Some of us have children. Others of us have puppies. If your little one is covered in fur and walks on a leash, and you've pledged to devote your entire being to her alone, you either need serious parenting help or, more likely, qualify for weirdo animal-lover status. Precious Fifi may get her own handbag carrier and stroller, but behind closed doggie doors, how do you really show her she's a valued family member? If you've elevated the pooch to royal status, back up that talk with a pet niche designed for a princess. Even if you aren't a full-blown, t-shirt promoting animal rights activist, you still share your space with another creature--and chances are it needs some decorative assistance.
1. Safety first.
Make sure, before you start painting anything, to hide electrical cords and remove anything that would be whacked, shattered, or easily damaged by your pet--for your safety and Fido's too. Long tail? Leave no cups on coffee tables. Install baby-proof locks on cabinets that contain poisonous materials. Wrap up excess cords and find a hidden space for your trashcan. Think like a dog! Get on all fours, pant and see what entices you.
2. Designate your space.
The more segregated, the better--especially if most of your day is spent away from home. This impressive pet room has stained cement floors and galvanized aluminum wainscoting, with a doggie-designed bathing station. Fantastic if you bought a money tree last year, but most of us will make do with a smaller area. If you can separate a larger space with a stylish pet gate from Frontgate to break it up. Kitchens are great, especially if you have tile, as are roomy laundry areas and lofts. If Poochie is a puppy, don't leave anything in the room you wouldn't miss if she chewed it to bits. Spare bedrooms can be a good fit, as long as you cover the bedding with plastic and have an empty corner for her to relax. A quiet corner in your living area is perfect.
3. Pick a functional yet stylish bed.
Are you attracted to modern lines? Incorporate this Frontgate puppy bunk for a pair of tiny dogs. Does a more formal approach appeal to you? The Marie Antoinette Pet Bed fits the bill. Make sure you accommodate for Fido's size--the Madison Pet Bed is roomy, but still stylish. When your pooch needs to be contained, consider the Luxury Pet Residence, which has an adjustable shade and plush bedding. Fifi's bed will be the largest and most visible part of your decor, so it needs to flow with your house.
4. Splurge on a decorative dog bowl.
Dogs need to eat and drink. And they need to chew on stuff--whether you give it to them or they select it from available household items. So why not keep toy storage in the same design family? The most visible (and potential) eyesore in your house is a giant, slobbery metal bowl. Fork over some cash to make your pet feeders as intentionally chosen as your granite counters. Try the Wescott Raised Pet Feeder for a Tuscan flare or opt for the Meshidai Double Feeder if your taste leans toward square and modern.
5. Keep toys stowed in a covered basket.
Dogs need to chew. They'll choose your pillows and baseboards if they don't have alternatives, so it's up to you to bring the fun. Check out Petsmart for toys like the Chuck it! ball launcher and Buster Cube. Most dogs like tug toys, but some dogs prefer different materials. After you have a variety of toys, designate a covered box or basket to keep them out of sight. Tuck the basket under an occasional table or within a bookshelf. Keep 1-3 toys out at a time and rotate them so Fido doesn't get bored.
6. Personalize the space.
Including a monogrammed leash holder from Cherrybrook will add an even more personal touch to Fido's room. Hang framed photos of your furry family during outings and any other puppy memorabilia, on par with your style, near his bed and play area.
With high-style products from Frontgate and Oh My Dog Supplies, you can provide a comfortable space for Fido without sacrificing your personal tastes. Designate a space just for him and he'll feel even more a part of the family.