There are four aspects that must be taken into account when decorating and furnishing a house to make it pet-friendly:
- incorporate the necessary items
- allow free but safe movement
- use resistant and easy-to-clean materials
- remove potential hazards
We will primarily deal with dogs and cats in this article. Reptiles, rodents, and birds are kept in terrariums and cages and therefore do not affect the design of the house, and other species of animals are certainly more recommended to keep out of the house.
What is a pet-friendly house?
Pet-friandly house is a house that is designed and decorated in a way that allows comfortable, free, easy and safe living in it for both people and animals.
Of course it is possible to have a dog or a cat in every house but the point is to reduce the effort to a minimum and emphasize the enjoyment of socializing with each other. To achieve this we must understand the needs of each and the other in advance and adapt the house to this in the most efficient way possible.
What are the items needed to make a house pet-friendly?
1. Trash cans with lids
Trash cans are usually filled with old food, harmful chemicals, pieces of indigestible items, etc. All of this can prove hazardous for your pet. Keep the garbage cover over the trashcan at all times. Trash cans with lids can stop your pets from getting into the trash. You can also store these cans in cabinets, closets, or keep it outdoors.
2. Pet-Friendly Indoor Plants
Pet-friendly homes need to have indoor plants that do not cause unease to pets. If you are someone who loves to have a natural touch to your home decor, then you can have pet-friendly indoor plants. Plants such as Spider plants, Parlor Palm, Areca Palm, etc. are pet friendly. Lilies can cause kidney failure in cats. Other common, but toxic, plants include amaryllis, poinsettia, mums, and aloe vera.
3. Window guards
You need window guards if you need to leave the windows open, from time to time, to prevent a curious dog from running into a busy street. On the other hand, they are not adequate protection for cats, who can easily fit through the bars.
4. A cozy bed
A pet bed made of high quality materials, creat a sumptuous space for them to relax, unwind and recharge after their busy day of play.
5. Water source
Slott that water dish around a corner so your furry friends always have fresh water available.
6. Safe toys
Make sure dogs, especially puppies, have a few things that they can chew on. These could be durable toys, hooves, snouts, or some other dog-friendly chewing snack.
7. Feeding bowl
Keep a plastic place mat under your pet’s dishes to make cleaning spilled food easier. If you keep the food bowls slightly elevated you can avoid having ants or other unwelcome critters getting into the food.
8. Storage for accessories
Include storage cabinets that are specifically for your pet’s treats, litter, brushes, toys, and other items. Add pull-out bins for pet food and hooks for leashes.
9. Pet bath
If you have the space, you can add an elevated dog wash (elevated because it is easier for your back), or a large sink with a spray handle for a quick rinse off muddy paws or for pet baths.
How to organize a movement of pets in the house?
Dogs and cats are very curious and should be allowed to move around the house and explore, but it is also important to limit this so as not to damage the house and so as not to accidentally injure themselves or others.
If it’s possible, create a pet area in a mudroom with cat or doggy door access to a fenced-in yard, corral, or dog run so that they can head outdoors at their leisure.
Provide steps for pets to climb onto high furniture. Else, their nails can rip the upholstery when they try climbing.
Install a magnetic or electronic doggie door. The door only unlocks and opens when your collared pet approaches the door. This is, admittedly, an expensive option, but if you have small and hyperactive children and are afraid that they might pass through pet openings then this is an investment that pays off.
Consider creating a designated ‘play space’ that your pet knows is suitable for play and where they can enjoy some quality time. Keep their toys stored neatly away and out of view but easily accessible.
You should install blockades to stop your pet from entering into spaces with expensive furniture, delicate fabrics, etc. Blockades also help in keeping away areas that have washing machines, dryers, and refrigerators in the house.
What materials to use when furnishing a pet-friendly house?
Make sure your home has hardwood floors or easy to clean textured tiles. You wouldn’t want to decorate your home with rugs and carpets. Luxury vinyl flooring, laminate flooring, concrete, and stone are also good ideas.
If you really want wood flooring, pick a harder wood species such as oak or mahogany and avoid softwood species that are easier to damage, like pine and fir.
When it comes to fabric, make sure it is not white or light in color. You also get scratch-free and stain-resistant materials. It is not just unwanted stains but also hair and an unpleasant odor that is very difficult to remove from materials that are not resistant to it. Be sure to avoid velvets, silk, and tweed. Pick synthetic microfiber, leather, and “outdoor” fabrics.
And if you choose leather, remember that it can be scratched, so only choose leather if you can live with furniture that shows patina. Look for top-grain, semi-aniline leathers which are more durable than full aniline leathers.
Furniture with exposed wicker, rattan, and sisal furniture is inviting for your
would-be teethers. Metal and chrome will leave them searching for another toy.
A high-textured wall will attract the fur of pets when they rub against it. Satin or semi-gloss color is something you are looking for.
Thick fabric curtains deprive them of their curiosity! Choose light, transparent fabric curtains that will allow them to enjoy the view.
How to remove potential hazards to make a pet-friendly house?
It is not possible to eliminate all dangers, it is not possible to remember them all and count them, but still, here is a list of some that are the most common and most obvious, without detailed explanation because it seems superfluous.
- Store fragile and precious items high
- Avoid open wires
- Keep your home clean
- Take your dog for a walk around the new home
- Move medications and vitamins to a safe place
- Protect the pets by covering sharp edges of furniture
- Store household chemicals in a locked cabinet
- Keep glassware and lighted candles away
- Keep dustbins and toilet lids closed
- Make sure all thread and string is safely put away