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The Dog House: 5 Pet Friendly Interior Tips

Posted on February 16 2022

The Dog House: 5 Pet Friendly Interior Tips

Whether you own a fun-loving pup or a laid back pooch, there’s no doubt our dogs are part of the family. They show us unconditional love and companionship. As the saying goes, dogs are a man's best friend. Yet, they can come with a relatively small cost to our home. Whilst worth it, pets can come with a side of slobber, shedding fur and teeth that can chew through just about anything. For house-proud dog owners, creating a space that works for our furry friends, just as much as it does for us, is part of at-home living. 

We spoke to Deputy Ecommerce Editor Annie Collyer for her tips on making a home harmonious for both. As your homeware shopping expert and dog-mum to snuggly pug, Doug, Annie knows how to furnish a space with style and practicality in mind. From coordinated living spaces to stain resistant fabrics, Annie’s South-London flat is a pet-friendly home for all to enjoy. For tips on home interiors that’ll have tails wagging, we asked: 

  1. What interior elements did you consider in making your home Do(u)g-friendly?

We’ve always opted for hard floors over carpet, so they’re easy to keep clean and disinfect. 

Though the main things we really had to consider were upholstery-related. We made sure our sofa was stain-resistant and our bedroom rug that he often sleeps on top of, is machine washable. 

Obviously, we made sure that anything bought for Doug that would be on display, looks nice. Take our Le Creuset pet bowl, for example. This is something that is on show every day of the year, all hours, so it’s important that it matches with the rest of our kitchen design. We also consider toy storage - we have an open seagrass basket for his toys. An open lid basket like this, encourages independent play, although others might opt for a lidded basket as it can look messy. 

Some key things we bought after getting Doug include a robot vacuum cleaner, for picking up pet hair so that we needn’t vacuum the house once a day. As well as a mat to sit underneath his bowls to catch food and protect our kitchen floor from water, plus I always now check that blankets and cushions are machine-washable when I buy them.

  • An essential part of pet friendly interior design is a pooch’s very own throne. How did you decide on a dog bed?

  • Each breed is different and their preferences on a shape of bed will depend on how they like to sleep, and whether they like to be cosy in a donut bed or they’d prefer their very own mattress to starfish all night (and day!) long. 

    Doug has two dog beds in our house, one for the living room and the other for our bedroom as he sleeps on the floor beside us each night. The one in the living room matches our sofa pretty well, so it fits in perfectly, and it’s thick foam with high edges to keep him feeling secure. The one in the bedroom is rounded with a cushion in the middle, it’s a mix of comfort and design. Doug prefers to be cosy whilst sleeping and loves to have somewhere to rest his chin. One of the beds actually looks like a throne! Other than aesthetic and ensuring his bed matches our interiors, it has to be easy to wash. 

  • The dog allowed on your bed debate: Is Doug allowed on furniture? If yes, how do you tackle muddy paw prints on fresh sheets, scratches or stray hairs? 

  • Of course! He goes everywhere and anywhere that we go. He doesn’t sleep on our bed but he is allowed up there for a pre-bedtime cuddle. 

    Luckily for us, we’ve never had the issue of muddy paw prints on sheets because Doug isn’t big enough to jump on our bed on his own. However, he can get on the sofa. But our sofa is stain-resistant, so if he does jump up after a wet walk, his prints wipe off with a damp cloth. Otherwise, white vinegar is a pet-friendly game-changer for all types of stains. I also swear by Astonish’s Upholstery Cleaner for removing stains from fabrics. Just keep them away until it dries.

    A grey sofa was the best idea we’ve ever had, but a burgundy velvet bed? Not so much. I find myself peeling pet hair off the frame too often. Stray hairs are undeniably a nightmare, but with help from a lint remover (not a roller!) getting rid of dog hairs from furniture is easy - and kinder on the environment. As well as this, we have a handheld vacuum that we use on our bed frame and other furniture. It’s a shame our robot vacuum can’t work its magic on our bed too.

    1. Does Doug have a play-zone or area he loves most? (perhaps with toys etc).

    He loves the living room rug. This is a similar colour to Doug’s fur so it doesn’t mean I have to vacuum it every single day. He loves to zoom around our coffee table and push his toys underneath it and contemplate how to get them back. His toys are kept nearby, beside his bed, so they’re easy for him to access. Other than that, he loves to sit and snooze underneath my desk chair when I am working. My chair sits atop a sheepskin rug that he loves to roll around on.

  • Any other tips you have to ensure your furry friend loves his home just as much as you do. 

  • It goes without saying, but don’t leave anything you don’t want destroyed within their reach. We’re lucky that Doug isn’t really destructive, the only thing he ever does chew, is a Croc. But, I know many struggle with dogs chewing wires or furniture, so I’d recommend to be wary and not leave your pet with new furniture immediately. Anything new is so exciting for them, understandably, especially if it’s in one of their favourite places. Other than that, lots of toys, a cosy bed and endless cuddles is enough for Doug. 

    *These tips were based on suggestions by Annie Collyer, Deputy Ecommerce Editor at Future. You can follow Annie (and Doug) on the decoration of her 2-bed South-London flat on Instagram @athome.withannie