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Designing for your Pets
Designing for your Pets

Our furry friends have become an increasing consideration for both interior, as well as, exterior home design. For several years, the National Kitchen and Bath Association has included “pet friendly” as a design trend homeowner are asking about for new home builds and remodels. Recent statistics show more than 60 percent of homeowners mention their pets and pet friendly additions when they talk to a designer. Designers have used creative cabinet combinations to help make areas more pet friendly and now cabinet companies are acknowledging the trend by creating specific cabinet storage features to keep pet food and treats fresh and store dog related food and drink bowls.

Please page through the photo album that accompanies this article to see some examples and explanations for pet friendly additions to your home. A Marling designer, familiar with cabinets and bath products can set up some great spaces to keep you and your pet happy.

Keep in mind some practical considerations – cats, for instance. Cats are strange and mysterious creatures and your cat may not want a feeding station unless they’ve been using one since they were a kitten. Likewise, open shelving in a kitchen where you display your best dishes or open shelving in your office where you have collectibles might not be a great idea if you have a cat who relishes roaming around shelves and throwing things on the floor.

Is it a good idea to integrate a water dish into a lower drawer in a kitchen cabinet if you own a Newfoundland who throws water and drool everywhere when he or she takes a drink? That may not be a clever idea if you think your children will be enthusiastically opening and closing a drawer with full dishes of water. A water and food station set back in an opening (see photos) might be a better plan.

Bathing set ups for dogs can be as simple as a utility sink in a mudroom that can hold a chihuahua or as ornate as a tiled around raised base with a hand-held shower wand. Bear in mind, you may think a raised bathing station even with the tops of the cabinets is a great idea, but not if you are planning on hefting an Irish Setter up into the bathing area.

For the exterior, several companies have storm doors with pet doors, Larson Doors have come good options. Decking companies have developed railing screening choices that mean your pet can enjoy an upper deck or balcony without fear of falling. If your pet insists on leaning into the patio door screen or hitting the top screen in the door and popping it off the frame, Screeneze makes pet friendly screening that can handle some weight and stretching.

Enjoy browsing the photos and think about ways to incorporate your pet needs into a remodel or new home. Your designer or building materials sales associate at Marling is ready to help you and your pet.

Dog Feed

Dog Feed Station

A pet feeding station can be as simple as an area set aside, out of the traffic pattern, with food bowls. Here, they can easily be picked up or moved if necessary.

Cat Feed

Cat Feed Station

This is at the end of a kitchen island. It is out of the way, and easy to clean. There are some dogs and cats that just don’t like to put their heads deep into a space and this is perfect.

Dog Parlor

Drawer Station

This is a set-up that includes a drawer pullout. There are some logistical concerns – like, will your dog be able to reach the dishes and will it be inconvenient to pull out a drawer for the pet to be able to drink. Here the bowls are inset. You can use a plan pullout toekick drawer offered by many cabinet companies and put a bath mat inside to keep the bowl from moving around. There are also after-market mats that are designed for the bottom of a sink base that keep any water that might leak pooled in raised dividers. The drawback to that is keeping the water dish flat. Note the pullout for dog food.

Pet Center

Pet Center

This pet center is in a standard base cabinet and it has areas for food as well as additional storage for dishes, toys and treats.

Steel Feed

Stainless Inset

This pet food and water area is protected with a stainless steel insert. How practical!

Pet Feeding Area

Pet Feeding Area

A pet feeding station that includes a pull down door. Pet dishes can be easily accessed by the pet and for cleaning.


Half Door

There are a number of half door and slide door options if you want to keep your pet out of the kitchen during meal preparation and, of course, they work for children, too.

Doggie Bath

Doggie Bath

Pet washing stations can be simple shower bases or utility tubs set at counter height.

Dog Wash

Dog Wash Station

This is a raised, tiled area in a mudroom that can be used for household purposes or to wash the dog.

Dog Shower

Dog Shower

For larger breeds of dogs, step in showers are best. If you are thinking about just using the master bath shower – do you want to go traipsing through the bedroom and the rest of the house with a dripping dog or would you be best served setting up something in a mudroom area?

Dog Crate

Crating Area

You can incorporate crating areas for your pet. This is a set-up from a home furnishings company. Things to consider are – will it fit with your décor? How will you clean it? Does it come with the dreaded “some assembly require?”


Crate Option

This crating option allows for better cleaning, lots of air flow and some useable counter space.

Modern Kitchen

Office Plan

Don’t forget to think about different spaces where you will be working or relaxing and including your pet. This bed space for the family dog means it won’t be crawling around under your feet and the desk.

Storm Door

Storm Door

For the exterior, Larson has some different dog door options for their storm doors as well as some different screening options.


Pet Screen

Even screening can be “pet friendly.” Screeneze manufactures screening that can be used in storm doors or patio doors. The mesh has “give” when a put pushes against it which prevents ripping and tearing.

Many of the cabinets featured in this gallery are available from Marling Lumber. Marling lumber is your Wisconsin hometown dealer for Merillat, Quality, Fieldstone Cabinets, KraftMaid, Aristokraft, Diamond Cabinets, Diamond Vibe Cabinets, Echelon, and Kitchencraft. Learn more about our cabinet lines here.

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