For many people, pets are more than just faithful companions. They’re family, and when the current layout of the house isn’t ideal for the pets trying to live there, it may be time to make some adjustments.
For some, these changes will involve large renovations, and for others,small alterations to the layout of a particular room will do the trick. If you’re thinking about making some changes to your home that your pet will love, consider the following suggestions.
But first, take note: Remodels are messy and can even be dangerous for many animals, so if you’re doing anything bigger than a small addition, be sure to arrange a safe place for your pet to stay during the heavy work, so he or she can stay safe and healthy throughout the construction.
1. Pet doors
Perhaps you already have one of these, but if you don’t, there are now energy efficient options. You certainly don’t want your pet to run away, but certain types can allow them to enjoy a measure of independence, and a “doggy door” might be just the thing. These can be added to existing doors or built right in when buying a new door. Good quality ones have a tight seal to keep the cold out when not in use.
You could also consider adding pet-sized entrances to your indoor rooms. If you’re pet lives in the laundry room, it won’t be able to open the door for itself if you forget to open it before your leave. An indoor pet entrance is extremely convenient for any room your pet needs to get access to.
2. Feeding nooks
If your pet truly is one of the family, he or she might need a place to eat undisturbed. A corner in the kitchen may seem like a good spot, but it’s all too easy to knock over your pets’ water or food bowl, which creates a mess and wastes food.
Instead, set up an area in your designated pet room where the food and water bowls will be out of the way. For example, you could cut a small nook in your island and place the bowls on the floor there;or stash them in a low drawer that you can open when it’s time to eat.
3. Pet-friendly furniture
If you truly love animals, you probably spend time cuddling with your pet on the sofa. And if that’s the case, one consideration might be furniture that can handle the traffic.
Look for sofas and chairs that have washable slip covers so it’s less of a challenge to keep them clean and free of pet fur. Also, furniture with durable fabrics that claws won’t be able to penetrate.
If your beloved companion is a rabbit, you might want furniture with metal legs rather than wood, so your animals won’t use them as gnawing or scratching posts!
4. Ductless heating
You want your heating and cooling systems to be energy-efficient, but you also want your animals to be comfortable throughout the day and night, even when you are not home. In order to make that happen, take a look at ductless heating.
This allows you to keep each room of the house at a specific and separate temperature, which is perfect for your pets, since some may require cooler temperatures than you, and others may prefer a warmer temperature in order to be content.
5. Pet room/nook
Many family pets will adopt a sleeping area in your home, whether you want them there or not. . They deserve their own space, whether you designate a room just for them or a nook they can call their own.
Either way, you can make some significant improvements to that area in order to give them a comfortable resting spot beyond the typical pet bed or scratching post. You might provide an indoor doghouse complete with house structure to give puppy that feeling of his own secure space. Or provide a window sill extension with a cat bed for kitty. This gives them height off the floor, which cats equate with safety.
A pet area is a great way to let your pet know how much he or she is loved.
6. Light dimmers
Pets have a specific sleeping pattern they observe in order to stay healthy. For many, that can involve sleeping off and on throughout the day.
Keeping the lights on all day long can interrupt their sleeping pattern. Turn off any lights you’re not using, and consider adding a light-dimming or timer system to your current rooms so you can have the light on while you need it, but your pets can also get the rest they need.
7. Resilient flooring
A pet’s kingdom is the floor. Yet carpets are not necessarily the best flooring option for a pet, since they are easily snagged and stained.
For easy care, remove carpets and stick with hard-surface flooring. Many pets, especially dogs, actually prefer to rest on hard surfaces during the day because they tend to be cooler to the touch (or paws!).
That will also keep your carpets from getting suffused with hair, while at the same time providing a cool place for your pet to relax.
Most pets aren’t big fans of bath time. But maybe they wouldn’t mind it so much if they had their very own washroom.
For small and medium-sized animals, you can set up a laundry sink with a hose. That way, you don’t have to bend over in a bathtub — or worse, use your freezing cold outside hose to wash your pet.
During warmer days, create an outdoor bath area just off your patio. Simply hook a shower head with a hose to your hot water heater and host your pet’s bath time outside.
9. Food storage
Though your pet would probably be happier if you let it eat out of the kibble bag all day long, that’s very unhealthy. The trick is to provide you with easy access to the pet food while at the same time protecting your critter from overeating.
Design a specific place where you can store animal food safely. For example, you could use a trashcan drawer.
10. Disguised litter box
You don’t want kitty to be forced to use the litter box outside. At the same time, you also don’t want it smelling up the house.
Serious pet parents have created a litter box that’s disguised as a small powder room off their garage. Add a kitty door and use high-quality cat litter to keep the room as nice as possible.If you’re not inclined to go that far and you do use an indoor litter box, consider incorporating a Guardian air PHI air cleaner into your furnace. This uses UV to kill germs and odors throughout your house, and will remove pet odor from the air.
You want your pets to be the happiest they can possibly be, and with each of the above remodels, this becomes more possible. But you don’t want to sacrifice energy efficiency in the process.
For questions or concerns with regard to how to integrate energy efficiency into your pet-friendly remodel, contact us today!