Dog is mans best friend, a relationship that spans back to the beginning of time. Today, our relationship with dogs has evolved to where the dog is as much a part of our home and family as our children or parents. Simply put, your home belongs to your dog as much as it does to you. By making a few changes to the house with these dog friendly home ideas, your life will be much easier and you’ll give pleasure not only to your dog but to the rest of your family.
Your dog is a part of your family. Why wouldn’t you make it comfortable for them? We’ve put together a collection of ten of the best dog friendly home ideas for you and your pooch.
There’s no denying it – dogs ARE tough on floors. Paw marks and scratches are an unavoidable part of life. While tiles are scratch resistant and easy to clean, no one wants their entire house to be tiled!
Hardwood flooring is a great option, standing up to repeated use and it’s also easy to clean. Avoid soft wood at all costs – it dents easily. Don’t over polish or wax your floors as dogs don’t like slippery surfaces.
It’s also dangerous if they slip and crash into furniture causing damage. No one wants an expensive vet bill or to see their doggy harmed. Carpet is also out, it traps dirt, fur and that ‘dog smell’. Who wants to spend all their free time vacuuming to keep clean carpet or having to hire professional carpet cleaners on a regular basis.
Having a gravel walkway leading up to your home’s entrance is a fabulous dog friendly home idea as your dog can scrub dirt and mud off their paws before they enter your home. While fine gravel is great, avoid superfine gravel as the small stones will get trapped in your dogs paws. If gravel is out, a hard stone or concrete walkway is the next best thing as it will help to get rid of accumulated dirt without having to teach your dog to wipe their paws on the welcome mat!
If you have a secure back or front yard where your dog is allowed free access, installing a doggy door will give them the freedom to ‘to and fro’ without requiring you to act as a manservant for them by constantly opening and shutting doors. It also means you can allow your dog free reign of your property while still keeping the kids inside (or out!).
If you’re getting a puppy, then that’s the best time to train a dog to use a doggy door but remember to make sure its big enough for when they grow up.
Most doggy doors have a flap your dog can push through, but getting one with an extra lockable wooden flap will stop your dog from leaving the house when he’s not allowed, and can keep other animals from getting in when the house is vacant.
Dogs adore a comfy chair or couch just as much as you do. If you’re willing to let your pet pooch climb onto your furniture, then ensure its pet proof. Stay away from white or light coloured upholstery. Leather is a good option. It won’t absorb stains and can be quickly wiped clean and won’t absorb dog odours.
Ensure that whatever material you decide to use doesn’t have a rough finish as the dogs claws can catch in the fabric making it tear or puncture. Using a slipcover is a practical option as they can be easily changed and washed. Keep wiring and cords out of sight as they’re safety hazards and young puppies love to chew on them.
A dog bed isn’t just another dog friendly home idea. It’s a place to sleep and dream of chasing your cat. It’s a place where you dog can go to hang out and will make your dog feel secure and ‘at home’. The more your dog gets used to using their dog bed the better as it limits the places that hair and dirt are left, keeping your home cleaner. Even the cleanest of dogs leave behind that ‘doggy smell’ so make sure cushions, blankets and play things around the dogs bed are all easily washable.
Dogs aren’t the most refined of dinner guests. They’ll splash water and drop food. It’s a good idea to designate a fixed area to feed in, to limit the mess to a small area. If this area is tiled, then cleaning up after your dogs breakfast (or dinner) will be a breeze.
If your dog is a small breed, or elderly, then think about how difficult it may be for them to access places around your home. Climbing stairs can be a problem if the stair is taller than your doggy. Try to keep his living areas on the one level so there’s no injury or discomfort. Ramps and ministeps will allow your dog to get on and off furniture that he’s permitted to use.
Big dogs slobber – a LOT. This delightful drool doesn’t just drop to the floor in discreet puddles. It can go everywhere as your dog shakes it off their face onto the walls and furniture. Rough paint and wallpaper tend to trap the drool. They can be difficult to wipe up and may not be damp resistant.
Hire a painter who will use smooth paint on the walls which is easy to wipe down and won’t absorb any stains.
Tissues and paw wipes should also be kept nearby to wipe any dirt off your dogs coat after a walk.
Keeping some towels to dry him off will prevent wet patches from appearing around the house.
Dogs have a special ability to attune themselves to the moods of their owners. A tense home will make your pet uneasy. Make an effort to have a peaceful home that your dog is a part of. Not only will your dog benefit, but so will the friends and family who live there or visit too!
Making a few modifications to your home is a small gesture towards repaying the joy and happiness your pet brings.
If you’ve got specific issues that need attending to, or need the modifications to be done professionally then post a job specifying you’re looking for a tradesperson experienced in dog friendly home renovations who can provide you with information and expertise to ensure the best outcome for your pooch.