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Tips On How To Design A Home With Dogs In Mind

Interior Design & Decor

Designing A Dog-Friendly Home - Who Let The Dogs IN?

As pet owners, we strive to provide only the best for our furry and non-furry friends. We pamper our companions with decadent treats and spoil them with our undivided attention. And we adore them as though they are part of our own family.

Thus, it’s no surprise that a majority of homeowners prefer to have their pets living with them in the house. In particular, dog owners have long had this conundrum weighing on their conscience.


Image via pethealthnetwork.com

Do I leave my buddy outside in the blazing hot sun or cold rain? I don’t have a yard, will keeping my dog inside be a problem? Or will my canine companion destroy my living room while I’m at work?


Image via housebeautiful.com

Instead of banishing your furry friend to the yard, we’d suggest decorating your living spaces with your dogs’ needs in mind. Dog-friendly, more specifically pet-friendly decorating has become a full-blown trend in recent memory.  

Home furnishing for dogs come in almost any colour, sizes, and styles. From covert to chic style, you’ll be spoilt for choice. Though, it’s up to you to keep Fido house-trained.

In this article, we’ve compiled tips on how to design your home to accommodate living with your canine compatriots.

The Basics Of A Dog-Friendly Home


Image via topdogtips.com

This doesn’t only apply to dogs but to all pets in general. Similar to how you’d baby-proof a home, dog owners should take precautions to ensure the comfort of any four-legged family members. Comfort aside, these steps are also to ensure that your dogs will not go about destroying your home.

To that end, there are a number of basic things to look at when designing a home with dogs in mind.

Durable Flooring For Your Active Dogs


Images via carpetsandbeds.com, animalwellnessmagazine.com, effectcup.com

On top of our list, durable flooring is an absolute necessity when you have dogs in the house.

We’d suggest opting for hard surfaces such as bare flooring. But do not misunderstand, “bare” doesn’t mean it has to be boring. Painted concrete can look great, with the added advantage of being durable. And brick or terrazzo will work just as well. Moreover, concrete flooring is also cooler during hot weather, which is a boon to our furry buddies.


Image via citymag.co

Hardwood flooring is also a great option for your dog-friendly home. Hardwood flooring such as laminate and oak are easy to clean up and add a warm glow to a room. Though, we’d remind you that they’re susceptible to scratching and stains if not treated properly.  


Image via builddirect.com

Alternatively, ceramic tile is also an excellent choice of flooring. It’s easy to clean and is resistant to any stains your dogs can dish out. Ceramic tiles are also toe-nail proof, and it makes a room look sleek and elegant. Similar to bare flooring, ceramic tiles also offer furry dogs a cool place to nap on.

However, we’d suggest avoiding porous materials such as marble and natural stones. Reason being, they aren’t as pet-proof as other hard surfaces.


Image via k9ofmine.com

Bonus Tip: Slip-proof rugs are a great addition to any room frequented by your dogs. They look great and will protect your hardwood floors from scratches.

Carpets In A House With Dogs: Yay or Nay?


Images via mashable.com, hgtv.com, k9ofmine.com

While we’re on the subject of rugs, we’d recommend skipping wall-to-wall carpeting if you want your dogs in the house. Carpets are generally a bad idea as they absorb odours, trap pet hair, and soak up stains like a sponge. Plus, dogs can easily destroy and unravel your precious carpets while they move about.

On the flip side, having some carpeting at home can also be beneficial to your pets. Carpeting is a safer option for your dogs because it offers a non-slip surface for moving about, perfect for older dogs. Also, carpet is a good choice for your own sanity as it absorbs sound from the clicking of claws on a hard surface.


Images via nymag.com, thesprucepets.com

In terms of looks, you’re also better off skipping light tone carpeting. Instead, go for darker earth tones or multi-colour patterns to mask your dog’s shedding. We’d even recommend using carpets that match the colour of your dog’s fur. This way, your dog’s fur will be more hidden and less of an eye-sore.

So, if you must have carpets in your home, choose a stain-resistant low-pile carpet. This makes it so that it’s easier to clean up accidents. Also, avoid continuous loop carpeting that can unravel when caught by your dog’s toe-nail. Additionally, try to install an antimicrobial, moisture-resistant pad to ensure long term durability.

Fashionable Furnishing Fitting For Your Canines


Images via thespruce.com

In a similar vein, choosing the appropriate furnishing is paramount to reduce your clean up work. In particular, choosing the right upholstery fabrics will make your life with your canine friend easier.


Image via thecountrystyle.co.uk

Avoid buying chairs and sofas covered in velvet or chenille as they can attract pet hair. Also, delicate fabrics can be ruined by pets rather easily while tweed can be a nightmare to clean.

Denim, canvas, and synthetic materials are the best options when it comes to easy-to-clean upholstery. These materials are resistant to stains, moisture, and odour that your dogs bring.


Images via sofasbysaxon.com, medium.com, hgtv.com

Leather is also a good choice for any dog owner’s furniture due to its durable and easy-to-clean nature. But leather is not indestructible, it can be punctured and damaged by claws. And these holes aren’t easily repaired either. Furthermore, leather can also be scratched so you have to prepare yourself for this inevitability.


Image via chelseacleaning.co.za

As we’ve established before, choosing fur-toned upholstery is an excellent choice to hide dog hairs. And adding accent pillows in washable fabrics will do wonders to the aesthetics of your furnishing.

Otherwise, choosing tightly woven upholstery fabrics with patterns will also work well here. Opt for textures and darker colours that help camouflage stains and dog hair. And most importantly, ensure that your fabrics can be slipped off and washed at a moment’s notice.

Lastly, the “no furniture” rule is an option if you can train your dogs. But if that doesn’t work then placing throws on your cushions and chairs will help a lot.

Bonus Tip: Washable fabrics isn’t limited to your upholstery and cushions. If your dogs sleep with you, protect your mattress by covering it with a thick pad. Use cotton bedsheets in a similar colour to your dogs. And duvet covers work particularly well here.

Lay Off The Wallpaper, Painted Walls Are The Way To Go


Images via traditionalhome.com, anniesloan.com

Pets, like kids, are incapable of considering the consequences of their actions. Dogs can do a number of things to damage your walls, whether intentional or not. They like to rub up against it as they pass by, sometimes accidentally ripping your wallpapers. And dogs with jowls can dirty a wall with drool by shaking their heads.

While unintentional, the fact still remains, your dogs are capable of damaging your wallpaper. So if you’re keen on adding patterns to your walls, we’d recommend skipping wallpapers and opt for stencils. Save your favourite wallpapers for rooms that your dogs don’t frequent often.


Image via akc.org

Don’t like wallpapers or stencilled patterns? Paint your walls in beautiful solid colours and keep paper towels at the ready to wipe away slime. A semi-gloss finish is a great choice for rooms that see a lot of activity with your dogs. And a satin- or eggshell-finish makes for an elegant look for living areas. If you like a matte finish, make sure that you choose a washable flat paint.

Create An Animal Room Near an Entry


Images via traditionalhome.com, boredpanda.com, decoist.com

At times, we need our own private space to unwind and rest, and our pets are no different. Dogs like their own dens as much as we love our own rooms.

For the privileged, it’s not uncommon to dedicate an entire room to your furry friend(s). Think of it as your dog’s own bedroom, playroom, and sanctuary rolled into one. Your dog will be super ecstatic at the prospect of having somewhere to lay down for the night. Though, we can’t guarantee that he/she will stay put once a thunderstorm comes. Bring on the snuggles!

As far as room layout goes, you’d definitely want your dog’s room to be near an entrance. This way, your dog won’t track dirt and mud throughout your house after a day of frolicking in the yard. In other words, you could have your dog’s room act as mudroom that stops grime at the door. Accordingly, keep an old towel handy for wiping muddy paws clean before your dogs have a chance to track dirt through the house.

Also, flooring and walling that’s easy to clean should be in place for your dog’s room. Any delicate furnishing should be stitched from a stain-resistant fabric. Wall hooks will help keep leashes tangle-free. And also include a cabinet or cupboard to store your pet supplies.


Image via traditionalhome.com

If you don’t have enough space then a simple dog bed will do just as well. You can place your dog’s bed anywhere in the house. For instance, beside your bed, in the kitchen, beneath cabinetry, under a window seat, and so on.

Final Word

Dogs are Man’s best friends. And as our best friends, don’t they deserve to have all the love and comfort we can afford them? One way of showing our love for our pets is to accommodate their living habits to ensure a healthy environment for both pet and owner.

While some options may lack the finesse that homeowners crave, the pet-friendly home movement is still going strong. Now, who says you can’t have a fabulous home while owning a dog?



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