If you live in one of the millions of households that owns a
pet—68% of all households do—it might not be surprising to you that pet owners’ spending is likely to reach $58.51 billion this
year. Yet, just because you’re working hard to keep your furry, feathered or
scaly friends happy and healthy does not mean your home has to be in the dog
Here are four tips
to create a pet-friendly home:
1. Pick Durable Materials
No matter how much you love your pet, you don’t want your home
to look like it’s gone to the dogs. To keep your abode looking like it’s in top
shape, pick durable flooring such as tile, vinyl or stone that is easy to
clean, stain resistant and toenail proof. If you can’t give up your love for
carpet, then choose a color that matches your pet so loose hairs blend in. Be
sure to use pads under area rugs to prevent accidental slips and slides.
In addition to
flooring, choose wall treatments and furnishings with your pet in mind. Light
colors will be more likely to show dirt. It also is easier to wipe smudges off
a satin paint finish than off of a flat finish.
If you are concerned
about eliminating fur and pet odors from furniture, then Ultrasuede, a
machine-washable microfiber, might be your best bet.
2. Minimize Dirt
It goes without saying that you should clean litter boxes and
fish or reptile tanks regularly. Brushing and washing your pet, and vacuuming
frequently also can help hold off hair balls and pet odors.
Additionally, if you have a dog, establishing an animal area at an entry or in
a mud room can prevent dirt from being tracked throughout your home. If you’re
planning to install a doggie door, this is a great place from which to restrict
your pooch from the rest of the house while still providing free access to the
Use a storage shelf
or basket to keep towels within arm’s reach when you need to dry fur. Then, add
an attractive hook to give you a handy place to hang a leash.
3. Keep Safety in Mind
Safety is paramount in a pet friendly home. In particular, keep
electrical cords out of the way and avoid curtains or blinds with long cords in
which your pet could get tangled. Secure screens and bars so cats can’t fall
out of windows. Put breakables out of reach. And child-proof your home with
cabinet locks as well as trash-can and toilet-bowl lid latches so your curious
creature steers clear of harm.
In 2013, the ASPCA
Animal Poison Control Center handled nearly 180,000 cases about pets exposed to
possibly poisonous substances. Common household items can be hazardous to pets.
So familiarize yourself with the top pet toxins—a list that includes medication,
plants, people food, cleaning products, pesticides and fertilizers.
4. Carve Out a Creature Space
To prevent your pet from wreaking havoc in your home, give it a
place to call its own that doesn’t detract from your design. Place a cozy crate
or dog bed in a kitchen nook, or push it under a table. Place unsightly toys in
a swank storage basket. Or, turn your pet’s toys into more attractive
accoutrements—nowadays many scratching posts and perches have been stylized
into trees to provide cats a more artistic place to put their paws.
If you don’t think
your pet’s things are appealing, then it’s best to keep them out of sight. Many
cabinet makers offer systems where food can be stored in an airtight container
and bowls are part of a built-in feeding system that stow behind closed doors
or in a drawer when you don’t want it in plain view or posing a trip hazard.
Some of these
cabinet systems even have a cut-out doorway to access a litter box. If you
choose to hide your pet’s litter box, though, just be sure that it’s in a place
that’s both private and inviting. You don’t want your cat to refuse to use the
litter box because it feels claustrophobic.
Whatever home design
options you choose, be sure they fit with your pet’s personality. Then, with a
little foresight, you can ensure that your pet has all the creature comforts it
will need without creating obtrusive headaches.
Excerpt taken from http://www.realtor.com
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