When we are designing a kitchen, we like to think of making it good for the whole family – and that includes the furry ones. A pet-friendly kitchen works practical elements into stylish design, helping to limit the inevitable mess while ensuring everyone’s comfort, safety, and convenience.
Most of these ideas involve some sort of cabinetry, whether it’s repurposing a cabinet or creating something that’s very pet-specific. In any case, all of these ideas are great for pet-loving families and, best of all, they are pretty easy to build or integrate into your current cabinetry design.
Cat Box Or Feeding Station Access
If you need to keep your litter box isolated from other pets (like curious dogs) and hidden from sight, we can create a cabinet with a cat-sized—or even cat-shaped—opening. We had one client that wanted something like this, so we installed a cabinet, cut a hole in the side, and made a little shelf inside where the cat could go to hang out.
This is also a good option if you need to keep your cat’s feeding station out of reach of the dog. If the shelf slides out, all the better for loading and cleaning; you wouldn’t have to crouch down there to get into it.
You probably don’t want to do this in the kitchen because of the potential mess and odors, but you could put it in the mudroom or the laundry room. If you have a larger kitchen, you could build it into an island or peninsula with the entry facing away from the kitchen itself.
Dog Feeding Station
Installing a permanent feeding station is a great way to contain pet bowls and food.
Some animals get a little freaked out if they can’t see or access their bowls, so you want to be able to keep them accessible without having them in the line of traffic. One way of doing this is with an inset into the island itself. It’s an indented zone with a raised shelf on the bottom with inserts drilled in for the bowls. You can place drawers directly above or beside the area to keep food and treats close at hand.
If you want to stow the bowls when they’re not in use, you could put the whole apparatus in a shallow bottom drawer that slides open with a toe-kick for easy in-and-out. To store and dispense food, install a pull-out cabinet next to the feeding station to keep everything handy.
The drawer itself would have a solid top with inserts drilled to hold the bowls in place. When it’s not in use, you can simply shut the drawer. This keeps it all neat, tidy, and contained, so your kids don’t kick the bowls over.
If you have several dogs, you likely have a lot of accessories. Leashes, harnesses, doggy cleanup bags, ball chuckers, that sort of thing. Rather than mixing them up with your family’s gear, a shallow cabinet by the door keeps everything contained and ready for action.
You could place this either in the mudroom or wherever you usually enter and exit the house with the dogs. It doesn’t have to be big, so it won’t be borrowing real estate from anything else, and you won’t have the problem of looking for this or that when you’re on your way out for a walk.
We could build this on to just about any wall; you would only need a space about four inches deep to make it practical.
Built-In Dog Crate
If you spend a lot of time in the kitchen, your dogs probably like keeping you company. However, that’s not always a practical situation. This is especially true if your dogs are opportunists and like to steal a snack every now and then.
A built-in crate, under the peninsula, for example, solves everyone’s problems. Fido can hang out with you while you cook, and he won’t be underfoot. Put a nice, cushy, oversized dog pillow in it, and it might just be their favorite place to be. A sliding door can hide the whole apparatus when it’s not in use.
Sliding Pet Doors Or Gates
Pet barriers don’t all have to be like those ugly plastic baby-gates. Pockets can be installed into an island to accommodate a sliding gate that actually matches the rest of your décor. When you’re not using it, simply slide it back into the pocket, and it’s gone.
Are you looking to make your St. Louis home more pet-friendly? We would love to help! Reach out today to learn more about what we can do for you.