When you take a pet into your home you are inviting them into your family. Like any other member of your household, they have their own needs. Human houses aren’t always designed with those needs in mind though. Pets can’t express their anxiety about their surroundings in the same way people can, so they develop disobedient or destructive behaviors. The go-to solution for a misbehaving pet has always been to blame the animal and enroll them in a training course, but it’s equally important to consider the animal’s day-to-day life and try to see any sources of stress from their perspective.
Before undertaking any renovation, pet-centric or otherwise, pet owners will have a few extra things to plan for. The noisy process and alarming nature of any home project disrupts the animal’s routine and can cause them to act out. The best plan is to simply keep them in a specific room that will not be disturbed for the duration of the work. In longer multi-day projects this might not be practical; in these cases it is in the best interest of your pet to put them in boarding for the duration. Also bear in mind that your pet will not immediately acclimate to a new environment once everything is completed — a good tip for cat owners is to rub a towel over your cat and then rub that towel over any new areas or objects.
While it is true that a specific pet upgrade tends to increase resale value when presented to prospective buyers who already have a pet that will benefit from the past owner’s design, it should be noted that any custom renovation may actually decrease resale value in general, because more often than not the new owner will want to change the space to suit their needs. So if you want to help keep your pet happy and thriving but don’t intend to stay in your home indefinitely, it’s best to keep reversibility in mind with the construction of any project or design it for multi-use adaptability in the future.
It’s exactly what it sounds like, and it’s currently one of the most popular renovations for dog owners. You can build a dog shower in a laundry room, outside, in a mudroom, or anywhere with a plumbing connection, and these take so much of the mess and frustration out of bath time, while keeping your own bathroom intact.
This is the upgrade that will have the most legs when it comes to resale. Adding a mudroom will make you wonder how you ever lived without it. Pets are far from the only ones who track dirt or rain inside, or need a place to store things that commonly get taken outside, so the adaptability for this renovation is through the roof. It also just so happens to be an Excellent place to build a dog shower. Bonus points if you add an exhaust fan for ventilation.
Building a feeding station into a cabinet allows bowls to be secure in place and also out of the way, so you’ll never have to clean up another spill. A built-in bed station gives a sense of security and prevents tripping hazards. These kind of upgrades are ideal because any cabinetry can be easily multi-purposed.
There’s a few miscellaneous upgrades that will help give TLC to an overstimulated pet. Retrofitting a closet or laundry room with sound-buffering acoustical panels will give nervous barky dogs an oasis in thunder or fireworks. Sometimes window sightlines can be adjusted so that your dog doesn’t bark at every passing squirrel. Or something that people will benefit from as well as pets is a heated floor.
There are many good reasons to keep cats strictly indoors, but an indoor cat will always scratch and spray more than cats allowed outdoors. If your neighborhood isn’t suitable for a cat to go out in, a custom patio may be for you. It must be fully enclosed, and even if it’s not particularly spacious, all it needs to be is big enough for your cat to be able to smell the grass and feel the air. This will alleviate the stress and anxiety that leads to your cat’s destructive behaviors.
Even if you decide that a custom renovation isn’t for you, there are still choices you can make in your other projects that will benefit you greatly in long run. When a pet owner brings any material that a pet will regularly interact with into their house, they should consider its finish, its durability, and its ability to be sanitized. Countertops should be solid surface, granite, or plastic laminate; floors should be ceramic/porcelain tile or laminate; and the walls should be non-porous drywall ideally painted with VOC-free paint. Volatile organic compounds (VOC) are common in wall paint and can harm your pet’s sensitive nose.