With our furry friends considered a member of the family, it’s important to keep them in mind when you start building a new home. We have the second highest rate in the world of households with pets at 64%, while the US is leading the pack at 65%, according to NZ Companion Animal Council (NZCAC) research.
While most cats (88%) will spend time both indoors and outdoors, so do over half (65%) of our dogs, so you need to make sure you think about things like installing cat/dog doors before you finish building your home.
There are a wide-range of pet-friendly features that may actually make your home more attractive to potential buyers should you choose to sell up in the future. This could even include a custom-made doghouse under a set of stairs.
No matter the pet-friendly designs you have in mind, talk to Generation Homes to see if they can incorporate it into your build to ensure your pet is comfy all day – indoors and out!
1. Flooring for furry friends
The last thing you want is to fork out a large portion of your budget on stunning hardwood floors, only to have them scratched by a playful puppy or a dog running to his food bowl at full speed. When it comes to flooring, high-end linoleum, wood laminate, ceramic tiles and concrete are great pet-friendly alternatives due to their durability and cleaning ability.
While carpet is a warm, comfortable option for all parties, it can harbour germs, stain easily and smell if not cleaned regularly. Also, you might want to avoid white if you plan on having your pet inside, especially when it comes to flooring. This is a chance to experiment with wall colours that complement the flooring and give your new home that personalised touch. To ensure your walls remain clean, think about upgrading to an easy-wipe paint, such as the Dulux EasyClean range, for added protection against drool, mud or splatters. Don’t forget if you have a dog that sheds a lot and you do choose carpet, pick a colour that won’t show up the dog hair.
2. Designated area just for your four-legged friend
Depending on your pet’s indoor habits, you may want to create a special area for them to curl up in and get comfy. For example, your cat may enjoy a built-in window seat to watch birds, while dogs can benefit from a built-in lounger near your kitchen or couches, so when people come to visit, your pet has their own space.
Some new homeowners have even requested designated play areas for their pets in their bedroom or laundry to keep them entertained in a secure location when indoors. Dedicated areas for pets are great options, as it reduces the likelihood of your pets scratching or damaging furniture as they settle into their new home.
3. Keep your house clean with a mud-room
Dog owners may want to add an additional mud-room near the entrance of their new home to minimise outdoor dirt travelling throughout the house. Simply put, a mud-room is a casual secondary entranceway used as a space to remove and store footwear, outerwear and wet clothing before entering the main house. Another idea is to have a room built to the side of the house and add a shower hose in there too - it’s a great place to wash down dirty doggies, particularly their paws!
Make sure you have adequate space to store pet accessories, including wall hooks to keep leashes tangle-free and shelves with baskets to organise spare collars, treats and toys.
4. A cosy place to sleep
A dedicated sleep station is a great way to make your furry friends feel secure in a new home, and it goes a long way when establishing rules around bedtime. From standalone four-poster luxury beds to built-in sleep stations cleverly disguised as a side table, there are endlessly stylish ways to give your furry friend a bed of their own.
Added to this, you can update their bed’s look each season by accessorising with weather-appropriate throws and pillows. For the pampered pooches you may want to use faux fur throws to line their bed in winter and a cool cotton quilt in summer. Giving your pets designated areas to sit and sleep can help with obedience and training them not to sit on couches or hover around the table at dinner.
5. Built-in feeding areas
A built-in feeding area is convenient for pets and owners alike, as it minimises mess and ensures feeding is done in an appropriate area. Many animals love routine, so it’s much more comforting for your pet to have a designated area – plus it saves people knocking over a bowl of food or water in the hallway.
6. Don’t forget outdoor areas for them to play in
You may want to find ways to maximise your property’s outdoor spaces to ensure your pets are warm, safe and happy. Extending the roofline to create a special covered alfresco area for your pet is a great way to protect them from the wind and rain while keeping their sleeping quarters, food and water undercover. It also provides an escape from the sun during the warmer months. Other features gaining popularity include doggie splash pools, outdoor shower stations and mini activity centres.
Whatever you do, you can be sure your pets will thank you for it. Might be a sloppy kiss, but who’s complaining.