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How to Make Your Home Pet Friendly

Advice for living with furry, feathered, finned, or scaled friends

How to Make Your Home Pet Friendly

Advice for living with furry, feathered, finned, or scaled friends

woman using a laptop sitting next to a dog

Typically, when you’re furnishing your home, you’re focusing on the needs of you and your family. If you have pets, it’s important to keep them in mind when decorating, too. Here are some ideas on how to make your house feel like home for your pets.

Remove or relocate hazards

The best place to start when making your home pet friendly is by ensuring that you’re mindful of any hazards to your pet’s health. Keeping food out of reach is an easy place to start. If food is left on the counter, make sure it’s covered or secured in an airtight container. If you have an animal that can jump to high places, consider moving food to cabinets with child-proof locks to keep them from getting into trouble. This idea should also apply to your trash when throwing food away; consider trash cans with lids (and a latch) or storing your trash bin behind a low kitchen cabinet.

Adapting your decorations is also important! For example, house plants are a great addition to bring more greenery inside your home, but not all species are pet friendly. If you have a cat or dog, try a hoya, aluminum/watermelon, or baby rubber plant.

Think about cords and outlets, too! If your pet likes to chew, consider buying outlet covers and tubing to cover cables to prevent pets from getting into trouble.

Pet-friendly flooring and fabrics

Make your home pet friendly from the ground up by thinking about how your pet’s paws, claws, and feet interact with your space. Vinyl or tile flooring is easy to clean, but be mindful that laminate flooring can be a little slippery—especially for older pets. Carpet can be a hard sell for stains and smells, but, oftentimes, layering washable rugs over carpet can cut down on carpet damage.

Pet-friendly furniture

When selecting pet-friendly furniture, ease of cleaning is often the most important factor. Stain-resistant fabric can be helpful for spills from humans, as well as pet stains.

Removable, washer-friendly couch covers also help make deep cleaning your furniture an easier task. Swapping blankets to cover couch cushions works nicely, too, as they can easily be washed or replaced. Avoiding lighter-colored upholstery also makes it easier to disguise stains or fur.

Give your pets space of their own

Curating a special space for pets to retreat to is a great way to make your home feel like it’s theirs, too. Just like humans need their own space to unwind and/or sleep, having a designated area for your pet can be very beneficial for their well-being. Start by closing off small crawl spaces where they might fit, but you don’t. The idea is to give them a space they’re comfortable in, where you can still access them in case of an emergency.

Then, think about their habits and what might help them enjoy the space more. Do they like to snooze in sunny spots? Try placing their bed or some soft blankets in the sunlight. Do they enjoy looking out the window to keep an eye on the yard? Try placing their bed or a few toys by a window (just make sure it has a screen!). If they’re bed/couch cuddlers, consider adding a small ramp or stairs to help them access their favorite spots.

Keep in mind that bored pets are more likely to get into trouble, especially if you leave the house for a while. Making sure they’re tired from exercise and playtime is a great way to keep them happy and your furniture safe. Don’t be afraid to rotate toys, too! Store the toys your pet isn’t actively playing with in a stylish ottoman with a lid or a basket that tucks into a bookshelf, then rotate a few at a time. Don’t be afraid to install a baby gate in certain areas, too, to keep them from spending time in an area, like the kitchen, without your supervision.

Making your yard pet friendly

A pet-friendly yard starts with controlling their access. Fences can be a great asset to keep your dog contained, but your pet should also be able to get in and out of the yard with ease. Consider installing a doggy door if your pet likes to come and go or low-profile stairs or a ramp if you have an aging pet.

It’s also important to make sure all of the plants in your yard are pet friendly. If you’re overhauling your yard, and you have a dog, consider designating a mulch space to train them to use the bathroom. This can help keep your grass green and make waste disposal much easier to find and remove.

Pet-friendly cleaning

Keeping your pet clean and comfortable can go a long way toward keeping your house clean, too! For example, making sure that your pet’s nails are trimmed means that they’re less likely to scratch your furniture. Regularly brushing and bathing your pet can also cut down on shedding. Using your bathroom for bath time instead of a house or mud room? Try installing a removable shower head to make bath time easier for you.

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