I have wanted a dog since I was a kid and only recently my wish came true. My first fur baby - a lovely Irish Setter. For me, it made perfect sense to design my home considering the needs of my dog and I, as the main key points of the whole process.
Although I have worked with clients that are pet owners, studied and worked in interior design for a while now, not always the four-legged member of the family was mentioned when it comes to the whole process of interior design.
After owning a pet for almost six months and changing my home three times in this period, I have come across different situations and things that need to be considered in your own home when having a pet, and how important and essential is to actually design your home considering the needs of your fur baby.
Kids play a huge role when designing a space so why animals shouldn't ?
It's not only good for them to have some special places where they can go and feel safe or to play, but also will make your life so much easier - both to maintain your home cleaner and to educate your animal much easier.
Making some conscious choices in your interior design, regarding your pet will make the whole process easier and you won't have to sacrifice your design aesthetic when bringing your pet home.
Along the way of my journey with my setter so far, and the few homes that I had to adjust so far for both of our needs, here are some situations that I faced and some tips for a better home for both of you and your fur baby.
They say like owner, like dog. And I am sure you have seen many pets that somehow resemble with their owners. The appearance or some faces they may put on, make them somehow lookalike.
But this goes far beyond. the. physical side. Just like you, your pet has their own needs and personal space.
Sometimes your dog just needs a break! Your dog might be naturally shy or nervous around different kinds of people, be fearful of loud noises or events, or dealing with anxiety. Creating a place your dog can escape to for some alone time reduces that anxiety and helps your dog cope with stressful situations. Even if your dog doesn’t suffer from fear or anxiety, it’s reassuring to have their own safe haven where they can go when they just want to relax for a bit.
By giving your dog the choice to leave a situation, you increase their confidence in dealing with uncertain or stressful situations. Your dog’s safe space is also a wonderful tool to teach your children boundaries when it comes to interacting with your dog.
You don't have to sacrifice your carefully chosen interior design with some pet furniture that will ruin your whole aesthetic. There are so many options of beds that can easily become an actual focus point in your design. Decide on the style that reflect you the most and that you want to use in your house, and find a bed for your pet that can easily blend with your style.
When choosing a location, here are some tips:
Choose an area that is uncarpeted. These spots are easier to clean up in case of any food and water spills, if they shed often, or if your pet gets sick.
Find a quiet area. If your pet needs some down time, they shouldn’t have to worry about being interrupted, especially by non-family members.
Keep the temperature consistent. You want to make sure that your pet isn’t too hot or too cold, especially if they are home alone during the day. If it is unseasonably warm or cool, try to adjust the temperature close to what they are used to.
Stay away from direct sunlight. If your pet is unable to escape the glare, they may be uncomfortable and will probably be unable to rest.
Some pets prefer areas that they can back up into. If your pet does, find a nice corner or wall to set them up in.
The colour of your my fur baby was for me an inspiration when designing my own home. Not only because she has a gorgeous colour but on top of their beauty..they spend so much time in your home so why shouldn't we just use that as a tool to 'bind' everything together. It's in the small details that will make the bigger picture just perfect.
On top of the aesthetic regards, here is a practical side. Your pet will leave hair. No matter how much we wash them, groom and brush, it's natural for them to shred, so having a sofa or a throw in the same colours as your pet, will make it much less noticeable and won't drive you crazy every time they get up on your couch.
Additionally, there are some considerations regarding the materials you should opt for. Washable and performance fabrics will just, in general, hold up really well over time, and are so easy to maintain.
Disguise the pet goods and create designed places for their things. My dog loves toys. We have way too many of them. Keep them in a basket that you can store away or bring out when your pups are ready to play. Choosing one that will have the same design as your room, won't just make your home more organised but can act as a stylish piece of decor that may actually be pleasurable for you to see.
As a matter of fact, I have a basket where I keep Lea's toys which I have made part of the training. Every time the playtime it's over, I bring the basket and teach her to take the toys one by one and drop them in the box. It helped with learning some commands easier and for me it's a help, for her it's part of the play.
Plants and pets, I have to say they are, in my opinion, what makes a house a home. But sadly sometimes they can be at odds with each other!
Why do cats and dogs eat houseplants? Some people believe it's to calm an upset stomach or help process hairballs, while others think pets are attempting to remedy a nutritional deficiency. Cats and dogs may even chew on houseplants during play sessions, attacking waving fronds as they would a toy. It can be difficult to keep a houseplant away from a pet with a determination to chew, so it's up to us to ensure that any plants we cultivate in the home are safe and non-toxic to cats and dogs. With the exception of edibles like cat grass, it's always better to keep houseplants out of a pet's reach if you can, but these plants are recognised by the ASPCA as being non-toxic to cats and dogs. Find more in depth information on all the plants and the toxic ingredients that may lay in your house and can affect your fur baby on ASPCA website.