Pet wellness design features are a growing residential trend

70% of American households have pets, 38% have dogs and 25% have cats. The $4.54 billion market for pet products has grown along with the popularity of pet ownership. So it’s no surprise that “pet parents,” as many believe to themselves, are increasingly incorporating the needs of their animal companions into home improvement projects and home organizing and decorating.

means of comfort

Janice Costa notes: “Consumers increasingly view their pets as members of the family, so designers are seeing more demand for home features that accommodate not only their pets’ feeding stations and accessories, but also their comfort needs.” The Long Island, New York entrepreneur watches trends in both the design and pet worlds, as publisher of KB Designers Network and owner and operator of Canine Camp Getaway, an entertainment program for dogs and their owners.

Years ago, you remember, dogs were not even allowed on furniture! Today, they may be sitting on custom upholstery pieces with ports for pets to be close to their humans, but they have their own space to turn around. “We see window seats with claw-resistant cushions for pets, doors with built-in windows so pets can see what’s going on outside, ottomans with choppy interiors for naps, designer bins that are amazing pieces of furniture lined with pillow linens, and home furniture that litter boxes and helps contain odors. and window swings for cats to enjoy the sun, not to mention full “catios” that extend out the window to give the family’s cats room to themselves,” she shares. Some pet sanctuaries even have mini TVs, she mentioned, declaring that “Dogs don’t want to miss their favorite shows on DogTV!”

On the other side

Not all pets relax in luxury. Thousands end up in shelters every day, often due to their families’ health, financial problems or resettlement. “For parents of pets who are on the move, they often tell us that they are unable to bring their pet due to housing restrictions. This is especially common for dog owners,” says Amanda Kowalski, vice president of behavioral programs at the San Diego Humane Society.

In order to adopt one of their shelter animals, no fancy features — even a yard — are required, she says. “We usually do not require any particular household items for pet adoptions. However, every adoption comes with an in-depth discussion with an adoption counselor who can make recommendations about what each specific animal needs.”

Accommodations for pets

Basics you’re likely to ingest with your animal include its food, bowls, toys, treat, bedding, litter box, a cat tree for cats, and Kowalski’s notes. “Set up a place for confinement, such as a bathroom or spare room or use gates and pens to seal off areas of your home. With both dogs and cats, limiting the space they have prevents inappropriate chewing or destruction, and is also a place your new pet can feel comfortable in. And retreat to it. For young animals in particular, this can help set them up for success in the housetraining process.”

She points out that training in general is critical, and training resources can change the course of life. “Behavioral challenges can be frustrating for both people and animals and can lead to pets being abandoned in shelters.”

Accommodating a pet at home is not just about owning a pet and buying its equipment, especially if you work from home or have a lot of activity around the house. “Good behaviors involve more than just asking to go outside and sitting on a signal. They include sitting quietly during a call, and looking at you when they hear noises rather than running and barking,” Kowalski notes.

It also entails having a space for the pet’s needs. “People want to organize their homes and have a place for everything,” comments Robin Rigby Fisher, an interior designer in Portland, Oregon. She suggests thinking about these issues if you plan to bring a pet home: “Are pets allowed on the furniture? If you’re setting up a feeding station, how is the pet eating? Some dogs eat lying down. Dogs with hip problems need space. Bigger. Is your pet a chow dog? Shepherd? Does your dog like me and take a few bites and walk around the house and drop food? Maybe we feed the dog in an enclosed area? Cats usually like to eat alone or at least somewhere where their tails don’t set.” Fisher creates several feeding stations in locker covers for dogs and quiet places to eat in peace, she said.

“We see pot fillers installed over a pet’s water dish, often with a built-in water purifier, so they can have fresh, clean water on demand,” Costa adds. “Pets also get their own refrigerators in many homes,” she declares. She points out that this is due to pet food recalls and shortages and the wellness trend extending to pets.

Fisher points out that laundry rooms are a popular place for pet features. “We’ve done a few built-in kennels. It rains a lot in Portland, and having a place to dry out your dog indoors makes great sense,” the designer suggests. Costa sees grooming desks, showers and tubs for pets tucked into laundry rooms, Pet spas also refer to custom drawers designed to hold pet supplies, end-covered cabinets with leash holders, and other storage accessories designed for pet owners. These niche areas are often in laundry rooms, mudrooms, or kitchens. or informal entry areas.

“We are making more premium flooring vinyl, [as it’s] It’s easy to keep clean with dogs,” Fisher shares. “We recently had a major renovation on a farm with two St. Bernards. We place LVP all over the main floor; She wants her dogs at home and doesn’t want her floors damaged. We also made an outdoor kennel with a water station, so the dogs will be warm when you are not at home during the day. “

pandemic effect

In the early months of the pandemic, isolated adults began adopting pets from shelters to keep them company. Many of them also started working from home at that time and some still do. Now that past closures are bypassed, “You have people doing business meetings from home, and that might necessitate putting in crates or pet gates. But unlike the metal crates or baby gates you used to see, the newer options are more aesthetically pleasing,” he notes. Costa. “Metal crates have been replaced by elegantly designed furniture-style pet dens – I’ve just seen a beautiful, sturdy dog ​​kennel with air vents using materials that blend so seamlessly into the design, you wouldn’t even know they were there if you weren’t looking for it.”

Costa also shares that “Lucite pet gates are becoming a really important item in ticketing, offering a cleaner and more upscale look than metal or wooden gates while allowing homeowners to keep their pets in or out of certain rooms while cooking, entertaining, etc. Style gates are Door pulls to the wall are also a great choice for homeowners who want to keep that clean, open look but still have the ability to divide areas of the house as needed.”

As many pet parents start working away from home or traveling again, pandemic animals who only knew their humans had 24/7 can get stressed. Costa suggests that “soft music or the sounds of a TV turned on can help,” along with puzzle games scattered around the house that hide candy.

Kowalski of the Humane Society recommends acclimating your pet as you leave the house and increasing the time to leave, putting the animal where you will keep it while you are gone.

Oldest pet

“There is definitely a trend to consider larger pets in the design — things like ramps to help dogs who can no longer take steps, cushioned or textured floors to prevent older dogs from slipping, and using wall coverings and fabric to absorb sound because older dogs can be It’s also more sensitive to noise,” Costa says. “An older pet that needs to drink more may be better off using a water fountain or faucet with fresh filtered water right in the bowl. The key is to look at the individual pets and design your space to suit who they are, what they like, what they need and how they live.”

last words

“I knew a designer who would get down on his hands and knees at dog height to see the house from the dog’s point of view before making a plan,” Costa recalls. “He said she helped him design with their perspective in mind. Thinking about the dog as an individual (a family member), and then also thinking about the dog/human team doing some things together, helps create a space that best meets everyone’s needs.”



Costa, Fisher, and Kowalski will share their healthy determination of pet stats in an hour-long Clubhouse chat this afternoon at 4PM ET/1PM Pacific. YOU CAN JOIN THIS WELLNESS WEDNESDAYS DISCUSSION over here. If you can’t attend, you can pick up the recording via Clubhouse Replays or the Gold Notes design blog over here The next Wednesday.