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I’m one of those shameless dog moms who want their puppies to have the very best of everything. We have puzzles, toys, jackets, leashes galore, grooming supplies, pet meds, and a million other things to ensure that my Kolchak is happy and healthy at all times.
But I don’t have unlimited space for dog supplies. I’m one of those people who wants to have a dog-friendly home that doesn’t feel like it’s a “dog house” with pet stuff everywhere. And since I like to buy quality items whenever I can, it’s wildly infuriating when I can’t find something I KNOW I have already bought.
At the old apartment, I had a dedicated doggy command center to corral all of the dog gear, but despite being the SAME CORNER UNIT with the EXACT SAME floor plan, the hallway is just a fraction smaller than it was in the old apartment, so the cabinet doesn’t fit anymore. But, Kol likes his things and I like having everything I need on hand for him.
Finding stylish and creative ways to hide my dog storage all over the house, without looking like dog stuff is everywhere and it being easy to access in the area I need it most has been a woofing challenge. These are some of my most common dog storage problems and how I’ve solved them.
Dog bags at your fingertips
I am the worst. The actual worst, I swear. I hate those little bag dispensers that hang off your leash. I perpetually have one of those little cardboard spools from an empty roll of poop bags in my jacket pocket. I constantly get out the door, realize I have no bags, and then have to go back in. And since I live in an apartment, it’s a TREK to get back upstairs and then out to the sidewalk again.
Let’s face it: Poop bags aren’t cute. While I am absolutely a huge advocate of being a responsible pet owner and keeping our neighborhoods clean, so everyone can enjoy them, I don’t think having rolls of poop bags everywhere is the next home decor trend. I have a whole post on decorative poop bag dispensers, but I opted for this chic, white octagon. You can thread a bag through an opening in the bottom to grab one, as needed or you can grab a whole roll on your way out the door – whatever works for you.
You can grab the same one I use on Amazon, but I’m also a fan of this dog bag holder and this one too.
Stop muddy paw prints in their tracks.
Kol and I live in Rainvoucer, BC. (That’s in Canada, eh?) Our muddy season is like two-thirds of the year and in that last third? We play at the beach. Keeping grooming wipes right by my door is a game changer in making sure whatever mess and grime we pick up outside doesn’t become a part of my home decor. Frankly, those packages that grooming wipes come in look super bright and fun on a pet store shelf, but they just look like clutter sitting on the floor in my entryway.
I opted to use velcro Command strips to hand a small plastic wipes holder on the side of my shoe cabinet, so it’s close at hand, but out of the way. The velcro makes it easy to pull off the shelf and use it and just as easy to put it back up. (I use this same trick to hide cleaning wipes in high-use spaces.)
Keep pet medications and supplements organized
When you have a senior dog, you tend to have a fair number of pet medications and supplements to keep track of. To help keep me organized, I use a meds bin that corrals Kol’s supplements, any meds prescribed by his veterinarian, and any pet-safe over-the-counter meds that we keep on hand. The last thing you want to be doing in an emergency is googling the appropriate pet dose, so I always make sure I put a label over the box with dosing instructions specific to Kolchak. I love acrylic bins because I can easily see what’s inside. I used my Silhouette craft cutter to add the numbers for Pet Poison Control, and our local Animal Emergency Room on the side of the bin, but you can just as easily write on them with chalk markers. I also use one of these bins in the fridge for dog (and hamster) friendly snacks and dog food to keep it separated from all the human snacks. (My family is like super annoyed when they grab some jerky and find out it’s a DOG jerky. Bruh, did you like it? Cool. Then what’s the problem?!”)
I use this storage bin set because I also use them in my fridge and pantry (and yes, Kol also has his own bin in the fridge because of course he does). I also really like these stackable ones or this single bin, if you don’t need a lot of them.
Snacks are life. And when I’m on a conference call, having them close at hand is a lifesaver.
The thing about my sweet, adorable old man doggo is that he’s actually a pint-sized tyrant. I am so lucky to work for a great company that allows me the flexibility to work from home when I need to, but Kol can really test the edges of my goodwill when I do. I love that I can take calls while I make lunch or organize paperwork; Kol loves that I am there to dispense snacks on command.
When we were working on my fluffy old boy, Felix’s auditory anxiety, I started hiding tiny treat jars all over the house. Having them close at hand, no matter where I was meant that I could reinforce good choices fast and I found it was SO HANDY I just kept on doing it. I love these little reusable glass yogurt jars because they’re decorative and dishwasher friendly.
He’s cute but he stinks and he sheds like it’s his job. When it comes to having a house that doesn’t look and smell like dog, the best defense is a good offense.
We believe in grooming often here at Casa de Kolchak. That means I have a lot of things on hand to make that as easy as possible – brushes, shampoos, sprays, nail clippers and more. I swear by cube shelving to help me cram a lot of organization into a small space. This cube tower in my laundry room is a lifesaver – not only does it store grooming supplies in fabric bins, but a million other things that would otherwise just be clutter. I started with 8 cubes, but it turns out I have enough stuff to fill up every single one, who knew?
But I absolutely get that not everyone has room for a tower of tidy storage. If you’re looking for something a little less intense, I love these grooming bags with handy compartments for all of your bits and bobs.
Does anyone else’s dog have so many toys that they don’t really end up playing with any of them?
Kol has so so many toys and if we left them all out, all the time, we could probably swim in them like Scrooge McDuck in his vault. Its not a good way to live,but he’s really gentle with his toys, so they last forever. At almost 16? He likes to cuddle them more than he’s throwing them around and hunting them. We use vacuum bags to compress them down and make them easy to store, then every few months, I swap them out. I also use closable bins to store the ones on the current rotation, so there aren’t a ton of toys underfoot all the time.
I got these at a local store over a decade ago, so I don’t think you’ll find them near you. I do, however, love these stylish metal storage bins in black or white.
As organized as some of my dog supplies are? There’s still other things that are still a hot mess.
My leashes are stored in a heap. I lose 2 – 4 LED collar lights every winter. (These Max and Molly collar lights are amazing and worth the price – I just need to be less irresponsible with them.) This dog has more clothes than I do. It’s a problem and we’re just out here sharing a closet. He needs his own.