Shiba Inu in dog bed

Sharing your home with the canine kind typically comes with all kinds of perks. It’s a real ego boost to have someone be absolutely beside themselves with joy every time you walk in the door, for one thing, and in my experience, living with dogs provides plenty of comic relief. It’s been proven that pooches are good for your mental and physical health. My dogs, Rudi and Hollie, are actually two of my favorite workout and meditation buddies!

Having all these benefits right in the comfort of my own home is worth a lot, no doubt, so it’s only fair that I do my part to make my house as comfortable and dog friendly as possible for my best furry friends. Of course, at the same time, I need to have a home that’s easy to care for and looks good. Here are some of the things I do to keep both humans and pets happy. 

It Begins With the Floor

First off, there’s flooring. Because of our pee-happy cat, Trixie, it’s highly preferable for me to have tile floors just for the ease of cleanup alone. In fact, when my husband and I were house hunting, that was one of the top features we wanted. However, with two older, arthritic dogs, traction is extremely important, so I make a point to have rugs — cheap ones — down in many of the more highly trafficked parts of the house. The rugs help the dogs walk around more easily and can also cut the chill of the tile on cool winter mornings. The fact that they are cheap rugs works for me. For one thing, there’s the aforementioned pee cat (bless her troubled heart), and then Rudi has some mild urinary incontinence. And though I’m pretty good at removing pet stains, there are only so many times you can put a rug through the wringer before it starts to show it! It’s nice to be able to easily replace them when necessary. 

Next Comes Comfy Sleeping

As you might expect, there are dog beds to be found in nearly every room of the house — bedrooms, office, living room — so our dogs always have a soft spot to chill nearby. I try to find options with covers that work well with our decor, but the dogs’ comfort is definitely the top priority, so we make sure there is plenty of thick padding to help swaddle arthritic joints.

Because Rudi has occasional seizures, I’m fairly strict about enforcing the "no dogs on the furniture" rule. If she were to experience one while up on a bed and fall off, she could be badly injured — especially if her head or legs were to get caught in wooden slats or hit hard surfaces. That’s not a risk worth taking. However, on the rare occasions when I do let one (or both) dogs up to snuggle with me on the couch, I make a point to put a blanket or sheet down to protect the cushions from dog fur and claws. It’s a nice signal for the dogs, too — when the blanket is laid down, they can take it as an invitation, and it’s great for me to have furniture that lasts longer. 

Finally, a Safer and Hopefully More Fun Yard

Of course, I don’t want the dogs to be happy only inside — the outdoor space needs to be dog friendly, too! One of the first things I did upon moving in was have the entire yard fenced in, as I wanted to give them a designated space to run off leash and play, or even just lie in the sun for a bit without having to worry about them getting into traffic. I also made sure there were no toxic plants in the yard that could make the animals sick. 

I’m certainly not the only dog owner who’s made a concession or two for my pups — our readers recently confessed to giving up quite a bit for their dogs. Have you done anything special to make your home more comfortable for your dogs? Let us know in the comments!

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