When undergoing a kitchen remodel, you always have to consider the ways in which your family members will be interacting with the kitchen. This also includes pets. Like small children, pets can be seriously injured in a kitchen that isn’t prepared to keep them safe. They can also make your life hell if they constantly get into your garbage and create a mess, or constantly scratch your hardwood floors. Be sure to design your kitchen with your pets in mind to make life easier on the entire family.
Keep Your Pet Safe
As adult humans, we often take for granted how dangerous of a place the kitchen can be. For curious and energetic pets, the kitchen is full of accidents waiting to happen. One of the most common pet injuries involves cats and dogs jumping onto countertops and unwittingly burning themselves on a hot stove. If you’re purchasing a new stove, consider buying an induction cooktop, as these only heat up when pots and pans are placed on them. They also cool down much faster than traditional stoves, so your pet is less likely to come into contact with residual heat. If a new stove is not in the budget, burner covers will achieve the same purpose.
Also be sure to keep your pets away from your appliances. It’s very convenient to keep your coffee machine plugged in and ready for use, but electrical cords present a great danger for pets that may accidentally use them as a chew toy. Invest in an appliance garage or an extra-large kitchen cabinet to hold your small appliances. Avoid leaving hand mixers and other potentially dangerous appliances on the counter for any period of time, even if you’re just stepping out for a few minutes. It may take a little extra effort to always put all of your appliances away when they’re not in use, but it’s worth it.
Prevent your pet from jumping into the garbage and ingesting potentially hazardous materials by keeping your garbage hidden. Turn one of your base cabinets into a pull-out garbage unit. This will not only keep your pet out of your garbage, but it also keeps unsightly and smelly garbage out of sight. It’s also important to keep this cabinet and similar appliances, such as your dishwasher, closed at all times.
Owners of small pets must also design their kitchen with their pet in mind. For your pet’s safety – and yours – be sure to install proper ventilation above your stove and in other parts of your kitchen. Fumes from certain kinds of cookware may present a danger to birds and other small animals. Indeed, proper ventilation is necessary regardless of whether or not you have a pet.
During the actual kitchen remodel, you may want to leave your pet with a neighbor, or restrict your pet to one designated part of the house. Debris, nails, and other construction materials pose a great danger to roaming pets. A dog running through the kitchen during a kitchen remodel may also pose a danger to you or contractors that may be working. For everyone’s safety, keep your pets far, far away.
Keep Yourself Sane
Even once you’ve pet-proofed your kitchen, there are still other factors that need to be taken into account. Let’s face it, your dog is bound to make scratches on your floor. For this reason, dark wood floors are probably not the best choice for your kitchen. For the sake of both you and your pet, it is recommended that you use tile, linoleum, or lighter-colored hardwood floors that won’t reveal obvious scratches. Also opt for a durable, non-porous man-made countertop such as Silestone or Caesarstone that are able to withstand wear, tear, and spillage.
Also be sure to leave room to keep large bags of pet food and other pet accessories stored neatly away. Designate a medium to large sized base cabinet for your pet’s goods if necessary. You might also want to utilize an open (door-less) base cabinet as a feeding center for your pet. With a designated area for your pet, you can discourage your pet from roaming around other more dangerous parts of your kitchen.
Without proper planning, your kitchen may become a hazardous place for your pet to be. Even if your kitchen is safe, the wrong design selections may present a headache for you once your pet comes in contact with them. Keep your pet and yourself happy by taken them into consideration during your kitchen remodel.