facebook pageview

SWFL Custom Homes Blog

The Best New Home Features for Pets

Share this blog post:

Punta Gorda Florida Guide

The ideal home should be a fun, comfortable, and functional place for everyone who inhabits it. For us animal lovers, that includes our pets, too! If you’re planning a custom home project, then you’ll want to consider what accommodations your new abode should make for your pets and their daily lives.

There are a wide variety of features that can make your home a place where they thrive. We’ve compiled a list of home design features for pets that meet their needs and help them feel like true members of the family.

Dog Washing Station

Dogs have a talent for getting dirty even when it’s least expected. A quick walk outdoors can suddenly turn into a romp in the mud, throwing a wrench into your routine as you try to handle cleanup.

Having a dog-washing station built into a part of your home can make these incidents so much easier to deal with. It’s common for pet owners to install them in laundry rooms, but sometimes they put them right by the entry door, or even out on the deck to keep the mess outdoors. These washing stations can also be useful for any other critter that may need the occasional scrub, so don’t discount the option if you aren’t a dog owner.

Pet Doors & Gates

custom home layout

We all love our pets, but sometimes they love us a little bit too much in return! Having a designated area that can be closed off is very handy when you want a bit of space, or you need to keep your pets contained to a separate area for other reasons (arriving guests, children at play, or cooking, for example).

Having built-in pet doors and gates can easily accommodate this, and they can be styled to perfectly match the rest of your home’s architecture and decor. Some can even be built to allow certain pets to pass through (such as cats or rabbits), while the bigger ones are kept out.

Built-In Crates & Beds

Having their own space to relax and unwind is essential for pets to avoid feelings of anxiety. Incorporating crates and beds into cabinetry, stair spandrels, or the very walls of the house can be a great way to provide your furry friend with their own little hideaway.

It also removes the problem of trying to fit their beds or crates into other areas of the home, where they may be eyesores or simply get in the way. Built-in crates and beds can be styled to blend in with the rest of the home, minimizing their visual impact.

Hidden Litter Box

Most cat owners can agree that managing litter boxes is one of the biggest difficulties of living with felines. Ease of access, odor control, and shielding the box from view are all priorities that aren’t always achievable all at once.

Luckily, built-in options can balance all three needs. Much like the crates and beds discussed above, litter box dens can also be built into walls and cabinets. It’s even possible to build cat doors and tunnels leading to the litter box area, opening up more options for placing it in an inconspicuous part of the home.

Catification Shelving & Installations

Everyone knows that cats love to look down on us humans, and not just figuratively. Cats have an instinctual need to climb up to high places, where they can feel safe having a clear view of their domain. Incorporating shelves, perches, and other elements that allow your cat to enjoy more vertical space is one of the best ways to reduce their stress levels and make their living space more interesting.

Some owners go as far as installing entire catwalks throughout their homes, which can actually be quite striking in terms of design. You can consider building platforms into the walls, and connecting beams, perches, or ramps that look like integral features of your architecture.

Feeding Stations & Storage

Eating meals is such a big part of our days that we have entire kitchens and dining rooms devoted to it. It makes sense for pets to have their own dedicated area for it as well, if only on a smaller scale. More and more pet owners are therefore incorporating feeding stations into their home design.

These can take the form of pull-out drawers with bowl inserts, or stationary platforms that occupy their own nook. Storage cabinets are a smart add-on for pet food bags, cans, and other supplies. Feeding stations can also be incorporated outdoors, with sheltered and heated options to account for weather.

Lookout Windows

lookout window

Everyone loves to relax and take in a great view, especially pets! Providing a space where they may observe the outdoors can also be a critical source of stimulation, indulging natural instincts and alleviating stress. Bay windows are one of the best styles for accommodating a lookout zone, since they can easily incorporate spacious seating areas where your pets can lounge. Some windows can also be converted into small catios, where screens give indoor cats a little taste of the outdoors.

Dog Runs, Catios & Aviaries

Having access to the outdoors can give our pets more opportunity for exercise, as well as all of the health benefits that come from sunshine, fresh air, and natural sounds and views. But providing controlled supervision isn’t always possible.

This is why many pet parents are building outdoor rooms specifically for their pets, such as dog runs, catios, or aviaries. Reptiles such as tortoises and monitor lizards also get a big boost from outdoor enclosures, since they can freely spend hours basking in the warm Florida sun.


As pets age, their mobility starts to decrease, just like ours does. Jumping up onto beds or climbing stairs soon becomes difficult, and they may require human help to access essential parts of the home. Integrating ramps into your home’s architecture could be a great relief, and also more convenient if you want to avoid lifting your pet whenever they need. Ramps can be placed by porch steps, beds, couches, and any other elevated areas your pet needs access to.

Chicken Coops

If the city codes in your area allow for backyard chickens, then a custom coop is the best way to give them a happy, safe abode while also adding some fun to your yard. Chicken coops can be built to take on any style you please, even mimicking the look of your home itself if you wish. Some flock owners get extra creative, making charming and colorful coops that really brighten their outdoor space.

Coops can have storage zones that help them double as a shed where feed, tools, and other outdoor supplies may be stored. It’s also worth considering an attached run that extends long enough to give your chickens plenty of protected roaming room.

Build Your Pet-Friendly Dream Home with Capitol Homes

Capitol Homes is one of Southwest Florida’s most trusted custom home builders. We’ve helped countless families create homes that are the perfect fit for every member of their household, even their pets.

If you’re looking for a team that can help you navigate the entire process, from picking the right lot and mapping the ideal layout to finalizing a flawless build, Capitol Homes is here to make it happen. Our design experts will help you incorporate all of the features you need and plan a truly satisfying place to call home.

You’re welcome to peruse our floor plans or visit one of our model homes. We’d be happy to walk you through your options and get you more familiar with our process. Contact us today to set up your appointment.