10 Pet-Friendly Custom Home Design Ideas

May 17, 2022

People have a special connection with animals and studies have shown psychological benefits to pet ownership. A pet-friendly home goes a long way to ensure both people and pets receive those benefits. When building a dream home for yourself, it’s the perfect opportunity to make sure that it is also a dream home for your pets. Here are some pet-friendly custom home design ideas to consider to make sure your home is up to your pet’s standards:

1. Leave Room on Your Lot For a Backyard That Has Plenty of Grass and Room to Run

When looking for land for your new dream home, you want to make sure you also consider your pets. Whether it becomes a grassy area with room to run for your dog or something else for other pets, your backyard should have plenty of grass and room to run.

Provide Room to Run and Room for a Fun Backyard

This ensures your dog has room to run and helps them get enough exercise, which makes for a happy and healthy dog. Yard size requirements will vary based on the dog breed you own, but ample room to run is good for you and good for your dog’s mental and physical health regardless of breed. Plus, a fun backyard is one of the family-friendly custom home design ideas as well!

Consider the Footprint of the Home and Other Backyard Structures

Think about the size of the home you will be building and consider its overall footprint on your lot. You also want to take more into account than just the square footage of the home. In addition to the size of the home itself, you also want to consider the impact of other backyard structures like porches, patios, pools, flower beds, vegetation, ornate hardscapes, and more on your backyard.

The things you build in your backyard will all reduce the amount of open yard space leftover after construction is complete. Your pet needs adequate areas of grass, so any features that would result in less of it should be considered when you’re looking for land and thinking about what to include in your custom home design.

2. Consider a “Catio” or Enclosed Porch

Being able to experience the outdoors while still being enclosed can be a dream come true for indoor cats. They can watch birds, squirrels, dogs, and neighbors to their heart’s content without you needing to worry about their safety.

Smelling the fresh air goes a long way for pent-up cats, and they’ll often try to escape significantly less. Enclosed porches can also give your dog a protected place to relax during inclement weather while still getting a taste of the outdoors. If you have birds, you can talk to your custom home builder about including a customized bird enclosure for them.

3. Surround Your Backyard With a Secure Fence

With pets or children running free in your backyard, you will want to consider a secure fence for the area. This is especially true if you are building your new home along a relatively busy street or country road.

Convenience and Privacy

Not only does a secure fence around your property provide an increased level of safety for your pets, but it is also convenient. The ability to let your dog out for exercise and to take care of business without constant and direct supervision will be a huge benefit. Plus, a fence is a great way to add privacy to your backyard.

Safety and Security

Although there are invisible fencing options available to homeowners, they do not prevent neighboring dogs or other animals from entering your yard. A secure fence is also a good thing to consider from a liability aspect because it helps lessen the risk of your dog coming into unintended contact with people when you aren’t present.

Even the best-behaved animals can be territorial or protective of their homes and a fence helps to guard against an unforeseen incident involving your dog and a strange person or animal.

4. Include Bay Windows With Cushioned Benches

Dogs and cats both sleep the majority of their day, but they will still be cooped up inside the home for a significant stretch of time. Be sure to consider including adequate windows in the home to both let in abundant natural light and allow your pet a chance to see outside. Making a place for your pet is one of the useful bay window ideas for your custom home.

Bay windows are a great choice for pet owners because they provide a perfect place to include a window seat that pets will love to use. These “nap niches” are a great pet-friendly custom home design idea that you can enjoy as well. If you don’t plan on letting your pet on your other furniture, this can also provide them with a perfect place of their own where they can see and observe their broader surroundings.

5. Think About Adding Shelves for Your Cat

Cats are naturally prone to climb and sometimes cat towers are just too unwieldy or unseemly for homeowners to tolerate. This is also provided that your cat would even use it. If this is the likely case for you and your cat, you can consider adding a few cat shelves strategically to the walls.

You can also get creative with types of horizontal wall trim, like adding a wide plate rail near the ceiling for a “catwalk”. These can help your cat feel at home, and escape from you, children, or other pets when they want to, without eating too much into your living space. When placed and installed well, these cat shelves look like nicely spaced bookshelves where your cats happen to perch.

6. Go With Hard Surface Floors

Opting for hard surface floors is a good tip for a pet-friendly custom home design, and it provides several benefits. Although there are many types of carpet available that boast superior stain resistance and durability, hardwood or luxury vinyl flooring options are the unmatched flooring choices for pet owners. Hardwood or vinyl floors provide homeowners with multiple benefits, whether pets are present or not.

The ease of clean-up is probably one of the most notable advantages of this kind of flooring, especially for pet owners. Carpets can become stained, or odorous, over time and will require the cost of professional cleaning. Plus, they trap dust, fur, and more, which can wreak havoc on anyone with allergies.

Hard surface floors allow the homeowner to purchase a carpet piece or area rug that will provide the same benefits of a carpeted living space without the permanency of an actual carpeted room. These area rugs can usually be replaced far more economically than the cost to recarpet a room or entire floor in the house.

7. Incorporate a Mudroom

When planning your pet-friendly custom home, think about incorporating a mudroom into the design. One of the biggest benefits of a mudroom is that it goes a long way in helping to keep a house clean, especially if you have pets. Having a place to wipe paws on rainy days, store kibble and food dishes, or place a litter box out of sight is invaluable.

If your dog sleeps in a crate at night, a mudroom is also a great place to keep the crate so that it is hidden from view and doesn’t take up room in the living areas of the home. Plus, it can provide a separate quiet space where your dog can retreat and feel safe. Depending on the size of the mudroom, it can also double as a laundry room, even more storage, etc.

8. Figure Out Where You Can Put a Dog Shower or Pet Bath

One of the pet-friendly custom home design ideas that will help you out and help keep your home clean is some sort of pet washing station. It’s also one of the popular housing trends. If you can allocate enough room within your floor plan, consider making your mudroom large enough to incorporate a washtub that is big enough to hold your pet or adding a dog shower or pet bath somewhere else in the home.

Pet Washing Station Indoors and Outdoors

If you’re considering a wet room bathroom, this could be a good option for pet bathing as well; the only challenge is how to get them to the bathroom if they are in need of a bath and coming in from outside. You can also double up with a shower or tub you can use inside and a dog shower or pet washing station somewhere outside that you can use when the weather is nice.

Customize a Tub

You may talk to your builder about a customized option for a tub like one that has a large sink basin and can double as a washtub for your pup. Raised tubs in mudrooms are handy for a number of things.

They make bathing your pet much easier by eliminating the back pain that comes with bending over to wash them in a conventional tub. Plus, it keeps mud and fur out of your bathroom or other rooms of the home and makes for easier bathing, easier cleanup, and less stress overall.

9. Consider Half-Doors or Swinging Gates for Some Doorways

If you have young children, dogs, or both, there are likely some rooms you want to keep them out of, at least when they are unsupervised. Although half-doors or swinging gates in doorways won’t do much to keep cats out of a room, they can help provide a barrier for crawling or toddling children and some dogs.

You can also get creative with them to enhance the style of your home. This is one of the ways to incorporate natural wood, repurpose pallets, or use barn doors in your custom home design

10. Customize Built-In Elements to Suit Your Pets

A lot of pet-friendly custom home design ideas tend to center around cats and dogs, but you may have other pets that you want to consider. The great thing about working with a builder to design and build a custom home is that you can customize layouts, features, and built-in elements to suit whatever pets you have or plan to have.

Built-in aquariums, terrariums, or cages can be a great option for people who will be taking care of fish, amphibians, reptiles, or rodents. Perches, enclosures, and other things can be good options for birds.

You can even design a dedicated bird room or customize a small room where rodents, turtles, reptiles, etc. can roam freely and safely. If you will have larger pets like horses or livestock, you can talk to your custom home builder about stables, outdoor exercise areas, feeding areas, supply rooms, etc.

Build the Dream Home You and Your Pet Will Love

Pets come with a lot of responsibilities. With these pet-friendly custom home design ideas, you can make sure the opportunity to build your dream home benefits both you and your beloved pet(s). Think about your pet’s needs and your own needs as a pet owner, and then incorporate them into your custom home design.

If you are ready to build a new dream home for you and your furry friend, contact Custom Home Group at 717-284-4090. We can help you make your dream home a reality!