Dog-Proofing: A Guide To An Organized Home

how to make your house organized for a dog

Getting your home ready for a dog can be a fun but challenging task. Dogs require a lot of attention, exercise, and maintenance, so it's important to be prepared. Here are some tips to help you get started:

- Designate a specific area for your dog's belongings, such as a corner or a closet. This will help keep their things organised and prevent them from overtaking your home.

- Set up a separate dining area for your dog, preferably in the kitchen or mudroom, to contain food messes and make it easier to wipe up spills.

- Create a sleeping station for your dog, considering their preference for snug spaces. You can build a nook or simply purchase a cozy dog bed.

- Invest in some storage solutions, such as baskets, bins, or cabinets, to store your dog's toys, food, and other supplies.

- Consider creating a dog-walking station near an entrance with hooks for harnesses and leashes, and a tote for poop bags, treats, and walking gear.

- Don't forget to include some fun accessories, like a name plate or hooks for leashes, to make your dog's new space feel like home.

Characteristics Values
Space for dog's belongings A dedicated space for the dog's toys, bedding, food, treats, medications, etc.
Dining area A separate area in the kitchen or mudroom for feeding, with a mat or tray underneath to prevent messes
Sleeping area A bed or snug space for the dog to sleep in, preferably in a quiet and secure area
Storage solutions Use of cabinets, shelves, baskets, bins, etc. to store the dog's toys, food, grooming supplies, and other essentials
Accessibility Store the dog's essentials in easily accessible spots, such as near an entrance or in a frequently used room
Organisation Use labels, dividers, or other organisers to keep the dog's supplies tidy and easy to find


Create a designated space for your dog's belongings

Creating a designated space for your dog's belongings is essential for maintaining an organised home. Here are some tips to help you create a functional and designated space for your dog's items:

Choose a Location

Firstly, decide on a location for your dog's belongings. This could be an area in the entryway, mudroom, kitchen, laundry room, or even a corner of your home. If you have extra space, you can convert a spare bedroom, basement, garage, or office into a dedicated dog room.

Storage Solutions

Once you've chosen a location, invest in some storage solutions to keep your dog's belongings organised. Here are some ideas:

  • Cabinets or shelves: Install a bank of cabinets or designate a shelf for your dog's supplies. You can also add a stand-alone storage unit in an empty corner.
  • Baskets and bins: Use baskets, bins, or containers to store toys, grooming supplies, and other miscellaneous items.
  • Hooks: Install hooks near the designated area to hang leashes, harnesses, and other walking gear.
  • Drawers: If you have a set of drawers near the entryway or garage, you can dedicate one drawer to store your dog's smaller items, such as bandanas, sweaters, and other accessories.
  • Pet bed: Provide a comfortable bed for your dog in their designated space. This could be a built-in nook, a cosy dog bed, or even a bed placed near you if you work from home.

Organise by Category

To make it easier to find what you need, organise your dog's belongings by category. For example, you can have a specific area for feeding supplies, such as food, treats, and bowls. Designate another area for grooming supplies, including shampoos, brushes, nail clippers, and ear solutions. You can also create a dog-walking station near the entrance with hooks for leashes and a basket for poop bags, treats, and walking gear.

Accessibility and Aesthetics

When designing the designated space, consider both accessibility and aesthetics. Ensure that your dog can easily access their toys and bed. You can also add some personal touches to the space, such as displaying your dog's likeness with a photo, painting, or tapestry.

By following these tips, you can create a functional and stylish designated space for your dog's belongings, making it easier to keep your home organised and your dog happy.

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Set up a dining area

Setting up a dining area for your dog is an important step in preparing your home for your furry friend. Here are some tips to create a functional and organised space for your dog's mealtimes:

Firstly, choose a dedicated area in your kitchen or mudroom for the dining setup. This will help contain any food messes and spills, and make it easier to wipe up after your dog is done eating. Consider using a mat or tray underneath the bowls to catch any splashes or crumbs, making cleanup a breeze.

When selecting a food bowl for your dog, look for options that come with a base or tray to prevent spills. Alternatively, you can use a small cutting board, especially if your dog, like Tuff, prefers not to eat out of a bowl. Using a cutting board as a food platform is also easy to wash and store when not in use.

To keep your dog's food fresh and neat, store it in airtight bins or sealed containers. This will also help to contain smells and keep pests out. It's a good idea to designate a specific cabinet or storage area in your kitchen or mudroom just for your dog's food, treats, and any medications they may need. That way, you always know where everything is, and your dog's things don't take over the rest of your kitchen.

If you're crafty, you can even create a custom dog feeding station. For example, you can build a permanent structure under a pre-existing shelf or cabinet by removing the door and screws to create a feeding zone. This not only provides a designated space for your dog's meals but also helps to save space in your home.


Create a sleeping station

Creating a sleeping station for your dog is an important step in preparing your home for your furry friend. Here are some tips to help you create a comfortable and dedicated space for your pup's bedtime:

Choose the Right Bed

First, you'll want to select a bed that suits your dog's sleeping style and needs. Dogs like snug spaces that make them feel safe, so consider a bed with raised sides or a built-in option. Orthopedic beds are ideal for older dogs or those with joint issues, while donut-shaped beds are perfect for dogs who like to curl up. If your dog likes to stretch out, a rectangular mattress or cushion bed will provide ample space.

Find the Right Location

Place the bed in a comfortable and familiar spot, such as the living room or your bedroom. Ensure the area is room temperature, away from drafts, and in a shaded or dark part of the room. You can also set up a sleeping station in a kennel or crate, especially if you have a new puppy. Just be sure to line it with newspaper and create an elevated sleeping area to keep them cosy and clean.

Make it Inviting

Add your dog's favourite toys near the bed to make it more appealing. You can also place a shirt with your scent on the bed to encourage them to sleep there. If you have a puppy, create a cosy space at the back of the kennel or crate with a bed or pillow.

Train Them to Use the Bed

Use positive reinforcement to train your dog to use their new sleeping station. Lead them to the bed with a treat, and give the treat only when they lie down on the bed. Use a clear command like "Go to your bed." If they get up, calmly walk them back and repeat the command. With time and consistency, they'll learn to associate the bed with rewards and will be more inclined to use it.

Consider DIY Options

If you're feeling crafty, you can create a DIY dog bed that suits your dog's needs and your aesthetic. You can use leftover wood, upcycle old furniture like dressers or drawers, or build a custom bed with a frame and cushion. Just be sure to consider your dog's size, temperament, and individual quirks when designing their sleeping station.

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Designate a drawer for your dog's essentials

Keeping your dog's essentials in a designated drawer is a great way to stay organized and ensure that you can easily access your dog's items. Here are some tips to maximize the functionality and aesthetics of your designated drawer:

Choose an Accessible Location

Place the drawer in an area that is easily accessible, such as the front entry or garage. This way, you can quickly grab any essentials you need before heading out for a walk or trip to the park. Additionally, opt for a drawer that is at a comfortable height, so you don't have to bend down or stretch too much to reach the items inside.

Utilize Dividers or Organizers

To optimize the organization of the drawer, consider using sturdy, clear dividers or drawer organizers. These will help separate items and increase visibility, making it easier to find what you need. For example, you can use a repurposed mail divider to hold your dog's bandanas and sweaters, keeping them neat and tidy.

Store Essential Items

The designated drawer should hold all the essentials your dog needs for daily activities and outings. This includes items such as treats, waste bags, a brush, paw balm, doggie bug spray, and any medications. You can also store your dog's accessories, such as bandanas, sweaters, and boots, in the drawer to keep them in one place.

Keep it Visible and Labelled

Opt for a clear drawer or one with a clear organizer to easily view and locate items. Alternatively, you can label the drawer or use labelled containers within the drawer to indicate what each section holds. This is especially helpful if you have multiple drawers or storage areas for your dog's items.

Maintain Hygiene

If you plan to store items related to feeding in the drawer, such as treats or food, ensure that the drawer is regularly cleaned and maintained. Use airtight containers to keep the food fresh and prevent any pests from accessing it. Additionally, consider lining the drawer with a washable mat or tray to catch any spills or crumbs.

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Install a feeding station

Feeding stations are a great way to keep your dog's feeding area organised and tidy. Here are some tips to install a feeding station in your home:

Choose a Location

Firstly, decide where you want to set up the feeding station. A dedicated space for feeding will help to contain any messes related to food, treats or water. Common areas for feeding stations include the kitchen, mudroom, laundry room or a designated dog room. If you don't have space for a full dog room, you could create a dog corner in a flex room or basement, or even incorporate a feeding station into your home office.

Contain the Mess

To minimise mess, consider placing a mat or tray under your dog's food and water bowls. You could also use dishes with a base to contain spills, or a small cutting board if your dog doesn't like eating from a bowl. For extra protection, place the bowls on a mat to catch any splashes or crumbs.

Food Storage

Store your dog's food in airtight bins or containers to keep it fresh and neat. You could use a sealed bin to create a cohesive look in the feeding area, or opt for a pull-out cabinet with a bin of ready-to-scoop kibble. If you have a large dog that requires a lot of food, you might want to consider a two-tiered storage container with a matching scoop.


Make sure the feeding station is easily accessible to your dog. If using a cabinet or drawer, leave it open during feeding time, or consider installing an automated system for designated feeding times. If you have a small dog, you could raise the feeding station slightly so they don't have to bend down to eat.


You can customise your dog's feeding station to fit your home's aesthetic and your dog's needs. For example, you could create a built-in feeding station in a bottom cabinet or drawer, or incorporate it into a kitchen island nook. If you're handy, you could even build a DIY indoor dog house that holds a pet bed and food bowls in one unit.

Frequently asked questions

Dogs like snug spaces that help them feel safe. A built-in bed is a great way to offer your dog a comfy bed while keeping your other surfaces clean. You can also buy a bed and move it to whichever room you're in so your dog is comfortable and you're able to focus on the task at hand.

Store your dog's food in an airtight bin to keep it fresh and neat. You can also use a pull-out cabinet with a bin of ready-to-scoop kibble. If your dog knows how to nose-open cabinets, consider adding a childproofing latch inside the door.

Keep an open bin or basket near floor level to promote daily play and keep your dog's toys within reach. You can also use a clear storage box with the lid removed or a sturdy basket so your dog can retrieve their toy of choice.

Designate a specific area of your home for pet storage, so all your dog's supplies are located in one easily accessible spot. You can set aside a bank of cabinets in the entryway, mudroom, kitchen, or laundry room for storage.

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