If you can’t imagine your life without your fur child(ren), you’re not alone. Whether it’s giving up 80% of your bed to accommodate for your dog or putting cat treats on the grocery list before your own food necessities, as a pet lover, you’re inclined to prioritize the needs of your babies without a second thought.
And as a dog (and rat) owner myself, I hear you. When my fiancé and I first started living together, I quickly subbed my serving bowls for makeshift doggy water and food dishes until we ordered a
special set, I forwent my desire to have clean and pretty throw pillows and opted for drooly cuddles instead, and I completely redesigned the living room so that our big boy could have his bed front and center by the couch.
It sounds silly sometimes, but it’s true—your furry friends are your babies.
And whether you’re in a huge five-bedroom house or a teeny studio apartment, there’s no doubt about it: pet lovers design their homes differently. Here’s how.
1. Every Room Is Intentionally Inclusive of the Pet's Needs
When you bring a pet into your space—it’s just like a child—everything changes. (And that’s regardless of the pet type, age, or temperament). As a pet lover, your home design becomes, quickly, all about bringing that special addition into the space: dog beds in every room (guilty… we own six! And no, I’m not kidding!), easy access to outside areas or food stations, and if your pet has a kennel, cage, or carrier, you better believe that item is in one of the most frequented areas.
Your pet isn’t just coming into your space; you are redesigning your space to welcome your pet.
2. Comfort Is an Utmost Priority
Whether you own a cat or a tarantula, the idea is the same: you want to create spaces that are comfortable, cozy, and safe for the creature(s) you bring into your family.
For furry pets, this is easier. You’re definitely more inclined to grab fluffy blankets and pillows (FYI: perhaps ones you don’t want destroyed by dirt, claws, fur, and drool), bring beds into or even onto furniture, and maybe even welcome the pet directly in your space (because what’s the point of having a pet if he/she can’t cuddle with you on the couch?! I’ll never know!).
For non-furry pets, like lizards, for example, you may care less about the coziness and more about the comfort and safety. If you’re going to take the little guy or gal out of the cage, you want the room to be clean and ready for (safe) exploration. And so, your first instinct is to make sure that all the spaces you occupy are prioritizing pet needs first.
3. There Are Designated Areas for Different Activities
If you’re a pet lover, you’re all about organizing your space with purpose. Leashes and collars are probably by the door, food/water is probably on a non-carpet surface to avoid spills, and your cuddle station is most likely a bedroom or place where you can share the laziest moments together. Depending on your pet, you may even have a ‘playroom’ of sorts filled with toys. If you have an outdoor pet, there may even be a pen, cage, tent, or ‘house’ where exercise or rest happens—it
all depends on your space and what you can reasonably accommodate.
Just like with kids, everything is organized based around an activity. Snack time happens in the kitchen and playdough is in the little table in the back room—it’s the same with creatures. (Not to mention, these designated spaces help you keep your sanity, too.)
4. There’s Probably a Pet ‘Station’ or ‘Hub’
Pet lovers design their homes differently because their pets’ needs are crucial to the flexibility and ease of the day-to-day. This, of course, will look differently for each home, but more likely than not, a ‘station’ or ‘hub’ is built into the décor somewhere.
Whether that looks like a pet bowl drawer or maybe even an under-the-stairs relaxation area, your pet probably has his or her ‘domain’ (read: run of the house).
5. Spaces Are Mobility-Friendly and Easy to Navigate
When it comes to pets, they have a way of naturally shifting the design of a space to be accessibility-friendly. Regardless of your pet’s age, it’s important to have areas that are easy to navigate, including space between furniture, feeding stations that are appropriate heights, and maybe even stairs or ramps to get to higher levels.
When you have pets, you’re intentionally thinking about usability and ease, and perhaps even more so than a typical consumer.
6. Pet-Friendly and Pet-Celebratory Décor Is a Must
The final piece of home design is home décor, and if you’re a pet lover, you’re partial to anything that makes sense and celebrates your babies. Whether that looks like the construction of a pet-friendly shower or something more budget-friendly, like custom wallpaper littered with your cat’s face, your focus is anything and everything that makes your house feel like a home—for all of its inhabitants.