By Ann Robinson and Annie Vernon
The thousands of dog owners and their pooches on parade at last month’s “Strut Your Mutt” event in Sugarhouse Park demonstrated one thing: Utahns love to pamper their pets. Pet lovers pamper their dogs with designer dog beds, designer dog clothes, designer dog carriers and designer dogs. If you’re one of these pet lovers, read on to learn about architectural features that can make your home friendlier for your dog or cat — and more convenient for you.
For example, if you dislike having muddy paw prints in your home, why not install a dog shower? Yes, they do exist.
A dog shower is tiled, reaches about 3 feet in height; has a detachable, handheld shower nozzle; and an open, ground-level entry so your dog can walk right in. You can use the shower to give your dog a full scrub-down or just to clean off muddy paws. After we designed a dog shower for one of our clients, she attests that her large bull mastiff now actually enjoys bathing!
A dog shower is tiled, reaches about 3 feet in height; has a detachable, handheld shower nozzle; and an open, ground-level entry.
Dog showers can also be useful in other ways. You can use them to spray house plants, clean dirty boots and other outdoor items, and clean drip-dry wet clothing. If you have smaller dogs and pets, a large utility sink installed at counter-level can serve all of the same purposes.
A utility room — such as a laundry room or mudroom — with direct access to the outside is a good place for a dog shower and other pet-friendly architectural features. If cats are your thing, you could install in this room a cabinet with a swinging cat door to hide the sight and odor of a litter box. A bin attached inside a cabinet that tilts open provides an easy and cleaner way for you to store and scoop out dry cat or dog food. Whether enclosed inside a cabinet or not, you may also want to have plenty of hooks in this room to hang leashes, collars, brushes, and so forth.
If you want to contain your pets in your home but not completely isolate them — when you have company, for example — you could install a half-height door on your utility room for a dog or an interior screen door for your cat. And speaking of keeping your pets inside your home, ceramic tile, vinyl-composition tile, stained concrete, and hard rubber coating make durable, easy-to-clean flooring for pets. Avoid cheap vinyl, which can be torn by claws and sharp toenails.
To compliment your custom dog shower with an architecturally designed dog house, you may want to use some custom dog house plans for sale that were designed by an architect.
Our motto is to improve people’s lives through architecture. We’re proud to say that that motto also applies to our client’s pets. As always, we welcome your home architect design questions at firstname.lastname@example.org.