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Barkitecture: Home Design for Pets

Barkitecture: Home Design for Pets

Most pets want to be close to their family. I love my pets, but lately I’ve been tripping over my two large labs while puttering around the kitchen. They eye me longingly for any morsel of food that may tumble off the counters. In some ways, pets are like having little children underfoot. To keep some semblance of order in my home, I try like crazy (and almost successfully) to keep my dogs (and cat) off the furniture, but in the kitchen I’m constantly tripping over my pooches.

This NY Times article has got me thinking about designing spaces in homes specifically to accommodate family pets. The article claims, “Dogs and cats cause more than 86,000 falls requiring emergency room care each year, according to a report from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention that may be among the first of its kind. That translates into about 240 people who are treated for injuries caused by pets every single day in the United States, the study found.”

We design some aspects of our homes with our kids in mind. Why not do it for our pets? Animals love nooks, crannies, niches and cubbies to curl up in and be close to their family. Even dresser drawers and suitcases  can be repurposed to keep pets near and safe.

When I saw this picture over at Apartment Therapy of a built-in dog bed under a kitchen island, I immediately squirreled the picture away for a future DIY kitchen design project. This type of built-in solution offers another take on what could be accomplished if we designed spaces in our home with our pet’s best interests at heart.

Here are some inventive solutions for living dogs, and one very cool cat bed:

Inspired DIY ideas for living with pets:

Have you devised a solution that allows pets to be with you, but not underfoot at home?

Ronnie Citron-Fink lives in New York with her husband, two children (when they come home to the nest), two dogs and a cat. Ronnie is a teacher and a writer. She has been a contributing writer for Family Fun magazine. She currently writes articles about education and home design. Her writings are in four books including Family Fun Home and Some Delights of the Hudson Valley.

Read more: Dogs, EcoNesting, Health & Safety, Pets, , ,

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Ronnie Citron-Fink

Ronnie Citron-Fink is a writer, editor and educator. She has written hundreds of articles about sustainable living, the environment, design, and family life for websites, books and magazines. Ronnie is the creator of Econesting, and the managing editor of Moms Clean Air Force. Ronnie was named one of the Top Ten Living Green Experts by Yahoo. Ronnie lives in New York with her family.


+ add your own
4:51PM PST on Feb 19, 2011

Oh I miss my dogs (died few years ago)

7:07AM PST on Nov 11, 2010

Some good suggestions, thanx.

2:32AM PDT on Oct 4, 2010


1:36PM PDT on Aug 10, 2010

Thanks for posting

2:25AM PDT on Aug 6, 2010

Interesting. Thanks.

4:43AM PDT on Jul 31, 2010


3:50PM PDT on Jul 30, 2010

Pretty cool. Thanks!

10:36AM PDT on Jul 30, 2010

Great, critter friendly article, thanks!

1:19AM PDT on Jul 30, 2010


9:17AM PDT on Jul 29, 2010


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