ARTICLE Stephanie Matheson

Take pet ownership to the next level and fully embrace your pets and all the gear that comes with them. Food and water bowls can be built into your pantry, custom-built cabinetry in your entrance area can hold all your leashes and other accessories, and an outdoor shower can help you keep your pet and place clean. These are just a few examples of how you can incorporate all things ‘pet’ into the footprint of your house. Costs can vary greatly, between $15,000-$30,000 depending on the materials you wish to use and how much you want to adapt your home.

If working with a smaller budget, you can read the "Pet-friendly home renovations on a basic budget" for other pet-friendly renovation ideas. And for a higher end budget, read "Pet-friendly home renovations on a high-end budget".

Are my hardwood floors okay for pets?

With pets in the home, flooring choices become even more important than usual, as having pets in the house mean extra wear and tear. Dogs are probably the toughest customers, but even smaller animals like cats and rabbits can leave their marks.

Wooden floors, unfortunately, are amongst the materials that are harder to keep clean and looking their best with pets. Pet urine can seep into the wood quickly, even if cleaned up promptly, and leave an unpleasant smell and stain. You can apply a special coating to your hardwood flooring to make it more scratch and stain resistant, but if your pets are a really raucous bunch, you may be better off considering other flooring materials.

Bamboo is an excellent and affordable choice for families with pets. It is extremely hardwearing and stain resistant, so you won’t have to worry about spills or accidents. It’s also a renewable resource and hence environmentally friendly. While looking the part, laminate flooring can be rather slippery for your pet. Dogs especially will slip frequently and may cause damage to their backs or hips.

Custom built outdoor cat feeder

What’s the best place for my pet’s food and water bowls?

Apart from picking a quiet spot that is suitable for your pet, one of the main concerns when setting up your local feeding station is how easy it is to keep clean. If you have wooden floors, ensure that you put a mat or tray underneath all bowls to protect your floor from staining.

Dining in style can be a canine pleasure too, and making the feeding space look attractive can make a real difference to the look and feel of your home. So celebrate your pet and make its spaces look part of the house and interior style. It’s as easy as building a colour-coordinated platform for feeding and hanging up a few colourful pieces of art at pet level.

To keep things looking clean and tidy, it’s a great idea to integrate pet food bowls into a kitchen island station. A small nook at the side provides the perfect space for two or more bowls, neatly tucked in and out of sight. Depending on your budget, you could opt to simply leave floor space for the bowls, build a raised platform into it or even create a custom-built counter complete with kitchen bench top at doggy height to tie everything together visually.

Another good option is to have the bowls built into a kitchen drawer. This works extremely well where you are feeding a dog at a set time each day, so that you can then simply clean the bowl and hide it in the closed drawer.

Where should I place my cat’s litter box?

Location, location, location! Placing the litter box in a safe and quiet location is usually the best, and will help your kitty toilet training mission to succeed. Cats don’t seem to like closed-in spaces, such as closets, and as creatures of habits they prefer the litter box to remain in the same locations and not be moved around the house. Quite often cats won’t share a litter box with others, so each cat will probably need their own box. Your cat has to be able to reach it quickly and easily and should feel safe and secure. While laundry rooms offer some privacy, the washing machine and drier may be too noisy for your cat. A quiet corner in a bathroom or a spare room might work best.

For homeowners’ priorities of location may be somewhat different, in other words most of us prefer the litter box to be out of sight (and smell). There are some clever products on the market that integrate litter boxes in storage cupboards or bench seats, complete with a cat’s own access point. A more sophisticated solution is to have your own space designed and built to match your furniture or cabinetry.

Bespoke colourful outdoor dog house

Does indoor-outdoor flow work with pets?

With great indoor-outdoor flow incorporated into your home, your pets, and especially dogs, will enjoy the ability to wander indoors and out. Once you’ve opened your stacking or sliding doors all the way up, the main thing to worry about with pets is having a strong and sturdy fence that has no gaps or holes that you pets could squeeze through. Next on the list are decking materials, such as bamboo, bricks and lawn types that can withstand pet pressure easily.

When planning your landscaping and flower planting, it’s important to be aware of poisonous plants and it helps to grow plants in raised garden beds or planter boxes to protect them. Include a shaded spot to relax as well as a play area. An outdoor shower or washing station can make a real difference with dogs, as it will make it much easier to keep dog hair and muddy paw prints at bay.

How can I make the most of my storage space with pets?

Storage is key, and even more so with pets that bring with them a whole host of different accessories and other items. In most cases it’s easy to make do with a simple solution, such as adding a dedicated cupboard for dog leashes or reserving a kitchen drawer for pet food. There is a wide range of decorative pieces of furniture and hooks available, specifically designed for pets and their needs. Storage containers and storage ottomans are a great addition to living spaces and bedrooms, as they help keep everything neat and tidy, meaning less temptation for your cat or dog to chew or scratch things.

Depending on your budget, you might like to read about Basic pet-friendly home renovations or High-end pet-friendly home renovations

Get in touch with Refresh to discuss your home renovation project

If you would like to discuss walk-in wardrobe options and ideas for your home renovation, please use the enquiry form on this page to provide us with your contact details. We will get in touch with you at a time that suits you to discuss your project. If you would like to provide us with more information about your project, we have a more comprehensive enquiry form on our "Get in touch" page too.

*Costs are rough estimates and are subject to change. For a fixed-quote accurate to your specific project, please consult your local Refresh Renovations specialist. All Refresh Renovations franchises are independently owned and operated.

All Refresh Renovations franchises are independently owned and operated.

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