As a rather lazy person, I’m always looking for ways to make my life easier. At this point in my life, I look at my friends who are married and have children (or children on the way) and think to myself, “How are they doing it?” I have a rambunctious dog and am exhausted at the end of the day, without having to cook and clean for others. So, with Tucker as my CMM (Chief Mess Maker), I set out to discover some of the best home hacks you could undertake to improve your life with your four-legged loved one.
Need a way to corral doggie must-have’s like leashes or food? Looking for a low budget alternative to high-end pet beds? Want to keep Fido out of trouble without resorting to locking him in another room? Thinking of teaching your pup how to manage your inbox and do the laundry? Okay, I don’t have a solution for the last one. But, if you’re looking for a way to combine form, function and a loving devotion to your four-footed best friend, try one of these DIY upgrades:
Leashes, collars, brushes, combs, vet numbers and (if you’re oh-so-lucky) plastic baggies for your pup’s daily presents — if you’re like most pet parents, you’ve amassed a small collection of tools and accessories to care for your pet. The question is, how do you keep it contained, organized and easy to find when you’re ready for it?
For many, a dedicated spot near the door is the best spot to keep leashes, bags and other supplies. It makes it easy to grab what you need to head out the door and makes putting away supplies easy when you return. Creating an organized spot can be as simple as:
Having trouble finding a place to store those bulk bags of kibble? Wish you had a better way to tuck food bowls out of the way (and out of sight) when not in use? What if you could solve those problems and breathe life into an old piece of furniture while you’re at it?
Minor carpentry skills and a few small modifications can help transform old dressers, storage cabinets and other thrift store finds into a custom food storage and feeding station. Popular modifications include a pull out drawer that holds the food bowls, with storage for extra food and treats above or below (depending on whether you’re feeding a Chihuahua or an Irish Wolfhound).
Maybe you’d rather keep all your family’s food — two-legged and four-legged alike — in one place. If that’s the case, you might want to turn your DIY skills to kitchen cabinets rather than free-standing furniture.
Looking for food storage? Take inspiration from pull-out trash cans and modify a base cabinet to become a spot for pull-out food storage. With the right support, you can simply fill those pull-out cans with your pet food of choice and call it a day.
A lower drawer can be outfitted with food and water bowls for a pull-out feeding solution, too. For pint-sized pooches, consider customizing a section of your toe-kick, giving purpose to an often under-utilized space.
Need a place for your furry pal to sleep that doesn’t involve them taking up more of your bed than you do? Try turning an old nightstand, side table or small dresser into a custom DIY dog bed.
For some transformations, all you need is a comfy cushion tucked on a low shelf, and your pooch is good to go. But why stop there? Transform the interior with no-VOC paint or custom curtains so your pet can slumber privately and in style.
There are no two ways about it — crates are bulky eyesores. But they also provide a safe, comforting spot for pets to retreat to when they’re tired, scared or shy.
Custom crate disguises could include:
Small or old, short-legged or sickly, there are many reasons your dog could use a little vertical assistance.
To make it easier for your furry friend to get up on your bed (or other pet-approved furniture), get creative with steps and ramps. This can be as simple as adding a low bench to the foot of your bed, modifying a store-bought step stool or building a small ramp that you can collapse and keep tucked under the bed when not in use.
Even the best-behaved dogs need help with boundaries. If you don’t want to screw plastic baby gates into your doorways, try building a custom, freestanding gate. This way you can ensure it matches your decor and is easily moved from room to room as needed.
Of course, this is only the tip of the iceberg. Depending on your budget and skill set, you may want to tackle anything from a custom doggie shower in your laundry room or a sturdy window seat for barking at birds (and the mailman). Whatever your DIY plans, make sure you take a break on the 24th to celebrate your pet parenthood!