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Caitlin UltimoPet Parenting / Pet Supplies

8 Crazy Home Upgrades for Pets

We love our pets and will do anything to make them happy and comfortable. We sneak them extra treats, buy them a plethora of toys, and find any excuse we can to cuddle up with them on the couch.

But some people take their love one step further by decking out their homes to cater to their four-legged friends. We’ve scoured the web to find a list of crazy upgrades that pet owners are doing in order to make their dwellings cozier for their furry friends.

The Super-Chic Pet Crate

Crates are a good way to keep your pet safe when you can’t supervise them yourself, especially when they’re young or being potty trained, but having a steel cage tucked into the corner of your living room can be an eyesore, not to mention uncomfortable for our furry best friends.

To combat this, dedicated pet owners have found ways to get creative by making their crates double as a piece of furniture. For instance, some hollow out the inside of their kitchen island, place a pet-friendly cushion on the bottom of the cupboard, and finish it off with a fenced in door. Others have gone so far as to create an under-the-staircase pet nook, to have the bottom of a coffee table act as a pet housing unit, or even to dedicate an entire room to a pet. The New Age Pet crate and end table is chic and a perfect upgrade from the standard steel dog crate.

An Outdoor “Catio” Space

Some cat enthusiasts want to give their cats time to spend in nature without the dangers associated with letting them roam around the neighborhood (we’re talking to you, scary dog next door!). To create this effect, pet parents have built what are essentially enclosed cat playgrounds in their yards. These are sometimes outfitted with cat tunnels that cats can romp through, different platforms they can rest on, and places where they can sun themselves in peace and quiet. Click here to find out how to transform your patio into a catio. 

Designer Dog Houses

Dog owners whose pups spend a lot of time outdoors have gone so far as to build their dogs what can only be described as doggie mini mansions (for example, Paris Hilton’s canine clan spends their free time in a custom-built, $325,000 dog palace). A few of the luxurious amenities that we’ve seen in these upgraded dog houses include Spanish-style roofs, dog-shaped hot tubs and swimming pools, actual beds in lieu of dog beds, electricity, and front porches.

Pet-Friendly Ramps

Many spoiled pets get accustomed to sleeping on their owner’s plush beds, taking frequent rides in the car or lounging around on their favorite couch. But when a pet gets older, they can develop conditions like arthritis that make it more difficult for them to leap onto higher surfaces.

For this reason, pet owners often modify their homes to allow for their pets to continue with their existing lifestyle. To do so, many build ramps or buy ramps, like the Solvit wood pet ramp, and portable staircases that they can place next to beds and couches so animals can easily climb up onto their favorite surfaces.

Some people take things one step further, however, and build their cats indoor ramps to crawl around on just for the heck of it.

Designated Eating Stations

We all know pets can be messy when they eat. Dogs slop water all over the ground while cats fling their food around, making clean up an absolute disaster. That’s why many pet owners are starting to provide designated eating stations where their pets can dine and the mess can be contained. The Neater Feeder dog bowl is a priceless upgrade, providing a protective wall to prevent spills and messes.

Pet-Proofing Décor

Pets can be messy (see previous example), and for this reason, homeowners are starting to find ways in which they can make their homes more animal-friendly. For instance, stain-resistant paint, scratch-resistant hardwood flooring, and stain-proof carpets are all popular choices for pet parents.

Another good option is to create a gravel or stone walkway in your backyard that pets can walk on before entering your home. This is an excellent way to scrub the mud and dirt off of your pet’s paws to avoid tracking that dirt into your home.

Pet Bathing Centers

If you take your pet into the groomer for a bath, they often have a whole room designated specifically for washing your pet. Now, some pet owners are starting to recreate these types of environments in their own homes.

Pinterest is full of ideas on how to modify a shower, bathroom or mudroom into a pet-wash station. Some of these include replacing your showerhead with a pet bathing nozzle, building a separate bathtub with a pet-friendly faucet in your laundry room and converting your shower to a walk-in.

Balcony Potty Patches

Pet owners who live in apartments or do not have easy access to a yard are starting to create designated potty areas for their beloved canines on their decks and patios. Once again, Pinterest is full of ideas for how to DIY your own porch potty. Or, you can get the Petmaker potty trainer.


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Nicole Pajer is a freelance writer who lives in Los Angeles with her husband, energetic Doberman, and rat terrier.

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