We absolutely adore our dogs and at this point we don’t see ever not having a dog in our house. As silly as it seems, they were a huge factor in many of the design decisions for the new house. They are members of the family and we want to make it as comfortable as possible for them to live in the house with us.
I was very happy we could fit a full bathroom on the main floor of the house. Currently we are having to wrap a towel around the dog and haul them all the way upstairs when they are muddy and need a bath. This is no small feat when your dog weighs 70lbs! To ensure easy hose-downs, we also added a pull-out spray hose in the tub and went with a slightly larger tub to give them plenty of room to turn around in and shake.
Our entire main floor is hardwood and tile. This will allow us to lead them right through the house and to the tub without having to worry about muddy paw prints staining the carpet. For the hardwood choice, we upgraded from maple to a harder hickory in hopes that it stands up better to scratches. We have also gone with a natural finish rather then a dark stain so that it camouflages what scratches we do get. Upstairs, the carpet had to be dark enough to hide both kid and dog stains and still be something fairly comfortable to lay around on.
The dogs will spend their time gated in the back entrance when we are away from the house. Because of this, we have had a custom unit designed for the back entrance that will include built-in dog dishes and a large space for a dog bed. My original thought was to build the dog dishes into the kitchen island, but it made more sense to put them in the back foyer where they are still easily accessible and where the dogs will spend a lot of their time.
The cubbies were just going up at our last walk-through, and I couldn’t be happier with the way it is all turning out. I love the convenience of the benches and cubbies in our current place, so this area was a must have for me. It will be nice to have a designated space for the dog dishes and a space for the dogs to sleep rather then a dog bed lying out on in the middle of the floor.
Outside the house, the backyard is going to provide a whole new set of challenges as we try to figure out the best way to divide the kids space and the dogs area. We already have some ideas in mind, but luckily we will have until next Spring to figure that all out.