Home Renovations for Dogs and Cats

 |  Jul 11th 2007  |   1 Contribution


Years ago my mother renovated her home and put in the absolute best dog shower I've ever seen. It was six by six feet with terra cotta tiles up to about five feet. one of the best things about it was that the two doors opened in so that dogs couldn't push out of the shower. Once they were in, they were in. It made bath time so much easier and stress free.

Thanks to Freep.com for this article.

Home renovations with our furry friends in mind
July 9, 2007

By STACEY TIEDGE ALATZAS

GANNETT NEWS SERVICE

Mom wants a gourmet kitchen. Dad wants a three-car garage. Fido wants a shower he doesnt have to share with people.

When homeowners are deciding on an addition or renovation, theyre starting to consider things their pets will appreciate as well. The American Pet Products Manufacturers Association estimates people will spend $40.8 billion on pet products this year alone. So, it appears no creature comfort is out of Fidos reach:


Mike Christopher, project manager for Bancroft Homes, of Wilmington, says hes recently built dog showers into three or four custom homes.

Interior designer Barbara Goodman, of Barbara Goodman Designs in Greenville, Del., outfitted a bathroom in her home to pamper her two 140-pound Newfoundlands.

Carolyn Stanley, of Stanley Builders in Middletown, Del., gave her cats, Tonto and Duke, a sanctuary that would keep them out of her familys living space.

Goodman says shes also added special kitchen cabinets for pets and designed a space for a clients cats to call their own.

Dog showers built off mudrooms or laundry rooms seem to be the most common pet-related renovation.

People dont want to put their dogs in their showers," Goodman says. And its a hassle to wash them outside, too."

Christopher says the showers are built wide enough to comfortably accommodate a dog. The tiling might go up four feet, and the controls are down low," he says. You can probably see the same set-up at vets."

Goodman likes to leave the doors off the showers she designs for dogs, as long as there is enough room to keep the water from spilling out of the space. She also likes to include a bench for the homeowner and a small shelf to hold the pet shampoos and supplies.

You have to have a shower head with enough water pressure to get all that soap out of the fur. And you have to put a light in there so you can see what youre doing," she says.

At her home, Goodman has transformed a downstairs bathroom into a special grooming area for her dogs.

I tease them and say its their day of beauty," she says of her dogs, Abbey and Toby, who get to use a soaking tub and then enjoy a rubdown with oversized towels. I adore them. Theyre wonderful, and I think thats how most humans feel about their pets."

Homeowners dont need to spend thousands of dollars to create a dedicated dog bathing area in their home. Linda Miller of Newark spent just a few hundred dollars on the grooming area she made in her basement using a bathtub she found in a salvage yard. She used cinder blocks to raise it up to waist height and hired a plumber to install the pipes.

What made me want to do it was that in our old house it was backbreaking to do it in the bathtub," she says of scrubbing her three standard poodles, Ruby, Rom and Dash. Water goes everywhere."

Bathing areas arent the only pet-related renovations.

Goodman says she designed a pullout kitchen cabinet for one client that contained holes in which to rest a dogs feeding bowls. The cabinet holds the bowls off the floor at a level that makes eating more comfortable for the dogs.

When theyre done eating, she says, its easy to clean the bowls and cabinet surface and stow it all away. She also designed a special cabinet large enough to contain 50-pound bags of dog food.

Christopher says two customers hes working with have asked for platforms to be built to help their dogs see out the windows. He understands the need.

Unless my dogs can see out the window," he says, they get very depressed. My dog is always looking out the window when I come home at night."

Cats have needs, too

Goodman says she had a client in a retirement home who wanted to give her declawed cats a safe place to roam. Goodman transformed a porch into a screened-in cat house, complete with a real tree she set in a block of cement and hung with cat toys.

We put stones all around and a bench for her to sit on," Goodman says. She loved it."

Stanley had her husband install cat doors on their high basement windows and a catwalk to give them access.

I love cats, but Im allergic to cats, so we made a cat house in the basement," Stanley says of the special space for Tonto and Duke.

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