How to keep your pets happy at home

Keep your pets happy duo

Everyone in the household should feel welcome, right? It’s no surprise, then, that this extends to our furry (or feathered) friends, too.

Trying to keep your pets happy can feel like a never-ending mission. There is so much out there to make your life easier and theirs more comfortable. On the other hand, you have plenty of people who’ll tell you that all they need are food, water, and cuddles.

But what if, as recently, there’s a heatwave? A cold winter? And what about designing your kitchen with your pet specifically in mind?

Daval Pembroke keep your pets happy
Pembroke furniture from Daval. Prices for a start from £12,000.

We’re not going into the ins and outs of training or playing with your pet – but we will take a look a few of the ideas that are out there to help you get an overview.

Barkitecture – a way to keep your pets happy?

Ever heard the word above? If the answer is no – now you have. And it’s exactly what it sounds like: architecture that keeps your furry friends in mind.

Mereway Shaker Barkitecture
Shaker Gainsborough utility room in Cashmere and Midnight Green, from £5070. Full kitchens from Mereway Kitchens start from £13,308.

But we’re not talking about your humble cat tree, oh no. It’s much bigger than that.

Think more along the lines of including a climbing opportunity for your feline companion when planning bookshelves, so they always have a nice, high vantage point.

Maybe you’re planning your kitchen and are looking for ways to keep your pets happy.

Need to include a cat flap? Speak to your designer – chances are they’ll know a clever way to mask one within the cabinetry.

Of course, your dogs can (and should) feel included in the kitchen, too. Think about including a little nook for their food bowls within your island.

Pet feeder
Smart Feed automatic dog and cat feeder, £174.99, Petsafe.

If you have an island, why not include a space where your pets can relax, so they can always be close without getting in the way? Whether you place this centrally, so they have a good vantage point, or more towards one end is up to you.

However, make sure the space is big enough for their bed and maybe a toy or two – and ensure that they’re not too close to the oven, so the risk of them being hurt accidentally is lower.

Brandt boot room to keep your pets happy
Brandt Design kitchens using the Urban Furniture Collection start from £18,000. This practical hidden bootroom cost £9600.

Don’t forget the cleaning

Everyone needs a bath now and then, and it’s essential to keep your pets happy, too.

Of course, you can simply rinse them off in your kitchen sink or the bath – but why not make it easier for yourself?

Keep your pets happy Ollie
Circular wall outlet, hand shower and bracket in antique brass, £167, and two-exit concealed thermostatic shower valve in antique brass, £624, Abode.

If you are planning a utility and boot room, or maybe a second bathroom, think about what you need. A big butler sink is ideal for a smaller dog (we’ll assume you won’t attempt to bathe your cat). But for larger breeds, or squirmier pups, it might be a good idea to include a secondary shower.

This doesn’t need to be a full-sized enclosure with all the bells and whistles. A simple showerhead and small enclosure with a knee or hip-height wall are perfectly fine to keep your pets happy.

As a bonus, they’re also ideal for rinsing dirty boots or feet if you come in, be it from sports matches or after doing some gardening.

Or, if you’re a keen indoor plant parent, they’re also great for giving bigger greenery a shower.

Keep your pets happy dog washing station
Pembroke furniture from Daval. Prices for a start from £12,000.

If you do decide to have a space specifically to wash your dog, it’s also a good idea to place it at waist height. This way, your pup can hop (or be lifted) up, and you won’t have to bend down as much.

Keep your pets happy by switching on the light

Most of us don’t like to sit in the dark without good reason, and the same goes for your pets – especially dogs, but your cat won’t mind the lights being on either.

Some of us do already leave the TV on when they are out, so our companions don’t feel lonely.

But there’s a better solution to keep your pets happy: smart plugs and lighting that switch on automatically.

This way, you can rest assured they won’t sit in the dark – but you also won’t have to keep the lights on all day and waste precious energy. It’ll also help keep their routine, especially if you always have the lights on the same setting, no matter if you’re home or not.

Heating that does the same is a good idea, too, so you know your pets will be happy and comfy all year round. Plus, smart systems will help to keep your energy bills in check, which is now more important than ever.

Wiser by Drayton smart heating
Wiser smart heating systems start from £139.99 for a Thermostat Kit 1 (room thermostat, heat hub and app) or £219.99 for a Multi-zone Kit 1 (room thermostat, heat hub, app and two radiator thermostats).

Wiser by Drayton, for example, is a smart multi-room heating system that uses smart radiator thermostats. It allows you to establish up to 16 heating zones in your home. Through the app, you can then set separate schedules for each one and set the temperature, too. It can even be used with underfloor heating, as well as electrical radiators and towel rails.

Wouldn’t it be smart to have a zone around your cat’s or dog’s bed?

Speaking of temperatures….

At the other end of the scale, you might need to cool your pets down to keep them happy.

Apart from air conditioning, which can be costly to run, there’s an easier way: cooling mats. Most are ready as soon as you take them out of the packaging, as they don’t need additional chilling or water.

Instead, they work by absorbing your pet’s body heat, to stop them from overheating.

And if you’re wondering if they work for humans too: the answer is yes.

Featured image: Dog toweling spa robe, from £19, Tielle Love Luxury.

Want to read more? Here’s another feature on making our furry mutts content.

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