Every dog parent has to consider the spaces that will be
designated for their furry friends. As a member of the family, your dog needs their
own space to eat, sleep, and play in their new surroundings. While portable pens, wire crates, and floor mats will
do the trick, many pet parents have found creative ways to style their home
around their fur babies.
Just like many dog owners, I’ve also faced the challenge of
creating spaces that are both functional and comfortable for my pup while still
fitting my style. It takes some time, planning, and creativity, but by the end
your pooch will be pleased. Here are some simple ideas to get you started.
For pups too small to jump onto the human furniture, or any
aging pups, it can be a struggle to get to their favorite spot: Close to their
humans. A creative solution to help your dog climb up onto the couch or the bed
is utilizing mini furniture. These pieces are often easy to find or you can
build on your own, and honestly they’re just downright adorable.
If you have a very specific style, think about a small-scale
version of your couch or armchair that can be used as a stepstool for your pup.
If you have a more eclectic taste, consider mixing and matching colors and
textures to liven up the room. Keep the color scheme cohesive, and for any
furniture item that your pet will be using often, I recommend choosing a color
similar to their fur if they shed frequently.
Homeowners who want to maximize space may consider fold-out
and rollaway dog beds. Fold-out beds come as part of a shelving unit or are built
into the wall. Attached on one side by hinges, these can easily be pulled away
from the wall for bedtime, and then folded back up and stowed away when not in
Similarly, some homeowners have utilized rollaway storage
for holding their dog’s bed. When company comes to visit, or if you simply want
to stow during the day, simply slide the rollaway back under your bed or
bedroom furniture until next use. The visible part of the rollaway could be
painted or displayed as part of your room décor.
If your dog likes to be in the kitchen when you cook, but tends
to be underfoot, consider renovating a few of your lower cabinets into a fenced
in hideaway for your pup. Some dog owners will take the doors off cabinets and
remove the shelving, then replace the outside with a wire mesh or metal
framework that serves as both a wall and a window for your pup to see out.
These allow your pup to keep near you and watch you prepare dinner without being
a tripping hazard.
Dog Room Under the Stairs
As den animals, dogs have a desire to find small,
comfortable spaces that make them feel secure – they will often find solace in
a quiet, calming, enclosed area. Some dog owners have found the small broom
closet under the stairwell to be the perfect spot for a renovated dog den.
Of course, not all dogs will be interested in this idea. If
you know that your dog will become anxious if their line of sight out of the
den is blocked, you could take the door off of the space and replace it with a
wire or metal door that is both chic and functional. You can dress up the area
inside for your pup with his favorite blanket, toys, or his bed. This will
easily become his favorite spot in no time!
Separate Bath Tub
No pet owner really wants to have a dirty puppy jumping
right onto the couch after a morning walk in the rain. To prevent this, install
a small mud room in the guest bathroom or laundry area. Build a small version
of a shower stall with a hose in the bathroom using tile that matches your color
scheme. If you really want to get crazy with it, you can even train your pooch
to go to the shower and get a rinse off after they come inside, which would
protect your other furniture and preserve your energy that would otherwise be
spent cleaning up muddy paw prints.
Pet owners have also installed these mud rooms in their
laundry areas to allow for easy access to clean towels to dry off your puppy,
as well as a quick clean up. This makes for an easy one-stop shop when it comes
to your pup’s bath time!
Fancy Feeding Station
To all the proud pup parents of the messy eaters: We see you
cleaning up after your four-legged children as they splatter and spill their
water and food bowls, then immediately look up at you with their sweet puppy
eyes and ask for more. This one is for you.
Many pet owners have found creative ways to build their dog’s
food and water bowl into their existing cabinet structure. Think about using
the bottom drawer as a place to permanently install your dog’s food and water bowls;
when it is time to eat, you simply pull out the drawer, and then tuck it away
after. This gives less opportunity for your pup to spill over his food bowl (whether
it be accidental or intentional).
If you have a kitchen island with cabinets, consider
renovating one side by taking out the cabinets and using the base to install a
food and water stand. This gives an open air feel to the kitchen and allows
your pup to graze throughout the day.
Build Your Pup’s Dream Home!
You love your dog as a part of the family; in return for his
unconditional love and companionship, he deserves a home built with him in
mind. With a little research, time, and planning, you can design your interior
space to meet your dog’s needs while adding to your home style aesthetic.
Melanie Theriault is a writer, counselor, and lifelong learner. She holds a B.A. in Sociology from Southwestern University, where she discovered her passion for fostering human connection through storytelling.