Custom Home Design Features That Make Living With Dogs Easier

The ideal home is a welcoming space for all who walk in the door. These days, designers are taking this idea to another level with innovative solutions that are both beautiful and functional — and that make our homes more comfortable for everyone, including our pets.

If you are considering a dog-friendly remodel or addition, these five designs are guaranteed to get you thinking.

Dog-Friendly Home Designs

dogs outside in shower with doggy door

Photo by Phil Kean Design Group

Outdoor Shower

Architect Phil Kean of Phil Kean Design Group created an outdoor shower that's perfect for pets and people. Located next to an outdoor dog run, which features artificial grass designed specifically for dogs, the shower area includes an electronic doggie door and a handheld shower head. You can use it on anyone who needs a thorough rinsing before they are allowed back in the house.

laundry room with dog washing station and doggy bed

Photo by Artistic Renovations of Ohio LLC

Laundry Room

This multi-purpose room was designed by Ken Perrin of Artistic Renovations of Ohio, in Akron. The original washer and dryer were side-by-side but during the remodel, Perrin stacked them, which made room for a comfy dog bed and shower. "We always try to have major items do a dual purpose for a client," says Perrin, who adds that a laundry room is an ideal spot for a dog cleaning station. The handheld shower head is just right for dogs (and kids) and the location makes cleanup a breeze. Dirty towels? Just toss them right in the washer.

a special place for doggy bowls in kitchen

Photo by Joseph St. Pierre

All-in-One Food Station

When Mark Haddad and interior designer Susan Cracraft of Haddad Hakansson Design Studio remodeled this kitchen, their goal was to create a space where the dog — and his food bowls — would not be underfoot. To do this, they mounted the bowls under the end of the cabinet run, away from the kitchen's work triangle. "Building in the dog bowls on that side of the kitchen served two purposes," says Haddad. "The most obvious one was to keep the bowls out of the way of the traffic pattern. But our client's dog, Brody, is also a beloved member of the family, so when they are eating and the dog wants to eat, they're all together."

dog washing station

Photo by Peter A. Sellar

Mini Mudroom Shower

This dog washing station, located in the house's mudroom, is ideal because it's right off the doors leading into the house — so when a pet gets dirty and needs a rinse, you don't have to walk him through the living areas to get him to a bathroom. We especially love the industrial-style faucet: It's sturdy enough to tackle the worst messes but still visually appealing. 

dog house with two levels

Photo courtesy of

Doghouse Duplex

When thinking about pet-friendly homes, let's not forget the doghouse itself. Jonathan Scott, one half of HGTV's Property Brothers, is devoted to his two dogs, Gracie and Stewie — and also committed to great design. Jonathan and his twin brother, Drew, recently finished remodeling their own dream home in Las Vegas, creating a space for everyone in their family, including their pets. This modern doghouse was designed specifically to match the Southwestern aesthetic of the main house and is big enough for both of Scott's small dogs to enjoy at the same time.

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