Décor Ideas for Your Dog
Dog ownership doesn't mean your house has to look like a kennel. You don't have to live with blankets on the furniture or squeaky toys and kibble scattered throughout the house. You can own a dog, or two, or three and still create a comfortable, functional and stylish space for everyone to enjoy. We'll show you how to create a wonderful and safe home for your pooch without sacrificing your own personal decorating style!
On the other end of the spectrum, you don't have to decorate a room just for your dog (although that would be pretty cool!). All you need to do is incorporate a few sensible and stylish décor ideas with your beloved pooch in mind. Your house will not only be dog friendly, you’ll appreciate the easy care details and chic new look!
Use Dog-Proof Fabrics
There are certain fabrics that just don’t belong in a doggie household. Silk is out – it stains too easily. Fabrics with nap, such as velvet or chenille, attract dog hair like a magnet. Even hardy cotton twill or canvas is no match for muddy paws. So what’s a dog owner to do?
Well, first off, try using an upholstery fabric color that matches your dog’s hair. Let your dog be the color inspiration for your décor! I know it sounds crazy, but you won’t as obsessed about cleaning if you can’t see the dog hairs. If you have dogs with different fur colors, opt for upholstery with a smooth surface, like leather – dog hair won’t become embedded and can be easily removed with a sticky roller.
A number of pet-friendly upholstery fabrics have hit the consumer market in the past few years. William Wegman, famous for his Weimaraner photography, has a line of fabrics that are virtually dog-proof! Consisting of durable suedes and twills, these fabrics not only resist dirt, stains, odors and bacteria, they are trendy – perfect for any dog-loving, style devotee!
Instead of replacing all of your upholstered furniture, purchase or have washable slipcovers made. When Fido makes a mess or has an accident, simply pull the slipcovers off and toss them in the wash!
Another option is choosing furniture pieces covered in microfiber. Microfiber is a tough, synthetic fabric that is a dream to spot clean. If you catch stains before they set in, a light dabbing with an anti-bacterial wipe is all you need for clean up. This fabric also holds up to harsher spot cleaning products – you won’t have to worry about fading or discoloration. You can also request your microfiber, or any fabric upholstery, be treated with a fabric protector.
Consider Dog-Friendly Flooring
If you have carpet and dogs, you know this is not a happy combination. Dog hair and dander accumulate in the fibers and no matter how often you vacuum, you just can’t get it all out. For this reason, non-carpeted surfaces are your best bet.
Hardwood floors are lovely to look at, but if you have large dogs, they may take a beating. If you want the look of wood, choose a durable laminate or new generation cork/vinyl hybrid that gives you the look of wood, but will withstand dog wear-and-tear. They are easy to clean up and require no sealers.
Other excellent non-porous flooring choices are ceramic tile and stained concrete. These tough-as-nail surfaces are beautiful, claw-proof and provide your pooch a nice cool place for a nap during the summer. One word of caution: seal tile grout and stained concrete to prevent stains from ‘accidents’. Sealing will also make clean up a breeze!
Create a Dog Mudroom
Your family has a mudroom, why not give your best pal a place to stop and clean up before tracking water and outdoor grime through the house. Incorporate your pet clean-up area in an existing mudroom, or create a special space just inside the front or back door.
Ideally, this area should be equipped with a sink, or be located with one nearby. The floor and lower portion of the walls can be tiled to protect surfaces from flying water and mud after a brisk walk in the rain. Just as in a human mudroom, include a bench or banquette with a stain-resistant fabric cushion. Shelves, wall hooks and under bench bins are perfect for leash, treat and towel storage.
Make a Feeding and Food Storage Station
If your house is like ours, your dog eats in a high traffic area of the kitchen. Maybe it is time to rethink this arrangement and give your fur baby a special place to dine!
If you are a handy carpenter, think about constructing a dog feeding station in an out-of-the-way location. This station can include a built-in elevated holder for dog bowls to prevent them from being kicked or tipped over. Elevated bowls are also good for your dog – they prevent them from gulping their food and swallowing too much air.
Above the bowl holder, construct a built-in storage system consisting of a couple of drawers and shelves for storing all of your dog-related items like food, treats, medicines, extra toys, etc.
For those of us not skilled in woodworking, simply find a quiet spot in the kitchen to place an elevated dog food dish on a rubber or plastic mat. Above the feeding area, install pre-made shelving to hold all of your dog’s food and belongings. Plastic bins work great. Just make sure the kibble is stored high enough to prevent a midnight dog food raid!
Select Durable Wall Finishes
Tired of seeing dirt and paw prints on your walls and doors? Always paint vertical surfaces with semi-gloss paint. Some manufacturers even offer paint lines that are formulated for super easy cleaning. That way, all you’ll need to do is wipe them with a sponge when things get messy!
Choose Appropriate Furnishings and Accessories
There are so many decorative pet beds available, you should be able to find one that works with your décor. Choose a fancy canopy bed and matching armoire to store your pooch’s extensive wardrobe! For dogs more down-to-earth dogs, a faux wicker crate is a stylish option.
For those lucky dogs with a designated room of their own, accessories and furnishings should be an extension of your human decorating style. Keep accessories to a minimum and out of reach of curious pups. Adorn the walls with dog-themed posters and artwork, wallpaper border or a mural.
Use an overhead lighting source instead of table or floor lamps. Electrical cords are a chewing danger and lamps can easily be knocked over, creating a fire hazard. When installing a ceiling lighting fixture, consider including a ‘doggie cam’ in the room to check up on your friend while you’re at work.
In the case of older pets, make sure their room is fitted with non-skid flooring. Furnishings should be easy for your senior dog to access and maneuver around.
Consider 'Clean' Toys and Chews
Oh, I know your dog loves rawhide chews and pig ears. What dog doesn’t? Just because they love them doesn’t mean they’re good for your dog or your décor. Messy hide chews can contain unsafe ingredients. Not to mention the fact they become slimy and can leave greasy goo and spots all over your rugs and furniture.
Purchase non-slimy chew toys for your dog. Walk into any pet store and you’ll find hundreds of safe and tidy toys to choose from – designed for even the most aggressive chewers.
Make Your Home a Dog-Safe Environment
As you would create a child safe environment for an active toddler, you should consider your dog’s safety when thinking of your home’s décor. Do a walk through, jotting down any potential dangers. Place protective covers on electrical cables and cords and insert childproof caps over outlets. Install childproof door locks on lower cabinets to keep your dog away from cleaning products and other items that can cause harm.
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© 2012 lindacee
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