We’ve seen it on plaques, cross-stitched on pillows and wall hangings, we’ve seen it on refrigerator magnets… “A House is not a HOME without a dog.” Or how about “Home is where the dog is”… Or maybe “No home décor is complete without dog hair.” We get it… and we love it!
Our dogs belong in our homes just as much as any other member of the family. So… maybe what our dogs need is a room of their own! Believe it or not, a dog room is one of the fastest growing trends in homebuilding and remodeling… and it is probably not going to go away anytime soon!
Why a Dog Room?
There are many good reasons for having a dog room in your home. For one, it’s easier to contain the dirt in a designated area. Instead of having to clean the whole house when your dog pops through the doggie door covered in mud, he is confined to one area until you have the chance to clean him up. Secondly, it’s a pleasant, comfortable area to accommodate your dog when it’s not safe for him to have the run of the house, i.e., when you have workers in (painters, plumbers, etc.), when moving furniture, lots of company, and so on. Whether your goal is to have a full-sized bedroom for your dog to enjoy during the day, or a simple kennel-sized space to contain your dog when you are gone for short trips, a dog room would be an awesome addition to your home.
Take a look on Pinterest at the many varieties of dog rooms people are adding to their homes. You’ll be amazed! Some provide the basic dog necessities: Bed, bowls, toys. Others providing elaborate furnishings, flat screen tv’s, stereos, chest of drawers housing dog wardrobes and accessories, festive art, and ornamental chandeliers. Many have running water for easy access to drinking water and even a full grooming and bathing stations. I saw one adorable set-up where a doggie-door lead outside to a deck surrounding an in-ground bone-shaped swimming pool! Now that’s just spoiled rotten!
How to Design a Dog Room?
Our Southside manager, Glenda, built a house recently and added a Dog room for her Cavalier King Charles pack. “For anyone with multiple dogs, having a room that is ‘for the dogs’, literally, is a dream come true.”, say Glenda. “My dog room is what I consider minimalistic, or utilitarian. It’s approximately a 12 x 18’ room with ceramic tile floors, FRP (fiberglass reinforced plastic or polymer) board halfway up the wall, and marble trim around the doors to prevent any wood trim from being scratched up. The door to their room is made like the doors in the Holiday Barn suites… the half farm door. It has 5 windows so there is plenty of natural sunlight but the windows are high enough where they can’t see out so they don’t bark at everything all the time. There is a sliding door for even more light and a ceiling fan for air circulation. The room has its own doggy door built in the wall that allows them free access to the outside to their own patio and fenced doggy yard.”
And what does Glenda’s pack think of their room? “While they generally spend time with me in the rest of the house – lounging on the couch or in front of the fire – they love having their own space. Dogs prefer a den-like environment and a dog room provides that for them. My dogs are all crate trained, and as you can see [by the pictures above], they like just lounging in their crate, doors open. Each one knows which crate is their own. Come feeding time they go in their crate to await their ever-humble servant bringing dinner!”
Tips for Building a Dog Room
Thinking of adding a dog room to your house? Here are some tips:
• You’ll want to select a sealed floor that is easy to clean. A sealed concrete floor is a modern choice for flooring nowadays and would be perfect in your dog room. Tile is also a good option. Beware of floor coverings that scratch easily.
• Walls that are moisture resistant and easy to clean are another must. Glenda was smart by using Fiberglass reinforced panels in her dog room. They are easy to install and easy to maintain. You can panel the bottom part of your room with FRB, which allows you room above the board to be creative with painting, art work, etc.. Holiday Barn uses this type of wallboard in our enclosures.
• A slightly raised dog bed is great for easy clean-up. If not, consider a comfy but durable covering that can be removed and thrown in the washer.
• A dog-friendly toy box is a cute addition to their room, and a great way to keep them entertained.
• Floor lamps and table lamps are a no-no. Electrical cords are dangerous and can cause injury or worse. Either attach lighting to the walls (above where your dog could potentially jump), or use ceiling lights only.
• If your dog was crate trained as a pup, place his crate in his room to provide a contained space for him to relax and hide-out.
• Outside access or a designated potty area may be necessary. Inside potty areas could be potty pads or even litter pans, depending on how your dog has been trained to eliminate.
• Add a TV or Stereo to provide comforting sounds and “company” when you are not at home. Again, be careful of the placement of any electrical cords.
• Make sure the room has adequate ventilation, heating, cooling and lots of natural light.
• Decorate! This is the fun part! Add art, pretty paint… glam it up!
No room in your house for a dog room? How about a doggie cubby of some sort? Is there a closet that you can spare? What about that awkward space under the staircase? Maybe a little alcove built inside a seldom-used lower kitchen cabinet? Thinking of putting in an island in your kitchen? Make plans for building your dog a little cozy “bunk” underneath. Wouldn’t that be so cute? Your dog will thank you for it!
What do you think? Does your dog need a room of it’s own? Contact us for more tips or suggestions, or even to tell us about your new dog room!