Forget man caves and home gyms. This year, it’s all about the pet room! From living rooms designed specifically for two- and four-legged family members to kitty nooks stocked with towers to climb, it’s becoming more and more popular for homeowners to design dedicated pet spaces just for their beloved furry friends.
Creating a pet room is a great way to help keep your animal’s toys and items neat and tidy, but there are more benefits to it than that. Research shows that pets, like humans, need their personal space. Giving them a place where they can go to retreat from the chaos of the household will keep them happy, healthy and relaxed so they’re the best companions they can be.
But don’t just throw in a comfy bed and let any room become the pet room. With the right toys, accessories and pet fur management tools, you can transform any space into a welcoming one designed just for your canine companion or feline friend. Here’s how to do it.
- Add Pet-Sized Furniture — The first step to designing any pet-focused space is to equip it with comfortable, pet-sized furniture. From miniature cat hammocks to full-blown dog sofas, there are plenty of options for pet lounging. Dogs will appreciate a plush, oversized dog bed, while your kitty will get plenty of use out of a small pillow or folded blanket. If your pets are scratchers or chewers, make sure to choose furniture with durable fabrics that won’t get ruined after a week.
- Keep the Fur Under Control — The biggest thing that differentiates pets from humans — and, in turn, pet spaces from human spaces — is fur. Animals have a lot of fur, which inevitably sheds all over the house. One great benefit of having a pet-designated space in your home is that the fur is likely to congregate there rather than in the rest of the house. But you still want to make sure you keep it under control. Here’s how:
- Keep a Pet Hair Remover in the Room — You can use a pet hair remover brush to eliminate fur from dog beds, rugs, sofas, cat towers and much more. If you have a large dog or multiple pets, we’d recommend a large pet hair remover to make attacking bigger areas a bit simpler. This is a lot easier than vacuuming and also won’t scare your pet.
- Drape Surfaces with Blankets — Since you can typically just toss them in the wash, throw blankets are a lot easier to clean than pet beds and furniture. Drape the spots where they like to lay with comfortable blankets so you can easily wash them when the fur builds up. As much as your pet deserves the fanciest fabric, make sure to go with machine washable options rather than fussy wool or cashmere.
- Hit It with a Cordless Vacuum — The best way to keep any space clean is to make cleaning as easy and convenient as possible. Make sure to design the room with space for a cordless or stick vacuum so you can regularly keep up with the pet fur and dirt. When shopping, check the decibel rating on the vacuum, as you don’t want it to be so loud it scares your pet!
- Create a Cozy Nook — Focus on creating a small, dedicated space just for your pet. Dogs in particular are fond of smaller, more enclosed spaces and may find that it gives them comfort. That’s why so many of them enjoy spending time in their crate or kennel. And if you’ve ever left out a basket or a cardboard box, you know cats also enjoy a spot of their own. Whether it be a crate, a dog bed or a corner of the house, they will feel relaxed when you add a blanket and toys so they know it’s for them.
- Don’t Forget the Entertainment — Since you yourself probably love watching TV and listening to music, it won’t surprise you to learn that your four-legged friend does, too. In fact, research shows that classical music can help calm anxious pets. Other studies suggest that dogs may enjoy watching the action on the TV screen and it may even make them happier, as long as it’s in the range of colors they can see. That’s why the cable network DogTV — yes, that exists — uses specific colors, brightness, contrast and saturation levels to make the content more visible to your pup. To recap: Yes, we are absolutely suggesting installing a TV and radio in your pet’s room!
- Get Crafty with the Décor — No room is quite complete without some décor to complement the theme. You don’t need to go overboard with this one, but make sure to add some stylish, pet-oriented touches to indicate that the space is for your furry friend. Pick a theme — we like jungle, spa and rustic, but you can take this any way you like — and find pet accessories that honor it. Fun wall hangings and signage will make a great complement to the gallery wall featuring all your pet’s most gorgeous headshots.
- Encourage a Little Play — With all that TV and music, you risk turning your pet into a couch potato. To counteract all the lounging, make sure to add some exercise and play options. For cats, the obvious choice is a cat tree or two where your kitty can hop from one level to the next all day long. A basket of squeaky toys, balls and stuffed animals will keep your energetic pup occupied.
Pets are members of the family just like anybody else, and they deserve their own special space. With these great tips and design ideas, you’ll be able to put together a palatial pet pad that rivals the finest five-star pet spas!