According to recent statistics about 67% of U.S. households own a pet – that’s around 85 million homes! It’s no secret that we love our furry family members. In fact, a 2017 study found that 33% of Millennial home buyers were looking to purchase a home because they already owned a dog, or were planning to add one to their family. This outranked marriage (at 25%) and children (at 19%) as the main reason these home shoppers were looking to buy.
It’s not that surprising then, that home design for pets has become a thriving industry. From numerous pet-decor themed Pinterest boards, to best selling books on “Catification”, home owners are considering their pets when designing and remodeling their homes. If you’d like to make your home a little more pet friendly, check out some of these ideas.
Pet Friendly and Low Maintenance Surfaces...
Pets can be hard on home interiors if they’re not tough enough to stand up to claws… and the occasional accident. Typically, flooring is the area where pets can cause the most damage. Carpet wears and stains easily, plus it can trap odors and bacteria. Traditional hardwoods are beautiful, but are also easily scratched and don’t stand up to moisture well.
Newer flooring options are available that offer style and durability. Consider an engineered hard wood with a high durability rating or, for a more eco-friendly option, a high durability rated bamboo. These will resist scratches and are easy to keep clean. Tile is another great option, just make sure it is a slip resistant style. Tile can be a bit chilly in our climate, but the addition of in-floor heat can make it a more comfortable option for you and your pets. If you’re looking for something more economical, check out some of the luxury vinyl plank floors that offer the look of wood or tile, with the lower cost and near indestructibility of vinyl.
In addition to tougher flooring, there are high durability interior paints available that can make clean up from pets (and kids!) a snap on walls. Also avoid highly textured walls that can make dirt and hair tougher to eliminate.
Built-Ins Aren't Just For Your Books...
Sometimes it can feel like your pet’s “stuff” is overtaking our home, or clashing with the interior design you’re going for. Whether you need to hide a dog crate, or want a cat “tree” that isn’t made from carpet covered two-by-fours and cement forms, you have options.
To accommodate food and pet bowls, consider a built in drawer or cupboard that can easily store their food and house their bowls. Check out this article from Houzz for inspiration. There are also pre-made furniture pieces that are designed to do the same, that can fit with any decor in any room you choose.
Have a young puppy, or otherwise mischievous dog in your home that still needs to be crated? If you don’t like the look of a traditional wire or plastic dog crate taking up space in your home, opt for an end or console table that does double duty – with a comfy crate built in as a safe space for your pupper. Speaking of things you’d like to hide… there are even furniture pieces designed to hide your cat’s litter box!
Anyone that knows cats, will know that they like to “perch” in high places. Traditional cat trees can be a little cumbersome and, honestly, not that eye-catching. Fortunately, there are functional, feline approved, and visually appeasing options no matter what your taste is. From sleek, modern, geometric structures, to trees that are actually made from fallen trees, you’re sure to be able to find something that suits your home. If trees aren’t your feline friend’s cup of catnip, there are also “cat shelves” that are meant for your cat to explore on vertically, while appearing to be simple floating shelves on your wall.
Give Them Their Own Space...
For some people, designing their home around their pets isn’t enough. Instead, they opt to design part of their home for their pets. With options like custom puppy playrooms, walk-in dog showers, “catios”, and actual pet furniture (tiny dog couches anyone?) there are numerous ways that you can enrich your pet’s home environment.
Jackson Galaxy, a renowned cat behavior specialist, promotes the idea of the “catio” as an ideal option for cat owners who want to give their little hunters the enrichment of being outdoors, without any risk from busy streets or predators. Essentially an enclosed patio or screen porch (you can share the space too) these spaces provide cats with a safe and secure way to enjoy being outside.
Some dog owners who spend their days away from home want to make sure their “fur-kid” isn’t spending their day I boredom, waiting for them to return. A dog play room can create a secure space for them to play, watch “dog tv” (it’s a thing!), and thanks to new technology, you can even check in on your dog via video chat from your phone and have the device on their end dispense a treat.
However you choose to spoil your furry family members, know that you are not alone. Last year alone, it is estimated that Americans spent over 75 BILLION dollars on their pets and that number is expected to climb each year. So don’t worry about being the “crazy cat lady”… go ahead and splurge on a custom designed catio for your cat this spring!