Posted 2 months ago ago
Laurence Llewelyn-Bowen and his dogs with the "World's Best Dog House."
It’s easy to think that our dogs are comfortable in our homes but keeping a close eye on their health can only be good for them.
Interior designer Laurence Llewelyn-Bowen has teamed up with joint supplement brand YuMOVE to create the ‘World’s Best Dog House.’
The project aims to educate Britain’s 12 million dog owners about the dangers that their homes may pose for the furry friends around us.
Laurence, known for his appearances on BBC’s Changing Rooms and DIY SOS: The Big Build, said: “My first thought was to focus on aesthetics, adding chandeliers or Italian marble, to kit out a stunning dog home. However, working alongside the veterinary experts at YuMOVE, we co-designed the first wellness-inspired home environment with a single-minded ambition of improving dog happiness and health.”
The "World's Best Dog House" standing proudly.
According to research commissioned by YuMOVE, nearly three quarters (72%) of dog owners would give their homes a make-over to create a better environment for their dogs. However, only one in five (20%) of dog owners are aware of the beneficial home improvements that can be made for their dogs.
While you may think dog toys, blankets and outdoor spaces are essentials to making your dog’s tail wag, there’s more to it than that.
According to expert vet Hannah Capon, of Canine Arthritis Management, the best home environment for every dog should include:
- Dog friendly steps up to the sofa or bed – with measurements that are easy on dog joints
- Non-slip mats or flooring that are kinder on dog joints
- Raised or Orthopaedic bed – these should be large enough for your dog to stretch and well cushioned from the floor
- Raised food and water bowls to allow for less strain on your dog’s joints. It’s important for the bowls to be at the right height for your dog
- Slow feeders to help to manage food intake at a suitable speed and help avoid overeating
- Stairgate to make it harder for you dog to make unnecessary trips up sets of stairs
- Stair ramp – this will mean your dog can avoid stairs altogether
Hannah describes the adaptations as “quick and easy” and something that will make our precious pets happier.
Llewelyn-Bowen with the raised food and water bowls.
Laurence understands the importance of thinking about dogs’ needs especially since they can’t talk to us and explain their aches or pains.
He said: “Now we all know this, we all know this from ourselves, that actually if you have a sofa that sort of engulfs you, that eats you like a marshmallow, you end up feeling very uncomfortable. Actually you need to be sitting on something, you need to be lying on something, you need to be sleeping on something that gives you the right level of support and that is absolutely something that’s the number one essential for dogs when they are getting older.”
If you’re a dog owner and now wondering where to start with adapting your home for the benefit of your pet’s health, Laurence shares some great advice.
He said: “I think the best thing to do is to actually spend a bit of time looking at how your dog uses space. Watch your dog. Begin to see what may or may not be an issue and it’s a difficult moment.
The dog house has stunning green and white interior.
It’s a very sad moment in many ways because here is a companion that you love, that you’ve grown up with, you’re growing old with and there does come a moment when you’re going to have to accept the fact that they, like you, are ageing but unlike you they won’t be able to actually tell you how things need to be changed or how things need to be improved so see whether they are struggling with getting comfortable on the bed that they use.
“See whether they are actually having quite disturbed rest because of that. See whether they are finding it a struggle using their dog bowl.”
Llewelyn-Bowen, who lives with three spaniels, hopes that manufacturers will make it easier for dog lovers like us to make our homes better.
He said: “We should be able to, on a high street level, feel that we can buy much better-looking product that makes our pets part of our now incredibly high, much improved, much higher standard of design and aesthetics that we’ve all got used to but design is not just about making things pretty.
“Design is about making things better, more comfortable, easier to use, more accessible and all of these things that we’ve isolated through the YuMOVE campaign are there to be changed as far as I’m concerned.”