How To Design a Pet-Friendly Home

Pet-Friendly Home

We each have needs based on our family’s lifestyle, especially when it comes to building, designing and decorating our homes. Whatever particular needs our families have determine the decisions we make about carpeting, floor plans, paint colors, etc.

This also applies when you add pets into the equation. According to the 2015-16 APPA National Pet Owners Survey, 65% of households are home to at least one pet. This number has increased by 9% since 2012.

With approximately 80 million households containing pets, it’s safe to say that these furry friends are not only loved, but they become part of the family.

Therefore, when thinking about the needs of your family’s unique lifestyle (newborn baby, teenagers, large or small family, family member with a disability), pet ownership would fall into this category.

No matter how much we love our pets, it is no secret that they can be destructive around the house.

So, how do you design a pet-friendly home? What things should you consider whether you’re building or buying, renting or remodeling? 


Choosing flooring is an important decision for pet owners because this is one area of your home that pets can be toughest on.

One excellent flooring option is laminate. They have a layer that protects against stretches, scuffs and stains. As long as you regularly maintain the floors, they’ll look good as new.

Another type of flooring good for pet owners is vinyl. These types of floors are easy to maintain, long-lasting, and highly durable. And the best part? Vinyl softens the sound of your pet’s nails when they are walking or running through the house.

Tile floors work well for pets because they do not scratch easily and you don’t have to worry about the condition of the floor if you’re potty training or your pet has an accident.

Carpeting is difficult to work with, as many pet owners can probably attest to. They trap odors and pet hair and show stains very easily.


Do you have an indoor/outdoor pet? If so, you may want to consider this in your floor plan. Would a doggie door or a cat door be helpful for your pet? Do you need a fenced in yard or a garage door vs. a car port? Do you have a brand new puppy? Do you have a houseful of animals, each with their own set of needs? These are things to think about and questions to answer when designing a pet-friendly home.


I’m sure, as pet owners, that you’ve experience some wear and tear on your furniture, if not complete destruction altogether. It’s a little nerve-wracking to consider investing in a new piece of furniture when all you can think about are accidents, pet hair, odors, licking, climbing and scratching.

Of course, your pets may not be allowed on the furniture, but sometimes it’s hard to resist puppy snuggles!

There are certain upholsteries that do better in homes where pets are present. For example, leather is mostly resistant to odors and, believe it or not, does not attract pet hair. If you do happen to see fur or paw prints, swipe it with a dust cloth and you’re good to go.

Synthetic fiber is a nice option for cat owners because felines do not prefer to scratch these fabrics. These materials are close to “pet proof” because they’re easy to clean with a simple combination of water and soap.

Try to steer clear from tweedy textures. Due to the heavy weave of the texture, it can allow hair and dirt to get stuck within the fibers and makes it very difficult to clean. A few other fabrics you might want to stay away from are velvet, wool, linen and silk.

There are also special dog blankets and couch coverings you can invest in to keep your furniture looking brand new.


When you have a pet, you accumulate their things as well. Consider where you’d like to keep the pet supplies: leashes, towels, food and water bowls, toys, medicines, treats, food bins, litter boxes, beds, etc. You may want to incorporate some extra storage in your laundry room or create a unique space to store these items in order to keep track of everything.

When you’re thinking of your family’s lifestyle needs, consider what the needs of your furry family members might be as well. I am certain that it will affect some of your decisions when building, buying or remodeling.


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