5 Tips for a Pet-Friendly Custom Home Design

August 8, 2019

According to a study published in the U.S. Pet Ownership Demographics Sourcebook, almost 57% of all households in the United States owned a pet! In fact, 38% of households had one or more than one dog! At 25% of households, cats were the next most popular. 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 tips for a pet-friendly custom home design to make sure your home is up to your pet’s standards:

1. Make Sure Your Backyard Has Plenty of Grass and Room to Run

When choosing land for your new dream home, you want to make sure you also consider your pets. Whether it’s grassy room to run for your dog or a screened-in “catio” for your cat, your backyard should have plenty of grass and room to run. 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.

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 things like porches, patios, pools, flower beds, vegetation, ornate hardscapes and more on your backyard. They 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. 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. Not only does a secure fence around your property provide an increased level of safety for your pets, but it is 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.

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.

3. 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 to allow your pet a chance to see outside.

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. 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.

4. Go With Hard Surface Floors

Hard surface floors are one of the tips for a pet-friendly custom home design with some of the biggest benefits. Although there are many types of carpet available that boast superior stain resistance and durability, hardwood, or premium laminate flooring, are the unmatched flooring choices for pet owners. Hardwood or laminate 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 to 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.

5. Incorporate a Mudroom

When planning your pet-friendly custom home, think about incorporating a mudroom into the design. A mudroom goes a long way in helping to keep a house clean. 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 their crate so that it is hidden from view and doesn’t take up room in the living areas of the home.

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. You may talk to your builder about a customized option for a tub like one 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, but 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 and makes for easier bathing, easier cleanup, and less stress overall.

Pets come with a lot of responsibilities. With these tips for a pet-friendly custom home design, 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. If you are ready to build a new dream home for you and your furry friend, contact Custom Home Group at 717-284-4090!