West Michigan residents sure do love their pets. Approximately 42% of all homes have a resident dog while 32% possess a feline roommate. We won’t be discussing the gerbil, hamster, fish, and bird owners in this post, just know we see you too.
In this post, we will be exploring homey options for our four-legged tribe mates, in terms of home remodeling. Please do not forget those furry, family members during home improvements and remodeling.
We will discuss selections for pet owners to consider, some design ideas you may not have thought of and lastly, pet safety during a home remodel. If you are considering a home remodel, Home Studio by Omega can help! We are a premier construction design-to-build company, located in Grand Rapids, we are pet lovers. Please consider us as you contemplate your next home remodel.
You’ll be Floored!
If new floors are in your future, the choices today are extensive. If you are a pet owner, there may be some notable features to think about. I was flabbergasted when I found a vast number of flooring companies that speak to the specific needs of pet owners. From non-slip to scratch and stain-resistant options, beautiful and easy to clean while protecting our treasured pets.
Even the most well-behaved dog may experience an upset tummy, enthusiastic bladder, or muddy paws from time to time. Suitable flooring for pets holds up against scratches, dents, and grime in all types of scenarios and weather.
Ceramic Tile is one of the more durable materials out there. It will withstand scratches and dents that come from claws. Tile can be slippery, especially when wet, for elderly dogs this can be hazardous, to keep your pooch safe and happy, consider flooring with an anti-slip finish.
Vinyl (LVP) – The first-rate selection for any room that’s likely to witness wet paws or accidental moisture. Offering warmer and less slippery options to tile, vinyl is worth serious consideration.
Laminate – Attractive and easy to clean. This offers the elegant look of hardwood floors that are generally less expensive and, require virtually no maintenance.
Cork – Presents soft, non-slip flooring. It’s also impervious to hard impacts and, can even be repaired on-site in case pet claws gouge the material.
Rub – a dub dub!
If your pooch has ever tangled with a skunk or you have suffered through the wretched fur-gum of an expired vermin, you know the horrors of eradicating that stench in your squeaky-clean tub or shower. It can leave you scratching your head and silently asking yourself some hard questions; What about a bird? Why haven’t I ever considered a hedgehog? Is playing fetch with a ferret a thing? Fear not, lifelong dog person, we’ve got you!
If you bathe your dog at home, you know the aftermath it can create. Water everywhere and that undeniable wet dog smell permeates the whole house after a couple of coat-drying shakes happen. The question that begs to be asked…is there a better way? You bet there is!
Adding a dog washing station to your, basement, mudroom, laundry room, or heated garage could offer a viable option. Having a dedicated space for pet bathing is growing with so much enthusiasm, the availability of off-the-floor, footed tubs, and blowers, and has grown exponentially in the last five years.
Pet washing stations come in all sizes and layouts. From a drain, with hot and cold water to an elaborately tiled stall or stainless tub complete with a walk-up ramp for the older dogs. Some can even double as a bicycle or camping gear cleaning area. The choice is completely yours; your Fido will appreciate the gesture.
A place to eat, sleep, play, and stay
Providing our pets with their own safe space to play and sleep is important. A designated place for their bed is a good place to start. Dogs are natural den dwellers, so they enjoy sleeping in confined spaces. Keep in mind that ventilation or good airflow is essential for optimal comfort.
The space under a stairway or tucked inside a rarely used closet is a natural place to install a built-in dog kennel. Other options include a bottom shelf of a built-in entertainment center, or under the kitchen island. So many fun ideas to keep the puppy nearby when the family is home while, providing a cozy, feeling of safety.
Here Kitty, Kitty, Kitty!
Cats are fantastic climbers, the higher the better. This innate trait comes from their foraging ancestors who, rather than running when the electric can opener hums or the new bag of kibble is opened, were forced to hunt down every meal and morsel. Cats also seek out a high vantage point, which allows them to see their prey. Getting off the ground is also a safety measure, as most threats cannot climb as well as them.
Wall-mounted “cat shelves” or platforms can be added, with the necessary support if your kitty is, shall we say robust in length and girth. Fluffy becomes part of the room decor, with joyful leaps from one shelf to the next, offering exercise and play. These are commonly integrated with books and unbreakable or heavy accent pieces. All cat owners know that anything lightweight will absolutely be batted to the floor below, in 2.5 seconds or less.
Pet Safety During a Remodel
Our pets are family members who can’t read, be privy to conversations or have any understanding when a renovation begins. Their sanctuary is turned into a loud, dangerous construction site, with strangers walking through their days. With a little common sense, measures can be taken to help your animal friends survive a remodel unscathed.
Maintaining an environment where pets can relax with natural ease and comfort should be considered. If your project is small and completion is days away, you may consider boarding them or taking them to a reputable daycare during the construction. If your remodel is larger and more involved crating your pet or securing them in a room if you aren’t going to be home during the hours of construction. Extra loud noises associated with construction can be stressful and could potentially injure your pet’s sensitive ears. Creating a safe, quiet space for animals, far from the flurry of noise and activity will go a long way in decreasing fear and anxiety. Maintaining normal meal and exercise is critical during times such as these.
As their pack leader, your pets will feel more comfortable with and trust people you feel comfortable with and trust. Proper introductions to the individuals who will be in your house, at the beginning of the project, may be helpful to dogs (and some cats).
Ensure your pet is properly protected in a space that does not have access to windows or doors, that could be left open as materials are brought in and out. Be conscious of any chemicals, toxins, paints, dust, or fumes that could endanger your pet’s health, keeping the space properly aired out is necessary for your family’s and fur kids’ safety.
If you haven’t gotten around to microchipping your pet, this might be a great time, just in case they get spooked and slip outdoors and lose their way home. In a study of 7,704 stray animals, 74% of dogs and 63% of cats were able to be returned to their pet owners, as a result of identifying chips.
Pets provide unconditional love and companionship. Their presence is a gift to our lives and offers us a glimpse of relentless devotion wrapped in fur. Our job is to keep them safe and healthy for all the days we are blessed to have them.