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Mar 2024

Design a Pet-Friendly Home With These 4 Tips




How to understand your pet’s needs


Ways to lay the foundation for a pet-safe home


Tips to blend style with the practical




How to understand your pet’s needs


Ways to lay the foundation for a pet-safe home


Tips to blend style with the practical

Our furry (or feathered or scaled, if you’re into that sort of thing) companions bring endless amounts of joy to our lives. But ensuring their comfort and well-being within your home can often require some thoughtful adjustments. After all, our spaces might not cater to their unique needs by default. 

Ready to elevate your space for your little buddies? These four tips will cohesively blend pet-friendly features into your home’s design, creating happy humans and even happier pets.  

1. Understand Your Pet’s Needs 

Put yourself in their paws, fins, or wings! Every pet has its own wants and needs. Understanding these needs is the first step to designing a pet-friendly home.  

Species Matters  

Many dogs crave playtime and exploration, while cats yearn for high perches and the smallest nooks they can somehow squeeze themselves into. Rabbits require space to burrow and chew, while birds love stimulating toys and a safe flight zone. Tailoring your home to your pet's inherent instincts is important. Frustration and behavioral issues might arise if the animal is denied their natural impulses. So, research your pet's species-specific needs and incorporate elements that fulfill them. 

Life Stage Matters  

A playful puppy's needs differ vastly from a senior cat's. For example, pups might require puppy-proofed "quarantine zones" to prevent chewing mishaps, while older felines might appreciate ramps or lower perches for easy navigation. You know your pet's mobility and energy levels better than anyone but remember to consider potential sensory changes due to their age. Safety at home is the number one priority.

Consider Their Quirks  

Every pet comes with their own unique personality. It’s what makes them so special. Perhaps your dog has a penchant for digging holes in your backyard. Setting up a dedicated cleaning station near the door to the outside (more on that later) isn’t such a bad idea. Or maybe your parrot loves to watch and talk along with your TV. Test drive placing their cage or seat closer to the screen for their “Wheel of Fortune” viewing pleasure (in moderation). 

But don’t place your parrot’s cage by the living room window, as too much natural light can overheat the bird.

2. Lay the Foundation 

Creating a pet-friendly home isn't just about hitting up your local pet store and clearing out all their cute accessories; it's about building a solid foundation that caters to the animal's comfort, safety, and needs. 

Flooring for Happy Paws 

Wall-to-wall carpeting collects dirt, dander, and odors; it’s a breeding ground for nasty bacteria. Opt for scratch-resistant surfaces like hardwood, tile, or laminate instead. These floor types are easy to clean and maintain. 

Remember, area rugs can add warmth and comfort, but prioritize washable or easily replaceable materials. Don't forget smooth transitions between different flooring types to avoid slips and injuries, especially for your older pets. 

Strategic Storage Solutions 

Clutter can be overwhelming for both you and your pet. Utilize smart storage solutions to keep pet supplies organized and accessible while maintaining feng shui. Consider these ideas: 

  • Invest in covered baskets, bins, or ottomans with lids to store pet toys when they’re not in use.  

  • Utilize hooks, wall-mounted organizers, or floating drawers to store leashes, harnesses, and other pet gear. 

  • Transform your pet's crate into a multi-functional shelf, decluttering your living space and creating a beautiful focal point. Showcase books, photos, and more for a personalized touch. 

Choose Stain-Resistant Fabrics 

Silk, velvet, and velour are nice to the touch, but here’s the problem: our pets like them too. Probably a little too much. Crypton, made from a blend of cotton and polyester, is a synthetic fabric that's resistant to stains, smells, and random lick sessions.  

3. Create Cozy  

With a solid pet-friendly foundation in place, it’s time to move on to designing cozy corners for your pets to relax and recharge after a long day of chasing the delivery truck or laying on the bathroom’s cold tiles.  

Dining Area Makeover  

Place a non-slip, silicone mat under feeding and water bowels to catch spills and prevent unwanted movement. Speaking of your pets’ favorite bowls, choose those made of stainless steel or dishwasher-safe ceramic for resistance to scratches and stains.  

If you have the space, elevated pet feeders aid in safe digestion and reduce strain on the animal’s neck.

Rest and Relaxation Retreats  

Like us, our pets love to unwind and snooze in a place they call their own. Decorate their beds with machine-washable blankets, fabrics, and pillows – because, as you know pet parents, accidents can happen. But if your special friend can’t be alone for five minutes without tearing a fluffy blanket to pieces, a mat lined with poly-canvas cover is a safe, and cost-saving, alternative. 

And for optimal cleanliness, remember to vacuum your pet’s rest area regularly, especially if they shed often.  

Vertical Exploration  

Going up! Feline and other climbing-enthusiast companions can significantly benefit from having a way to release their inner Alex Honnold. Adding a tower with ascending platforms, cubbyholes, and shelves to a corner in your home is an excellent way for fleet-footed pets to burn off steam and observe their surroundings. 

Additionally, a wall-mounted hammock provides an additional napping spot for the more miniature creatures. Just be sure never to leave them alone when they’re inside. And a small-scale playground filled with swings, ladders, and foraging toys would be perfect for our feathered friends. 

4. Pair Convenience with Cleanliness 

As pet owners, we acutely recognize the challenges of maintaining a tidy and organized living space for our animals. But finding the right balance of convenience and cleanliness is doable! 

Easy Outdoor Access  

Most animals love the outdoors. It’s their favorite place to do their business...literally. If suitable for your pet and living situation, consider installing a “doggy door” for quick and independent potty breaks. These days, automated and electronic doggy doors have hit the market, giving you even more options to let your pet come and go as it pleases. Many models come with an app to lock your door from anywhere automatically, should they be spending a little too much time barking at the neighbor’s chihuahua.   

Set Up a Cleaning Station 

There’s nothing worse than seeing muddy prints tracked throughout your home after your pet tore up your garden or tried digging to the earth’s core by the shed. When such a situation occurs, a pet shower would be handy. A miniature shower complete with a shower handle, glass sliding door, and natural stone tile flooring, would be perfect for giving your pet a rinse, but not many of us can afford something so superfluous. 

Instead, a caddy stocked with biodegradable grooming wipes and odor neutralizers by the backyard door should do the trick on the mud caught on their feet. Speaking of mud... 


If you’d prefer to forego our cleaning station tip, mudrooms are an easy-to-do alternative. 

Mudrooms are a dedicated space, typically near your home’s main entrance, that serves as a buffer between the outdoors and your living areas. But it's more than just a drop zone for muddy boots; it's a buffer for your pets, too! You can keep your mudroom clean by waterproofing it as much as possible. Waterproof paint or sealant on nonporous surfaces can protect your floors from long-term damage. 

A mudroom will keep your home clean, your pets happy, and, most importantly, your sanity intact. 

What’s Next? 

Test out the tips above and spot the transformation in your pet’s happiness. And remember, creating a pet-friendly home is an ongoing process. Observe your pet's behavior daily and adapt small elements as needed. 

The ultimate goal is designing a space for your pets where they’ll feel loved, safe, and free to have the zoomies for the many years to come. Of course, the first step toward that goal is financing that dream home and mortgage combination (we can help with that)!