Pet-friendly House: Residential Design Tips for a Dog Owner

Posted on
October 21, 2018

If you have a dog or are planning to get one, you know that a dog is a member of the family. It’s natural to consider them when designing your new home. This article explains how an architect might design a home with a dog in mind: by planning customized indoor and outdoor spaces and implementing subtle pet-proofing design tips throughout the home.

Indoor Pet Zone

It can be helpful to create a “pet-friendly zone” where your dog can spend most of their time. Your our-legged friend will enjoy a comfortable, familiar space of their own, and you can fully customize the space to suit their needs and preferences.

This space should be located somewhere where you will spend time as well, and should ideally have  asy access to a dog run or play area. There should be a window or, ideally a glass door so your dog can look outside, for natural light as well as entertainment. Don’t forget to install a doggie door!

To create a pet zone in your new home, choose materials that are practical and easy to clean. For flooring, durable and slip-resistant options are best. If you are going to carpet the area, choose carpet tiles as they’re easy to clean or replace in thee vent of an accident. To organize your pet’s paraphernalia, provide storage cabinets. Pull-out bins can be added for food storage, and wall hooks for leashes.

Within the pet zone, create a dedicated feeding area. To avoid attracting squirrels and birds, it’s best to feed your dog indoors. Add mats to catch crumbs and drips.

To minimize pet odors, position food and litter boxes away from kitchen and dining areas. If your dog will use pee pads, consider placing these in a space with an exhaust fan (or add an exhaust fan to the space where they will be kept).

Outdoor Pet Zone

Most dog breeds do best with access to an outdoor play area or dog run. If possible, it’s a good idea to set up an outdoor space where your companion can be left unsupervised for short periods of time.

To decide where to locate this space, choose and design an area that provides some shade, with anon-irritating surface, away from traffic zones or walkways.

Ensure that this space is fully fenced and, ideally, accessible from the indoor pet zone. Near the entranceway where you will most often take Fido out, create a clean-up station with a large sink and spray handle for quick cleanup.

Pet-Proofing Tips for the Whole Home

Even with an indoor pet zone, chances are your best friend will still spend time in other areas of the house. Below are some pet-friendly design tips for the rest of your new home.

If your home will have hardwood flooring, choose harder wood species. Also consider a urethane floor coating; it’s an extremely durable finish.

If you’re going to have carpet in your home, choose a tone that’s close to the color of your four-legged friend’s fur. In the case of a light-furred dog, it might be wise to choose multi-toned carpeting to better hide any stains. Consider choosing anaesthetic that will allow for some natural “distress” in the look of your flooring.

The laundry room and entryway are often overlooked when it comes to the impact of pets. We suggest designating a pet-specific laundry area, or even an entirely separate laundry if possible, to keep your laundry separated from your dog’s. If they chew your shoes, make sure to set up shoe storage in your entryway that is out of reach.

With these tips in mind, you should be able to create a space that allows you and your best friend to  eel comfortable and to make the most of your new home.

At SZTUK Architecture, we understand how to design a pet-friendly home that works for you and your dog. For more information or to book a consultation, contact us by filling out our “Request a Consultation” form.

Photo credit: Magdalena Kurylowicz

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