Pet amenities in your home are a major plus. Your animal feels dearly loved, deepening the bond with you. To visitors, the sight of pet gear casts you in a friendly light, leaving a good impression. Some creature comforts can keep your home tidy and organized. Here are five upgrades that ease pet ownership while jazzing up your décor.
1. Built-In Eating Station
With freestanding food bowls, spills are unavoidable, unless your pet is unusually neat. When bowls are recessed in a stable platform, stray kibble and puddles are minimized. Additionally, a built-in eating station blends into your furnishings. Here are some options:
- Feeding shelf — Using a jigsaw, cut circles from a stair tread plank to hold food bowls.
- Cabinet drawer — With bowls nestled inside a cabinet drawer, a quick nudge tucks them out of view when company calls. For a tall dog, choose a drawer in line with the animal’s shoulder. This ergonomic design spares your pet from craning its neck. Plus, with a pull-out drawer, portion control is easy.
- Counter space — If your pet needs privacy to eat well, tuck a feeding station into the end of a kitchen counter.
- Kitchen island — Conversely, if your pet likes to eat with the family, serve its meals from centrally located cubbyholes.
To seamlessly integrate an eating station into your furnishings, consult with an architect specializing in custom cabinetry.
2. Retractable Pet Gate
A sliding gate spares you from struggling with latches and squeezing past the barrier. The key to this convenience is pocket door hardware. When not using the gate, it slides into a slot or “pocket” within the adjacent wall. Glass panels or wooden slats let your pet see through the gate, lessening the sense of rejection. Casters on the bottom edge of the gate facilitate movement. You could also add gate wheels to prevent scratches on a wooden floor.
3. Staircase Nook
Convert the space beneath your stairs into a pet sanctuary, sheltered from household traffic. If your staircase has an existing alcove, paint it in pastels, enhanced by soft lighting. Then decorate the nook with a plush bed, pillows, and toys. If your staircase lacks space for a nook, you can make one by cutting through the drywall. You can either hire a contractor for the job or, if you’re handy, do it yourself. For a DIY project, you need a drywall saw, a drill, a Dremel multi-tool, household tools, screws, a reciprocating saw, a hacksaw, paneling, quarter round, drywall, flooring, wooden boards, and door trim.
4. Dog Shower
A washing station for a pooch saves trips to the groomer while reducing household paw prints. Ideal locations are a mudroom or laundry room, utilizing existing plumbing. A garage is another option. Once you’ve identified a spot for the shower, choose a layout based on your dog’s mobility and size. Here are six to consider:
- Elevated tub — For a pup you can lift, and it reduces back strain while bathing
- Raised mop basin — Another choice for a small, lightweight dog, the basin is situated atop an existing cabinet
- Raised tub with ramp or steps — To facilitate access for an older or frail canine
- Walk-in stall — With a low threshold, another way to ease entry
- Tub with swing-out glass doors — For better containment of your dog and spraying water
- Shower only — For limited space
Once you’re settled on the structure, think about the features you’d like for your washing station. For example, with a flexible-hose shower head, you have precise control of the water spray and better access to your dog. A swing-arm faucet is also convenient. A wall clip allows you to leash your dog in place, averting panicky escapes. Another helpful accessory is a cabinet or shelves for storing canine supplies. In particular, toys and treats coax more cooperation. For safe footing, place a rubber mat inside the stall and a nonslip rug outside. Hanging a shower curtain corrals puddles. Another way to keep water contained is erecting a half-height wall.
To start the installation process, hire a contractor, interior designer, or plumber who can arrange placement of your tub, drain, and fixtures. To complete the job, employ a tile installer to lay and grout your tiling. If you aren’t sure where to look for the most reliable professionals for these jobs, it might be a good idea to find a realtor in Irvine with expertise in helping clients who do home renovations and ask for referrals.
5. Pet Door
Pet-sized portals are a breeze to install. DIY kits come with templates and simple instructions. Using a jigsaw and screwdriver, you can finish the job in roughly one hour.
Doors can be locked to control pet access, and energy-efficient seals prevent drafts. Here are spots around your home where a pet door can be handy:
- Porch — If you’re a cat owner with an enclosed porch, consider installing a pet door for when the cat needs a change of scenery.
- Kitchen cabinet — For a small pet that needs privacy while eating, make an opening through a cabinet where it can take meals in seclusion. If you own both a dog and cat, a cabinet door prevents food theft between species, which jeopardizes their health.
- Garage — If you’re a cat parent, you could place the litter box in the garage, accessible by a pet door. A pint-sized garage door can also lead to a cozy bed inside.
- Yard — When you’re away from home or preoccupied, a door to the yard enables a pet to go outside without waiting for you. If you have a very young or elderly animal, this convenience can prevent accidents. Outdoor proximity invites exercise, keeping your pet healthy. Playing outside can also avert anxiety and boredom.
Note that a pet door should always lead to an enclosed section of your home or property. Giving your pet free access to street traffic puts it at risk for car accidents.
Updating your home for your furry friends can be almost as fun as doing it for yourself. If you’re looking at Irvine homes for sale in search of that perfect home you’d love to fix up just the way you and your family want, reach out to the friendly real estate agents at Irvine Residential Living. We can help you and your four-legged pals find your dream home. Call us today at 714-454-6304.