We’re a nation of pet lovers – according to the Pet Food Manufacturers’ Association’s Pet Population report – over 12 million of us have pets! National Pet Month has recently finished, so we’ve put together the best pet-friendly home designs – clever ideas to make your home a haven for both you and your pet.
Customised dining areas
It can be tricky to keep feeding areas clean and tidy, especially if you have a small kitchen space or a number of hungry pets. Why not customise your kitchen cabinet to include a draw with built-in bowls? Simply pull them out when it’s dinner time and store them away when they’re done! A carpenter can help you re-design your cabinets to incorporate food and treat drawers, or even a drinking station.
Noticed any wasted space around your home? It’s easy to get creative and turn those unused areas into pet-friendly nooks, especially in rooms where they love spending time with you. There’s often space to be found under coffee tables, under the stairs or in an empty draw that could be transformed into a den or bed for your dog or cat. If you have a smaller pet, such as a rabbit or guinea pig – that likes to sleep in the dark, think about cupboards and drawers that can be repurposed into cosy and secure sleeping quarters.
As all pet-owners know, there are some fabrics and materials that fare better than others around their pets. If you’re planning on re-fitting floors, stone or ceramic tiles are the easiest to clean and help to keep pets cool when the weather is warm. Laminate or vinyl flooring is also easy to clean and less likely to stain. Although carpets are best to avoid, they can absorb sound – which is a benefit if your pets are noisy – plus they can be a great surface for naps. Go for a darker neutral low pile carpet – one that has shorter fibres and tighter fabric loops. It will be easier to vacuum and trap less allergens, such as dust and pet hair.
Imaginative play and sleeping zones
Play zones and pet-friendly architecture can be both stylish and fun, and like a den, take advantage of any unused or wasted space. Cats in particular like to climb high, so if you have tall ceilings it’s easy to utilise this space and create an indoor adventure playground. Some pets will want to sleep in your bed or bedroom, so find a compromise with a raised bed – accessible via a ramp – positioned at the end of side of your bed.
Clever cleaning stations
After a long soggy walk in the rain, owners and dogs alike will dread the post-walk clean. If you’re fed up of muddy paws walking through the house, install a cleaning station inside your utility room, kitchen or downstairs bathroom. A bathroom fitter can help with a custom dog-friendly design that includes anti-slip flooring and grouting, plus a hand-held shower head for easy cleaning.