If you're like many couples, you and your partner are probably discussing what kind of pet to get together. Of course, pets can be a great addition to any home, but if you're worried about whether or not your home is pet-friendly, don't worry! There are many ways to make your home more welcoming for pets without making too many changes. Here are a few ideas to get you started.
Many stylish people are letting their houses go to the dogs, cats, and birds without sacrificing style or comfort. Instead of banishing their furry friends to the yard, many pet owners are decorating and remodelling their living spaces with their pets' needs, turning decorating into a full-blown trend.
If you match your chaise to your Siamese so perfectly that the hairballs are barely visible, vacuum kitty's hair off the furniture twice a week. You may need to vacuum daily when your pet is shedding.
Bathe And Groom Your Pet Often.
Keeping your dog or cat clean will help your house stay cleaner, longer. Trimmed nails won't scratch floors or upholstery. Regularly brushing and bathing removes loose hair before it ends up on your floor, bed, throw pillows, and curtains. Furniture and rugs will last longer if they don't need to be washed as often. Think of it this way: It's easier to clean your dog than your upholstery, and it's usually more fun.
Use Stain-Resistant Fabrics.
Forget silk, chintz or the pet-hair magnet known as velvet. Instead, discover the joys of Crypton, a nearly indestructible, synthetic fabric that's resistant to stains, smells, bacteria and muddy paws.
Leather is a good choice, easy to clean and durable. Most grades of leather will suffer only scratches from Fido or Fluffy's claws, but hey, the scratches add patina. Try pleather if you see a sad irony in buying a sofa made from an animal for your animal. It's cruelty-free, relatively inexpensive and has a timeless appeal.
Put Washable Fabrics On Your Bed.
If your dog or cat sleeps with you, there will be accidents. "Cats barf a lot," Julia Szabo says. "Deal with it." Protect your mattress from the inevitable by covering it with a thick pad. Use cotton bed sheets, preferably in a medium colour or a pattern that can hide the pet hair and stains between washings.
For bedspreads, duvet covers work well because you can take them off and wash them regularly. Delicate-looking matelasse coverlets are surprisingly durable; their tight quilting resists pet toenail snags and repeated washings.
Skip Wall-To-Wall Carpet.
Carpet absorbs odours, traps pet hair and soaks up inevitable pet-related stains like a sponge. "I try to steer pet owners away from carpet," says Chicago interior designer Nan Ruvel, who designs animal-friendly interiors for clients and lives with three cats. "It's difficult to keep clean. It's a bad idea."
If you must have carpet, she says, choose a low pile. "It's easier to clean if there's an accident." And avoid continuous loop carpet because a pet toenail can unravel it by catching a single woven loop.
Choose Hard Surface Floors.
Bare floors are the way to go but barely doesn't have to be boring. Painted concrete is lovely and durable, as are terrazzo and brick. Hardwood floors are simple to mop or vacuum and add a warm glow to a room, but keep in mind that large dogs can scratch the wood.
The best floor is ceramic tile because it's easy to clean and resistant to any stain an animal can dish out. Tile is toenail-proof, it makes a room look sleek and elegant, and it gives furry animals a cool place to nap during hot weather. Unfortunately, porous materials like marble or other natural stones aren't as pet-proof as other hard surfaces since acids in pet spit-up can stain them, even if they're sealed.
Set Up An Animal Room Near An Entry
"It's important to consider your pet's lifestyle when you establish the layout of your house," Nan Ravel says. "If your dog goes outside, make sure he can come back in through a super-impervious area." She just finished a project in which she converted a breakfast room into a mudroom for a client's two dogs.
"She wanted a place where she could get the dirt off them before they came in the house," she says. To do this, she put porcelain tile on the walls and floor of the breakfast room, which opened onto the backyard.
She replaced the table with a banquette upholstered in stain-resistant fabric and equipped with under-the-seat storage for leashes and food. Nan also installed built-in shelves on the walls where the client could keep towels used to wipe the dirt off the dogs when they came inside from the yard.
Give Your Pet Tidy, Tempting Treats And Toys.
Dogs adore pig's ears and rawhide bones, but Julia Szabo says they're a bad idea. "They're hideous, smelly, and as bad for your pet as for your floor," she says, pointing out they're coated in nitrates and leave greasy stains on floors and furniture.
Match Colours To Your Pet's Fur.
Your pet can be a source of inspiration when choosing colours for your room. Paint a concrete floor the same shade of grey as your cat. Cover your sofa in a honey microfiber that matches your golden retriever.
It isn't just an aesthetic shout-out to your pet; it's also a practical choice because the hair they leave behind won't be as visible. "Put a white floor in a house with a black Lab; you'll have black tumbleweeds everywhere," says Nan Ravel.
Julia Szabo tells of a New York artist who painted a room in his Manhattan digs a brilliant shade of green inspired by his Amazon parrot. "It reminds the parrot of his ancestral home in the jungle.
The wall is gorgeous, and it makes the bird much happier," she says. But, of course, painting walls white is a bad idea aesthetically and practically, she says. "Let's face it; a white wall goes grey in a minute around dogs," Julia says. But, on the other hand, it forces you to be more creative and daring when choosing colours. "Pets present you with the opportunity to work with colour."
Carving Out A Space
Kittens and pups will sneak into an opened dryer (or other small, dangerous places) the first chance they get. Give them their own space, and you won't have to worry about them seeking refuge where they don't belong.
A hazard-free zone with a cozy bed, water source, and safe toys will trick. Other convenient features include a sink to wash feeding bowls and adequate storage for accessories. Remember that well-exercised pets are less likely to get into trouble and more likely to rest well at night instead of barking or whining for attention.
If possible, create a pet area in a mudroom with cat or doggy door access to a fenced-in yard, corral, or dog run to head outdoors at their leisure.
Litter boxes should be placed away from feeding areas and in a place that's private but not too isolated. If your pet doesn't feel safe or comfortable using a litter box, he won't. You should give elderly pets an area on the ground level, and wee pads should be accessible.
Consider the placement of ramps to furniture if you allow your elderly pet that kind of access. If you're not home for most of the day, you're presented with a special set of concerns: Consider a pet fountain to make fresh water readily available.
Paw-Safe Flooring And Fabrics
Go with fabrics and flooring materials that'll do less work for you. Stylish, easy-care leather or Ultrasuede can be wiped clean and won't be dramatically affected by wear.
Crypton Super Fabric is a synthetic germ- and stain-resistant option made with pet owners in mind. It's available in various colours and patterns, and the Crypton online store offers couture pet beds, "Throver" furniture covers, and decorative pillows.
Carpet isn't the best choice for pet owners, but if you must go wall-to-wall, choose a colour that matches your pet (it'll mask pet hair) with a performance rating of 3.5 or higher.
Hardwood with a fine urethane finish is a common and easy-clean choice for lightweight dogs. Ceramic tile or another nonporous hard surface flooring for heavier dogs would be best.
Buying bulk to save on pet food? Then you have to store it appropriately to avoid contamination and slow the vitamin and nutrient degradation process. Check for tears in food packages before you buy them. The Food & Drug Administration (FDA) advises against feeding dishes to scoop food out of packages. Instead, assign a clean spoon or small container for scooping.
FDA guidelines for food storage call for leftover wet food to be refrigerated at 40 degrees Fahrenheit, dry food to be stored in its original bag, placed in a clean, food-grade plastic container, and stored at 80 degrees Fahrenheit or less.
Placing the bag in a container will keep unwanted insects and rodents away. Dry foods are more nutritious and less susceptible to contamination or spoilage than wet foods.
Storing bulk food in large trash cans in the garage is fairly common, but this exposes food to temperature extremes in a container that can leach dyes and additives into food over time. So instead, make sure you purchase a special food storage container or visit a local food establishment to claim a food-grade plastic bucket that'll soon be headed for the trash heap.
Too often, parents buy small pets and fish for their children as learning tools, but those pets are even more fragile than cats and dogs," Beart explains. "The average lifespan of a hamster, for example, is about three years. Unfortunately, the pet hardly ever lasts more than a few months." Here are some helpful tips that'll ensure the safety and longevity of your small pets:
They tend to be active at night and asleep during the day. You'll want to make sure your pet's exercise wheel isn't a squeaky one.
Provide at least 2 inches of bedding to allow for normal burrowing behaviour. Use shredded tissue or paper or clean processed corncob. Commonly used cedar chips are associated with respiratory and live disease in rodents. Clean cages and refresh bedding at least once a week.
Many hamsters must be kept in cages by themselves after ten weeks. Adult females are especially hostile to one another, so do your homework before considering grouping.
Their bodies cannot produce Vitamin C, so you'll have to supplement it with an appropriate product from your pet supply store.
Guinea pig's teeth constantly grow, so chew toys are essential.
They learn litter box habits quickly and easily. Keep in mind that they like to chew and may hide in small, dark spaces. When you allow your pet time out of his cage for exercise, consider cord protectors, securely cover ducts and vents, and always locate your pet before sitting down and opening and closing recliners.
Cage placement is very important: Keep the cage away from windows and radiators to protect your bird from drafts and direct exposure to heat. Many birds prefer to have a safe corner to back into, and if a cage is placed away from walls or toward the centre of a room, it can make your pet feel insecure. Cage placement away from windows also means your bird won't always be anxiously guarding itself against "predators" like your neighbour's dog and other passing animals.
They perch and take cover in the wild, providing these opportunities in their cages. Your bird's foot should wrap around approximately 2/3 of each perch, and toes should never meet and overlap. Irritation, injury, and infection may result if perches are too small.
Kitchens are commonplace for pet owners to keep their bird cages. However, birds have very sensitive respiratory systems, and fumes from overheated nonstick cookware could be fatal.
Please do your homework when looking for pet birds: Some species, like social finches, require companionship, while others will do fine independently.
Though fish are widely considered the most "disposable" of pets, you can greatly reduce tank mortality by creating the ideal water conditions for the type of fish you have. Required temperatures and pH levels depend upon the kind of fish you have. Research the requirements of your breed and monitor their conditions periodically.
When adding new swimmers to your tank, consider the types of fish you already have. Some species may be aggressive or even attempt to eat other fish. Tell a pro at the pet store what's already in your tank, and ask if the fish you want to group are compatible.
Reptiles & Amphibians
Reptiles tend to have very long life spans, but 90% of them die within their first year. Mostly, that's because of the misconception that they are easy-care pets that don't require much attention. But unfortunately, their habitats require constant monitoring, and they are among the most hazardous pets to keep in a home. Some things to keep in mind:
Salmonella is present in 90% of all exotic reptiles, and they shed it in their feces. Therefore, please wash your hands thoroughly after handling your pet or cleaning its habitat.
Do your homework to discover your reptile's temperature requirements. You'll need primary (under tank heaters) and secondary heating sources (basking lamps) to meet those requirements, and you'll need to regularly check tank temperature and humidity. Be careful not to overheat your pet. Signs you should adjust your habitat temperature include your pet staying in shaded areas and, in lizards, visible panting.
The most common habitat for frogs is semi-terrestrial, i.e. half land, half water. Do not use tap water in your habitat, as frogs are very sensitive to chemicals. Dechlorinate tap water by letting it sit for at least 24 hours before adding it to the tank.
Don't house multiple frogs unless they are the same species and are similar in size. Otherwise, you risk exposing the animals to toxic counterparts or species that may attempt to eat the others in your tank.
These can live 25 years or more, and depending on the species, turtles can range in size from 4 inches to 80 inches. Make sure you know how big your species can get, and plan the habitat accordingly.
Turtles like hiding places, so include them in the habitat. You can purchase materials from a pet store or use plants or driftwood.
Snake owners may get a kick out of giving their pets live prey, but pre-killed or frozen prey is safer. Also, prey shouldn't be wider than the widest part of your snake's body.
State permits may be required to keep a snake in your home. For example, state law in Florida, where a recent pet escape in one home resulted in a fatality, dictates that pythons are kept under lock. So check your local laws before you bring a snake home.
So, whether you're looking for a few new ideas to make your home pet-friendly or are just starting on the hunt for your fur-ever friend, we hope this list has inspired you.
In addition, if you have any questions about making your home more accommodating for pets or are ready to get started on your search for the perfect furry addition to your family, don't hesitate to reach out. We would be happy to help in any way we can!
FAQs About Home Builders
Pet free home means dogs or cats or other furry things that run the home. Fish do not count to me under the category of invasive pets. Pet free homes are also important because people are sometimes allergic to dander.
- Brush Your Cat Regularly.
- Vacuum Regularly.
- Clean All Baseboards.
- Don't Feed Your Cat in the Kitchen.
- Find a Place for the Litter Box.
- Have a Blanket Just for Your Cat.
- Clean Furniture with Baking Soda.
- Keep Your Counters Clean.
Ideally, the same should go for your pets, which means you should clean their dishes every day. Then, while you're at it, wipe down the floors, walls, and baseboards around your cat and dog's eating area once a week.
Signage to advertise the pub is dog-friendly. A warm welcome for owners and their dogs. Special dog-friendly food offerings on the menu.
Multiple things can cause your house to smell like cat urine, even if you don't have a cat. Investigate if there is mould, leaking Freon, sewer gases, smelly plants, spoiled food, or even stains from previous pet owners.