Setting up your home to be pet friendly
A pet-friendly home serves the primary purpose of keeping your pets, and your belongings, safe! Pet-proofing your home isn't always the easiest task. However, to avoid unwanted vet bills and replacing important (and expensive) items, it is a necessity!
Pet Safety is Paramount
Whatever you are thinking about the design process, your pets’ safety has to stay in mind. Any accidents are going to be difficult emotionally and financially so it is best to take precautions to limit these occurrences as much as possible.
Create barriers to set out the areas in the home where your pet is and isn't allowed. Baby-guards and fences are easy and inexpensive enough to install for this. Kitchens and bathrooms are two general examples of a long list of places you may consider fencing your pet out from.
When it comes to keeping your valuables safe, the further away from your pets they are - the better. One of the most effective ways to do this is to ensure there are enough shelves in your home. Placing belongings on sufficiently-high shelves means they are both out of sight and out of mind for your pets.
This means fewer accidents and a lower chance of accidental breakage and cleanups. So, look around your home. Are there enough shelves to keep your things safe? Shelves are cheap and efficient to put up and can offer a lot of storage as well as keeping your things out of reach from prying paws.
Paw-appropriate Living Room
This is an area of discretion amongst pet owners. Some owners love cuddling their pets on the couch during a movie while some owners prefer not having pet hair in their living spaces. Regardless, pets can manage to find their way in every now and again, so it is important that this is pet-proofed too.
Ensure all wires from TVs, stereos, etc. are up and off of the ground, or have protective covers, and out of reach of your pets. Research to see whether your houseplants may be poisonous. Even if they aren't, they may still cause problems if chewed on and may be best up and away.
Anything you do not want your pet swallowing needs to be away from them whenever it is not being used.
When you are selecting new furniture, indoor or outdoor, consider examining the material used. Try to avoid loose-weave fabrics. Tweed, corduroy, and other materials with open weaves can be snagged by little claws and cause the material to unravel. Also avoid materials that are difficult to clean, such as velvet, silk and suede.
Leather furniture is best! It hides pet hair, is easier to clean and it won't be snagged by claws! Sometimes a little wear and tear on leather can even lend to the aesthetic, although this may be debatable. However, many stores now sell pet-friendly fabrics which do not snag when pierced by sharp claws.
If all else fails, an easy option is to buy a slipcover for the couch. This blocks any damage to couches but compromises the fabric feel for you. Ultimately the decision is yours!
Stemming from a similar place as furniture material, the colour and make of your carpet is important in several aspects. Carpet made from nylon fibres tends to be the most popular amongst pet owners due its durability and stain-resistance.
It can also pay to keep in mind that some carpets are designed specifically for pets. Some patterns and colours hide hair and other pet-related messes better than others! There are a lot of considerations to keep in mind, but they are all worth it when it comes to keeping your home and pets safe!
Main photo by Josh Hild on Unsplash
Have you ever pet-proofed your home? Let us know below!