How to Design a Home Around Your Pet

Dogs are man’s best friend – and so are cats, fish, birds and bunnies. That’s why it’s important to allow them complete safety and comfort in their new digs by creating a pet-friendly home that considers their particular needs.

With over half of households having pets living in them, animals shouldn’t be an afterthought when it comes to designing the home. Check out our top tips for planning a home that’s designed with your furry, feathered and finned friends in mind.

1. Choose the right materials to accommodate your animals

Hard Surfaced Floors
If you’re planning on moving in with pets, hard surface floors are the way to go. Hardwood floors are simple to mop or vacuum and ceramic tile is toenail-proof and resistant to any type of stain trail your pet may leave in its wake. However, keep in mind that large dogs can scratch wood if you opt for hardwood floors.

When designing your home with the pet in mind, remember that bare doesn’t have to be boring. Hardwood floors add a warm glow to a room and tile offers a sleek and elegant look that will keep your home looking modern and new for years to come.

Make sure to stay away from porous materials like marble or other natural stones, since acids present in some pet messes can stain them. Carpet is also not the best choice as it absorbs odors, traps pet hair and soaks up inevitable pet-related stains like a sponge.

Stain Resistant Fabrics & Wall Paint
Let’s face it: your pet is going to leave smudges on your walls no matter how regularly they’re washed. Flat-finished paint is nearly impossible to clean and when you try to wipe off a dirty spot some of the paint can come off as well. Semi gloss is the least difficult paint to wipe down with satin or eggshell finishes the most elegant and easy to clean.

When it comes to choosing fabrics, you’ll want a nearly indestructible material that’s resistant to stains, smells, bacteria and muddy paws. To achieve this, a fabric such as leather/pleather is the most durable and easy to clean or Ultrasuede which is machine-washable and offers your pet the comfort they crave.

Match Carpet & Upholstery to Fur Colour
Draw inspiration from your pet when choosing the colour scheme for your home. For example, paint a concrete floor the same shade of grey as your cat or cover your sofa in a honey microfiber that matches your golden retriever. That way, hair they leave behind won’t be as visible.

While white walls can give your home a fresh feel, painting them this colour isn’t the brightest idea when pets are around. But don’t feel limited – this will force you to be more creative and daring when choosing colours.

2. Set up an animal friendly area

Establish Pet-Friendly Zones in the Home
When establishing the layout of your house, you need to consider your pet’s lifestyle. Will your dog or cat need to go between indoors and outdoors? If so, you’ll need to make sure there’s an easily accessible area they can came back in through. So why not create a designated space for them like a mudroom that opens onto the backyard? This is the perfect place for them to get the dirt off before they come back inside – not to mention it will save you time and effort when cleaning!

Don’t Forget Outside
Ever heard of petscaping? While this may be a made-up word, the need to protect your pet from the outdoor elements is real. Firstly, you’ll need to identify any toxic plants in your landscape. Check out the RSPCA website for an information on the type of plants that are hazardous to your pets. Secondly, you’ll need to determine whether you’ll have to build or add structures such as fences to ensure your pet stays in and uninvited guests stay out.