Home owners love their pets – and they also love great design with modern function. So it’s no surprise that home builders and designers increasingly are being asked to consider pets when developing floor plans and custom amenities.

Builders are responding to this demand by offering homes with pet-friendly design in the kitchen, laundry room/mud room and even outdoor spaces. Condos and apartment buildings now feature amenities like rooftop dog parks and self-serve grooming stations.dog

Whether you’re in the market for a new home, will soon be remodeling or just need some inspiration for how to use your current space, here are a few ideas to get started.

Kitchen: If you have a small or medium-sized pet, consider finding a spot in your kitchen to create a built-in eating area. It can be as simple as using free floor space under the island to create a stylish spot for the food and water bowls.

Or, declutter a large lower cabinet, remove the door and create a convenient feeding spot. You also can add a comfortable custion instead for a cozy pet bed.

If a bottom drawer is all you can spare, put a built-in food bowl that easily slides in and out. The water bowl should be accessible to your pet all the time, however.

If your pet is a messy eater, keep the feeding station away from most of the foot traffic. Water spills can be especially hazardous in the kitchen. That’s why feeding bowls for larger pets may be better suited for the laundry room or mud room.

Short on space? Take a tour of your house with fresh eyes and look for otherwise wasted space that you can transform. Turn an alcove or space under the stairs into a nook just for Fluffy.


Laundry Room/Mud Room:

If you have a separate laundry room and/or mud room, there are many ways to utilize this space for your pets. A feeding station for your larger pet can be conveniently located beneath a boot bench. This also makes a great spot for a pet bed.

When storing your pet gear – leashes, toys, food – look for opportunities to seamlessly blend in the storage with the rest of your home’s style. For example, stash pet toys in a basket similar to the ones you use for your family’s outdoor gear. Store pet food in a large glass container – instead of its regular packaging – and you won’t mind the nibbles being on display.

Home owners also are adding pet-washing stations in their laundry/mud rooms. An enclosed tiled area with an extended faucet can be used for baths or simply to clean paws after coming inside.

To find a home builder or designer that can help you make smart design choices for your pets, go to www.rochesterhomebuilders.com.