Are you building a home or renovating your existing home? Perhaps you have thought about where the kids will sleep, but what about your pets? There are a number of ways to consider your pets when planning a build of any kind that will both improve the life of your furry friend but also save you money in the long run and a lot of time and effort in maintaining the sheen of your newly built living area.
1. Choose your surfaces carefully
Consider the materials you use in your construction or renovations, especially in the areas you think your pets will most likely/often use.
Stain-resistant and odor-reducing paints are compulsory. Consider how your pet interacts with your home. If you want an untreated rough concrete wall to add drama to your home’s architecture, consider whether or not that wall will be covered in dog hair within a few days, and how easy it will be to clean it up.
2. A drying room for your dog
Throughout winter, your dog is going to get muddy and wet during those walks, so draw up plans for an area separated from main living areas in which you can easily clean your dog, dry them and leave them to be happy as they dry off completely. A walk-in shower is not only a great option for the humans in your home, but means that you can guide your dog in without having to get your hands muddy and shower them off quickly. The whole point is to get your pet as clean as possible as quickly as possible, without them getting their muddy paws on any other surface areas.
> Don’t forget to check out the top 15 apartment dogs too!
3. Build for an aging animal.
You may have plenty of years left in you, but your pet has a shorter lifespan (sorry to be the bearer of bad news), so consider the height of stairs and other access points that may become a problem to your pet in the future. Older dogs don’t display their pain obviously, so easing the pain they may feel as they get older is paramount.
4. Choose what’s underfoot
What kind of floor surfaces will you choose? Having a pet can influence some of your desires when building a home or making major renovations. Carpet is obviously something to consider harder when you have pets, but even your choice of timber is important for flooring. Choose hardwoods if you have dogs, as softer, high-gloss timber will reveal the scratches from their four paws very quickly, resulting in a need to sand back entire floors much more regularly than you would with hardwood flooring.
Remember what effect underfloor heating may have on the way a pet experiences your home. While you may find it nice to have a heated floor, will it be uncomfortable for an animal already cloaked in their own personal duffel coat?
5. What climate do you live in?
If you are living in a tropical climate, it is both beneficial to your energy bills and to your pet’s health that you incorporate passive design into your build/renovations. This means designing rooms structures and fenestration to work with the outside environment to create airflow and cool the home effectively. A good architect or designer will understand the principles of passive design, so make sure you bring this up in your initial conversations with them. The UK Energy Savings Trust surveyed pet owners and found 43% of respondents leave their heating on during the day for their pets, wasting hundreds of dollars a year. Your pets are well equipped to regulate their own temperatures, and heating is not only a waste but risks dehydrating them if used too much. The best thing you can do is make sure your home has good light and air flow.
6. Protective surfaces everywhere
This seems obvious, but it can be easy to go ahead with a style of carpet or furniture style without considering how these materials will last in a house that is home to a sometimes smelly, furry and dirty inhabitant. Look at stain resistant materials in your furniture and carpet, regardless of the cost, as having traditional materials or unprotected materials properly coated in an effective stain-resistant spray/solution can head into the hundreds of dollars.
7. Hide your access points
Now is your chance to hide that doggy door away from where guests can see and away from where you have to constantly listen to your pal come and go every minute of the day.