Introducing a dog into your family is a joyous occasion. Our furry friends bring a seemingly endless supply of positivity, energy, love and fun to a home, and there’s nothing quite like being greeted by a smiling pup to turn a bad day around.
But just like our cat companions, dogs bring their fair share of challenges when they’re introduced into a new home, apartment or room.
If you are interested in cat friendly design, check out our blog post Cool Design Ideas For The Stylish Cat Lover Home.
Creating a dog-friendly home can make his transition smooth and enjoyable. This article is all about how do I make my room dog friendly?
What can be done to have pet friendly rooms?
What changes can be done so our four legged friends are more comfortable?
Anything from design to safety precautions for canine companions can add to the ambience of thoughtfully created pet friendly rooms. Pet owners are building, re-designing, preparing, painting and safety-proofing their homes and offices to create a pet friendly vibe.
How Do I Design a Dog-Friendly Room?
Having both home aesthetics and your new canine’s safety in mind when designing your dog friendly room is the way to go. This way you will have a home you both love to be in and it will be safe too. You will need to consider all your interior elements for canine companions. Using dog safe paint on the walls, having dog safe carpet, choosing colors that hide dog hair and making sure furniture is cleanable are among the most important decisions. Finishing with a dog specific furniture will then add the perfect touch!
How Can I Make My House Safe For Dogs?
More and more pet owners want to spoil their furry friends but also have nice pet aesthetics. Barkitecture is even a term given to pet owners who indulge in have their pets in mind during their home and room design.
A curious dog can find plenty of everyday things in the house that could cause them harm. Even if they aren’t nosing around for potential trouble, dogs might inadvertently cause slow destruction of furniture and other items in your home through chewing, scratching, rough play and general wear-and-tear over the course of weeks, months and years.
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For the inside of your house, pet owners will want to consider these safety precautions and look into appropriate pet supplies to support the upgrades:
- Dog safe paint
Look for paints that have low VOC and even better, no VOC (paints that are free from heavy metals). ECOS puts the information about dog friendly right on their label with Zero VOC, Low Odor and Non-Toxic. We especially like the low odor because the smell of paint is exactly what your dog will want to investigate, and probably have a lick or two!
- Cord exposure
Use cord covers to protect cords and protect your pooch from getting shocked. They have all different colored ones at Amazon so you can express your creativity will keeping your dog safe.
- Chemicals and cleaning supplies
Keep chemicals, cleaning supplies and any other poisonous products (laundry detergents, anti-free etc.) locked away where your dog cannot get to them.
- Dog safe garage
Keep your garage cleaned up. Try to hang as much as possible, even cords. Lock up all toxic cleaners and yard products such as gardening supplies so that your dog is not tempted to investigate.
- Dog safe backyard and front yard
Use toxin-free landscaping and products that are dog safety approved. Consider keeping a fence around your home to have a barrier between oncoming traffic and your pup.
Giving your dog his own space in the yard is ideal. This will be where he can dig to his little heart’s content.
He can have his own water bowl, toys and dog pool. This will encourage him to stay in his dog friendly space and not be tempted to explore everything else.
This video explores several different designs to create a dog friendly yard.
For dog owners, there are plenty of precautions to take when safeguarding your home for a playful pup. Not completely dissimilar to safeguarding a space for children, a little bit of strategic thinking when purchasing, renovating or redesigning your home can go a long way to ensure you and your dog are happy and healthy for years to come.
How Do I Make My Room Dog Friendly?
In order to make a room or rooms dog friendly, you will want to consider these things:
- Have carpet that is durable and does not stain
- Use paint that is non-toxic, no VOC and odorless
- Choose furniture that hides dog hair
- Choose chairs and sofas that are fabric Fido friendly
- Go with light fixtures that cannot tip over
- Have cordless electronics as much as possible
- Keep it clean and organized
- Use a dog toy box
- Incorporate doggy furniture
- Add nice looking pet beds
- Use modern food and water bowls
In this guide, we’ll walk you through some of the considerations that are important when making interior design choices for a house that has a canine companion, including types of paint on the wall, general fabrics that best suit our furry friends, various colors to help disguise loose hair, and what sofas might be best suited for a dog-friendly home.
This guide will make sure your home décor can withstand the energy a dog brings into the home.
Which Paint Is Safe for Pets?
Paint is one of the major tone-setters of a room, and it’s no small undertaking to paint a room.
Because of this, paint is often one of the hardest aspects of home décor to customize for a pup, unless you’re willing to roll up your sleeves and really put in the work. But paint isn’t just confined to walls.
With the popular practice of rehabbing old furniture with new paint, we’re finding paint in more places throughout the home than ever before.
Dogs love to chew and scratch, which means your walls and furniture legs can be fair game for a mischievous pup looking to play.
That’s why it’s important for pet owners to choose paint that has either no or low levels of volatile organic compounds, often referred to in shorthand on paint cans as VOC. When choosing pet friendly paints, be sure to check labels.
These can include ethylene glycol, formaldehyde, methylene chloride and benzene. Pet-friendly paints will be marked as such, with wording on the packaging such as “No VOC” or “Low VOC.”
Which Carpet is Pet Friendly?
It’s easy to have a love-hate relationship with carpet—especially when you share your house, apartment or room with a dog. First and foremost, you should outfit your space according to your personal preference. This is your home, so make it work for you. With that in mind, there are particular carpets that work best to accommodate the shed and shred that comes along with owning a dog. But like paint, make sure your carpet material is low on any VOCs.
Pet friendly carpet is super important. First, you want to make sure it is safe for you and your dog. Next, you want it to be pet friendly aesthetically. For pet friendly carpets consider the material and color to blend well with dog hair that will get left behind.
Pet friendly carpets should also be easy to clean. If you adopt a puppy or dog who is not potty trained yet, your pet friendly carpet will be able to withstand the accidents that might happen while you are getting your pup trained.
Nylon: This is a great, popular option for dog-owners because it’s incredibly durable. It’s also a cinch to clean and keeps its appearance longer than other types of carpeting. If your pup loves rolling, rambunctious play or even the occasional scratching at carpet, nylon is proven to keep up with the demand.
Wool: This is probably the preferred material because of its softness—a happy pup is one laying in the sun on a tightly-woven wool carpet. While this material isn’t as durable as nylon, and is a little pricier, it is pretty resilient in its own right.
Olefin: This material is considered an outdoor carpet, but that doesn’t mean you can’t install it in heavier trafficked indoor areas like mudrooms, screened porches and the like. It’s easy to clean and it’s stain-resistant, so you can rest easy when your dog is playing on it—even if it’s a dirty dog.
Which Colors Hide Dog Hair?
Whether you’re talking about carpet, furniture, car interiors or even your favorite sweater, it’s no secret that dog hair gets on everything. If your dog can sit on it, stand on it, or snuggle against it, you’re going to need a brush or vacuum to clean it.
However, there are certain colors of carpets, fabrics and other materials that will do a good job hiding dog hair so you’re not constantly running around your home with an adhesive roller.
The first rule-of-thumb is to do your best matching fabric color to hair color. If you have a golden retriever and you’re picking out a carpet or sofa, think about going with a lighter color fabric as opposed to darker hues. The same goes for the opposite: Match dark hair with dark fabrics. That will save you a lot of cleaning headaches down the road.
A more general, catch-all rule-of-thumb is to lean toward patterns and textures. Those not only do a better job at hiding hair, but also at hiding any potential stains your pet can cause (naturally, you’ll want to clean any stains, but sometimes it’s nice to have a concealing fabric if you can’t get to the mess right away).
Overall, it’s preferable to match color to color, but fabrics that run darker are generally better for pets because they have similar concealing attributes as patterns and textures.
Which Sofas are Best for Dogs?
Sofas that are best for dogs are ones that camouflage your dog’s hair. Try to choose a sofa that is the same color as your canine. Make sure the sofa is durable enough for your dog to jump up and down on it. The frame and cushions should be solid. The fabric (unless you choose leather) should be cleanable. Most descriptions will include wording that alerts you it is stain free.
Aside from beds, the sofa is probably the most popular battleground between dog and dog-owner. Some owners forbid dogs from sitting on the couch, which requires training and constant vigilance on the owner’s part (and even then, you never know what that pup will do once you leave the house). Other owners are happy to share their sofa with their furry friend, but then you’re battling over snuggle space depending on the size of the couch. Either way, there’s a lot to consider when buying a sofa as a dog-owner.
Color: Much like carpeting, it’s best to match dog hair color to fabric color, but that isn’t always possible—perhaps you got the couch before the dog, or the new couch doesn’t come in a matching color. If you’re a minimalist, the best rule-of-thumb is to opt for neutral fabric tones like grey, tan or a light olive. Those will help conceal hair better than eggshell or black hues. For those that like a little more flair in their décor, a great option is to go with patterns or textures, which are excellent at masking dog hair.
Fabric: Leather is a great first option—if you have the budget—because hair simply doesn’t accumulate on the stuff. If you need to save a little bit of money, pleather is always a great option. Microfibers are also fantastic fabrics: They’re easy to brush and clean, and don’t run down so easily. Denim is also a great option for durability—there’s a reason why that fabric is used in labor-intense work. Finally, canvas is a good choice. If you have expensive taste, make sure to stick with the leather and avoid any easily-damaged and pricey fabrics like velour or suede.
Durability: There’s nothing like a comfy family couch, whether that family is a large brood or just you and your pup. If you own a dog, shy away from fancy Victorian-style couches with flairs like intricate wooden molding or fancy wooden legs. Those both make attractive chew spots for your pup and are nearly impossible to restore. Likewise, generally avoid any intricate or particularly ornate sofas, unless you’re absolutely confident in your training ability. Perhaps save those pieces of furniture for areas of the house inaccessible to the family dog, like a fancy parlor room with doors. Finally, couches with loose-knit fabrics are at risk of being pulled by teeth or nails.
Cleanability: No one wants to fit their couch with plastic lining, so you’ll want to factor in cleanability when purchasing a new couch as a dog-owner. Avoid shag, loose-knit, suede or any other materials that are difficult to maintain—you never know when a muddy pup might sneak onto the couch. Purchase durable and cleanable fabrics like leather or denim if cleanability is a major concern.
There’s a lot to consider when bringing a furry friend home, and home décor should definitely factor in.
Whether your tastes run fancy, eclectic or minimalist, you shouldn’t have to forgo your favorite aesthetic just because you own a dog.
There are tons of options that can cater to your needs. But while many dog owners’ primary concern is concealing dog hair—which is important—it’s necessary to go the extra few steps and make sure the paint, fabrics and furniture you’re decorating your home with are not only durable and easy to clean but are also environmentally friendly for your curious pet.
There’s nothing like coming home to a friendly dog. The only thing better is coming home to a friendly dog inside a comfy, clean and safe home.
Additional Barkitecture Information
Barkitecture for Cats: Designing with Cat Shelves
AIA Triangle Events for Barkitecture
BOHO Bedroom Guide for Cat Ladies
Barkitecture’s Finest: Luxury Dog Houses
How Do I Make My Room Dog Friendly?
Why Is Kritter Kommunity Your Trusted Pet Partner?
Lisa Illman is the Founder of Kritter Kommunity, LLC. Growing up, Lisa had a poodle and parakeet as family pets. She currently has a tuxedo male cat and she has had him since he was a baby kitten; so Lisa knows well the kitten lifecycle, the teenage cat lifecycle and the adult cat lifecycle (he is currently 11 years old). Prior to her cat Finnegan, Lisa had two FIV positive cats for a decade. They inspired Lisa to invent a cat enclosure so they could safely sit outside and enjoy fresh air and sunshine. She brought the product to market and eventually designed a line of portable catios; they sold on Amazon, Skymall Catalogue, Wayfair and countless other websites. Lisa understands the passion for Barkitecture! Her experience being a pet parent coupled with her business development and product management experience make her a trusted pet enthusiast partner.
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Chris Staten is a freelance writer who covers pop culture, craft drinks and more. He resides in Colorado with his dog, Redwood.