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As a homeowner with beloved furry family members, you might think the best home upgrade for your pet is a doggy door. But think again!
Today, pet owners have gotten genuinely creative, maybe even eccentric, with countless options to create personalized spaces and to bring ultimate comfort and style to their home.
From super practical to downright elaborate, here are some of the eight best home upgrades for pet-friendly households.
1. Pet-Friendly Materials
When upgrading a home with pets, it’s crucial to think about the materials. You want materials that are easy to clean, highly durable and are guaranteed to withstand the test of hard nails, muddy feet and any other mischief in which pets find themselves.
Available are countless pet-friendly flooring options. For example, it’s much easier to clean hardwood floors and luxury vinyl tiles than it is carpet. Waterproof flooring is an excellent flooring for pets, as it protects from accidents and spilled water bowls. And when it comes to wood flooring, darker woods may easily reveal scratches, whereas lighter wood tones conceal.
When a softer carpet is preferred, it can add warmth and a soft underfoot. But it can also conceal pet fur. These days, carpet can also be quite stain-resistant as well as non-toxic and allergen-free.
Besides a flooring’s style and materials, another excellent home upgrade for a pet-friendly household is radiant floors or heated floors. This is especially nice for senior pets with arthritis or cats who prefer a “sunny spot” to follow wherever they choose.
2. Concealed Crates and Litter Boxes
Oftentimes, metal and wire dog crates and plastic litter boxes become an afterthought, placed in the corner of a room, behind a chair out of view.
Disguise these eyesores by tucking beneath an awkward, space-wasting stairwell or inside a rarely used coat closet. Not only does this remove these unsightly pet accessories from view, but it blends with the rest of your home’s style as one cohesive design.
3. Elaborate Built-in Beds
You can also create built-in beds to give them a personal space that’s not necessarily a concealed crate or litter box.
As owners of large dogs know, they’re quite capable of dragging cushioned beds wherever they choose to be, even if it’s at your feet. Instead of allowing a transportable main bed, build a built-in respite where they can go and feel safe.
Cats love a simple cardboard box any day of the week. So why not give felines their own secluded, built-in box inside a vanity or breakfast nook bench. This allows them to curl up as tight and confined as they wish in their own quiet escape pod.
4. Hideaway Toy Chest
When you love your pets, you shower them with endless squeaky toys and catnip mice. But like having kids, these toys seem to make it everywhere, often scattered across the floor and tucked beneath the bed duvet. While you can’t ask your fur kids to clean up their room, you can add a toy chest, say, beneath a window bench. This should, at least, keep things tidy.
5. Feeding Drawer
A built-in feeding station isn’t the only way to personalize their space. To keep kitchens looking polished and tidy, a built-in feeding station is a must for pet-friendly households. Retrofit a built-in at the end of a kitchen island or even as the lowest pull-out drawer to rest their bowls. Even if you opt for a visible built-in feeding station, you could still use a drawer or cabinet to conceal food bins.
Having a built-in feeding station also allows you to have elevated bowls, which aids in the healthy digestion of certain dog breeds. This upgrade will also prevent clumsier pets (and people) from kicking and spilling water bowls.
6. Bathing and Grooming Station
Mudrooms make excellent entryways. They act as a catch-all for wet umbrellas and muddy boots. They can also be used to confine and clean a dirty dog after a day at the park.
If a mudroom has space, you can renovate it with an open-concept shower to be able to wrangle your dogs as confidently as groomers. With a dedicated wash station, install a low-mounted, handheld showerhead and a large drain that can take pet hair.
Alternatively, if you lack a dedicated mudroom, simply remodel a downstairs bathroom with a multi-purpose walk-in shower. Doing so will allow you to take a muddy pup straight to the wash and rinse paws before tracking prints through the house.
A mudroom, downstairs bath or half bath are also great locations for concealing built-in cat litter boxes.
7. Outdoor “Catio” Enclosures
Unlike dogs, you’d be lucky (read: blessed) to convince a cat to wear a halter or leash and stake a stroll outdoors. But if you’re a cat owner who lives in traffic-congested cities or rural countryside with larger animals, you may not want them roaming freely outside either.
So, unfortunately, most indoor cats don’t get the same healthy fresh air and stimulation. However, there is one home upgrade that would have your cat purring.
Dubbed a “catio” for cat patio, felines can catch some sunny rays outdoors in a personal playground, while staying safely close to home. In addition, it offers an amazing space to build a labyrinth for them to explore.
8. Catwalks and Perches
If you don’t have yard space or are a city dweller, you can create this exploratory space indoors as well.
Any cat owner knows that our feline pets love narrow paths and high perches. For households with cats, one way to create a fun and engaging space is to install a wall-mounted, jungle-like path with walkways, ramps and tunnels.
What Upgrade Would Your Pet Prefer?
If you already plan on remodeling, or just want to pamper your pet completely, consider which upgrade your pet could use or need.
For some, pets are considered part of the family. We want them to live their absolute very best lives. And even if it’s considered spoiled, so be it. Which “begs” the question: What upgrade would your pet prefer?