Me with my muse, Bailey!

About Allison Shamrell Photography:

Thanks for visiting my blog! My name is Allison, and I work in San Diego, CA, capturing the personalities of dogs and cats of all sizes & temperaments. I do photo sessions on location and in-studio, wherever my clients prefer! My photography style is natural, playful & soulful.

Here on my blog, I tell the stories of recent sessions and events. You might even find an insight or two into the behind-the-scenes side of my business! I hope you have fun looking around!

If you would like to receive a quick little email to let you know when I publish a new post, see the button at the bottom left of this page! Thanks! :)

619-357-6624  ~  Allison@AllisonShamrell.com  ~  3251 Adams Avenue, Suite C, San Diego, CA 92116

Officially Voted the Best Pet Photographer in San Diego, 2014-2016, by the San Diego A-List.

Archive: ‘just for fun’



Dog DNA Tests: Our Experience! (What kind of dog is Bailey?)

Wednesday, June 7th, 2017

I think everyone who has a mutt is… curious.

Maybe it’s a fleeting curiosity for a moment, maybe it’s a burning desire that never fades. But I think everyone with a mixed-breed dog would really like to know what breeds their dog comes from, the clues to their heritage that may explain their dog’s silly behavior quirks or a rogue white fur spot. For whatever reason, I think that curiosity is definitely there.

Me? I fit more closely into the latter description. I’ve always wanted to know Bailey’s genetic makeup. And I knew about dog DNA tests for years, and had wanted to do one, but no event or reason ever spurred me to make the decision and purchase one… until my husband did it as a surprise for my birthday! That’s right, Mr. Shamrell came up with the best gift idea for me, and sent our dog’s DNA in without me ever knowing. (He’s a clever one!)

He chose the Wisdom Panel DNA test, a major name in the industry that’s available in most big box pet stores like Petco & Petsmart. It cost around $80 and is probably the most commonly-used test on the market. He then (somehow, on his own, miraculously) wrestled our dog into submission so that he could take the saliva sample! Haha – I’m kidding (mostly) – but I have to say that this is the hardest part of any dog DNA test. Instructions to obtain a good sample include swabbing a q-tip on the inside of her cheek for about 20 seconds, and that’s not in most dogs’ plans for the day. So with lots of treats and a firm grip on her collar, Mr. Shamrell was able to wrangle the q-tip into Bailey’s mouth for enough time to take a decent sample. (Hey, other tests are blood tests – saliva is the easy way out!)

Before you see the results, take a look: what breeds do you think are in Bailey?

mixed breed dog dna

Full disclosure: I’ve always guessed Rhodesian ridgeback was her primary heritage. Her face, her body structure, her generally lazy demeanor… and when she gets agitated, a dramatic ridge of fur appears on her back, from her shoulders allllll the way down to her tail. So of course the test would come back with ridgeback somewhere on it… right?

 

The results were delivered on my birthday, so it was a surprise for both of us, and that evening I unwrapped a very exciting envelope to see this:

dog dna test results

 

My initial reaction was: Staffordshire, sure – WHIPPET??? What?! There must be a mistake, that’s ridic- oh, wait a minute. Hold on. That may actually be why she’s only 50 lbs and has such tiny feet. And a tiny waist. And why she can run faster than almost every dog she’s ever met.

Whoa.

That’s exactly what a dog DNA test is supposed to do! They were characteristics that I’d always seen in her, but had always written off as quirks & happenstance. Suddenly, I saw whippet in my dog when I’d never imagined it before.

If there was a cartoon light bulb hanging over my head, it would have turned on. Poof!

 

Whew! It was an exhilarating start to reading her results. But things were about to take a downward turn:

my dog's dna test

What was with all this “mixed breed” nonsense? I know she’s a mixed breed, that’s why I wanted to do a DNA test. And now I was seeing that the test couldn’t figure it out beyond halfway? Last I heard, 50% is a failing grade. I thought to myself, do we get 50% of our money back? (Unsurprisingly, we didn’t.)

 

Wisdom Panel gives their best guess at the “mixed breed ancestry” result, which is good, but they don’t exactly sound confident in these results:

dog dna tests results

 

 

So there you have it. Bailey’s results, according to Wisdom Panel, are 25% Staffy, 25% whippet, and 50% unknown.

Fast forward a few years: we meet a vendor at the Hillcrest farmer’s market with all kinds of doggie goodies at his table. He asks if we’ve ever done one of the major brand dog DNA tests, and when we say that we have, he introduces us to a different brand of test. It’s called Accu-Metrics Viaguard (I know, their website is awful, don’t laugh) and it’s totally unrelated to Wisdom Panel. He shows us the research that says Wisdom Panel has 66.7% reliability, whereas this new test has 99.9% reliability. That was enough to pique our interest – and after hearing that they do all kids of DNA/forensics/paternity tests, etc, and they have a money-back guarantee, we happily purchased the new test kit and trotted off to try again! Nothing had changed in the last few years, of course – and I was coming around to the idea that she may not be Rhodesian after all – but why not get a second opinion?

Bailey didn’t enjoy the swabbing any more the second time around… but this time there were two of us so it went much quicker. And Bailey got a bully stick immediately afterwards, so don’t think for a second that she isn’t benefitting from this little experiment, haha!

 

Well, the results just came in. And they shocked me!

 

viaguard dog dna tests

Take a look at what the different “levels” mean:

doggy dna test results

 

How fascinating. There were Staffy & whippet, consistently making a second appearance – but Catahoula Leopard Dog?? Labrador!? I’ve been in the pet industry for over 6 years and I’d never even heard of a Carolina Dog! Truthfully, the Belgian Malinois wasn’t a huge surprise; I’d always figured she was part shepherd due to her coloring & body structure, I just didn’t know what kind specifically. Jeez – what a surprising combination of breeds!

 

They also sent us this certificate, which will definitely come in handy if we ever move into a rental home/apartment with breed restrictions:

dna test breed exemption

(Sigh. It’s so sad that this has to be a thing.)

Overall, the Accu-Metrics Viaguard test gave us a lot more information, so I appreciated that. Both tests gave us a few pages of medical information about the breeds that were identified in each one – here’s a page from Accu-Metrics Viaguard, for example:

dog dna tests breeds

 

If you have health concerns for your dog as he/she gets older, a DNA test could be exactly what you & your vet need to keep giving your dog the best possible care. I definitely plan on sharing all this info with our vet – so although it wasn’t the primary reason we did these tests, it’s definitely an added benefit.

So there you have it! I highly recommend dog DNA tests, at least for the fun of discovering something new! I certainly can’t speak to their accuracy, but it was a really fun surprise both times. And while Bailey may not be Rhodesian like I thought – or boxer, or German shepherd like so many people tell me – I really don’t mind having a Catahoula/Staffordshire/Carolina/Malinois/labrador/whippet mix, either! :)

 

Taking Your Dog to Mexico – Our Story

Thursday, April 27th, 2017

I love Mexico. The beaches, the food, the language, the marketplaces, the margaritas…  pretty much everything south of the border calls my name. (We even went to Cabo for our honeymoon!) And living in San Diego means that I don’t have to step on a plane to visit Mexico, which is pretty awesome – and as a result, my husband and I have driven there once or twice a year since moving to SD 4 years ago. Our favorite town to visit is Rosarito, a small village south of Tijuana that (with its next-door neighbor Puerto Nuevo) serves the region as a lobster fishing hub. We’ve never gone with our dog, though – until last weekend. And I know I’m not the only one who has considered taking my pup south of the border – so I wanted to share my experience, and hopefully this blog post contains the info (and reassurance) you need to feel confident about taking your dog to Mexico!  :)

 

IMG_3361

This was a real vacation – which means I didn’t bring my DSLR! (Gasp!) So you’re going to have to put up with iPhone photos in this post, even though I’m a professional photographer. Because after all, “The best camera is the one you have with you.”

 

I had all the normal fears that a pet parent has when doing something for the first time, compounded with the fact that we’re dealing with international borders. Bailey is a good girl but her obedience isn’t perfect, and although she loves people she doesn’t always get along with certain kinds of dogs in certain situations… I knew that there was plenty that could potentially go wrong. But there was also the potential for so much to go right! So after chatting with a few people who said it was “no big deal” to bring their dogs to Mexico, we decided to get past our concerns and take the leap! I suppose we figured that I speak enough Spanish to deal with pretty much any crisis, and we would obviously stand up for our dog and her safety in any situation, so as long as she was with us, she’d be fine. It also really reassured us when we picked a resort that actually had a dedicated dog run; going to a place that’s unabashedly dog-friendly is a huge plus and I highly recommend it!

 

IMG_1071

 

How we prepared: we scheduled a vet appointment for a month before our trip. During that appointment, we asked the vet how she felt about us taking Bailey to Mexico, and what concerns (if any) she would share with us. Our vet was very unconcerned; Bailey has always been a very healthy dog (knock on wood) and there was nothing that our vet specifically warned us about. So we simply made sure she was updated on all her shots, especially rabies, and got a hard copy of her shot records to bring with us.

One quick note about the International Certificate of Good Health Form, # 77-043. We heard various reports about this – my husband thinks it’s for flying with your dog, not driving, and our vet clinic thinks it’s only for interstate travel, not international. We didn’t learn about it until after our appointment, otherwise we would have asked for a copy to take with us, just in case. (Spoiler alert: we wouldn’t have needed it anyway. But if it’s readily available from your vet, go for it!)

 

(Side note: apparently dogs can get passports, too. I haven’t looked into this for Bailey yet, and I’m not seriously considering getting her one at the moment, since A) it seems to be more important in the EU, which we don’t plan on taking her to anytime soon, and B) all the information I can find online comes from companies looking to make a profit from the idea, so I’m skeptical about how beneficial/necessary it would actually be.)

 

What we packed: her bed, toys, food, treats, bowls, 2 leashes of different length, and extra poop bags. (Don’t you love how low-maintenance dogs are?!) We didn’t bring a kennel, primarily because Bailey isn’t kennel-trained (so bad, I know!) and also because we weren’t flying, we were driving. So her seatbelt and our backseat cover were the only transportation-related items we brought, and they’re always in our car anyway!

 

IMG_1300

 

We booked a pet-friendly AirBNB in Rosarito, and about 45 minutes after crossing the border into Mexico (which is so easy it’s laughable) we arrived at the resort and found our room! It was a penthouse suite (#penthouselife) in a resort with a mix of towers and linked single-story houses. I’m pretty sure Bailey would have preferred once of the houses, since she has a deep mistrust of elevators, but she braved her fear and actually loved the penthouse that we stayed in. I could tell she was comfortable there when she started playing with her toys only about half an hour after we arrived! (Although we had 2 loads of stuff to bring up from the car, so she whined and cried when we left to get that second load and she was suddenly alone in a strange new place.Which I can understand. But Bailey is often over-dramatic so I knew she wasn’t actually freaking out, haha!)

Right after getting settled, Mr. Shamrell & I went to lunch at a nearby (walking-distance) hotel. We didn’t bring Bailey because we wanted to scope out the dog-friendly factor first – and to our delight we saw another dog lounging on the outdoor patio! No problemo!

IMG_4065

This is Bailey at that same restaurant, for dinner the next night. Oceanfront dining = relaxing and gorgeous for humans, more seagulls for dogs to watch.

 

At lunch, we asked our friendly waiter if he knew of a dog beach nearby, or at least a beach where we could bring our dog without getting hassled. He said that he brings his pit bull to a beach that was so close, he pointed it out down the coastline! So we ran back to our resort, grabbed Bailey, and off we went!

The beach that we visited in particular was a little tricky to get down to. A lot of Mexican beaches (especially public, unsupervised beaches) can include a hike down rocky, unstable terrain. But we saw a few families already on the beach, so we knew it was doable – and we carefully made our way down the steep “path” and set foot safely on the sand. We also walked past a chained-up pit bull that came out of his sheet metal den and barked at us as we went past, maybe 20-30 feet away. (Which didn’t bother Bailey, but bothered me for multiple reasons.) If your dog is especially nervous about uncertain situations, or can’t handle a quick but steep hike, I certainly wouldn’t recommend the beach we visited. And it might make it difficult to find a truly ideal public Mexican beach, honestly – but I can’t be sure, since we only ended up taking Bailey to this spot for beach time. But she was a total champ and didn’t let any of that faze her! And once we got to the sand, it was a little slice of heaven; plenty of room to run around & seaweed to sniff, while Mr. Shamrell & I relaxed in our beach chairs and took in the view! I can’t even begin to tell you what a great time we had once we got down there! Here are a few maps to our beach:

Rosarito dog beach Rosarito beach for dogs satellite dog beach map

 

And here’s what playtime looked like:

 

On our way back up the rocky path, we encountered a stray dog. He had no collar or leash, and seemed awfully sweet, but we kept him away from Bailey just in case. I would have loved to pack him up into our car and give him some love and a healthy meal, at the very least – he clearly needed both – but it simply wouldn’t have been safe. The poor thing clearly wanted to come with us… but once we waved him off the last time, he trotted toward a few nearby houses, so I’m guessing that’s where he lives. That moment was probably the saddest of our trip.

 

The next day, we decided to hang out by the pool at our resort. There weren’t many other people around, and we found a small grassy area next to two lounge chairs – so naturally Bailey came with us! We put her on a 20-foot leash and secured it to one of our chairs, so she wandered & sniffed everywhere as we read our books. Plus, it was an oceanfront pool, so Bailey had the chance to monitor the seagulls too. We probably wouldn’t have brought her if it was crowded with people, but it was a relatively secluded spot and not a big deal.

taking your dog to Mexico

 

dog in Mexico

Can you believe she never jumped in the pool? Bailey doesn’t really like swimming, so she was content to enjoy the view instead.

 

Because of our success in taking Bailey to the nearby restaurant, and our optimism, we drove to one of our favorite restaurants in Puerto Nuevo the next night with her. It’s called Poco Cielo, and since they also have an outdoor patio we figured she’d be allowed there – and she was! We had another great dinner together (and might have given her a few tortilla chips as well).

 

Last but certainly not least, I know you’re curious about the actual border crossing! I made this video so you could hear the play-by-play with all the details:

 

 

A few questions you might have:

  • How did we get our medical “fast pass”? Okay, don’t be miffed if you didn’t know this before, but guess what… you can get a medical pass at some Mexican spas after getting a massage! True story! There are several spas that have clearance to do this, and certain types of massages that will earn you a “fast pass” to get back across the border in the quicker line, as long as you use it in the following 48 hours after your massage. So we suffered through a massage to get that pass, haha! ;)
  • Why can’t we stop for a doggy potty break while we wait to get across the border? Because you’re constantly slowing moving forward. The line isn’t usually “stopped” for very long at a time, it’s just a long, painfully-slow crawl. So you certainly could leave your car to take your dog to a nearby patch of grass (if your lane happens to pass near one, which is not guaranteed) but someone else would have to keep driving, and then you could catch up with them again pretty easily by walking.
  • How do I find the medical lane? Tijuana is confusing. AGREED. We used directions from Baja Bound – a total godsend! We still ran into a roadblock that threw us off course, but with our T-Mobile plan we get free data in Mexico, and so Google Maps was essential to finding our way back on course.
  • Anything else I should know about driving around Mexico? Get Mexican car insurance. Most American companies will NOT cover theft or break-ins if they happen across the border. We usually go through Sanborn’s but you have several options out there. We paid $95 for 4 days of coverage, and the peace of mind is SO worth it.

 

Mexican dog park

My dog’s crazy-face as she runs around at the dog park at our resort. Pretty sure this is the best view from any dog park in the world!

 

Those are all the stories I have to share with you for now! I hope you found value in this blog post, and if you were considering taking your dog to Mexico, that you feel much more confident about doing it successfully! Feel free to ask any questions in the comments below if there’s anything else you’re curious about. We had soooo much fun in Mexico, and I think Bailey had a great time as a perro. ;)

 

Bailey the Spider! (Howl-o-ween 2015)

Thursday, October 29th, 2015

It’s that time of year again… Halloween! And as many of my blog readers know, I love to dress up my Bailey! She’s been a lion, a German beer maiden… and I already have her costume for next year planned out too, haha! But this year she wanted to be something creepy-crawly… because after all, it’s hard to be so gosh-darn good-looking all the time. Why not mix it up? :)

 

Bailey is dressing up in a spider costume this year! Ready to scare all the kids in our neighborhood! ;)

spider dog halloween

 

 

In preparation for Howl-o-ween, she spun a big web with her spider friends…

dog spider halloween costume

 

…while always on the lookout for a fly to catch. (or a cat.)

dog spider halloween

 

So watch out for this terrifying spider around San Diego this year!

dog dressed as spider

 

And just because it’s hilarious: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=29jycngxIZQ

 

Happy Howl-o-ween, everyone! :)

 

10 Things You May Have Wondered About Pet Cemeteries & Crematories, But Were Too Afraid To Ask

Tuesday, August 18th, 2015

Hi everyone! I have an amazing post for you today! It’s written by Natalie Lykins, the Office Manager at Sorrento Valley Pet Cemetery (SVPC). SVPC is San Diego’s oldest and best pet cemetery & crematory, and I couldn’t be prouder to work with the great people there (like Natalie) who help their clients through one of the most difficult times of their lives. Natalie wrote this article exclusively for my blog – which means it’s just for you! – and I think you’ll find it fascinating! Enjoy! 

(All photos were taken by & belong to Natalie Lykins and SVPC.)

 

10 Things You May Have Wondered About Pet Cemeteries & Crematories, But Were Too Afraid To Ask

sorrento valley pet cemetery

 

1) Are pet cemeteries really the way Stephen King described them in the novel, “Pet Sematary”?
Not at all! Most pet cemeteries are very beautiful, peaceful places with elaborate, well-kept landscaping. They are designed to invoke relaxation and allow families/individuals to remember their pets in a pleasant atmosphere. Many live animals make cemeteries their homes as well. At Sorrento Valley Pet Cemetery, several species of birds have taken up residence. We also have many rabbits and raccoons that frequent the grounds.

 

                                                     sorrento valley pet cemetery      frog

 

2) Can pets have large, elaborate funerals, just like some people do?
Of course they can! Our pets are members of our families. Why should they not receive what any human family member would? Pet cemeteries are very adept at accommodating to each individual. SVPC has held very large funerals, consisting of almost 30 people, processions from the chapel to the burial site, various readings, and many other types of ceremonies. We have also held very simple, dignified funerals with only the immediate family present. It is important to us that the family/individual feels that the burial ceremony is appropriate for their specific pet and is in no way a “cookie-cutter” ceremony.

 

pet memorial stone

 

3) Are all pet cremations the same, or are there different types?  
There are 3 main types of cremation; communal, individual, and private. Communal cremation is when many pets are cremated at one time with no form of separation between each pet. Individual cremation refers to when a few pets are cremated at once, usually three to four, with some form of barrier between each pet. Rows of bricks are a popular form of barrier. Private cremation is when only one pet is present during the cremation process. SVPC only performs private cremations for the public. If you come through our doors, we can guarantee you that your pet will be cremated by itself.

 

pet memorial

 

4) Can working at a pet cemetery ever be kind of, well… gross?
I will not lie. There are some moments that are not pleasant. Just like when a human being passes away, pets lose their bowels after passing. Many people are not prepared for this when their pets pass in their home and bring them into us all wrapped up with their feces and urine. When we unwrap the pet to do a paw print or place the pet in the cremation chamber, we get a nice, poopy surprise. Also, people cannot always get their pets to us right away and therefore have to keep their deceased pet in their home for a day or two. Many of our clients know what to do and either place their pets in their fridge or, if they are too large, pack ice on top of them until they can get them too us. Sometimes people do not do anything, and by the time we receive the pet, decomposition has already begun. The smell is something you do not forget. But no matter what condition a pet is in when it gets to us, it is still a dearly loved family member and deserves the best care possible.

 

5) Are there companies that make special caskets just for pets, or do you have to build each one?
In these modern times, we are lucky enough to have companies out there that produce caskets that are especially designed for pets. This wasn’t always the case. At one time, pet caskets were not readily available. Infant caskets were the immediate answer for small pets, and child caskets for larger ones. At SVPC we have pet caskets available up to 32″. Anything larger than that we custom make in-house out of cedar. The only downside to the cedar caskets is that they decompose over time. If you want your pet to naturally return to the earth, a wood casket is the way to go. If preservation is your main concern, plastic or fiberglass is the best choice.

 

pet cemetery products

 

6) What is left when a cremation is finished?
There is a very common misconception that what you get after a cremation are “ashes”. This is not true at all. When a pet’s body breaks down in the cremation chamber, everything burns away, only leaving the bones. When we open the door after a cremation is finished, all that is left are very brittle, bright white bones, NOT ashes. The bones are then brushed out of the cremation chamber and placed into a processor. The processor is really a big blender that spins the bones really fast, banging them against each other until they become a fine powder. This powder is what people tend to think are “ashes”.

 

7) Where are pets kept while they are waiting to be buried or cremated?
This is a very common question clients have when they come into the cemetery. They are very concerned that their pets are going to be tossed into a freezer and frozen until it is their turn. This could not be further from the truth. I cannot speak for all pet cemeteries and crematories, but at SVPC we do not freeze pets. We have a very large walk in refrigerator. Inside, there are many racks for the pets to rest on. Each pet is either in a bed (small pets/cats/small dogs) or wrapped in blankets with a pillow under their head (large dogs/farm animals). All of the pets rest comfortably until they are set to be buried or cremated.

 

pet gravestone

 

8) Do clients ever make strange requests?
I do not consider any request “strange”. Whatever the request may be, it means something to the individual client. Many people ask for specific things to be cremated with their pet, such as a special toy, a favorite treat, or a blanket. This is a pretty normal and common request. Every once in a while however, we do get requests that are a little outside the norm. A past client did request one of his dog’s canines be removed so he could make it into a necklace. Unfortunately, I would not do this, because it would require quite a bit of force, and possibly breaking his dog’s jaw. I personally felt like I would be disrespecting the dog if I treated his body in that way. Instead, we offered to pick out a canine after the cremation and put it in a vial that he could wear on a necklace. It was a happy medium for both of us.

 

9) Do people visit their buried pets often?
At the SVPC cemetery, we have many clients who visit on a weekly basis. Sometimes they even come multiple times in a week. One particular family brings lawn chairs and spends over an hour at their pet’s plot, talking to him and filling him in on their life. We actually become very close with many of our burial clients. They usually stop in to say hi when they visit and to thank us for changing the water in their flower vases. Our burial clients have become their own small community. It is really a lovely thing to see and experience.

 

pretty pet cemetery

 

10) Isn’t working at a pet cemetery incredibly depressing?
Once again, I cannot lie. Working at a pet cemetery can be very difficult at times. My job is to take on the pain of other people and sympathize with what they are going through. In a way, this makes me re-live losing my own pets over and over again. There are some days that are extremely difficult. I own a pug, so whenever someone comes in with a pug, it is especially hard. When you love and care for animals the way I and the rest of the staff at SVPC do, seeing them deceased day after day can definitely have an effect on you. The animals are not the only difficult part of the job, however. Everyone deals with grief differently. My job is to help my client and their pet, no matter what state of mind they are in. Sometimes, people can barely make out words between their tears. Other people get angry over simple things to mask how they are really feeling. This can be taxing over time. But through all of the sadness and depressing moments, there is one thing I always remember. I am giving this pet the respectful, dignified end it deserves. Then I get to give this pet back to it’s family. That is what means the most to me personally. I know I speak for the entire staff when I say that it is so incredibly rewarding to return a pet to the family that misses it so much. That is what keeps us doing what we do.

 

dogs in pet cemetery

 

Thank you for such an in-depth & honest look behind the scenes at SVPC, Natalie! 

 

Questions for Natalie? You can contact her via SVPC’s website, by phone at 619-276-3361, or on Facebook here.

 

Inspiration: Built-In Dog Beds

Thursday, May 7th, 2015

Hi there, blog readers! I’m proud to feature this lovely article today about interior design for dogs! The folks over at Modernize approached me recently & asked if my readers would find a benefit to reading an article like this… and I’m sure you will! So, enjoy!   – Allison

 

By Jane Blanchard

 

Dogs are clearly just as important to us as any other member of the family and homeowners are starting to take their dogs into consideration when planning their home setup! Many homes today have custom features included that are geared toward the family pet. We have seen a rise in popularity in features like dog baths and showers, integrated food and water stations, and built-in pet beds. Let’s look at some great examples of built-in dog beds, a growing trend in homes.

 

Centrally Located

1

Traditional Kitchen by Minneapolis Interior Designers & Decorators RLH Studio

 

An extra large dog bed blends in seamlessly with this traditional kitchen Your favorite friend will love being close to you and you will love not having him under foot while you are cooking.

 

Blending In

2

Transitional Family Room by Van Nuys Home Builders Root Construction

 

Can you spot the pet beds? Two identical beds are cleverly added to either side of a warm fireplace creating a toasty spot that any dog would love to curl up in. There is nothing more cozy than your sweet pups cuddle up by the fire while you read your favorite book.

 

Well Planned

3

Traditional Laundry Room by Cleveland Kitchen & Bath Designers Artistic Renovations of Ohio LLC

 

For many pet owners, a laundry room this smartly arranged would be a dream feature. The dog shower next to a fluffy built-in bed for Fido just makes sense and the stylish, practical design is something that is a must for a great laundry room.

 

Safe and Stylish

4

Contemporary Hall by Covington General Contractors Maison de Reve Builders LLC

 

If your dog needs a little enclosure when you are away, but a bulky, unattractive crate seems out of place, why not build the crate in to your home? This example is placed under the stairs offering ample space for your dog to walk around and stay comfortable. A pretty door helps avoid a utilitarian look in this lovely home.

 

Work and Play

5

Contemporary Kitchen by Richmond Interior Designers & Decorators Portico Design Group

 

Dogs love being wherever their people are and for little dogs, this is no exception. Sitting down to work at your home office desk with a built-in spot for your tiny pal nearby might even help you get better work done by keeping you calm and relaxed and certainly never lonely.

 

Bedtime Buddy

6

Eclectic Kids by Austin General Contractors Austin Creations

 

At the end of the day, its time for puppy cuddles. This platform pet bed keeps your best buddy at arms reach all night long. This is an especially helpful idea for the room of a child who would be comforted by the nearness of his dog.

 

A built-in dog bed doesn’t require much space or expense. Just a little planning and design, and your pup can be up off the floor and in their own cozy space in no time.

 

Jane Blanchard is a dog lover, and home design geek. Jane works for Modernize., a site for home inspiration.

 

 

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