Planning for Your Pups

If you are a pet owner, your new log or timber frame home will be their new home too. There are several ways you can make your home more comfortable for your dog or cat while protecting your investment and add to your convenience.


Pictured above are Ace and Tilly, the canine residents of the Randy and Penelope Branson home near Madisonville, Kentucky.

“Ace and Tilly love living in a log home as much as we do,” said Honest Abe homeowner Penelope Bivins-Branson.

The Bransons planned ahead for Ace and Tilly by making a few simple design choices that make a big difference for them and their pups. One was to use vinyl plank flooring.

“It’s better with spills, tracking in and out and accidents,” she said. “We also chose a couple of doors that have full windows so our dogs can see out.”

The Bransons, who designed their own floor plan, incorporated a special feature to keep Ace and Tilly on the first floor.

“We built a dog gate out of old barn wood and placed it on the landing of the steps so they don’t have access to the upstairs,” Penny said.


Honest Abe homeowner Becky Hofstetter shared her home with two furry roomies who also like to enjoy the built-in swimming pool. For the dogs’ safety, she built a wooden fence around the entire yard, and the multipane patio doors allowed the dogs to see out without providing access unless accompanied by Becky.


Dogs love to relax on a porch, so Terry Corpening designed the perfect pooch porch for his North Carolina lakeside Honest Abe log home from the Eagledale plan.

The covered porch has traditional railing on the side closest to the ground, while on the most elevated areas he used flat metal railing panels framed with pressure-treated wood. 

Building Process

“We have two dogs and four cats. We love the country life of gardening, hunting, fishing, photography, ATVs and hiking,” said Kentucky Honest Abe homeowner Jessica Carney, whose log home was created from the Newport plan. “Our contractor built a ramp for our older Great Pyrenees dog so she could be in on the fun of building.”


Priscilla Head designed a utility room in her Honest Abe Log Homes’ custom timber frame with the needs of her dog in mind. Storage cabinetry for pet supplies includes  luxury dog bed and a platform for grooming.

Consider using Perma-Chink’s Deck Defense to protect your deck from the elements and animal nails for many years to come.

Forever Home

“I could talk about the dog all day long! Oakley girl, a German Shepherd, weighs 100 pounds,” said Linda Howlett, who built an Honest Abe Log Home from the Madison plan for retirement with husband Chuck on Virginia’s Smith Lake.

Retired from the military, the Howletts got Oakley in England and brought her back to the states when they returned from Linda’s final tour.

“She has adjusted well, and only a slight British bark remains! She dotes on Chuck and tolerates the two cats, Shadow and Lil Joe,” Linda said. “She loves going for boat rides and riding in the truck. She has adjusted well to the move and her new home here on the lake.”

Looking Ahead

“I have heard log homes are much more quiet then traditional homes,” said Deni Katziner-Sammartino, who is currently building an Honest Abe log home in Tennessee. “I hope my little dog feels safe during a thunder and lightening storm ! Can’t wait for our Honest Abe Log Home !!!

Rico is 12 years old and will be spending the rest of his life in a home built from the Madison plan on Cherokee Lake.

Advice from a Veterinarian (and log home owner), Dr. Nick Patterson

If you have a Lab, Golden Retriever or a bigger dog, one day they are going to have arthritis and going up and down steps is not going to be great for them. So, design their room or space in a place where they don’t have to go up and down steps
If you have smaller dogs, allergies are very common, so thinking about good home ventilation, easily cleaned spaces, etc., are good practices 
For outside farm dogs, wife, April (one of Honest Abe’s owners) and I have a doggie door on a garage door that allows them access to good shelter in bad weather. The doggie room in our garage has fluffy beds, food, water and is conditioned in the summer and heated in the winter.

Axel Patterson, 2, hugs Carlie, a three-year-old lab, that belongs to his uncle but stays near the Patterson home for this kind of unbridled affection.

Five-year-old  retriever Aurora gets plenty of attention from Axel, too.

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