How to create a dog-friendly home — from space-planning to materials you choose!
Dogs have been dubbed man’s best friend for their loyal and fun nature. Here's how homeowner and designer can work together to create a dog-friendly space.
COMMON CONCERN #1: Flooring
Homeowners should avoid slippery or hard floors. “Smooth laminates and marble tiles may cause slippage while running, whereas too-hard floors might give medium- to largesized canines elbow blisters. Padded floors are the best, but you can have a mix of smooth and cool floors, which dogs can cool down on, as well as large carpeted areas where they can be more comfortable,” says Ethan.
COMMON CONCERN #1: Flooring
If you want flooring that looks and feels like solid wood, Arjan Twilhaar, principal designer of interior firm Aiden T, says commercial grade, scratch-proof vinyl flooring is a suitable option. Next, accessorise and protect these floors with natural and durable cotton or jute carpets, as suggested by Imran Mir from Lotto Carpets Gallery.
“A dog’s complex and sensitive sense of smell also means parents need to be discerning about the dyes used on the rugs. From my experience, natural vegetable dyes are far less likely to irritate our pets, reducing the chances of peeing and markings,” he adds.
COMMON CONCERN #2: Stains and dirt
Walking and playing in the park means dirty paws, and there is also the issue of drool stains – though only the brachycephalic breed, such as pugs and bulldogs, tend to drool heavily. Opt for easy-to-clean and washable furnishings and wall finishes, and train the dogs to pee and/or clean their paws before entering areas with soft furnishing, Ethan suggests.
COMMON CONCERN #2: Stains and dirt Sofa and bed throws are a good first line of defence. “Minimise dirt and fur in a dog-specific area by keeping nooks to a minimum. If you’re grooming your dogs at home, it’s best not to have a shower screen as you need ample space to handle the pet,” says Arjan. When accidents occur, speed is key. Imran suggests using cold water and a damp cloth or sponge to blot the area until it’s clear and dry. Do not rub. Large stains can be removed with professional help, such as with Lotto Carpets Gallery’s herbal washing programme.
Haikal is father to two adorable dogs: The introverted poodle Noodle and extroverted French bulldog Milky. The 42-year-old creative director shares with us interesting tips on creating a safe and stylish dog-centric home.
What are some things you’ve learnt from Milky and Noodle?
I’ve learnt that when you have just one dog, it tends to be more relaxed. But when Milky came along, Noodle learnt how to be a dog again – he chewed on things, climbed onto the sofa, and was more active in general. And I love them this way!
We also don’t teach the dogs to go down staircases, so they won’t run down and out to the street if we forget to close the door. It happened once, but because he only knew how to go up the staircase, Noodle only climbed up to the top floor of the building. This certainly reduces the chances of them getting lost.
How do you keep your home dog-friendly?
I already had Noodle when we bought this apartment, so we planned the interiors with him in mind. My toilet has a built-in tray and washing area where the dogs can pee, and I bought affordable yet stylish pieces that I wouldn’t mind the dogs gnawing on. We kept the living room spacious so there is a big area for us to mingle and play with the dogs, and we prepare individual snacks to prevent them from fighting and knocking over furniture. We also have a vacuum that we use on the bed, to remove any stray fur before we sleep.