All pet owners know that their dog is truly part of the family. While you want to give your four-legged friends everything they deserve and more, it's important to consider the safety of your home, especially with a newborn in the mix. We sent style expert and author Emily Henderson to visit a family where the dog and baby rule the house. Emily had some tricks up her sleeve to make their home safe and stylish, and we think you'll like the results.
Check out all of Emily's home safety solutions in the Safe & Sound Home series on our sister site Better Homes & Gardens.
1. Great Gate
Giving a dog free range of your home while you have a toddler learning to stand is a disaster waiting to happen. It's important to have the option of keeping your pup in one area of the home—without obnoxious and often unsafe plastic baby gates. This clever DIY is surprisingly doable and blends into the rest of your home decor. Use it to keep your furry family members in corralled in one part of the house. Bonus: When used at the top of a staircase, this gate also protects your exploring toddler from taking a serious tumble. Learn how to make one here.
2. Hidden Retreat
This trick will have your dog feeling right at home! Large crates are often a visual eyesore. Fix that design problem with a crate that's cleverly disguised as a side table. Now your dog can feel part of the family while enjoying time in their special little home. Be sure to outfit the floor of the crate with a cozy doggie bed. With a place this comfy and stylish to snooze, you'll have no issues getting Fido to crawl in at lights-out.
3. Kibble Fix
Food and water dishes are necessary, but did you know an open bowl could be potentially dangerous for families with crawling tykes? Those curious little fingers would just love to taste the kibble or scatter the pieces around the kitchen floor, and open bags of food beg to be spilled and attract bugs. Keep your family safe, your floors clean, and your dog fed with this genius dinnertime solution. Outfit a low drawer in the kitchen with a plywood sheet to hold a food dish. Measure and cut wood to fit, then transfer the shape of your food bowl to the wood and cut out with a jigsaw. Use adhesive strips to keep it in place while the dog munches away their dinner. Meanwhile, invest in a self-dispensing water dish so your best pal always has a fresh drink ready to go, and stash food into a bin that seals shut.
Get even more tips for marrying safety and style in every room in the house in the Safe & Sound Home series on our sister site Better Homes & Gardens.