If you’re the type of person who can’t imagine living without a dog or cat, but you don’t want to sacrifice your personal sense of style, then these tips for creating a pet friendly home are for you! From flooring to furniture and beyond, snag some good advice on creating the perfect pet friendly home.
Separate Sleeping Spaces
Just like their human counterparts, pets love plush places to sleep. Often times, that winds up being your bed. But dog behavior specialists say it’s better for your dog, and to show who is boss, to have their own sleeping space. Some of the best types of pet beds are filled with cedar chips and have a washable cover. They smell good and help to repel fleas.
Dogs also do very well in crates or closed-in spaces. The way you feel in your den or reading nook is similar to the way your pup feels in their crate – safe and relaxed. Put a crate under a table in a kitchen corner or build a little pet hideaway for them to escape to.
Dress Beds in Washable Fabrics
Even when you create separate sleeping spaces, it’s likely you may still sometimes share the bed with your four-legged friend. Or they might sneak up there when you’re not around. Help protect your bed against the inevitable hair, dirt, and accidents that will happen when owning a pet.
Duvet covers work better than bedspreads or quilts because they can be removed and washed. You’ll want to choose sturdy sheets in a medium shade that can hide a little pet hair while in between washes. You should also consider investing in a moisture resistant mattress pad to help protect your mattress.
Choose Durable Flooring
To keep pet-occupied rooms in top shape, you will need hard-surface flooring. Laminate or hardwood flooring, stone or ceramic tiles, or painted concrete are easier to keep clean and stain-free than carpets. Such floors are also cooler in warmer weather, an important consideration for pets with thick or long hair. Even if your dog is perfectly potty trained, carpet is going to collect hair, critters, and bacteria.
Slip Proof Area Rugs
Not only do area rugs enhance a room, they can also protect your floors from claws and stains. They muffle the sounds of thumping tails, dropped chew toys, and animals running around. They protect your pet from slipping on the polished floors and give them a comfy place to nap. Buy rugs featuring patterns with a multitude of colors to draw the eye away from dirt, stains, and pet hair. Or buy a rug similar in color to your pet’s hair, so it will blend in easier.
A dog running around can easily slip on a rug, knocking over a person, plant or table in the way. So, invest in a slip proof area rug and anchor it with heavy furniture. If you’d rather re-purpose the rugs you already own, you can purchase rubber rug grips that stick to the bottom of the rugs.
Protect Your Walls with Paint
Pets can do several things to damage your walls. They like to rub against them as they walk by. They can spray the walls with drool if they shake their heads or dirt if they come in wet and shake off the rain. Cats may be tempted to scratch a wall papered in textured wall paper.
Therefore, instead of wall paper, paint your walls in beautiful colors and keep paper towels handy to wipe away dirt. Semi-gloss-finish paint or satin paint are great choices for rooms that see a lot of activity because they clean up much easier. If you’d still like to go for a matte finish be sure to choose a washable flat paint.
Shred Proof Your Furniture
A common and frustrating cat behavior is scratching at anything they can get their little paws on. Unless you like torn and fringed walls and slipcovers, invest in a scratching post! Set it near your favorite perch, which is usually where cats’ enjoy scratching the most. Discourage clawing by covering the spot with aluminum foil or tape until your cats habits shift to the scratching post.
Install A Doggie Door
If you spring for a nice-looking airtight pet door, you will be saving both you and your pet a lot of trouble. They’ll be able to come and go as they please! Just be sure your yard is fenced in, so your pet doesn’t wander off when they go outside.
Nix the Bleach
Here is a pet safety tip you might not be aware of: your pet will absorb – through their paws – whatever you use to clean your floors and other surfaces with. Bleach and other strong chemicals are highly irritating and toxic. Instead, opt for vinegar and water rinses instead – they are also better for you and the environment! Keep all your household cleaners up high or secured in a cabinet where your nosy pets can’t get into them.
Inspect Your Houseplants
Pets and plants don’t always mix. Many plants including aloe, ivies, and amaryllis can be toxic to both dogs and cats. For a complete list of plants toxic to pets, check with the ASPCA. Luckily, plants make wonderful gifts. So, if you need to part with a poisonous plant, a non-pet owning friend or family member will likely be more than happy to take it off your hands! If you’re a plant lover, be sure to set your non-toxic greenery on a sturdy base so that they won’t get knocked over.