You love your pet, and you also love your home. So, how can you make your home as pet-friendly as possible and keep it in good condition at the same time? Consider your pets before doing any renovations or redecorating. This will not only save you money in the long-term but also ensure the safety and comfort of your beloved pet as well.
Whichever type of pet you have, whether cats, dogs, birds, or hamsters, you need to take specific measures to create a living space where you can happily coexist. Many essential factors come into play, including the age and size of your pets and their personality.
You may need to add dog steps to your bed so your elderly best friend can still snuggle with you on cold nights. You should lock away toxic cleaning supplies, so overly-curious pets can't get into them in the middle of the day while you're gone. You'll also want to invest in washable fabrics wherever possible.
Keeping your pet safe and your home in top shape without excessively cleaning can be done if you follow these seven simple ways to make your home pet-friendly.
1. Install Pet-Friendly Flooring
While your pet may look cute rolling around on the living room carpet, odors and hairs quickly build up. Even if you plan to vacuum every day, you won't be able to clear away stains left behind or even pick up all the left behind pet hairs.
If possible, remove wall-to-wall carpet and install ceramic tile or hardwood floor. Either of these is easy to clean and can look ready for guests at a moment's notice. For a more affordable option, try laminate flooring, which offers the appearance of hardwood but has a more scratch-resistant finish.
For added warmth, add area rugs to your floors. Look for stylish, washable pieces or ones made of indoor/outdoor material that is easy to hose down. Thick pile rugs are quickly worn down, so opt for short pile or jute rugs. Also, consider rugs matching your pet's color, so you'll be less likely to see all the shedding that continually occurs.
2. Choose Pet-Friendly Furniture and Fabrics
For longevity and less cleaning, opt for pet-friendly furniture and fabrics throughout your house. Leather and ultrasuede are good options for easy cleanup. Also, look for durable fabrics in furniture covers and pillows, including polyester microfiber or cotton.
Avoid fabrics that attract pet hair or stain easily, or you'll have to replace them. One set of muddy paws or an upset stomach can put an end to your favorite chair.
Another place to focus your attention is the fabrics you include on your bed. Dogs and cats love to climb up and spread out. Use a duvet cover or bedspread that you can wash often without it fading too quickly. Or invest in a throw blanket for the end of your bed, specifically for your pet.
Consider adding pet furniture to your home as well. From various levels of dog steps to cat playhouses and climbing shelves, you can create a space that caters to all your pet's playtime and health-related needs.
3. Store or Lock Away Substances Toxic to Pets
Pets like to explore and often get into things they shouldn't, including toxic substances like cleaners or medications. Many clever pets can open cabinets and closets, jump up on shelves, and manage to get into areas not intended for play. Ensure you take measures to store or lock away toxic and dangerous products, so your pet isn't accidentally poisoned.
According to the Animal Poison Control Center, around 140,000 pets are exposed to toxic substances annually, prompting calls to the Center for advice and filling up busy pet emergency hospitals.
Install latches on the sink cabinet if that is the best place to store your cleaning supplies. Latch or lock cabinets or shelves in the garage that hold items such as antifreeze. Cats and dogs are curious about the antifreeze's scent and may even taste it, which can be deadly. Also, be careful with pesticides, only using those that are pet-friendly, and storing any you keep in a locked cabinet in your garage or shed.
4. Secure Window Screens
Catsare drawn to windows, so secure the screens wherever needed. Unfortunately, the incidence of cats falling out of windows is astonishingly high, particularly if you live in a two-story home or high-rise building. Dogs also tend to lean on or jump at window screens, so make sure they are strongly secured.
If your pet continues to lean against or jump toward the window, consider investing in aluminum window screens, which are more durable than standard mesh but won't interrupt your view.
5. Remove Toxic Plants
While plants enhance your home's beautyand improve the indoor air quality, they can also be deadly to your pet. Lilies are toxic to cats, and aloe is toxic to dogs. Seek out pet-friendly, non-toxic plants for your home to keep them safe.
6. Consider Adding a Pet Bathing Area
Control the mess that results from a pet bath by designating an area as the pet bathing location. There are several creative options available these days for both an indoor and outdoor solution. These can range from concrete slabs outdoors to built-in pet showers in your mudroom or laundry room.
By confining all your pet bathing activities in one area, you'll be better able to keep your pet and your home clean.
7. Create a Pet-Friendly Yard
Pets need exercise just as much as their humans, so making your yard safe and fun for your pet is essential. If you have a dog or even a cat, this will be important as you want them to be safe and not track in too much dirt. Add a fence at the correct height to prevent jumping, remove toxic plants and any other hazards you find, or use an enclosure to confine your pets to particular areas.
You don't have to choose between enjoying pets and keeping a clean and safe home. By taking these pet-friendly measures, you'll love your home while doting on your pets at the same time. Not only will your pets thrive, but you'll be relieved that you can provide the best home possible for them and also for your family.