If you’re not an animal lover, I probably already lost you. However, if you love your dog like, really love your dog, you should read on.
For me, my dog is family. And like any member of my family, she has her own private spaces if she wants to get away from everyone else. She has beds throughout the house, a large crate, and baskets fulled with more toys than any single dog should probably have. I don’t care that she has so much stuff (I’m the one buying most of it, after all), but it can get in the way of the more “human” day-to-day activities.
If you’ve ever found a bone in your shoe, you already know what I’m talking about.
Has your dog completely taken over your house? Or, did you just get a puppy that’s a little too destructive to be free-range just yet? Well, you might want to consider creating a defined space for your furry family member(s).
You can create an actual “bedroom” for your dog if you happen to have a room to spare. However, if you’re low on available square footage, you can also create a space for your dog using a spare corner of a room.
No matter the size or breed of your dog, it’s important that he or she has a dedicated “territory” to call their own. This can be a small space or an entire room, depending on your dog and its needs as well as the size of your home and your family’s needs. Some dogs actually prefer a smaller area because it feels safer. In either case, your dog needs a space where they can settle down to sleep, escape the busy chaos of life, or where you can close them away, if need be.
You might already have the ideal convenient space picked out (such as a spare bedroom, laundry room, or home office). Your dog may also have a space already picked out. My dog, for instance, is very comfortable in one of the corners in our kitchen because that’s where her crate was when she was a puppy. While we no longer have a crate there, I replaced it with a bed because she instinctively went to that corner whenever she was nervous, even 6 years later.
If your dog already has a designated spot, it’s best not to change it unless it’s really necessary. Dogs do well with routines and it might be difficult to disassociate that space as theirs.
If you have a small house or apartment, baby gates work well to set boundaries without completely closing off an area. Additionally, they can be moved or removed when necessary. I personally use baby gates to prevent my dog from going upstairs when I’m not home. It’s a very simple way to make sure she doesn’t overuse the stairs, too (she has a bad knee). In the event your dog needs to be restricted to a small area due to an injury or health issue, confining them will be easier if there’s a space they’re already comfortable with.
If you choose to give your dog an entire room to themselves, baby gates are also the perfect way to contain them to that space without shutting the door and completely closing your dog off—especially if you are still home but with company visiting.
Whether your dog shares a room with the laundry, the cat, or your treadmill, there are plenty of ways to make the space work for you as well as your dog.
If your dog’s area is in the living or family room, you can find plenty of items that work just as well for your design scheme as they do your pooch. For instance, you can find dog crates that also function as end tables. You can even get your dog his own sofa-style dog bed in a variety of styles such as modern, craftsman, farmhouse, rustic, Victorian, and more. Your imagination (and budget) is your only limit.
To keep the dog toy chaos to a minimum, utilize storage boxes, bins, or baskets. Something without a lid is ideal so your dog can access the toys without help. Additionally, you’ll want to consider the material of the storage containers in the event your dog is a chewer/tries to eat them. This toy bin from Barkshop is a good option if you’re not looking for anything too fancy. Its minimalist design can blend in with most décor and the soft felt with foldable side make it safe for your dog with easy access to all the fun stuff!
For additional storage options that don’t take up floor space (or play space!), consider vertical shelving. You can hang extra collars and leashes from hooks or use shelves to store non-dog-related supplies in any room. Always make sure to store chemicals, cleaning supplies, and food out of reach of your dog. You can dedicate a cabinet specifically to your dog’s food, medication, and additional supplies. If space isn’t an issue, you can also store extra supplies and items like clothing in plastic bins.
Keeping all dog-related items in one place also makes it easier if you have a sitter come to your home!
Sarah is a content writer and social media assistant with a BA in literature/creative writing from Wilkes University. When she’s not spending her days at work writing, reading, and drinking coffee, she’s usually at home reading, writing, and drinking coffee. She also devotes a fair amount of time to HGTV, drawing, and doting on her dog. As a creator, Sarah believes in emphasizing personality through design and DIY projects.