When remodeling your kitchen, it's important to think about how each member of the house will use it. Lower storage and roll-out steps enable small children while wide walkways and practical workstation design benefits the chef. But what about your pets. Pets spend a lot of time in the kitchen keeping an eye on their people and waiting for kitchen treats, so their presence in the kitchen is something you can - and should - design for, as well.
How can you design pet-friendly features into your kitchen remodel? Here are our eight favorite pet-friendly kitchen designs.
1. Claw-Proof Floors and Cabinet Paint
Start with a claw-proof kitchen. Dogs and cats can both damage delicate floors and cabinet paint. Fortunately, durable and elegant kitchen design has seen some serious design upgrades. Laminate board flooring is at the peak of pet-friendly popularity, with the elegant look and feel of hardwood boards and the durability of the sturdy laminate layers and coating. The right glossy paint for your cabinets is also highly washable and won't take damage from muddy paws or growing claws.
2. Raised Pet Bowl Nook & Pull-Out Food Storage
Pet food is cleanest when kept up off the floor, and toes are happiest when the pet bowls have a place. Give dogs and cats a safe off-the-floor place to eat - dogs at their shoulder-height and cats on a half-raised platform around knee level. You can also hide your bulk pet food storage in a convenient roll-away storage bin inside your cabinetry.
3. Fireclay Farmhouse Sink
Farmhouse sinks are big and comfortable by design. You can spot a farmhouse sink by it's wide opening, deep basin, and the comfortable curved apron designed for leaning against while you wash. Farmhouse sinks are uniquely pet-friendly in the kitchen, laundry, or bathroom because they are big enough to wash a small to medium-sized pet, and are paw-proof. Fireclay is one of the most scratch-resistant sink materials for your kitchen, and a fireclay farmhouse sink makes it possible to wash and water your pets easily without worrying about claw marks on your stainless steel or a sink too small for bath time.
4. Zoomy-Proof Rounded Design on Lower Features
"The Zoomies" occur any time your pet decides to barrel through the kitchen at top speed, which they love to do. Many pet owners secure a few runner rugs to provide better traction for people and excited pets, but what about pets who love to barrel into the fridge or skid worryingly past cabinet corners? Your kitchen remodel can make sure your pets are safe even if they careen into the cabinets.
The trick is a rounded cabinet molding design. In fact, you can add rounded trim to your existing cabinets without a full rebuild and remodel of the structure. Many careful pet owners (and parents) will design a kitchen with softer edges so that family activities are safe for family members whose world exists below the countertop level.
Rounded cabinet design, molding, and appliances can ensure that your pets are safe in the kitchen, even while zooming.
5. Built-In Pet Beds, Climbs, and Crates
Many pets love to nap and stay near you while you cook and eat dinner. You may have a cat who takes to the upper cabinets or a dog who likes to curl in a nearby doorway. Pets don't want to be underfoot, but they do want to be closeby - so give them a safe nearby space to curl up in. You can create a protected pet bed or a raised cat shelf built directly into the kitchen cabinets.
Dog owners prefer the bed-and-crate design with a closable gate. This can keep your furry friends happily nearby, but not underfoot. Cat owners often enjoy creating little escape cubbies and delightful cat-climbs to upper cabinet walks and hidden cat beds. Creating a climbing and napping space for your cats can keep them happy and out of trouble.
6. Hidden Pet Gate
You can also keep your pets out with a hidden, roll-out pet gate. This is a simple gate or vertical panel that rolls out like a pocket-door from the cabinetry to a latch on the other side. Owners of medium to large dogs often need to keep their beloved, energetic pooches out of the kitchen during meal prep time. A pet gate at the kitchen's entrance can allow you pets to keep you in sight, even if they're not allowed to be underfoot.
Pet gates can also serve an elegant way to keep pets, kids, and curious adults out of the kitchen when supper is on.
7. Out-of-Reach & Secure Cleaning Storage
You can also put special thought into where you will store dangerous cleaning supplies. Creating a secure, drip-proof shelf in the pantry or upper cabinet can ensure that your pets never, ever, risk getting into trouble with cleaning chemicals.
There are now several modern solutions to storing your cleaning chemicals in a house with curious children or pets. Using an upper cabinet ensure your below-countertop crowd won't get into trouble, while a lined shelf ensures that drips do not contaminate nearby food and dish storage. You might consider building yourself a utility cupboard separate from your pantry and dish cabinets. This might be the perfect opportunity for a dedicated laundry and cleaning space with it's own handwash-ready farmhouse sink.
8. Hidden, Pull-Out Trash Bins
For owners of pets who go trash-diving, you can save yourself tons of trouble and hours of cleanup by adding hidden trash bins to your new kitchen design. All you need is an open below-cabinet space and some drawer infrastructure to help your bins slide in and out. This way, you can keep your rubbish safe from smell-tracking dogs (and the occasional marauding cat) without needing to constantly deal with locking trash lids.
Simply create roll-away drawers for your trashcans and your pets will be unable to find or access the trash when they want to go exploring. Even if you've recently thrown away meat packaging, it will remain un-scattered when you return home.
9. Built-In Grooming Station
Last but not least, consider a grooming station at the outer corner of your redesigned kitchen. A drawer for pet brushes, a trash can for fur, and maybe even a pet wash near the back door can make a great place to keep your furry friend clean on the tiled or laminate floor. If you have small to medium-sized pets, you can build a place for your grooming supplies near the kitchen or laundry farmhouse sink for quick sink washes.
For larger dogs, a grooming station might involve a dog wash - a low-set shower stall in the mud room that's useful for pets and people to wash off after outdoor adventures. A spray hose attachment and maybe even a hand-pump of gentle soap are your final touches for the perfect sink-based grooming design.
Building a pet-friendly kitchen is both easier and more fun than you might think. Make the kitchen a welcoming space for you and your furry companions with built-in pet beds, bowls, and spaces for your pet to watch you cook in comfort and safety. Here at Fossil Blu, we specialize in fireclay farmhouse sinks and love to work with pet owners who have the whole family in mind during kitchen renovations. Contact us today to choose your favorite farmhouse sink to complete your new kitchen project.