Table of Contents

(Note: this is a descriptive Table of Contents  – not the actual TOC)

There’s a Dog in the House:

A Practical Guide to Creating Dog-Friendly Homes


Contemporary dogs have been fully integrated into our lives and homes. Dog owners understand the numerous benefits to owning a dog.  Trying to create a balanced lifestyle with dogs and humans takes preparation and planning. The right professional can help. In addition it is necessary to understand the important criteria used to evaluate and select materials, finishes and products for our dog-friendly homes.

Chapter 1. The Logistics of Living with canis lupus familiaris

Understanding their mental and physical needs is the cornerstone of effective home design for dogs. In addition to human evaluations of comfort, hygiene and safety a successful home environment must accommodate the canine senses, social needs, physical requirements and limitations. The first step in solving dog related design challenges is to examine them from a canine standpoint.

Topics include:

  • Incorporating dogs into your lifestyle
  • Social behavior
  • Understanding normal dog behavior and the canine senses

Chapter 2: What the Dog Needs and Wants

Adapting living space to accommodate routine dog care requires choosing the right equipment and effectively integrating it into your home design.  Good design always begins with the questions “What do you need and what do you want?”

Topics include:

  • Feeding, sleeping and eliminating
  • Waste disposal
  • Grooming needs
  • Exercise
  • Storage

Chapter 3: Health, Safety and Design

The way we design our homes, the materials we choose to build it with and the methods we use to clean it can all impact our health and our dog’s health.

Topics include:

  • Preventing disease transmission–bacterial, viral, parasitic, fungal
  • Living with wildlife
  • Managing pests, prevention and eradication of problem insects
  • Poisons in your home
  • Home safety issues include: slippery floors, stairs, fire safety, household chemicals and avoiding drowning, electrocution, falling, and burns

Chapter 4: Air, Ground, Water and Light

The average dog spends more than 90% of his life indoors. He will probably spend more time in your home than you will.  That extra time should be spent in an environment with clean, fresh air and water free from harmful toxins. Dogs cannot tolerate extreme temperatures and need appropriate heating and cooling; everyone in the family benefits from design that is economical, sufficient, and sustainable.  Good lighting will help your dog navigate your space and help with tasks at hand.

Topics include:

  • Heating and cooling – breed/age specific heating and cooling needs
  • Indoor air quality – ventilation and purifying
  • Water supply – safe water indoors and outdoors
  • Lighting – lighting for tasks, navigation and comfort

Chapter 5: Kitchens and Dining Areas

Dogs and owners spend more time in the kitchen than anywhere else, and the kitchen contains irresistible temptations.  Design strategies in the kitchen should minimize dog damage, enhance safety and promote good sanitation.

Topics include:

  • Floors, wall finishes, drawers and cabinets, countertops and sinks, tables and chairs
  • Creating a kitchen grooming area for small dogs
  • Safe kitchen practices when preparing homemade dog food and feeding raw diets
  • Kitchen safety tips
  • Eradicating kitchen odors

Chapter 6: Living Spaces

Living spaces such as libraries, home offices, dens, libraries, and living rooms are often off limits to dogs, but they really don’t have to be. Design strategies should focus on creating a comfortable space to share with your dog.

Topics include:

  • Flooring and walls
  • Fabrics and furniture
  • Safety issues
  • Tips for preventing dog damage
  • Window Treatments
  • Fireplaces

Chapter 7: Bedrooms

To enhance your relationship with your dog, experts often recommend that dogs sleep in a bedroom with a human family member. Thoughtful design can make this work for everyone’s benefit.

Topics include:

  • Appropriate choices for finishes and furnishings
  • Human beds
  • Dog beds
  • Crate styles

Chapter 8: Bathrooms

Bathing and grooming your dog can be a challenge and a bothersome chore for you and your dog. Good design can help turn this into an enjoyable experience by creating a safe, efficient and organized space to groom and bathe your dog. Ideas for dog potties, both indoors and out can help make your life easier.

Topics  include:

  • Appropriate choices for finishes
  • Safety
  • Grooming
  • Dog resistant toilet paper holders
  • Bathing options
  • Dog potties

Chapter 9: Dog Rooms

Although most dog owners have limited space to create a separate room for their dogs, there are circumstances that make one desirable, such as multiple dogs, allergic guests or family members, grooming rooms, offices for dog professionals or training spaces. A well designed dog room can create a harmonious dog home.

Topics  include:

  • Grooming facilities
  • Multiple dogs
  • Storage space for one dog or many
  • Dog access doors
  • Laundry equipment
  • Training and fitness rooms

Chapter 10: Dog Friendly Outdoors

Dogs love spending time outdoors and are happiest when you can share that time with them.  Why not create outdoor areas that everyone can enjoy to improve your relationship with your dog, keep your neighbors happy, and increase your home’s value?

Topics covered in this chapter include:

  • Fences and gates
  • Preventing escapes
  • Safety tips for outdoors
  • Outdoor lighting
  • Water features
  • Outdoor play areas

Chapter 11: Dogs and Humans with Special Needs

Design can benefit the lives of dogs with special needs. Today dogs are living happy and longer lives, many with disabilities.

Often dog owners opt to give up their pets or never acquire one when faced with a major health issue. Smart home design can prevent this possibility and enhance life for both parties.

Topics include:

  • Temporary disabilities: Illness, injury, post-surgery, senior dogs
  • Creating convalescent rooms
  • Permanent disabilities: visual, hearing and mobility impairments
  • Breed and size related issues
  • Dogs with allergies
  • Humans with allergies
  • Household modifications for dog owners with disabilities

Chapter 12: Canine Behavior Problems

Behavior problems can be the result of multiple factors including the dog’s immediate environment. Solving behavior problems requires a multi-faceted approach including managing, or altering this environment.

Topics include:

  • Noise
  • Preventing barrier frustration
  • Appropriate door and window design
  • Multiple dog homes
  • Preventing damage from chewing, scratching and digging

Chapter 13: Maintenance, Repairs and Construction

Cleaning and maintenance can be minimized through proper planning. Common repairs from dog damage are often easier to fix than you think. Construction projects don’t have to be a major headache.

Topics include:

  • Stop dirt at the door: sensible tips to minimize cleaning
  • Evaluating the safety of cleaning products
  • Cleaning up dog stains and accidents
  • Safety issues when mixing dogs and workmen.
  • Managing home renovations and repairs when you have dogs

Appendix: Resources

The resource guide is a comprehensive chapter by chapter guide to help you find information, materials, finishes, and products to make your dog-friendly home complete.


1 Response to Table of Contents

  1. Antoni says:

    This is such a wonderful idea. My friend Andrea emailed me about your site.
    Good Luck

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s