Pet ownership has been a steadily increasing trend in American households. In 2018, 60.2 million U.S. households owned dogs – a number that has since grown to nearly 70 million in 2022. It’s estimated that 90.5 million families in the United States own pets.
It’s no wonder that more renovations include purpose-built features to enhance the pet’s comfort. Better still, the trend is to incorporate pet-friendly elements without compromising style.
Some people choose to showcase features for Fido and Fluffy. Others prefer a more subtle aesthetic. Either way, pet-friendly home renovation has gone mainstream. Homeowners everywhere are now keeping their furry family members in mind when renovating and making home improvements.
Whether you’re updating your entire home or just the kitchen or living room, here are 5 pet-friendly home renovation ideas to include in your plan.
1. Feeding Stations
Most pet owners want their dogs and cats to eat in the kitchen along with everyone else. But kitchens are the busiest room in most homes, and it’s easy to bump into and knock over pet dishes. And, if your pets are messy eaters, spilled kibble, water, and wet food can be tracked through the kitchen.
To help keep the room clean and feeding time organized, a built-in feeding station is a great pet-friendly home renovation idea.
In the kitchen, it’s common to create a special feeding center under the cabinetry. It’s a simple solution that doesn’t use up extra floor space.
But feeding stations don’t have to be in the kitchen. Some people with large dogs or many pets create a small alcove off the kitchen. Add the convenience of shelves and drawers near the food dishes to keep food and other supplies organized.
If you want to go all out, add a water line and circulating pump to the feeding station. Your pets’ water dish then becomes a drinking fountain!
Mudrooms are an excellent idea that benefits humans as well as pets in the house.
Keep the size relative to the size of your family. The more kids (including grandkids) and dogs you have coming and going, the more you’ll appreciate a mudroom.
Traditionally, mudrooms were at the back or side doors of houses. But don’t let that stop you from building a mudroom if your front door is the most used entrance. It’s not difficult to create an attractive, useful mudroom that connects to a front foyer. With that design, you can have a more formal entrance and a convenient place to prepare for walks and wipe off muddy paws.
No matter the location or size of the mudroom, install a bench with storage drawers underneath. For full functionality, don’t skimp on details. Add hooks, which are great for leashes, coats, and wet towels. Use shelves for quick access to frequently used items like treats, poop bags, and toys.
3. Dog Washing Stations
The fastest-growing trend in pet-friendly home renovation is washing stations for dogs. Tired of hoisting their pets into bathtubs or laundry tubs, pet owners enjoy the ease of areas designed for dog washing.
Most look like a shower stall but half the height. But people with smaller breeds often opt for what looks like a sunken tiled tub at counter height.
Either way, washing stations are commonly equipped with hot and cold water, a spray nozzle, and a ledge or recessed shelf for shampoo and combs.
If you’re building a mudroom, consider including a washing station. But you can also add one to a ground-floor laundry room. In both houses and condos, putting a dog washing station in a bathroom is a popular option.
It doesn’t cost a lot to include a dog washing station in your renovation plan. Yet, anecdotal reports from realtors show you more than recoup your investment if you sell your home to another dog owner.
4. Built-In Beds
Many experts say that it’s important to give your dog a dedicated place to sleep. Some people use dog crates to give Fido his own place to sleep.
But crates aren’t always attractive. They can also take up a lot of space.
Instead, you can incorporate pet beds in shelves, cabinets, and other built-in features.
There are several advantages to this approach. You can give your pet their own space in as many rooms as you want without filling your home with crates. Both dogs and cats enjoy built-in beds. Plus, they allow you to be creative while showing off your love for your pets.
When designing built-in beds for your pets, follow a few simple guidelines to keep them safe and practical:
- Anchor the structure around and over the bed to the floor and/or wall
- Keep the opening at least two times the width and the standing height of your pet.
- Ensure the bottom material is sturdy and can support at least 1.5 times the weight of your pet
- Make access for cleaning easy with hinged front or top panels.
Also, try to place the built-in bed so that Fido or Fluffy can feel connected to the action in the room, even during nap time.
5. Cat Highways
Want to make your home a great place for your kitties to live without missing the outdoors? A cat highway is a pet-friendly home renovation idea for you.
Cats love to climb and jump. By adding walkways and perches in one or many rooms, your cat stays active, and you don’t lose floor space. In fact, you install a cat highway that higher than normal eye-level, keeping much wall space free for windows, art, or photographs.
You have a lot of flexibility when creating a cat highway. But there are a few elements you should incorporate to make it safe and appealing for kittens and senior cats alike.
Keep “on and off ramps” about two feet from the floor. Tables and upholstered chair backs work well, especially in rooms where space is limited. Pre-built kitty condo towers or scratching posts are other options. No matter what, make sure the “on and off ramps” can’t topple over.
- Unvarnished wood planks of various length and 8″-10″ wide
- Screws and anchors for securing planks to wall studs
- Durable pieces of carpeting for angled portions of the highway
You can use any wood, including, as long as it’s properly secured to the wall. Avoid using plastic because it’s slippery for walking and jumping.
Closing Thought About Pet-Friendly Home Renovation
Planning is an important part of any. It always starts with the desire to make your home better, more livable. So, if pets are an important part of your life, pet-friendly home renovation makes sense.
The ideas we’ve outlined here are only some of the ways to make your home more pet-friendly. The needs of your pets can also influence choices in materials used throughout your home.
Of course, when it comes to or show you how to keep both you and your pets happy. To discover all the options. Or, if you’ve already used bamboo in your pet-friendly home renovation, we’d love to see pictures of the results!
If you have to resist any questions, please contact us!
Last updated: 8/25/2022
About the Author
Jen is your go-to guru for crafting a cozy, green cocoon. 🪴 Her dive into sustainable building wasn’t just about saving the planet—it started as a mission to make family movie nights eco-friendly (and to ensure the popcorn was the only thing getting heated!). With a knack for breaking down the jargon, Jen turns eco-lingo into everyday language. Swing by the Green Living blog for a mix of earth-loving advice and home improvement hacks. Whether you’re just dipping your toes into green waters or you’ve been swimming in the deep end of DIY projects, Jen’s here to guide, giggle, and remind you that every eco-choice is a step towards a planet that thanks you… and maybe even sends a rainbow your way! 🌈