Build a Pet-Friendly Custom Home

Homes aren’t just for people, our furry friends share our living spaces with us. And with over 67% of US homes having a pet, more people are in the pet-owner category than ever before.

According to the APPA 2019-2020 survey, that’s over 85 million homes with pets. The most common pets are dogs and cats:

Cats                 42.7 million homes

Dogs                63.4 million homes

Today’s pet owners want the absolute best for their pets and the greatest conveniences to make caring for their pets easy. That’s why you just can’t talk about the home building process without taking your cats, dogs, and other pets into consideration.

Fortunately, when you are designing your own custom home for pets, this is the perfect time to make all the plans you can for your furry friends’ well being so that the house can be their dream home, too.

Pine shiplap siding on a screened-in back porch

Some common pet-friendly custom home design ideas:

For cats

  • A custom cabinet (litter box), nook, tunnel, or built-in tiny room for the litter box, perhaps with a low-volume fan for circulation.
  • Cat shelves or built-in shelves just for the cats to enjoy.
  • An enclosed patio (“catio” spaces).
  • A customized window that has a small screened area for a cat to sit outside the window.
  • A cat “highway” — a series of shelves a cat can use to climb all over the room.

For dogs

  • A walk-in shower or extra large shower room with a large drain.
  • Half doors or built-in swinging gates.
  • Flooring for dogs that is very scratch-resistant and easy to clean.
  • Plenty of space for cat or dog furniture like beds and cat trees.
  • A puppy run.
  • A dog bed nook.
  • An outdoor dog wash or outdoor dog shower station.
  • Windows at their eye level.
  • A pet waste management system in the yard that hooks directly to the sewer line.
  • An invisible fence.
  • A customized dog house with a feeding station, water fountain, dog bathing area, and AC unit.
  • Plenty of yard space and room to run and play.

Custom dog shower in the laundry room or mudroom

For both dogs and cats

  • Durable flooring (ie: pet-friendly floors that have a hard surface rather than carpeting)
  • Pet entrance doors.
  • Specially designed custom feeding area and food storage areas.
  • Ramps for older animals.
  • A custom washing station (like an extra-large custom sink) or pet shower in the laundry room close to the back door.
  • A custom sleeping nook with plenty of space for a luxurious pet bed.
  • A pet suite (sleeping area, play space, washing station, and feeding station).
  • Pet tunnels.
  • Specialized pet stairways.
  • A pet room, or perhaps a nook under the stairs customized just for them to enjoy.
  • Window seats.
  • Washable paint.
  • A couch near a large picture window.
  • Central vacuum system.
  • Plenty of windows and natural light.

For other animals

Of course, cats and dogs aren’t the only pets people love! Whatever pet you may own, you can consider your pet’s needs as you design a beautiful custom home.

Fish – a built-in aquarium.

Birds – a bird room or customized bird enclosure.

Reptiles or rodents – a customized built-in cage or small room.

Horses – a customized stable and outdoor exercise and feeding area.

If you can imagine an amenity for your pet, talk to your custom home builder. You just might find it can become a reality that your family and your pet will absolutely fall in love with together.


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