How to Design a Beautiful, Pet-Friendly Kitchen
Pets have been important members of the average American family for decades. There’s no denying it. And, today is no different. In fact, more pets than ever before were adopted last year. As we all found ourselves house-bound throughout the majority of 2020 (and now into 2021), more people wanted to bring a pet into their homes. Shelters, nonprofit rescues, private breeders, and pet stores across the country all reported a higher demand than there were animals to fill. From waiting lists from breeders to multiple applications for individual rescue dogs, 2020 was a record year in animal adoption that required a lot of patience and paperwork.
If you have had a “fur baby” by your side throughout the pandemic, chances are they’re always underfoot. You are probably familiar with the important pet safety measures you’ve learned, but what about in the kitchen in particular? It’s safe to say your pet is always in the middle of meal prep, not only for the chance of catching crumbs but also due to the separation anxiety they’ve acquired after a year of you working/studying/doing everything from home.
Your pet knows that the kitchen is where the food is, so even once this pandemic has passed, you’ll want a kitchen that is comfortable and beautiful for every member of your family, even the furry ones. Whether you’re a first-time pet owner or have called your dog a part of your family for years, follow these four tips to make a more pet-and-people-friendly kitchen.
Lay the Right Foundation
When it comes to kitchen flooring, be courteous of your pet’s needs. Sure, you’ll want to look for something that is scratch- and damage-resistant so it will withstand the everyday wear and tear from their paws. But it needs to have enough traction to decrease the risk of slipping and be comfortable enough on their joints. Concrete may look beautiful and is certainly strong, but it isn’t ideal for pet’s everyday comfort or longevity. Laminate may be inexpensive, so you won’t be concerned about wear and tear, but it’s incredibly slippery and easily damageable. When creating a pet-friendly kitchen, look for cork, bamboo, or luxury vinyl flooring alternatives.
- Cork flooring resembles hardwood floors but it’s also antimicrobial and absorbs sound. You and your pet with both love cork floors as it’s scratch resistant and soft on joints.
- Bamboo flooring provides a natural wood look but is more durable, stain-resistant and scratch-resistant than hardwood flooring.
- Luxury vinyl flooring can mimic the look of natural stone or tile. Like stone and tile, t’s very durable, easy to maintain, and scratch- and water-resistant. But, it’s much gentler on your pet’s joints.
Be a Safety Gatekeeper
Your kitchen is home to many dangerous gadgets and products. It goes without saying that knives and cords should be properly stored. But there are many other less-obvious items that should be stowed away. If ingested, chemical cleaning products and certain foods can harm animals’ health. Keep all cleaning products locked away and talk with your vet about which foods, such as chocolate, coffee, and grapes, you be extra cautious with while handling when your pet is nearby. Err on the side of caution here, just like you would with a toddler.
Sometimes, you may want to keep your pet out of your kitchen entirely. Rather than setting up an unsightly baby gate that stands out in the worst possible ways, install a pocket door gate. This will keep your pet at a safe distance while you’re meal prepping, without ruining the overall look of your kitchen.
Create an Eat-In Kitchen
You may not eat at the dinner table together, but you can still create a special dining experience for your pet. Rather than set out standard pet bowls that take away from your kitchen’s style, create a dedicated feeding station. Whether you reserve a bottom drawer or an end cupboard, you can conveniently feed your pet and store his food within your existing storage space. Talk with your contractor about what she might recommend for your kitchen. If yours is filled to the brim, there are plenty of freestanding feeding stations that doubles as counterspace.
Give Them the Best View in the Room
If you love having your pet close by at all times, especially while you’re in the most used room in your home, create a sanctuary spot just for him. If your kitchen is filled with natural light, install a window seat beneath the windows. Be sure to top it with a washable pad in your kitchen’s color scheme so it stays looking – and smelling – clean.
No window seat? Talk with your contractor about installing a built-in bed under your kitchen island. This cozy hideaway is a perfect retreat while keeping you in view. And, it’s a perfect way for you to take advantage of unused cupboard space without wasting valuable floor space.
If installing a window seat or under-counter bed is impossible in your existing kitchen, simply set out a rug or pet bed so your pet feels comfortable as they follow your every move.
We at Sinkology love our pets like family, which is why we always keep these four tips in mind in our own kitchens. Now, we’d love to see your sweet furry babies in your pet-friendly kitchens. Share with us on Instagram @Sinkology.
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