conley6.gif (2529 bytes)


Furry family members get their space

Photos courtesy of Wisconsin Kitchen Mart

July 2015

A neo-angle pet washing station makes for an easy place to clean up your dog.

Not so long ago, dogs lived in dog houses. But as we increasingly treat our pets like one of the family, we want to make space for them inside the house. In recent years, more dog and cat owners are considering their petsí needs when building or remodeling their homes, says Rob Radiske, designer-vice president for Wisconsin Kitchen Mart in Milwaukee.

"There are a number of ways to incorporate pet dishes into the design of a kitchen, mudroom or really any room that has cabinetry of some sort," Radiske says. "One would be to simply include an open space or recessed area, say, at the end of an island or on a flanking wall area." A recessed area could also serve as a petís sleeping area if a pet bed is added, he suggests. Itís also an appealing way for your pet to feel close to you when youíre in the kitchen.

If youíve ever accidentally stepped into your dogís water dish, youíll like this idea. "Another option is a low pullout drawer or shelf that houses the dishes and can be tucked away if necessary. You can accommodate older or larger pets by raising the height of the drawer or shelf," Radiske says. An elevated feeder and water bowl is more ergonomic and reduces the stress on your petís neck and back. The dining niche can be made of easy-to-clean durable material or even artificial turf to give pets the feeling of dining in the wild.

Numerous pullout cabinet accessories can be repurposed for pet supplies, according to Radiske. "A pullout peg board with hooks can be used for leashes, brushes or other grooming items, as would pullout base pantries for food and treat storage, grooming aids and leashes. This can be as simple as a dedicated drawer for the pet supplies with dividers for organization," he says. Tilt-out drawers are also a good option for food and treats. And, if you have several pets and they all get different kinds of food, set up a system of clear storage containers in your cabinet.

For the times when youíd rather not have Fido in the kitchen, consider a built-in gate. This design element is ideal to keep pets in a specific area when youíre cooking and donít want to trip over a pet thatís underfoot.

The mudroom can be outfitted for everyone ó two and four-legged. If youíre installing lockers for the kids, include one for the dog. It can also be a good place to hide the litter box.

Speaking of hiding, is your pet fearful of storms? An indoor doggie door may be what your pet needs to take cover until the storm passes. Cut a small window into the door of a bedroom closet and create a cozy den for your doggie.

A pet washing station helps keep dirty paw prints out of the house, which is especially handy if you live in a rural area. "Incorporate a large single bowl sink in the utility room that could serve as a laundry sink as well as a pet bathing station with pullout sprayer faucet. We have seen elevated shower bases used as pet bathing areas as well," Radiske says. "This can be done with tile or solid surface products or more economically with pre-manufactured acrylic units. In our showroom, we designed in a neo-angle shower base in a corner next to a boot bench with hooks and an open shelving unit on the other side. We installed a wall mount utility faucet with tile walls. This can serve a dual purpose as a pet washing station and also be used to clean off muddy boots from children or from yard work and gardening."



This story ran in the July 2015 issue of: