Barking awesome: 6 ways to make your kitchen dog friendly
by Karl Fendelander
Face Your Kitchen Columnist
If your dogs are part of your family, then when it's time to reface your cabinets, consider a few options that'll give them (and you!) more space in the kitchen.
- Food drawer: A few brands are making pull-out drawers that have dog bowls and dry food storage built right in. When it's time for breakfast, pull out the drawer, open the storage bin, fill up the bowl and, voila, Fido's been fed. Guests coming over? Close the drawer, and you're done. No scrambling to put bowls away or picking up kibble; it's all in the drawer.
- Bowl cove: If you're pup is too much of a grazer for a bowl that disappears for part of the day, consider a tasteful bowl cove. These inset areas have integrated bowls much like the aforementioned drawer, but the bowls are out all the time for easy access. Ends of base cabinets and kitchen islands work perfectly for these. With both the drawer and the cove, make sure the height is right for your dog before it's permanent.
- Locks: Even a well trained dog gets bored when you aren't home. Whether your pup was just exploring, looking for treats, or taking a small amount of revenge for your absence, locks on cabinet doors can prevent a lot of headache -- or worse. Dogs are notorious for eating everything they find. For their sake, keep them out of the cleaning chemicals under sink and the food in the pantry (it might make them sick -- or just make you really angry -- so it's good to avoid both).
- Dry food storage: Secure cabinets don't work if you don't use them. Rather than keeping the bag of dry food out where rodents can get at it or where Fido can find it and have a feast, talk to your contractor about a built-in bulk storage area. It'll be more convenient for you and harder to get to for all non-humans.
- Dog accessory area: Dogs get messy. Consider a cabinet that's prepared for the job of holding muddy, dripping harnesses, toys and other bits. Install a leash hook inside the cabinet door to reduce tangles. Talk to your contractor about using a different material inside this cabinet - look for one that wipes clean and doesn't soak up water.
- Built-in bed: If your pup likes to hang around while you're doing things but always seems to be underfoot, you may want to consider a built-in dog bed. For those who have crate trained their dogs, think of this as a matching crate that doesn't get in the way. It's a handy addition if you've got the extra space in your base cabinets.
Ask your contractor about how easy replacing certain parts might be down the line. You never know when your new cabinets might be victim to a chewing attack or other puppy accident.
About the Author
Karl Fendelander cut his teeth on web writing in the late nineties and has been plugged in to the newest technology and tuned in to the latest trends ever since. With an eye for design and an ear for language, Karl has created content and managed digital media for startups and established companies alike. When he unplugs, Karl can be found biking about town and hiking and climbing throughout the West.
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