You don’t have to sacrifice style to have a pet-friendly home. If you’ve ever thought “we can’t have anything nice” because of your menagerie, rest assured that from durable designer fabrics to stainresistant rugs, the home decor industry is now catering to Milo and Otis. Functionally, your abode can be a well-oiled machine, equipped with all the right doodads and decor for dogs and cats. Athome bathing stations, water fountains, pet doors, and window fences are just a few of the products on the market that make for a more serviceable pet home. On a grander scale, if you are building or renovating a house, you can easily incorporate custom touches to make your home work for your pets too. Creating a beautiful, clean and safe household for your furry friends easier than ever.
The great indoors
If you are building a new home or renovating, consider your pets when formulating your master plan. For instance, in the kitchen you can incorporate built-in feeding stations with removable steel bowls into the cabinetry. Stylish, standalone feeding stations are another option—either custom or ready-made—and can include large storage bins for scooping food along with dishes tucked away in a drawer that can be pulled out during feeding time.
Carve out a niche to give your friend a safe and cozy home for napping. This too can be a built-in cabinetry feature in your new dream kitchen, mudroom or laundry room. Or if you are retro-fitting, remove doors from little-used cabinetry and tuck a cushy bed inside. If you have wasted space under the stairs and fancy yourself a master DIYer, build your buddy a sleeping berth.
Mudrooms and laundry rooms are good places for feeding, bathing and caring for your companions, as these spaces are designed with utility in mind. While bathing your dog in your bathtub or hosing them off outside is always a good option, there are now portable pet bathing stations that you can purchase for about $130 to $150 that make bathtime easy and stress-free. Or if you have the space (and your dog always seems to be unkempt), invest in a professional grooming bath tub for anywhere from $800 up to $1900 through Flying Pig Grooming. While your pup may not be excited about this new addition to the laundry room, the convenience—and a sweet-smelling dog—will pay off.
If your pet’s main hub is the laundry room or mudroom, consider corralling all of their accessories in the room as well. Store food and treats away in containers like the Vittle Vault, which keeps snacks fresh. Hang leashes and collars on decorative hooks. And make sure there is plenty of cabinetry to tuck everything away. Toy chests aren’t just for the kiddos. While pet toy boxes are a thing, you can always opt for something that complements your decor like a decorative basket, which allows easy access to playthings.
For the more discerning species (ahem, cats), you need to be choosy with the supplies you bring into your home. Litter boxes pose all sorts of problems from stench to sand scattering, but high-end kitty commodes like the Modkat ensure that sand stays put, odors are kept at bay, and curious canines can’t nose around for droppings.
Cats that eat dry food dehydrate easily, and for whatever reason, the discriminating feline isn’t a fan of water bowls. Cats prefer to drink out of a fountain with circulating water as it stimulates interest, and therefore increases the amount of water they drink.
For indoor kitties, give them a window perch, like the Sunny Seat, which is a hammock that suction-cups to the window, allowing them to bask in the sun while viewing passers-by like squirrels and birds. For reclusive kitties that prefer their alone time, get them a chic hideaway like a felt cat nap cocoon or perhaps a kitty teepee (there are plenty for sale on Etsy). If you are looking to tuck your litter box, cat bed, and other feline supplies out of site, the company Modernist Cat sells a variety of midcentury-inspired furniture pieces that camouflage unsightly pet accessories.
On the other hand, if you want your cat decor to be front and center, The Vertical Cat company manufactures wooden cat stairs, shelves, and bridges that can be mounted onto the wall and ceiling, creating a playground for your kitty.
Pretty but pet-friendly
Indeed, you don’t have to sacrifice style with pets. But if you have a room filled with white fabrics or breakable objects, use a gate to keep your dog out of trouble. Check with your local pet store to see if they sell well-designed, sturdy wooden gates that you can install in your doorway.
Geriatric pets may need a little help getting around. Pet stairs and ramps, which can be plastic, carpeted or wood, allow pets easy access to furniture so they don’t injure themselves.
If your pet is going to have free reign of you home, then consider a few different textile choices to ensure quick and easy cleanups. For flooring, consider going rug-less to prevent hair build up. Eschewing rugs also makes sweeping and mopping easy. However, some of our larger furry friends need the carpet to prevent slipping and subsequent joint damage; if you are in the market for a rug, purchase one that is stain resistant or carpeting that you can spray with a stain guard. And remember, patterned carpeting, even subtle, disguises stains better than solid.
In general, stain-guard sprays are an essential weapon to prevent animal disasters (think liquids and dirt) from ruining your furniture. Textiles are an investment, and to ensure a longer lifespan, finish them with a quick spray.
There also are a variety of fabrics on the market that make cleaning up messes easy. While vinyl wasn’t cool when your grandma used it, it is now; and, plenty of interior designers are embracing the fabric as it comes in unique colors. Americo is a company that laminates designer fabrics so they’ll never need a washing—but your local designer or fabric retailer may be able to help source this project as well.
For pet-proofing and kid-proofing interiors, designers are also using performance fabrics that are super durable and can hold up against wear and tear. Commercial-grade textiles are available in luxurious textures like velvet, and outdoor fabrics like Sunbrella come in patterns and shades that are appropriate for the indoors too. Crypton fabrics are known for their tough stain resistance, and have collaborated with high-end providers like Stroheim and Fabricut to provide cool collections.
If you’ve already invested in nice furniture but want to save it from Fido’s muddy paws and your pretty kitty’s nails, look into slipcovering your furniture with indoor-outdoor fabrics by companies like Perennials and Bella-Dura.
If you are worried about pets making messes while you’re away, check on your creatures with a pet cam. Wi-Fi cameras like the Petzi Treat Cam distributes treats while the Pawbo Life camera not only has a treat dispenser, but also includes a laser game, video recording, and two-way audio.
The great outdoors
If you have a fenced backyard, install a doggy door so your furry friend can excuse himself to do his business without asking for your permission. Just be sure to install one that locks so in the evening you don’t find a menagerie of nocturnal critters hanging out in your home. Creatures like opossums have been known to sneak into homes via pet doors for a late-night bite of cat chow. For the backyard, fence windows are becoming more and more popular, as homeowners want to ease their pets’ curiosity as to what is on the other side of the fence. Many pet retailers sell a Plexiglas dome window called the PetPeek Fence Window that can be installed in your fence.
Make sure your yard has plenty of shade and water to ensure that your pet will stay cool. If your dog or cat is outside for most of the day, build them a little house with a bed.
For cats that are vying to be outside but you’d prefer they weren’t, build a “catio,” a window box made from wood and chicken wire that allows them fresh air and a nice view. You can create a small perch that extends outside from your window, or you can build a larger “room” leading from your window to the great outdoors, giving your cat room to play.
Outfitting your home for your furry friends will make your home more functional, and in the end a happy place for the whole clan.