Dog Days of Summer

Living with a dog will enrich your life in ways you can only imagine. Dogs do come with their own set of needs in the living space. Whether you are buying a new home, building a new home, or simply remodeling your current home here are some ways to make it dog friendly.


Dogs love spending time outside when the weather is nice. Some dogs would never come inside if given the chance. How can you make the backyard a haven for your pooch? Start with the basics, a fenced in backyard is the best way to keep your pet safe from wandering off. Make sure the fence is tall enough and sturdy enough for the breed you have. A small decorative fence won’t keep an escape artist in.

Your dog will need somewhere to cool down when the days are too warm. If you have trees providing shade that may be enough. If you have an open, shade free yard you can put up an awning, umbrella or even a doghouse. Make sure to also provide plenty of water to keep Fido hydrated. Some dogs would also get great pleasure from having a small pool or sprinkler set up for their play. Outdoor spigots will allow easy access to fill their bowls or to hose them off after a dirty day of playing. Consider adding a dog door so your pooch has easy access to come inside when the heat is too much.


As much as dogs love being outside it is important to have your indoor space prepared for those days they will need to be inside.

Hardwood or laminate flooring is the best bet for those dogs with claws that tear everything up. Carpets are prone to tearing and staining and even the best dog can have an accident. You will want flooring that you can easily clean up.

Can you add a dog wash station to your mudroom or garage? Bathing a dog in a bathtub can be hard on your back. A special doggy shower can make this messy task a lot easier to handle.

Window screens are a must to prevent a pup from falling or jumping out of a window. If you have a dog that is determined to roam keeping your windows closed may be the best option.

When considering your layout make sure to plan for your pooch’s gear. Will you have a space for their beds and dishes? You do not want to trip over those items if they end up in the walkway.

You can make your pet friend feel more at home with these tips. Make sure you tell your dog I said hi!

Christina Thrun is the executive officer of the Chippewa Valley Home Builders Association. The CVHBA is a free resource available to all homeowners building or remodeling a home. For more information please call 715-835-2526 or email

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