A bespoke pet shower will cost around £2,000 to build – a considerable expense, given that I can wash Rudy just fine with a bucket of lukewarm water and a brush through the back door. Yet Chau reminds me that our dogs aren’t just dogs anymore. Their comfort is paramount, which is why owners are also willing to spend huge sums on orthopedic mattresses and hand-carved oak beds with pillows. “Dogs are like people; they have different sleep needs at different stages of their lives,” she explains.
“Burrowing breeds such as Dachshunds and Terriers like to be covered, as do short-haired breeds, such as Whippets and Italian Greyhounds, while dogs with thicker coats don’t like to get too hot. Some dogs like stretch; some like to rest their chin on the edge of the bed; older dogs need a firmer surface to support them when they stand up. In addition to duck feather mattresses, his company now sells antimicrobial memory foam mattress to protect older dogs from bruising on the floor when they get up, plus stylish rattan raised frames.” A dog mattress is great – covered in the wrong fabric or laid down carelessly on the floor, it will spoil the look of a room,” Chau says.
Another popular option is to create specially designed lockers for dogs in kitchen islands or cabinets. Jo Ashwin from hill farm furniture designs cabinets for kitchens and mudrooms with dogs in mind, creating cozy nooks under work surfaces. “I was recently asked to design a fully-designed dog room, complete with a bed with drawers underneath,” she says. The most popular colors for dog cabinets are practical deep blues and greens, with muted grays, soft blues, fawns on any upholstery, and terracotta or limestone on the floor, or ceramic tiles that look like natural stone. Chau and Field noticed, however, that pop colors seep into the interiors of the dogs: vibrant oranges, damson pinks and Yves Klein blue. “Changing the colors of your dog’s mattress covers can freshen up the look of a room,” Chau says.
Where you feed your dog — and what type of bowl — is also a design opportunity, Field adds. She suggests setting aside a designated dining area for them, with a non-slip wooden top and the kind of bowls you’d want on your own table, rather than the standard metal one that slides on the floor when they eat or drink. His pointer eats from a pot thrown by hand by Studio Ranj; Hempel’s dogs, meanwhile, eat their dog croutons and oxtail stew from Goyard bowls, which are contained in a sturdy wood and leather tray.