If you’ll have pets in your new log or timber home, you may want to consider their current and future needs when designing your home.
Dogs are supposedly man’s best friend—and though I’d argue that our dog prefers me to my husband, I’m also a big fan of cats. Which makes me … a cat lady? Either way, we love our pets and can’t imagine our lives without them. They’re always there to welcome us when we come home and offer true love and devotion without strings attached—as long as we feed them!
In return, we’ve tried to make our home as pet-friendly as possible, including installing easy-to-clean floors with area rugs throughout to make it easier for our aging golden retriever to get traction, and fashioning a ramp so she can get onto our deck now that stairs are difficult for her. We set aside a spot on an unused counter for our cat to access his food and water without interference from said golden retriever, and he has a cozy spot at the foot of our bed to curl up in at night.
We’re not alone in putting our pets first: according to the National Association of Realtors, 61% of U.S. households have an animal or plan to get one, and half of all animal owners who responded to their survey completed home renovations to accommodate their pets, including building a fenced yard, adding a dog door, or installing laminate flooring. www.nar.realtor/infographics/animals-in-homes
And according to a 2020 realtor.com® survey, nearly 95 percent of pet-owning respondents said that their furry companion plays a role in selecting a home, and 84 percent ranked their pets’ needs as “extremely important” or “very important” in their home-search.
What are some of the best ways to build your log and timber house pet-friendly, for the furry members of the family? We have answers!
Easy access to the outdoors
A built-in dog- or cat-door can make everyone’s life easier if you have pets that are allowed to roam your property and are kept safely in bounds with a fence or other property boundary. This is especially nice if you live in a region where the weather makes it unpleasant for you to venture out with your pet at all hours, but you want to make sure they can get out (and in) when they need to.
The technology in dog/cat doors has come a long way in recent years. Doors can be activated by a microchip in your pet’s collar, and automatically lock once your pet has gone in or out, so your home remains secure.
We have hardwood floors throughout our house, which are easy to clean but do show scratches. Your flooring choice will likely depend on your pet. Do you have a great big furry dog who likes to roll in the mud? Luxury vinyl might be the best choice for you. Do you have a sweet tabby cat who stays indoors? You have much more flexibility only having a cat but flooring that is easy to sweep and mop would still be my choice. Tile, hardwood, or luxury vinyl all meet that test, and you might want to add in-floor radiant heating for the ultimate in comfort.
Even if you enlist the aid of professional groomers to keep your pup or kitty clean and fresh, there will be times when you need to do a little clean-up on your own. A walk-in tub or shower makes it easy to get your pet’s grooming needs taken care of without having to coax (or lift) them into a regular bathtub. Save your back—and save your pet the trauma—by having an easily accessible tub or shower at home.
Both our pets love finding a sunny spot to nap that also allows them to keep an eye on the neighborhood. Built-in beds or nooks—much like a reading nook you might build for yourself—can be a great way to give your furry friends a spot to relax that suits their needs. You can even build them with memory-foam cushioning, a great option for both feline and canine aging joints.
If your home’s design won’t allow for built-in beds, there is a wide variety of beautiful pet beds available in every shape and size. From plush pillowtops to supportive orthopedic beds, you’re sure to find one that is just right for your dog or cat. You can even find dog crates that are built to look like furniture, so they seamlessly blend in with your décor.
Keeping pets safe from predators, cars, or just getting lost means you need a way to keep them on your property, like a fence or an electronic fence. You should also make sure there are shady spots for pets to avoid overheating in the sun. And there are other dangers for pets that many people don’t think about—including poisonous plants. The ASPCA has a list of common toxic plants to avoid, including tulips, azaleas, and lilies. https://www.aspca.org/pet-care/animal-poison-control/toxic-and-non-toxic-plants
It’s unavoidable: pets can be messy. We have a few tips to keep the mess to a minimum:
-Hide your cat’s litter box in a lower cabinet with a door cut out.
-Use absorbent rugs at entry points, to dry muddy paws when your pet comes in.
-Invest in cute containers that complement your décor for things like pet toys, food, and treats.
-A robot vacuum that can be run each evening will help keep floors fur-free.
Keeping your pet’s current and future needs in mind while you’re designing your log home will not only make your home more enjoyable for your pets, but it will make life easier for you and your family for years to come.