Keeping up with the Joneses is hard enough without keeping up with your pup. Any dog owner could tell you that doggy daily care is a lot harder than it looks. Amidst the daily walks and the daily feeds and the fairly persistent cravings for attention—depending on doggy’s temperament, of course—canine upkeep is not quite a walk in the park (well, except for when it literally is). There are so many things your pup needs, from food and water bowls to canine enrichment items such as chew toys. No one would blame you for misplacing a squeaky toy here or your doggo’s favourite bone over there.
In a perfect world, this would never happen, right? Well, we can’t bestow with you a Summoning Charm—though, how nice would it be to retrieve a retriever’s chew toy with the words ‘Accio squeaky bone’? We can, however, give you the next best thing: pet storage solutions!
Now, when we say ‘pet storage’, we’re not talking about storing your actual pet. We’re not endorsing cruel Dursley-esque behaviour in the vein of locking your pet in a cupboard under the stairs. We’re talking about storing your pet’s squeaky toys; your pet’s favourite food; your pet’s favourite food bowls. Pets (especially dogs) come with an inevitable string of material possessions. You don’t realise the immensity of this until you have a dog yourself.
Set yourself up with a storage system and you won’t be chasing your tail trying to find those misplaced dog accessories. Here’s your complete guide to what goes where in the world of dogs.
Dry food and treats
If your dog eats dry food and/or treats, the storage solution is simple: a plastic container with a lid. By encasing the kibble accordingly, you’re not only locking it in freshness, but you’re deterring bugs and other pests—including your dog—from indulging in what they see as an open buffet before them.
Just be sure not to leave the lid open!
If you’re anti-plastic—or if you just want a more original storage solution—you may want to check out the following alternatives:
- Mason jars: those which were once the poor man’s drinking glasses and are now every hipster cafe’s staple receptacles. Use one as an unironic form of budget storage. Because of how small they are, these are also great for subdividing food by type (or by dog—or by animal! Any cat lovers in the house?).
- Repurposed rubbish bins—on the proviso you have a cabinet to store them in. If this lidless or loose-lidded receptacle will be at all within Doggy’s reach, forget it!
- Drawer organisers, provided creepy-crawlies are uncommon in your area. The only drawback of drawer organisers? They ain’t airtight and bugs could get in. In spite of all that, these can be an adorable idea and another way to subdivide food by type.
Once opened, you should store wet food in the fridge. Really, this is similar to human food storage. To keep the food fresh, tighten some cling wrap—or the more eco-friendly alternative: a can cover—over the open tin in a snug fit. Alternatively, you could use a plastic container with a lid, similar to how you would for dry food. Zip-lock bags, though they can be an environmental nightmare, are another alternative.
If unopened, your wet food will presumably sit locked in freshness ‘neath a sealed tin. If you buy in bulk, it’s possible your pantry is bursting at the seams with unopened pet food tins. If you want to save pantry space, seek a vertical storage solution. Example? It’s a little unorthodox, but you could repurpose a hanging shoe organiser and set it up inside the pantry. For a more orthodox suggestion, you could use a three-tiered spice organiser.
It may sound bizarre, but it’s a thing. From doggy raincoats to novelty pyjamas, your dog may wind up with an assortment of garments! You could hang these up in the hallway cupboard, which is especially convenient if you’re about to head out on a winter walk. You could keep them in a small bin. You could even keep them in a storage organiser bag if your dog has a wardrobe’s worth of attire. Divide the clothes by season and bring out the bag that corresponds to the season at hand. Keep the out-of-season selections under your bed!
Storage ottomans: lift the lid and put Doggy’s clothes inside…unless the cat gets there first!
Alternatively, if you have furniture with storage compartments, you could use these to your advantage. If it’s not filled with sheet music, you could store your dog’s attire in a lift-up piano stool, for example. Storage ottomans are a more spacious alternative.
If you have kids in the house, then you’ll be familiar with this storage solution. It may sound silly yet obvious: dog toys go in a toy box! Wicker baskets and wooden crates—and even, we suppose, milk crates—work just as well. These toy-holding containers don’t necessarily need a lid. And when you consider that dogs don’t have opposable thumbs, this makes complete sense.
Wicker baskets can be great toy storage solutions. Just ensure to put toys in it and not the actual dog.
Of all the pet accessories, toys are the hardest to keep in check. This is because dogs crave them on the daily. You also can’t train your pet to put their toys away (nor are they physically capable, because, well, see the point above about opposable thumbs). For this reason, you may want to do a quick stocktake and tidy at the end of each day. And it’s as simple as putting the toys away!
Leashes are like house keys: you wouldn’t leave home without one (provided you have a doggo in tow). Therefore, it follows that you should store your leashes like house keys. Place them on a hook by the front door. Seeing as key hooks won’t withstand the weight of a dog leash, you should invest in something sturdy, like Command Hooks (or more aesthetic alternatives).
How cute! Image: Stylish Hound
Some houses have towel or coat hooks built into the walls, which are the most weight-bearing wall hooks you’re gonna get. Reach into the hallway cupboard—you know: the place you’re storing your dog’s raincoat—and check if there’s a coat hook on the back of the door. Any sort of hooks of this magnitude would hold your dog’s leash, no problems. If you own your home, you are also free to install any of these hooks into the wall.
Pet grooming supplies
Your needs here will depend on how much fluff we’re talking. When it comes down to it, however, your pooch needn’t need much more than doggy shampoo, a doggy hairbrush, doggy dental care tools, and Dremel nail files. Of course, you’ll need to put aside some towels for them. Honestly, dogs are not the most refined creatures, so some old beach towels would do the trick here.
A toiletry bag may be all you need to keep all your canine grooming supplies in check.
One important factor about pet supply storage? Keep all respective items in the spaces in which you’ll be using them. So, to keep things simple, you should store these grooming supplies on a doggo-designated shelf in the bathroom—to separate them from human grooming supplies. Don’t have the shelf space? Or are you wanting to keep the supplies better contained? You could consider a small basket or even a toiletry bag!
Instead of shoes, fill these pockets up with grooming supplies.
If it turns out we are, indeed, dealing with a decent portion of fluff, then perhaps you could pull out that hanging shoe organiser from the pantry and use it for grooming supplies instead!
For important pet records—from the vet, from the groomer, or from the boarding kennel—you’ll want a filing system. These are not the sorts of documents you’ll want to leave lying around. Some pet owners are content to use their household filing cabinets, so the files can be kept alongside other sensitive documents. Others prefer to store them in a home management binder.
For those who’d prefer to separate pets from peeps, there are pet agendas/document files available, which usually contain sections you can fill out regarding your fur baby’s medical history. Whichever system you choose here, keep it consistent as you won’t want to be losing these documents.
That’s about it!
So, there you have it: your complete guide to household pet supply storage. Who knew there were so many storage solutions and hacks available in everyday items, nooks, and crannies around the house? If any of these resonated with you, be sure to give them a burl. Who knows? Perhaps we have provided a platform for you to brainstorm similar ideas.
When implemented in conjunction with consistency and an efficient system, pet supply storage can take a mental load off. Oftentimes, in the hustle and bustle of daily living, we can forget things. Throw a dog into the mix and things can become more hectic. With a storage system in place, you can better navigate your day, leaving headspace for more pressing matters. Give it a try and see how your schedule changes.