They snuggle with you during thunderstorms, catch mice, salivate at birds (hopefully not your pet parrot) and chase squirrels. They shake their wet fur on you, lick your face and wake you up for breakfast.

Eat. Play. Love.

No longer relegated to the back yard or basement, dogs and cats are family. But you don’t want a kennel in the middle of your living room or to trip over their food dishes.

You’re building your dream home. Consider your four-legged friends’ wish lists. But pet-proof your luxury furnishings too.

Your Pet’s Happy Place

Truly, the list is endless:

A dedicated room just for them.

High walkways, little doors, resting spots and cubbyholes. Custom height-appropriate windows near the floor to watch the outside world.

A dual staircase with separate heights for human and canine legs separated by a hand rail adds architectural wall interest as a custom pet walk.

Radiant heating systems under tile floors to keep their paws warm during winter.

A walk-in shower, half the height of the average shower for washing muddy paws in the “pet room” or near the front door.

Add a grooming table if you enjoy styling and blow-drying your pampered pets.

A recessed shelf so pet food bowls can be raised off the floor make mealtimes easier, especially for older pets. A slide-out drawer in a cabinet pet-height for feeding dishes. And while you’re away, an electronic feeder.

Automatic pet doors with a magnetic key on your dog’s collar.

Flat-screen TVs positioned at pet heights.

A ramp outside the front door to help older pets with arthritis and stiff joints.

An underground electronic fence that includes natural spots for dogs to play. Incorporating grass, rocks and hills will encourage your pooch to stay fit and trim.

And Now, Your Pet Peeves

From paw prints to leaks and spills, consider hard-surface flooring for rooms your pets frequent. 

Wood, stone, marble, concrete, bamboo or even cork flooring are durable and easily cleaned. Preserve hardwood floors by trimming your pet’s nails regularly and keeping their toys in another room.

Polished wood or tiles can be slippery, especially for older dogs and cats.

For safety’s sake, add area rugs or rubber mats with no-skid pads or double-sided tape beneath the rug. Or anchor area rugs with heavy furniture placed on the edges.

Area rugs protect floors from claws and stains, muffle the sound of dropped toys and thumping tails. Comfy spots to snooze also protect them (especially senior dogs and cats) against slipping on polished floors.

Rugs or wall-to-wall with patterns and a multitude of colors camouflage dirt, stains, and pet hair. All-wool rugs (the lanolin helps) resist stains.

Avoid continuous loop carpet that can unravel when caught by a claw.

Match your flooring to your pet’s coat. You need only look to your sweaters for the color that best hides the fur.

Chic designer pet furniture is available in as many styles as your custom home. If all you can imagine is an ugly cat tree, think again. Beautiful

climbing furniture for feline companions won’t overtake your living room, and can often add a whimsical touch.

Hide a kennel or a litter box under-an-island in your kitchen. A slide-out drawer in a cabinet can contain feeding dishes at your pet’s height.

Build a subtle litter box enclosure under the staircase, along with lots of extra storage drawers for toys and other necessities. Add magnets for easy access.

Corralling the four-legged set with half-height pocket doors strategically throughout the house will keep your pets in check without excluding them.

If your home life isn’t conducive to sharing with four-legged companions, fish or birds may be for you. Salt water aquariums can make stunning home accents. Or find your feathered friends an elegant aviary.

Pet dander can seriously diminish your home’s air quality. An air purifier can help keep your family and any guests with minor allergies more comfortable.

Talk to your Joy Design + Build team for more pet-friendly solutions and inspiration. Being a part of your daily life is the ultimate luxury for your pets.