Pets 101

Animal House of Style

October 15, 2008 by Tails Magazine in Inspiration, October 2008 with 0 Comments

From fancy feeders to the perfect plant, there are literally a million ways to turn an animal-friendly abode into a mecca of style. Check out our A to Z guide to getting started.

By Tails Staff


The little round goldfish bowl is a thing of the past. Case in point: the Labyrinth Aquarium (OpulentItems.com). These space-age abodes are like works of art for our aquatic friends. If you are a fish enthusiast, seek out one of these custom-designed installations for a truly unique addition to your living space.

Bird Feeders

Put a little kitsch in your garden! Bird Brain (BirdBrain.com) re-imagines the concept of the avian food station with its ’60s-inspired bird feeders. The Mod Pod brings groovy living to both your backyard and your feathered friends with its oval space-age design, bold colors, and sturdy, handcrafted design.


Turn a photograph of your favorite furry friend into a Pet-casso! From a single digital photo, Canvas on Demand (CanvasOnDemand.com) will create a beautiful artistic canvas in a variety of sizes and styles.


Building something with your own two hands not only gives you a sense of accomplishment; it can also mean you are getting exactly what you want for a lot less dough. For all your do-it-yourself needs, from sewing a pet sweater to building a cat perch, visit DIYNetwork.com and type “pet care guide” in the search bar.


Treat your pet to earth-friendly products without compromising quality or style. Sites such as EarthDoggy.com feature hemp beds and collars, recycled fleece blankets, and more.

Feng Shui

This Chinese philosophy relating spatial arrangement and orientation to energy flow can also benefit your pets.


Kitty loves it and so should you. Cat grass is healthy, looks attractive in the home, and most importantly, will keep your feline from nibbling on other household plants. We recommend the cat grass starter kit from SweetGreens at WorldWise.com.


In our opinion, nothing is more stylish than rescue and adoption, and there are literally millions of dogs and cats awaiting forever homes at this very moment. Visit our Resource Guide to find a shelter or breed rescue group near you.

Interior Space

“When designing room space, take into consideration what doors your animals will be going in and out,” says interior designer Amy McCawley, creator of The Livable Home: Furniture for You and Your Human (TheLivableHomeStore.com). “You don’t want to put a chair or table in the path to the door or accessories near an area where the dogs or cats will be running by,” she says. If you know that your pets like to be with you while you watch TV, McCawley suggests creating a space for them so their beds can be in that same room. “Most animals want to be with their [people], so take that into consideration in the rooms that you spend the most time.”


Put your junk in the trunk. No, seriously. Keeping things tidy not only creates a more aesthetically pleasant living environment, but will also save you from stepping on ear-assaulting squeaky toys on your way to the bathroom in the middle of the night. Check out the wine-crate toy boxes from WhinerAndDiner.net for a unique and earth-friendly storage option.

Kitten Proofing

Keeping a newborn feline out of trouble shouldn’t compromise your style since it’s all about cleaning up clutter. Keep washer and dryer doors closed, keep the toilet lid down, pick up any items that have fallen on the floor, cover up electric cords she might want to chew through, and keep garbage cans covered. These steps will make the home a happier place for both of you.


Toilet chic? You bet there’s such a thing. For a posh poop box, check out the high-pressure laminate-covered designs from ModernCat.net.


When it comes to flooring, interior designer Amy McCawley recommends using solid materials such as white oak for hardwood. “Not only do they not scratch and are durable with multiple animals,” she says, “It’s also green.” She adds that porcelain tiles, ceramic tiles, and natural stone are also durable for heavy “pawed” pets. “I would suggest area rugs over hardwoods,” she says. “There are a lot of great natural fiber rugs that have rubber backs to them. Those are great for a pet- or child-filled home.”


Cats love them. But if you’re cramped for space in your home or apartment, the Climber from Cat Livin’ offers a new nook for kitty in the unlikeliest of places —the wall. Simply nail this to an empty wall or hang it on the doorway for a brand new space for kitty to stretch, scratch and relax. For more information visit CatLivin.net.

Open House

Having a party? Think twice about inviting Fido. Often the hustle and bustle of visitors can be stressful for our furry friends. Instead, create a space in a quiet area of the house where your pets can hang until the festivities are over. If Fluffy just can’t miss the party, remember that pets can’t imbibe the same guilty pleasures as humans—no chocolate or cocktails for Fido! Nothing is less stylish than having to leave your own party to rush your pet to the vet.


That Easter lily sure does look pretty on the mantle. But beware—the entire plant is toxic to your kitty. Before bringing in the greenery to jazz up your space, brush up on your pet-plant knowledge by visiting the Animal Poison Control Center at ASPCA.org. Here you’ll find a list of both toxic and non-toxic plants.


Just try and ruin a fabric like ultrasuede. Some materials, such as any microfiber, analine leather or leather substitute like pleather, and naugahyde possess the kinds of stain- and wear-resistant qualities needed when it comes to peevish pets.


Pet-friendly housing is the next great movement in real-estate, and many developers are creating condos with Fido in mind (think rooftop runs for Rover and custom-made canine baths). To get started on finding a pet-friendly property, visit PetRealtyNetwork.com.


Nothing says sustainable more than plopping a garden right on top of Rover’s doghouse. That’s exactly what the folks at SustainablePet.com are doing with their Greenrrroof Animal Homes. Some of the benefits of installing vegetation over Rover’s lodging include insulation against temperature and sound, filtering rain runoff, and, most importantly, great looks.


Stylish hotels for people and their pets are the wave of the future. Next time you’re in search of sand, surf, and sea, try crashing at the funky Custom Hotel
(CustomHotel.com), a pet-friendly boutique lodging situated just a bone’s throw from Venice, Santa Monica, and Malibu. Broadway-bound pooches and their people should check out the swank—albeit pricey—Hotel on Rivington (HotelOnRivington) on Manhattan’s Lower East Side.


Just because you have a pet doesn’t mean you have to redesign your whole home. Companies like DenHaus (DenHaus.com) offer pet crates and beds that will fit any décor.


For the pet lover with a traveler’s soul, check out this Vintage Canine Suitcase Dog Bed from Wendy Troupe Designs (WendyTroupe.com). Made from vintage luggage, this comfy dog bed is four-legged (just like Fido), lined with burlap, and contains a vintage wool blanket for your canine’s comfort.


When interior design guru Kari Whitman isn’t redecorating the bedroom, bathroom, and beyond for stars like Jessica Alba, Virginia Madsen, and Don Henley, she’s showing off her doggie style by creating hand-painted dog doors, custom-made dog baths, and even canine bunk beds. View her top tips for Fido-friendly design at KarWhitmanInteriors.com.


At the end of the day, our animals are going to scratch our furniture, vomit on the carpeting, and relieve themselves in inappropriate places. Be firm yet gentle when they do this, and above all—try and be flexible. Consider a couch with a disposable slip cover, put potted plants in high places, and purchase furniture that doesn’t cost an arm and a leg. If you design with your pets in mind, you’ll be less disappointed when the inevitable happens.


Is your dog a miniature furry Godzilla, wreaking havoc on all parts of your yard? From digging to running to eating, Elizabeth Bublitz of Colorado-based Pawfriendly Landscapes has seen it all. Check out her new book, Pawfriendly Landscapes: How to Share the Turf When Your Backyard Belongs to Barney for tips on pet-friendly landscaping.


Tranquility and peace for both animal and human await with this inspired abode. The ZenHaus brings out the Buddha in every pooch with its sleek, oval design, polished fiberglass, and huggable shape. For more information, visit DenHaus.com.

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