So, I’m sitting here at my kitchen table looking at Facebook - I mean working on this blog post - and in walks my wonderful, old, half blind, diabetic dog who proceeds to lay down on the floor next to me (I am her favorite person, by the way) and it occurs to me that this dog - this animal who has loved me unequivocally for 13 years - is part of my family. She’s just as part of the family as my daughter and my wife.
I work hard every day to come up with ways to make my client’s homes better for them, for their lifestyle, and for their families. Why not attempt to make homes better for their dogs and cats too?
So here are some ideas for making your home more comfortable, user-friendly, and just better for you and your dog.
Pets are like children in that they collect a lot of stuff like toys, food, leashes, carriers, etc. My dog sure does collect stuff ranging from piles of toys to diabetes testing supplies. When remodeling or adding a new mudroom or designing a new kitchen, make sure you design the space and the storage cabinetry to handle all their stuff.
There’s really never a great place, it seems, to put your pet’s food bowls, right? Well, why not install a built-in feeding area in your mudroom or kitchen to make it easier? Ideas include a built-in drawer that holds the food and water bowls and/or a water fountain that connects directly to your home water supply. That way your pet will always have fresh water.
At least in my house, a dog bath typically consists of a garden hose, some soap, and a short leash. Nowadays homeowners want something easier and better looking. A great idea is to add a designated shower or bath for your pet. Typically, it is located in a garage (as long as your local building department allows it) or in a mudroom or laundry room so your dog (I pity the person who has to bathe their cat) can be washed and dried before he or she is allowed into the actual house. In some cases these high-end pet showers are replacing the sink in the laundry room and serving as a combined laundry sink and pet shower…pretty cool!
I know this is pretty obvious but I’m going to say it anyway…ceramic tile is probably the most practical choice for pets especially if you make sure the grout joints are sealed well and then maintained. Most of us, though, don’t want to tile our entire homes so the next logical step from tile is a natural hardwood. With hardwood, choose one of the hardest woods available such as maple or oak. Also, make sure to use high-quality polyurethane to seal and protect the floor.
Unfortunately we all get older and our pets certainly do too. Our pets can also benefit from planned aging-in-place designs and changes. Ramps or low-rise steps to your dog’s favorite sleeping spots (including your bed) will help with leg and hip issues, well lit stairwells (that helps us too actually) will help pets with poor vision (like my dog), and well placed beds around the house (maybe in conjunction with a built-in) also allows them to lay in a bed but stay close to us.
So, I think this blog post turned out pretty well considering I didn’t have a clue what to write about before I sat down at the computer.
Thanks for spending a few minutes of your day with me.
Now go outside and play with your dog, I am! Emma is waiting on me...