|National Dog Day is celebrated August 26th annually and serves to help galvanize the public to recognize the number of dogs that need to be rescued each year, and acknowledges family dogs and dogs that work selflessly each day to save lives, keep us safe and bring comfort. Dogs put their lives on the line every day – for their law enforcement partner, for their blind companion, for a child who is disabled, for our freedom and safety by detecting bombs and drugs and pulling victims of tragedy from wreckage. – http://www.nationaldogday.com|
Designing for families with pets presents challenges and requires unique solutions. Having 2 dogs of my own means I encounter this design challenge daily. Below are some tips regarding how to live with pets. An animal trainer would give you tips about how to keep your dogs off the furniture or bed and generally set good boundries, my tips are a bit more realistic…
1) Slipcover the main seating in a room – This is the easiest way to deal with pet hair. I have a slipcovered sofa and loveseat. If they were slipped in linen, I would have to have them drycleaned a couple times a year. Because they are cotton, I simply throw them in the washer, hang them to dry outside for a couple hours and fluff them in the dryer.
2) In an attempt to keeps dogs off of your bed, get them a nice bed of their own. My personal favorite is inspired by famous dog photographer William Wegman. These beds are covered in Crypton fabric, designed specifically to be washable and antimicrobial and they’re cute!
3) If you are like me, you will eventually give in and let your dog on the people bed. To prevent an ugly set of dog stairs in your bedroom, I recommend getting a bed that doesn’t use a box spring and is low to the ground. Here are a few good looking choices.
4) Use hard surfaces on floors where possible. It makes it easier to clean up pet hair, spills from water bowls and footprints from muddy paws. Pet hair will be more obvious on wood or tile, but when you clean it up, you know it is gone. In broadloom carpet, hair and dirt gets imbedded. You can soften these hard flooring surfaces using area rugs. I love the idea of using carpet tiles, such as Flor. They are replaceable if they get stained (by canine or human). Patterned rugs hide hair and stains. Surprisingly, my favorite is seagrass. It is naturally multicolored, so small stains blend in. Seagrass also doesn’t accumulate hair.
5) Make parts of your home off limits to your pets – in our house we don’t let the dogs in the guest bedroom to give our guests relief from the hair and the love.
Here are some fun pet products that don’t necessarily serve a functional purpose, but add some whimsy to your world
“No matter how little money and how few possessions you own, having a dog makes you rich” – Louis Sabin
Here are links to the resources shown above: