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1. TEXTURE IS KEY

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.

2. OPT FOR LOW MAINTENANCE

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.

3. AVOID CARPET

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.

4. USE DARK GROUT FOR TILE

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.

5. MATCH COLORS WITH YOUR PET’S HAIR

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.

6. ORDER SAMPLES BEFORE INSTALLING

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.

7. UNDERSTAND NO PET, & NO FLOOR, IS PERFECT

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.

RECOMMENDED FLOORS

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

FLOORS TO AVOID

Ceramic Tile
Carpet
Cork
Wood
Natural Stone

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Dog City & Co.

October 7, 2013

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Dog City & Co. is an animal-passionate brand that sells beautiful gifts for proud pet owners.  As you can tell from the photos above, they have a wide variety of products, from mugs and t-shirts, to iPhone cases, wall prints and totes.  All of which are eco-friendly, and 100% made in the USA.

I was recently fortunate enough to try out one of their text art totes, which Vader and Vixen are showing off in the photos above, and let me tell you, I loved it!

First of all, the graphic is super creative.  I of course opted for the Great Dane design, which features breed specific descriptive words that are sized and rotated to make up the shape of a Great Dane.  It was really neat to read through all of the words, even down to the paws and tail.  They were all perfectly characteristic of my dogs.  If you look through the Dog City & Co. website you can see there are several other amazing options available, including other dog breeds, rabbits, cats, and even horses.

I also thought the tote was especially great because it’s so large.  Just look at it next to my big dogs.  You can definitely tell it’s capable of carrying quite a bit, which makes it very versatile.  I could use it to carry my belongings for a day at the beach, or as a reusable grocery bag for when I go shopping, or as my plus 1 carry-on bag for when I travel on planes.  All the while, I would be showing off my Great Dane pride 🙂

To top it all off, a portion of every sale at Dog City & Co. is donated to animal rescue organizations!  Talk about a great way to give back.  And they can also do custom designs, so even if you don’t see your breed just ask!  All in all I think Dog City and Co. has amazing products that any pet lover would enjoy!

Images Courtesy of Dog City & Co. and The Barkitect

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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

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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 www.BlanketID.com & 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 http://www.marthastewart.com/1033728/martha-stewart-pets-halloween-contest for a chance to win a Martha Stewart Pets Halloween prize package and to be featured on MarthaStewart.com!

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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Canine Crayons

September 20, 2013

 

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These dachshund shaped crayons from the Etsy shop, Ivy Lane Designs, are not only totally cute, they’re also eco-friendly!  Shop owner and artist, Merrill, was kind enough to give me a little background info on these adorable doxie colors…

At the end of every school year, Merrill goes around to elementary schools and collects the old stubs of used crayons.  She then repurposes them by melting them down and hand pouring them into fun-shaped molds- perfect for party favors, weddings, and gifts.  She also gives a talk to the students about the importance of up-cycling, and how they too, can repurpose old things into new ideas.  I think it’s so inspiring how Merrill uses her creativity to help the environment.  Rather than the old crayons being thrown in the trash and winding up in a land-fill, she gives them a new life.

To find out more about these dachshund crayons and Merrill, be sure to check out the Ivy Lane Designs shop HERE.

(Images courtesy of Ivy Lane Designs)

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