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How to Design Your Home To Be Pet-Friendly

If you're anything like us, our three dogs are very much loved members of our family! Just look at our first baby Kevin's face up there - even if they all can drive us crazy, they're still the cutest dogs in the world. Now that we're finally getting around to renovating our own house, I've started thinking through the small but effective changes we could incorporate into the house for long term pet maintenance.

After shopping around for a few things, I realized that after market pet accessories aren't always the most aesthetically pleasing (at least not the most functional versions of those accessories). If you're in the middle of the design process, or planning a renovation, scroll through for a few ideas that you can incorporate into a design from the beginning to make your life with pets much more organized and beautiful!

But first, a fabulous headshot of our boy Allen in the office on a recent visit. Such a good least for the photo!

Cute Dog Beds

You know we love a woven moment, and these dog beds definitely fit the bill! There are a few different colors and patterns to choose from as well, if you're looking for something bolder. This one is home to sweet Sky, one of our MND client doggies :) She even has a special MND pillow in her bed!

Built in Doggie doors

We design pocket and Dutch doors for spaces all the time - why not do it for our pets too?! The example above is a great option if you still need or want to keep eyes on your pets, but keep them in a specific area. The pocket door can then tuck right in to the wall and disappear completely when you don't need it.

Maybe a half Dutch door is more in line with the interior style of your home? This example also tucks away into the wall, but provides a solid half door if you don't need to see what's happening, or if you'd like to hide any kind of mess they've made while you were gone (been there, done that). This kind of door is also great if you're retrieving packages from the front door and you don't want them running out into the street in a split second.

Hidden Drawer Dog Bowls

I don't know about you, but I am over the constant water mess on the floor of the kitchen. I am 100% behind water bowls built into a lower drawer of a kitchen or mudroom, depending on your space, as well as a pot filler at that level so they can be filled on the spot really quickly!

Speaking of water, I would love to have a doggie bath area in a fully tiled mudroom as well. If the next house accommodates that, it's definitely happening!

Dedicated Food Pull Out Drawer

Are you sensing a theme here? No dragging of food bags from pantries or garages - I would love to have a large pull out drawer for dog food right next to food bowls as well.

Say hello to Caddy, AKA Bucks, another MND staff doggie! We have some great dog models on staff, right?


Stay away from rugs with loops to avoid doggie nails pulling them out. Polypropylene rugs clean up really well for the inevitable accident, and it's on the less expensive side. If you're looking to invest in a rug, 100% wool will clean up really well too.

Avoid viscose at all costs - pets or no pets! Any liquid, even water, will mess with the texture of the rug and leave watermarks!

Upholstery Fabrics

We always only recommend performance grade fabric if you have pets, but I will admit we still use blankets over the sofas where Kevin, Dexter, and Allen like to sit day in and day out. I also still wanted white sofas, so that's on me! I will say the white fabric can be still be cleaned and look fantastic, but cleaning it has to be factored into our schedule so it gets done before any guest arrive!

The bottom line for all of these ideas is to pay attention to your pain points throughout a normal day at home - where can I make a daily chore a little easier? Built-in storage can be made for any purpose, so why not factor in pet-specific needs? Custom design truly is meant to be custom, so embrace the habits you have and look for ways to make these daily interactions better. Have you incorporated anything pet specific into your home that we haven't mentioned? Leave a comment below - I know I'm always looking for ways to add thoughtful, pet specific details when it's appropriate!



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