesn’t bump his head, yet close enough you can reach it while keeping one hand on your pet.
- Wall and flooring options–All dogs want to shake themselves after a bath. For that reason, you want walls and flooring that can withstand moisture. Consider non-slip tile or waterproof vinyl for the areas most likely exposed to water.
- Storage–While bathing, you want to be able to reach your supplies. A shelf for shampoo and a hook for towels next to the tub makes things easy. But, you may also want to add additional storage for other pet items like leashes, toys, and food.
- Warming area–No dog needs a chill after a bath. Having a heated kennel next to your washing station is a great place for Fido to dry off.
Built-in Feeding Station
Consider a custom cabinet that pulls out for feeding time if you’re tired of tripping over pet bowls. Or, to keep food and water always available, an alcove under the kitchen island gives your pet a distraction-free area to eat his meal. Custom pull-outs dedicated to pet food storage and treats are another popular way to keep the kitchen neat.
Sleep Nooks Throughout the Home
Pet hair and furniture don’t mix. If you’ve trained your pet to sleep on his own bed, keep it out of the way with a specially designed nook. Better yet, include pet sleeping nooks throughout the house so Fido can stay close to you. Places like under the stairs, in the bottom half of a linen closet, under a window seat, or even under the kitchen island are out of the way, help your furry friend feel secure, and keep him close by for reassurance.
Custom Cabinetry for a Litter box
A common complaint of cat lovers is the sight and smell of the litter box. No worries! Your design/build team can easily create a unique cabinet to keep the box out of sight and give your cat a bit of privacy. With a cut-out door only a cat could fit through, a lower cabinet in the mudroom, laundry room, or bath is the perfect option. Open the full-sized door to access the pan for cleaning. An adjacent cabinet makes an ideal place to keep supplies.
Low Windows for Pets to Enjoy Outdoor Viewing
Your indoor pets like to see outside, too. If you don’t have glass doors for them to see through, consider incorporating a few low windows for their viewing pleasure.
Custom Door Dividers to Keep Pets Where You Want Them
Furbaby gates don’t have to be those expandable contraptions that leave unsightly marks on your door frames. Instead, your design/builder can create beautiful custom door dividers to match the style of your home to keep your pets where you want them. Half-height sliding pocket doors that hide in the wall are the perfect solution. Also, consider see-through mesh, frosted glass, or vertical slats for optimal lighting and a metal bottom rail to prevent scratches.
Install Electronic Pet Doors
Some homeowners shy away from installing pet doors because they fear wild animals invading their homes. Put that fear behind you with an electronic pet door. Activated by your furbaby’s collar, these doors unlock when they approach. For increased security, install a timer that limits the hours of operation.
Don’t forget to think about what Fido will do once he’s outside. After all, he likes outdoor living just as much as you do. Your design/builder can plan for your pet door to open onto his own private yard, complete with a shady retreat, water fountain, and toys.
Other Pet Design Considerations
Let’s face it, owning pets can take a toll on your home. That’s why it’s essential to use pet-friendly materials when designing your remodel. From upholstery to flooring, you want your home to stand up to the rigors of life your pet can bring. Here are a few other design tips you’ll like to discuss with your builder.
- Pet nails scratch hardwood floors. Consider luxury vinyl planks for a durable wood-look or choose porcelain or ceramic tile instead.
- Some homeowners prefer carpeted bedrooms, but even the best pet can have an accident. A pet-friendly carpet is stain-resistant with a moisture-resistant, anti-microbial pad underneath. Stay away from loop carpets, which can snag toenails, and choose a shade that matches your pet’s hair, so it’s less visible between vacuuming.
- To help control all that hair, install a central vacuum system. Hose ports in every room eliminate the need to drag an appliance all over the house. And, the powerful motor transfers dander and hair from your living space into a unit located in the basement or garage—no need to worry about emptying a vacuum bag or canister into your trash.
- Pet allergies are anything but seasonal. Install a high-quality HVAC filter system to keep your indoor air quality free of pet dander.
- Finally, pets love trash, especially with chicken bones in it. Your design/builder can suggest ways to keep the garbage and all its dangers hidden from sight.
If you want help planning a home remodel with your furbaby in mind, Blackline Renovations in Dallas can help. Their design/build team will help you incorporate pet-friendly designs into your kitchen, bath, or whole house remodel or room addition. From the initial contact and design phase through the construction, they’ll be with you every step of the way. In addition, their friendly staff offers in-home consultations to discuss your needs and solutions to make your ideas come to life.
For inspiration, take a look at their portfolio. Then, call 214-827-3747 or schedule a consultation. And while you’re waiting, subscribe to Blackline’s newsletter for design trends, events, and best practices in remodeling in Dallas, Texas.