There’s no denying that people love their pets—and can you blame them? Dogs, cats, fish, birds, lizards, and the many creatures in between have the power to bring joy and companionship to any home. It’s no wonder we often treat our furry friends like people. In fact, Americans spend nearly $70 billion a year on their pets.
But you don’t have to be extravagant to show your pets that you love them. With a few simple DIY tricks, you can make your home a lot more pet friendly.
Here, we highlight some of the top DIY custom home features to try for your furry (or feathery) friends:
Built-in or Raised Feeders
Mealtime can bring a variety of challenges, especially if your pets are messy eaters or like to knock over their bowls. A simple solution is to create a built-in or elevated feeder that can’t be tipped over. You could add a shelf to your kitchen cabinets with cutouts for their food and water bowls, or hang a plant holder from the wall and place the bowls inside. Either option ensures that the bowls are more secure. Plus, if you have aging pets, a raised feeder can help your senior cat or dog eat a bit more comfortably.
A Cozy Den
Even the most domesticated animals—cats and dogs—enjoy cuddling up in a “den” that truly feels like home. This is a project that you can easily do yourself, with the right space and a bit of imagination.
Amazing examples of dens are available online. We’ve seen homeowners create dog or cat dens in old furniture, in kitchen or bathroom cabinets, and even tucked under the stairs. The idea is to cut out just enough space for your pet to snuggle into, then add a comfy bed or blanket. Place their toys and water dish nearby, and soon they’ll discover this cozy den that has been custom-made with them in mind!
Safe Outdoor Space
Even indoor cats yearn to get outside, watch birds, and play. But many environments simply aren’t safe for your cat to roam around in freely. Enter the “catio.”
A catio is a patio for your cat (hence the name). At its most basic, a catio is any space, large or small, that lets your kitty enjoy the outdoors in a safe and accessible enclosure. Some catios are fairly simple, such as reconfigured window boxes that have been screened in. Others are extravagant and the size of entire rooms, giving the lucky cats lots of space to climb, jump, and watch birds.
DIY catio projects have become extremely popular. Depending on the layout and features of your home, you may be able to easily add a catio that connects to an exterior door or window, a screened porch, your garage, or a strategically placed cat door.
A Doggie Window
What dog doesn’t love to oversee the comings and goings of the neighborhood? You can give yours a window on the world by creating a pup-sized peekaboo window in your fence. For some dogs, this curbs excessive barking, since they can finally relax and see what’s going on beyond their yard.
We’ve seen many homeowners take on this DIY project, for both small and large dogs. If you have a large dog, use a circular saw to cut a rectangular window in the wood planks of your fence, at about eye level for your fur baby. Depending on the condition of your fence, you might consider adding a frame to both protect your dog and reinforce the planks. For smaller pups, you might also need to install an acrylic sheet in your window to prevent escapes.
Even More Custom Features
If you are among the many homeowners who think of their pets as family, a custom home is an exciting opportunity for you to incorporate features that will make your pets’ lives more fun—while making pet feeding and maintenance easier than ever.
At Adair Homes, we understand exactly why people love their pets. And we enjoy working closely with our clients to customize their homes in a way that will work best for their furry friends—whether it’s adding a mudroom, expanding a room, or providing a large covered patio. Learn more about our home design process, and then get ready to let your imagination run wild.