If you’re like me, then your pet is considered a part of the family.

So why not give your pet his or her own comfortable living space in your home? I’ve helped clients incorporate simple design ideas as part of their remodeling efforts, creating pet-friendly spaces and functional updates that not only pamper pets, but make the home more neat and organized. Consider the following pupgrades.

Built-in pet water and feeding station

This upgrade makes feeding your pet easy and convenient, and you can make good use of a space that would otherwise be left empty, such as the hallway off the kitchen, next to a planning desk or in the laundry room.

For some clients, I’ve built these stations by converting lower kitchen drawers. Inside the drawer, a custom-built frame is topped with stone or tile with cutouts that house the two bowls. Because it’s inevitable that water will spill and splash, a wooden surface will warp over time. The benefits of these slide-out style stations are that the bowls drop in and out for easy cleaning, and the drawer makes it easy to tuck the food away when you have company or if your pet is on a strict feeding schedule.

Pet food storage container pullout

If you have a big dog or a few cats in your home, you likely buy pet food in bulk. Simply install the standard trash can-style pullouts in a kitchen or pantry cabinet and then buy large, airtight storage containers that slide into the openings. This is a great way to keep food fresh with convenient storage.

Dog washing station

Let’s face it — dogs love to get dirty. When the cold weather hits, it isn’t feasible to give the dog a bath outside, and loading him in the car for a trip to the doggy wash is just inconvenient.

Simplify bath time by installing a dog wash in a mudroom. Some clients forgo the laundry sink and just choose to install the dog wash station alone.

You can use a simple shower base or build a custom tile enclosure.

If you don’t have a mudroom or laundry room in your house, consider adding the dog bath in your basement or garage.

Built-in pet beds

Many homeowners like to give their pets a place of their own to relax and sleep. Consider a built-in bed that houses a pet bed pillow, which can be easily replaced as needed. Some homeowners have the bed inserts custom covered to match the decor of the home to create a more seamless and pulled together vibe.

Built-in aquariums

Some animal habitats can be treated as the focal point of a living space, adding color and movement to a room. (Photo courtesy of Imperial Aquatics)

From tropical fish to reptiles, enclosures for these beautiful pets should be designed and built with ample storage and the required amenities, such as water and electricity, in mind. Do your research and consult a contractor who has experience in building and maintaining these enclosures.

Take a look around your home and see what ideas work well with your space. Your faithful companions will thank you.