How to Make Your Home Pet Friendly
Homeowners are often looking for ways to make a home safe for infants and children, but how often do we think about our animal counterparts? Prepping a home for our pets is a bit different than for our tiny tots, but it’s just as important.
If you’re after tips to protect or pet-proof your home, or maybe you just want to learn how to make your home and furniture more durable when it comes to your animal adoptees, this is the how-to for you.
Pet-Proofing from the Ground Up
This section is pertinent if you’re building or buying your home as it focuses on bigger projects and areas that can be changed before you’re actually living in the home.
First, skip the softwood floors and ease up on excessive carpeting, because they’ll show pet wear and tear far quicker than something like ceramic tile, laminate, or hardwood. (Do keep in mind that even hardwood shows cat claw marks and dog scratches, so consider adding affordable rugs to your interiors.)
When it comes to rugs, don’t opt for the most pricey pieces, no matter how pretty and durable they claim to be. You could be the OxiClean man himself and not be able to keep them looking brand new long term. Once a pet has lived in a place, that furniture and flooring will never be the same. If you plan to have pets in the home you’re building, do yourself a favor and plan accordingly with quality flooring.
Prioritize Pet Areas
This step is important for the pets that alternate between being outdoors and indoors frequently. If you have a pet area near the door, such as a laundry room or mudroom, they’ll get used to the area and recognize it as a safe space for them. It may be a good idea to add shelving or storage for all the pet products you keep on hand, such as food, clean dishes, treats, towels, toothbrushes, toys, and other pet hygiene products. Also, consider finding a high-impact floor mat to catch the dirtiest paws before they enter the otherwise clean home interior and placing that either right inside the entryway or wherever they will be entering the home.
While pet owners may prefer to have shake-offs take place before coming in the house, the pet area can also act as a buffer zone between the outdoors and your beautiful home.
Pet Friendly from the Inside Out
These tips are universal and can apply to homeowners, buyers, and renters alike, whether you already have a pet or are planning on adopting sometime soon.
Fancy furniture? Not when you have furry friends, unfortunately. No matter how well trained your pets are, fur floats and hair sheds. You should focus on furnishings that have stain-resistant upholstery. It’s especially good if the cushions or covers can be removed for washing and spot cleaning, for obvious reasons.
And, while you might first think of leather couches and chairs when looking for something “easy to clean,” they are not scratch resistant. Your pups and felines will inevitably nick and scratch the upholstery time and time again, even if you try to keep them off the furniture.
If you’re really concerned about pet damage, look for furniture lines that have products made with distinct “pet-proof” fabrics and materials. They may cost a bit more, but it’ll likely be worth it long-term if you don’t have to replace or reupholster your couches and chairs every few years.
There are obvious things to avoid logistically when there’s an animal in the house, like leaving out open trash bins, food on the counter, or toys on the floor. Not to mention having breakable items in a vulnerable place.
Remember that pets think that everything in an environment is natural and therefore something they’re allowed to play with. Similarly, they don’t know what plant is or isn’t toxic or harmful to them. They don’t know which pillow costs five dollars and which blanket is cashmere, or that cords aren’t safe chew toys.
Animals can be trained to obey house rules and commands, but they aren’t familiar with safety the way we are, nor do they ascribe value to items the way we do, so an accident could technically happen at any time.
With that in mind, try to be two steps ahead of them when it comes to your household. Don’t give them toys that could come with an excessive mess. For dogs, rawhide, and marrow bones will leave streaks, stains, and sludge on the surfaces they’re gnawed on. For cats, keep catnip toys in a contained area so that the catnip doesn’t get everywhere. The same thing applies to bunnies, birds, and other small friends. Similar rules apply to dinner time: some foods are messier than others, and some pets just make more of a mess during mealtime than others. Perhaps establish a certain chair with a covering on it as the pet’s designated resting spot if you must have the pets up on the furniture to snuggle with you.
Petcare Comes First
It’s no secret that cats and dogs aren’t always the biggest fans of bathtime, or worse, the groomer. However, regular upkeep maintains fur levels, reduces dander, grease, and the potential for fleas or mites. Some pets are easier to bathe on your own, but some require a professional groomer based on hair type, length, and cleaning tolerance. If you’re doing it yourself, there are top-notch natural shampoos that are gentle and work to prevent creating more dandruff. Treat shampoos and conditioners like pet food—always read the label and the ingredients!
EDGEhomes Knows Homes
EDGEhomes’ communities are designed with you, your needs, your family, your lifestyle, and your pets in mind. When building a home with EDGEhomes, we can work with you to make your new home as pet friendly as possible with numerous customizable options. Working with EDGEhomes is not only exciting, but it’s easy, straightforward, and will end up being a decision you won’t regret.
Ready to get started on your home search? Visit our website today!