As treasured members of our families, our dogs end up ruling the roost and getting themselves into mischief all over the house. Despite our best intentions to keep them off the bed or out of the kitchen, their puppy-dog eyes and curious faces can break us down until we give in to their wishes.
However, with so many potential hazards around the house, and in particular the kitchen, keeping our dog’s safe is essential. No matter if you are embarking on a kitchen renovation or simply safety-proofing you current set up, we have curated our top tips for creating a dog friendly kitchen.
Dogs love to be at the heart of family life, so it makes sense that they love to have designated space in the heart of the home. Creating designated areas in the kitchen can be great for training your dog too as you can reward them for using their spaces and train good behaviour.
When taking on a kitchen renovation, you could go one step further and include integrated pet areas for your pooch. Built-in food and water bowls and custom storage for toys, food and other dog bits are a good start. To go one step further, you could even integrate a dog bed area underneath a worktop, creating a permanent space where your dog feels safe.
Dogs can often be messy beasts, particularly if you have a breed that loves to jump around in muddy puddles and shake off in the house. Ensuring your kitchen is built from and decorated in easy-to-clean materials will make it easier to stay on top of messy pup marks all over your walls and cabinets. Paint choice is particularly important as you will not want your kitchen permanently marked by your cleaning efforts.
Getting the right flooring is important too. Soft floors in natural materials like wood are likely to scratch easily on those weeks between visits to the groomer. Yet, hard stone or tile floors can be tough on the bones of growing puppies. Ideally, you will need to strike a balance between hardwearing, easy to clean, scratchproof and comfortable for a dog.
Most dogs cannot help but give in to their primal urges and scavenge for food at every opportunity. Whether it is grabbing food from the worktop while your back is turned or rummaging around in the compost bin for last night’s table scraps, our nifty-nosed pals are experts in finding food.
To keep your pooch out of trouble and your kitchen floors clear of debris, install integrated waste disposal. Compost, recycling and waste bins can be cleverly tucked away into slide-out cabinets with safety latches that are dog proof.
If space is an issue, upgrading your current bin or upgrading a current cabinet is a good way to achieve the same result.
Open shelving and cupboards can be used to create stunning kitchen designs, but they can be dangerous for curious and destructive pups who want to get their nose in everything. It can also be frustrating when you have to replace items that are damaged in the process.
Choose closed units to make your kitchen dog-friendly, especially for cabinets under the worktop as these are easy for dogs to get too. It is also important to consider the handles you use for these cabinets. Leather pull tags and metal cup handles might look nice, but they are easy for clever dogs to open, giving them an opportunity to mess up your kitchen or hurt themselves.
If you really love your handles and they are not best suited to a dog-friendly kitchen, consider investing in baby-proofing essentials to stop you dog getting up to no good.
Avoid toxic plants and products
Of course, you need to keep your kitchen clean and hygienic for your whole family, but many everyday cleaning products contain harsh and toxic chemicals that can harm dogs. Make sure your cleaning products are tucked away in a dog-proofed cabinet, preferably at height, to avoid your dog chewing and ingesting anything harmful.
You could also make the move to plant-based, non-toxic cleaners, which will give you peace of mind should a naughty pooch end up in the cleaning cupboard.
Certain house plants can also be toxic for dogs. If you have plants decorating your kitchen, make sure that any toxic plants are kept out of the way of curious dogs who like to chew.
Whether you have just become a puppy parent or you are a lifelong dog lover, see how we can help dog-proof your kitchen with a complimentary design visit.