Planning for Fido and Fluffy

The cool part about designing homes for my clients is tailoring their house to include pets! I have spent many hours over the years figuring out how to keep Fido happy and dry without having him leave muddy tracks through a house. Or figuring how to keep Fluffy the inside cat from going outside.

My cat Sammi yawning while sitting on her mudroom bench!


A well designed mudroom should include room to feed and water pets, allow a place for pets to sleep, use a kitty box and if needed be contained from the rest of the house if muddy! I think a great solution is to have counter with space for kennels or dog beds below. This shelf can be used to sort mail, drop groceries or even store pet food. Access to a fenced yard through a mudroom is also nice as it is convenient to let your pet in and outside. Consider using a French glass door to allow a pet a view or a place to sleep in the sun.

A wonderful idea, a client suggested years ago and I have repeated many times is to have a shower near the mudroom for washing pets. Or even kids! This is essential if you have acres of land that allow for muddy playing. A hand shower attachment makes clean up easy. The shower with its drain is also a perfect place to let wet or even snowy clothes drip dry.

Another tip is to have a sink near where the water bowls are kept to make refill and washing a snap. For kitty boxes, a cabinet-maker once suggested making a standard cabinet but leaving the panel out of the door for the kitty to jump and in out but the entire door can be used to access the box. This was in a mudroom with lots of base storage cabinets. Worked like a charm.

Thinking about where interior doors are located can help keep pets safely inside. With a mudroom is adjacent to a garage, this garage door can essentially be the front door to the house. When unloading items or groceries and if there isn’t another door to keep pets out of the mudroom they could easily run outside through an open garage door. A door between the mudroom and the rest of the house can keep a muddy pet from tracking though a home.

Honestly, I am not a fan of pet doors. Awaking one night to a new cat running across my bed, made me wonder how many cat friends my cat had and have long had these kitty parties been happening! Plus once an opossum came in my through brother’s cat door looking for food. His poor cat had been losing weight for weeks as tremendous amounts of food had been eaten by the opossum every night until they finally saw it!!

Keeping  inside cats in, wet dogs off the sofas, creating  places to care for pets are all ideas to consider when planning a mudroom. If you are going to remodel or design a new home consider everyone needs and don’t forget the pets!

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