We all know the kitchen is considered the heart of the home, and it can also be a place where your client’s pets spend a lot of time.

By incorporating their needs into the design of the kitchen, you can enhance their comfort and that of their owners.

Good planning for pets can seamlessly integrate functionality, safety and aesthetics, ensuring a harmonious space for both your clients and their beloved pets.

In this VESTA post, we will explore practical and creative ideas to help you create a pet-friendly kitchen design.

The following are some key areas to look at when designing a kitchen to accommodate pets.

Flooring and Surfaces

When it comes to pet-friendly kitchen design, the choice of flooring and surfaces is crucial.

Opt for durable and easy-to-clean flooring materials such as tile, vinyl, or laminate that can withstand pet accidents and scratches.

Avoid materials like hardwood that can be easily damaged.

For kitchen cabinetry consider slab door styles that do not have areas for pet hair to accumulate and that can be wiped down with ease.

A slightly textured melamine door will stand up to most pets.

Pet Feeding Station

Integrating a dedicated pet feeding station in your kitchen design can streamline mealtime for your client’s pets.

Designate an area that is easily accessible and away from heavy foot traffic.

Interview your client about their pet’s feeding needs to develop the best solution for them.

Consider including a raised feeding station to promote proper digestion and reduce strain on the pet’s neck and back.

Providing the feeding station in a pullout drawer that allows your homeowner to regulate meal times.

Including a dedicated water station can ensure easy access to fresh water for pets.

Consider incorporating a water dispenser or a built-in faucet with a retractable hose for easy filling and cleaning.

Don’t forget to incorporate storage solutions for pet food and treats close by to keep the kitchen organized.

Built-in Pet Beds

Including built-in pet beds in a kitchen design offers a cozy and comfortable spot for pets to rest while still being close to their owner.

These can be built under countertops, in corners, or within custom cabinetry.

Make sure to choose soft, washable materials for the beddings and consider incorporating temperature-regulating features for year-round comfort.

Safe Storage and Waste Disposal

To prevent pets from accessing hazardous items, ensure your kitchen design includes secure cabinets and storage solutions.

To prevent curious pets from getting into cabinets or trash bins, you may want to specify cabinets that homeowners can install childproof locks on.

This will not only keep their pets safe but also maintain a clean and organized kitchen.

Also consider incorporating a pet waste disposal system or a dedicated area for litter boxes to keep them discreetly tucked away.

Incorporate Pet-Friendly Appliances

Modern kitchen appliances can be pet-friendly too.

When specifying appliances, consider their impact on your clients pets’ safety and comfort.

For example, opt for ovens with built-in safety features, such as cool-to-touch surfaces in case a pet rubs up against an operating oven.

An induction cooktop may be the best choice if your client’s pet occasionally jumps up on to the countertop.

This type of cooktop could prevent accidental burns.

Additionally, choose appliances that operate quietly to avoid startling your pets.

The noise levels of appliances like dishwashers can be a significant factor in maintaining a calm and stress-free environment for your client’s furry friends.

Thoughtful Layout & Traffic Flow

When designing a pet-friendly kitchen, ensure that the layout and traffic flow are optimized for both humans and pets.

Allow ample space for your pets to move around comfortably, minimizing obstacles and tight corners.

Planning work aisles at least 48″ wide is a good start.

Incorporating pet-specific barriers can also be a solution for some kitchen designs.

If working with custom cabinetry you could design pullout barriers that coordinate with the rest of the cabinetry in the room.

Additional Considerations

Designing a designated pet cleaning station, complete with a sink or a handheld showerhead, can simplify bath time and grooming for your client’s pets.

The ideal set up is a pet showering system at either floor level or raised.

A raised shower can make things more comfortable for the pet owner come bath time!

This could be developed in a laundry room or mudroom to keep it out of the main kitchen area.

Many pets have a collection of toys so think about where these items will be stored and include a solution.

Lastly, if the pet is a dog, plan a storage solution for dog walking items such as leashes and doggy bags.

As you can see, designing a kitchen that accommodates pets requires a thoughtful approach that prioritizes their needs while maintaining a functional and aesthetically pleasing space for the entire family.

By considering factors such as flooring, feeding stations, built-in pet beds, safe storage, accessible water and cleaning stations, and thoughtful layout, you can create a pet-friendly kitchen that enhances the well-being and happiness of all the occupants.

Embracing these design ideas will not only make your client’s kitchen more enjoyable for their pets but also strengthen the bond between them and their beloved furry friends.

Have you included pet friendly solutions in any of your kitchen designs?

Let me know about it in the comments below.

Jan Rutgers has been designing for over 25 years. Developing functional layouts for every area of the home is her passion. She has designed more than 1000 kitchens in her career, learning valuable skills with each one! Her experience in Kitchen Design, Millwork Manufacturing and Product Development has led her to create VESTABUL SCHOOL OF DESIGN where she educates and mentors people passionate about the Kitchen Design Industry.

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