For Dogs

Dog Windows

February 19, 2014

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We’ve all heard of a dog door, but have you ever heard of a dog window?  Studies show that dogs tend to be less stressed in environments where they can visually see what’s going on outside of their confined spaces.  That’s why we’re seeing more and more kennels and canine boarding facilities incorporating runs and cages with glass doors and partitions vs. solid.  It is said that by expanding a dog’s visual horizon it can actually have a calming effect- making them bark less and relax a little more.  It’s an interesting concept, and one that can easily be in incorporated into your own dog-friendly home.  All you have to do is add a few strategically placed windows.  Above are some examples I found on Houzz.  I think it’s pretty neat how a low level window can not only potentially improve your dog’s mood, it can also provide a unique and visually dynamic design element.  Check out more possible dog windows in The Barkitect’s “Pet’s Perspective”  ideabook on Houzz.

Image Sources (from top to bottom): One, Two, Three, Four, Five

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In my opinion, traditional dog crates are not very attractive.  They’re typically made from black coated metal wire or some form of blah colored rigid vinyl plastic.  They’re big, clunky, and the metal ones are annoyingly loud.  Most people end up shoving them in the corner, or storing them in some back room to keep them out of the way and out of sight- myself included (yes, my Great Danes are crate trained).  A much more practical and visually pleasing solution would be to make your own custom built-in crate.  Every home is full of spaces that would work perfectly.  Below are some ideas that you may not have thought of…


The space underneath stairs is often times a forgotten place.  It’s typically an awkward shape and therefore not ideal for humans to occupy.  Occasionally you’ll see it being used as a coat closet or some kind of storage nook, but did you know that it’s also an ideal space for a built in dog crate?  It’s small, cozy, and tucked away.



Closets are also great little nooks that often get over looked.  If you’re fortunate to have lots of closet space in your home, then consider converting the lower half of one of them into a built in dog crate.  Closets are most often located in bedrooms, so it’s a great way allow your pup to sleep in the same room as you, without him or her taking up any floor or bed space.



Base, or lower cabinets are ideal for built in dog crates because they are pretty much ready to use.  You wouldn’t have to do much building or construction.  Just change out or renovate the doors, finish and/or paint the inside, and poof you’ve got a built-in, ready-to-use dog crate.  These are often ideal in kitchens and laundry rooms, where cabinets are prevalent.



This is a little more of an unusual idea considering most homes probably don’t have built-in lofted beds, but nevertheless it’s something to consider.  The space under the bed is usually useless, but if you get a lofted bed, all of sudden your floor, and storage, space doubles.  Making it another prime location for a built in dog crate.  This is another great option for allowing your dog to sleep in the same room as you while still giving them their own separate space.


For photo examples of built in dog crates, follow The Barkitect on Pinterest, and be sure to check out my board called, “Built-Ins for Dogs.”

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Texture plays a big role when it comes to selecting a pet friendly floor.  Too rough and it can be very difficult to clean. Too smooth, and it can be slippery and unsafe for both people and pets.  It’s also important to think about how a pet perceives a floor texture.  Some dogs, like this ONE, refuse to walk on floors with a high gloss finish.  Reflectiveness can seem unstable to animals, similar to water.  Look for floors that have a texture somewhere in the middle, not too rough, not too smooth.  Go for matte or honed finishes over glossy or polished finishes.


Natural stone materials, such as marble, travertine, and limestone are undoubtedly beautiful, but they can be a huge headache for someone with pets.  They scratch easily, crack often, stain, and have to be sealed on a regular basis.  If you really like the look of natural stone, a similar, but much more pet-friendly option would be porcelain tile.  Some styles of porcelain tile look exactly like real stone, but the maintenance is so much easier, and it also costs a lot less.


Carpet is basically a sponge.  It’s absorbs liquids, it stains, it traps hair and dirt, and it has this uncanny ability to hold on to odors long after the source is gone.  It’s a scratching post for cats and a never-ending chew toy for teething puppies.  If you have to have carpet, go for carpet tiles.  That way if one gets ruined you can easily replace it without having to rip everything up.  Or invest in a high quality, durable rug.  Best of both worlds?  Go for a tiled rug, like THESE.


If you decide to go with a tile floor, pick a dark grout color.  Some grout, like epoxy, won’t stain, but it still shows dirt.  Light colored grout will show traffic patterns over time.  Meaning it will turn dark in the areas that people and pets often walk.  For a pet-friendly home it’s better to start off with a dark color, keep everything uniform, and not have to worry.


Some pets shed a lot, and no matter how much you clean there’s always going to be hair.  If that’s the case, sometimes it’s better to embrace it, than fight it.  I’m not suggesting to never clean, but if there’s always going to be hair, you might as well pick a floor that helps hide it.  Pick a color that’s similar to your pet’s hair and in a matte finish, and you’d be amazed at how much it helps.


Always order full size samples of a flooring material before installing it in your home.  Lay the samples down in your house, walk on them, have your pet walk on them, get them dirty and try to clean them, feel the texture, look at the sheen, try to scratch them, study the color and durability.  Do everything you can to understand the pros and cons before purchasing the floor.  It’s amazing how different some materials look, feel, and perform from seeing them online or in the store to in person at your home.  It’s better to know ahead of time than be surprised after it’s installed.


Part of designing a pet-friendly home is understanding that every pet, even the most well-trained, aren’t perfect.  They will chew, they will scratch, they will shed and slobber, and they will have accidents.  At the same time no floor is perfect either.  Every option has it pros and cons.  The best thing you can do is understand exactly who your pet is.  Know their habits and regular tendencies.  Then do your research and select a floor that best meets the needs of both your pet and yourself.


Porcelain Tile
Vinyl (Planks, Tiles, Sheet Goods)
Sealed Concrete
Epoxy or Resin


Ceramic Tile
Natural Stone

 Image Source

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Pop-Up Store for Cloud 7

October 4, 2013

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I love, love, love these photos of the new pop-up shop for Cloud 7 at the Normann Copenhagen flagship store.  Cloud 7 is a Berlin based brand of highly sophisticated and upscale interior products for dogs and dog lovers, and they recently teamed up with the famous designer brand, Normann Copenhagen, for this limited time event from September 27th through October 21st.  The entire store features oversized statuesque dog silhouettes scattered amongst top of the line collars, leads, beds, bowls, and beautiful canine portrait art.  It’s obvious from these photos that a great deal of creative design went into this space.  Everything is displayed with the brand’s signature modern and elegant style in mind.  I even love the tagline on the front door, “Always listen to you dog.”  Simple, yet wise words.  Now if only Copenhagen weren’t so far away…

Images Courtesy of Cloud 7

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Blanket ID Tags

October 2, 2013


I recently had the pleasure of trying out a Blanket ID pet tag for my dog Vader, and boy was I impressed!  Not only are these tags super stylish, they also serve as a great tool when it comes to finding missing pets in your community.  Below is a list of a few of my favorite features that Blanket ID offers:

Style:  As you can tell from the images above, Blanket ID tags are available in several different colors and patterns.  It’s really neat to look through all of the possible options on the Blanket ID website and pick one that fits your pet’s individual style and personality.  In the photos above, Vader is sporting the Wallflower design.  I liked it because of the simple geometric shapes and fun shades of blue, green, yellow, and red.  I think it looks great on him, but so many other designs would have as well.  You really can’t go wrong.  The styles are superb.

Quality:  While Blanket ID tags are definitely beautiful, what really impressed me was the overall quality of each individual tag.  After seeing one in person and trying it on Vader’s collar, I could tell that it was crafted with strong materials that are meant to last.  So many collar tags are cheaply made and fall apart after a short amount of time, which, to me, defeats the purpose entirely.  Blanket ID tags are different.  They’re guaranteed for life!  They’re also waterproof, so they won’t get damaged if you’ve got a dog who loves to play in the rain, and they’re noiseless, which means no more annoying clanking and jingling every time your pet moves.

Service: The best part of Blanket ID tags is their ability to help people find missing pets.  I hear stories all the time about dogs and cats that go missing and how helpless people feel in those situations.  Blanket ID offers a way to help.  The process is super simple and easy to learn.  Just watch this How To Video, and you’ll see what I’m talking about.  I love that it allows others, beside the owners of the missing pet, to help out.  It definitely adds another level their service that no one else has.  It’s also pretty neat to set up your pet’s profile.  You can enter all kinds of information including feeding and medical instructions, so whoever finds your pet can know the best way to take care of him or her until the two of you are reunited.

Benefits:  Besides being stylish, made of high quality materials, and a great tool to protect your pets, Blanket ID tags also help support several animal welfare organizations.  When you sign up for Blanket ID, a portion of your membership fees go to the organization of your choice.  It’s called the Blanket Fund.  From shelters, to rescue centers, to SPCA, and humane societies, you can help give back to animals in need by using Blanket ID.

Images Courtesy of & The Barkitect

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Pumpkin Hat on Vixen | The BarkitectPumpkin Hat on Vader | The Barkitect copyPumpkin Hats | The BarkitectSo it’s officially October, and Vader and Vixen are ready to show off their trick-or-treat style with these adorable pumpkin hats from Martha Stewart Pets! From aliens, to pirates, to dragons, and more, they’ve got your dog covered when it comes to costumes and accessories for this upcoming Howl-o-ween season!

And guess what?  That’s not all, they’re also throwing a pet-exclusive costume contest!  All you have to do is submit a photo of your pet wearing a Martha Stewart Pets costume today through October 18th, 2013 at for a chance to win a Martha Stewart Pets Halloween prize package and to be featured on!

Sounds like a pretty awesome opportunity, and a fun chance to play dress up with your pup!  For more details and information be sure to check it out HERE.

Images Source: The Barkitect

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