InspirationInterior design

A guide to dog-friendly interior design

Picture of a living room with a doggy bed and pillows

Dog-proofing your home can sometimes result in your once-beautiful décor and design features having to take a back seat. They don’t have to though! Whether you already have a dog, or are preparing to welcome a new furry friend, there are several ways you can make your home’s interior design more dog-friendly without sacrificing on style.

For advice on creating a stylish and pet-friendly home both you and your dog will love, keep reading!

How to dog-proof your home

Picture of a dog in doggy bed with toys

The needs of a pet dog will depend on its breed and age, but there are also some general consistencies. They need space to play, rest and go to the toilet. If those needs aren’t met, you’re at risk of having a messy and destructive dog. To properly dog-proof your home, you might want to consider:

1. Cabinets instead of open shelves

If you have floor-standing shelving units in your living room, replacing them with cabinets that have closable doors is a great way to prevent any precious belongings from being snaffled. You can either buy cabinets to fit your space, or build fitted cupboards instead.  

2. Opt for hanging plants instead of plants on the floor

Whilst house plants can look amazing, many varieties can actually be harmful to dogs. So if you have any on the floor, or at a low level, install some hooks in the ceiling and swap to hanging plants instead – this means you can still enjoy your greenery, safe in the knowledge that your dog can’t get to the plants. 

3. Choose wipeable paint

It’s inevitable that you’re going to have to do some cleaning up after your dog, especially after a muddy walk. Consider giving your rooms a freshen up with some wipeable paint, so you’ll be able to easily wipe down the walls and make the place look as good as new in no time. 

Picture of a family playing with a dog in a garden

4. Install wall shelving

If you have books on the coffee table, or anything else that’s at grabbable height, fitting shelves to walls is a good solution for keeping your personal design features out of reach, without needing to take them out of the room altogether. Just make sure they’re not above sofas where your dog could gain some extra height. 

5. Use cable protectors and build storage to safely house wires

It’s really important to make sure that electrical wires near TV units, side tables or working areas are kept hidden. Placing cables behind cabinets and big pieces of furniture will ensure they can’t be accessed and chewed. For anything that can’t be hidden, cable protectors (that encase the wire) will keep your dog safe. You can also consider getting some bespoke units built in keeping with your interior style to help conceal wires and plug sockets from curious dogs.  

Dachshund asleep in basket

Dog-friendly interior design

Once you’ve dog-proofed your home, you can start thinking about dog-friendly interior design choices. The below are a few ideas to get you started…

Design a luxury dog room or nook

Picture of two dogs with little teepee

There are plenty of dog bedroom ideas to create a space your pet dog loves. You can fill it with engaging toys, a soft bed and an automatic feeder. Give them extra freedom by situating the room on the ground floor with access to a door that can be automated to let them out into the garden.

If you don’t have space for a whole dog room, what about a dog nook? You could go open plan and create a nook in your home where your dog bed, feeder and toys are stored. This could allow you to keep everything organised without taking up too much space. Not all dogs (especially smaller breeds) need a separate kennel. A luxury dog bed in a quiet doggy rest area is perfect for them. Creating multi-functional spaces like this are a popular home improvement project.

Build a bespoke, fitted dog crate

Picture of two wooden dog kennels with dog food bowls

Having a place for your dog to sleep and relax is important so they can feel safe within the home. A great alternative to large metal dog crates that stick out, and big fluffy beds on the floor, is to get a local carpenter to create an in-built, wooden dog crate instead. This can be painted to match the interior’s colour scheme, and if you have un-utilised space such as under the stairs, it can seamlessly slot in and not stick out into your room. Depending on the space that’s available, you could also plan for shelves above it, to store dog toys and equipment.  

You could also opt for an outdoor bespoke wooden kennel. It gives your dog the freedom to explore outside while still having shelter in bad weather or when they just want a rest. Cabinet or under-stair kennels work just as well at giving your dog their own space.

To start your bespoke dog crate or kennel transformation, find a carpenter on Rated People.


Match pet gates to your colour scheme

Picture of a dog behind white wooden gate bars

Baby and pet gates are a great way to keep your dog confined to a safe area of the house where you’re happy for them to roam around and explore, and it helps to keep the rest of your home clean and free from potential accidents or destruction. 

Whilst the design and colour of some baby and dog gates might feel a little out of place in your home, you can always opt for wooden gates, and paint them a similar colour to the room, to help them blend in more easily.

Alternatively, if you find your dog is prone to chewing or scratching, then opting for a metal pet gate is a better idea. Whilst they might not be able to blend in as well as wooden pet gates, picking one in a darker hue such as black, can make it look a little more expensive and stylish.  

Picture of a labrador on a carpet in a living room

From a whole room to just a nook, there are lots of ways you can make your new dog feel at home. When you’re ready to make your home dog-friendly, post a job on Rated People to receive the support of expert tradespeople.


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