If you have the space and you're a dog lover, it makes great sense to give your pooch a comfy room all his own: He'll have a place to relax in and stay mentally active during the day, and you'll ensure he can't trash your home while you're away.
Replace the flooring in the dog room with something that can withstand any scratching from your pooch's nails and is easy to clean if doggie accidents occur. Tile or sealed concrete works well for this purpose.
Paint the room with a nontoxic satin or semigloss paint that's free of volatile organic compounds. You can scrub away dirty paw prints from these finishes with a sponge, unlike flat finish, and they'll produce less glare than glossy paint.
Mount lighting on the ceiling of the dog's room so that you won't need to place lamps in the room. A rambunctious dog might accidentally knock over a lamp, causing a safety hazard. A ceiling fan with a light fixture not only provides illumination in the room but also keeps your furbaby cool.
Decorate the room with pictures of dogs, or stencil dogs on the walls. While this won't necessarily impress your dog, it gives the room a sense of style and identifies it as pup-friendly. Plus, it makes the room a fun conversation piece to show visitors.
Provide a space for food and water dishes in the room so your dog has access to them during the day. Raised feeders or dog-themed place mats can provide a finishing touch to the feeding area and help with cleanup.
Place a comfortable dog bed in the room for your best friend to relax on. Beds can range from a simple pillow to a designer pet sleeper that resembles a small version of a human bed. Cover the bed with durable fabric cases that you can remove for easy washing.
Put a crate in the room for your dog to give him a comfortable doggie den to relax in if he feels stressed. Some specialty crates look like end tables, giving the room a decorative touch.
Provide for your dog a potty area, such as a dog litter box, so he can eliminate while confined in his room. A dog litter box may consist of a plastic tray lined with artificial grass or may simply be a potty pad that your dog can eliminate on and you can toss in the trash. You'll have to clean or replace these at least daily to keep a sanitary home.
Give your dog a toy box or storage ottoman filled with dog toys he can access when he wants to. This helps to organize the space and gives you a simple means of straightening the room.
Add some pooch-friendly technology to the room. Play soothing music for your canine during the day on a stereo. Securely mount a flat-screen television to the wall to entertain your dog. Install a web camera in the room to watch your dog during the day in his room and check on him.
Store all of your dog's medications, medical records, blankets, bedding, food, clothing and any other items in an armoire or chest of drawers placed in the room, for easy access.
- Dogs perceive colors differently than humans; they can differentiate between blue and violet but not red, orange, green or yellow, according to PetPlace.com. You may want to choose a blue or purple color scheme for your pup's room so he can enjoy the differences in colors around him.
- Install an air conditioning unit or heater in the room if you don't have a central system to keep the room at a comfortable temperature for your dog.
- If the dog room has an access door to a securely fenced-in yard, you may want to place a doggie door in it to give your dog a way to go outdoors to eliminate, if you desire.
- Designer touches like an in-room sink to wash your dog, a grooming table or a human bed for the pooch to lie in are options if cost is not an issue.
- Cover any exposed electrical wires in the room with cord protectors and secure them to the wall. This will prevent your pooch from chewing or becoming tangled on them and injuring himself.
Based in Las Vegas, Susan Paretts has been writing since 1998. She writes about many subjects including pets, finances, crafts, food, home improvement, shopping and going green. Her articles, short stories and reviews have appeared on City National Bank's website and on The Noseprint. Paretts holds a Master of Professional Writing from the University of Southern California.