Pet Friendly Homes: Best House Designs for Dogs, Cats & More

Pet Friendly Home Ideas

When you build a home, one of the benefits is the fact that you can tailor the home to meet the specific needs of your family members. Yet if you have a pet, it’s easy to overlook the design elements that make a home pet friendly as well as people friendly.

Pet Friendly home plan - The Rockledge #875-D

The Rockledge #875-D

From adding a cat perch to the living room to putting a dog-washing sink in the laundry room, a few changes to your home’s design can make it a great place to live for all members of your family.

Pet friendly home plan - The Chesnee #1290

The Chesnee #1290

Change the Laundry Room to Be Pet Friendly

Your laundry or mud room is a great place to stash dog food and pet-washing supplies. Pet-friendly home designs often include changes to the laundry area that incorporate a pet-washing station and storage for pet food and supplies. You may even want a built-in pet feeding station in this part of your home.

Pet Friendly home plan - The Chesnee #1290

The Chesnee #1290

Strategically Place Pet Doors

Pet doors can give pets access to areas of the home that you may not want children to have ready access to, so consider having them built into the home’s design. For example, install a dog door with easy-to-clean flooring, like the kitchen, in case pets track in mud or dirt. Some pets, like cats, prefer to stay indoors, but may like access to dark areas of the home, like a closet or basement, if they need some seclusion. Put a cat door in these areas to give them access without leaving the door open at all times.

Pet friendly home

Give Pets A Quiet Place

All pets — no matter how social they appear — appreciate having a quiet place to get away from the hustle and bustle of family life. Whether it’s a corner tucked away out of sight in the main living area that serves as a pet nook or a built-in piece of cat furniture with a hidey hole, this design element will improve your pet’s experience in the home.

Pet friendly home plan - The Gilchrist #734-D

The Gilchrist #734-D

Choose the Right Materials

From flooring to furnishings, the materials in your new home need to be pet-resistant. Pet-friendly flooring is particularly important, as pet claws can damage delicate flooring materials, and pet fur can get into the carpet — making it difficult to fully clean. Hard, durable floors are the best in houses with pets. Also, possibly include scratch-resistant finishes for window ledges, counters or other surfaces the pets will be allowed to access.

Consider a Pet Room

Whether you have a bird that needs a room to fly safely in; a ferret that needs to get out of the cage and roam from time to time; a dog that wants to watch the cars go by out of a large window with a ledge; or a cat that needs a quiet place to retreat, consider dedicating a room in the home to your pet’s needs. This room can double as a den or playroom — depending on your type of pet — but stock it with those features that will make it attractive and safe for the pet.

Are you interested in pet-friendly homes? Donald A. Gardner Architects has a number of home designs that can easily accommodate your pets. Browse our home plans today.

8 comments on “Pet Friendly Homes: Best House Designs for Dogs, Cats & More

  1. Caela on

    I was seriously looking for innovative ideas for those of us who foster (fail), rescue and own MULTIPLE dogs that may not be able to be kept together in the same room. Wouldn’t expect a “set plan” but ideas/drawings that can be incorporated into any existing plan. Actually has caused me to start my own sketches….kid style!!!

  2. Lisa on

    you say you have a number of pet friendly homes, yet your site has no way of searching for them? there is no option to select anywhere that specifies pet design in anyway.

    • Echo Jones on

      Hi Lisa! Our home plans are not designed with specific pet-friendly features. These are typically non-structural changes that can be made during the building process or through plan modifications to incorporate the needs of pets. In this article, there are suggestions about how you can make any home pet-friendly. These can include adding built-in crate beds, a dog-washing station in the laundry room, ledges and scratching posts for cats, doggy doors, food storage, etc. Our suggestion would be to find a plan that fits your needs, then consider the spaces that you will need for your pets. If structural modifications are needed, you can submit a request and work with our designers or have a local designer make the changes. Non-structural changes can be discussed with your builder prior to construction.

  3. Libby on

    Much better to give pups a room of their own with a door to outside. Doesn’t take long for laundry and dogs to get in each other’s way.


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