I was recently at a home in which the owners included their pets in the design. This made me start thinking of all the different concepts for including your pets if you are designing and building your home. Pets are so important to many of us. So let’s talk about some things to consider based on some of the pets you have.
Starting with having a dog, there are many things to consider here. Like most of us, I bet your dog stays indoors most of the time. First off, if you live in the country, carpet just does not work with or without a pet most of the time. Those stickers love to come in on our shoes or your pets’ fur. Think about going all tile or concrete on your floors. Carpet might be ok in the bedrooms if you prefer carpet. Carpet does help with warmth. Getting past the flooring, think about how you are designing your utility room. The utility room is the key for many things. I would highly recommend a utility room/mud room at a door coming from outside to inside your home. At this point you can take your shoes off and tend to your pets. Start by having a place to hang the leash when you come in. A new trend is to have a dog wash area. This wash area can even come in handy for washing your muddy feet or boots. In the wash area, have a rack for the dog shampoo and some towels. You also might want to set up a feeding area here too. Include an area to store the dog food and treats. This area can be the feeding area too. I’ve seen some designs with built-in cubby holes for putting a dog bed in the family area. Don’t forget to put a cozy pillow on those hard floors for your dog. You might want a doggie door for going outside, depending on your dog and area.
Now let’s talk about your cat. There are many things to consider here too. The big question, where to put the cat litter box? So many people just stick them in the bathroom. Think how a guest might feel if they have to share the bathroom with the cat. You might want to consider the utility room once again for adding a special area to set the cat litter box in. When designing the cabinets, leave a cut-out under one of them, allowing enough room for those cat litter boxes that have a cover. This will be out of the way and secluded enough for your kitty. Include an area to store the cat food and litter in the utility room. If you set up a feeding area, make sure it is not next to the cat box. One other thing you can think about for a cat is a cat door to the outside or to an outdoor enclosed house. These enclosed houses are kinda popular too. They do not allow your cat to roam but feel the outdoors. They can be built to look like an extension of your home. Adding an indoor cat tree or condo is another touch you might want to add. One can be built in a room. You can really go all out on cat trees and walkways, depending on how big a cat lover you are.
Let’s talk birds now. There are the small birds, and there are the big birds. Most people just keep the small birds in a cage and never let them out. However, some folks with big birds need to plan their house to accommodate a big bird that gets out of the cage. I’ve seen several houses that the owners have a room for their birds or a big porch to roll them out on. Let’s talk about having a house that you want to let your big bird live in. First off, do you want a separate room for them? If so, design the room to be safe for them. You might want it to have lots of windows, large enough to hold big cages, no ceiling fans, and dark enough to sleep when needed. For flooring, no carpet if they fly around. You might want to have certain rooms with a type of bird stand so they can perch while you are in that room. Most large birds enjoy a lot of human contact, so plan your rooms to include them. You might want to exclude ceiling fans all together if they are allowed to fly around the house. If you want a screen porch and the birds will go on it, find a material strong enough to hold them, because they can tear right through normal screen.
There are many other pets to think about. These are the most common. Just like having a house safe and secure for kids, you need to do the same for your pets. It is easy to design and include these ideas for your pets. Talk to your designer or builder about other ideas for your pets.
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