How to Create a Pet Friendly Home

Monday, September 30, 2013

Pet Friendly Home

As pets become more important to their families, what homes we buy is often influenced by how pet-friendly it is. If you happen to live in a house that is less than ideal for your pet, there is a lot you can do to create a more comfortable environment for all of you.

Here are some ideas to be pet friendly:

  • No one wants to visit a home where the furniture smells and is covered in hair. Unfortunately, however, if you insist that your pet has complete furniture privileges, this is hard to avoid. If you opt for leather couches because you don't want the hair and smell on fabric, your pet is likely to scratch and damage the leather. If you opt for patterned fabric to hide the hair, the hair still sticks to it and it is not easy to clean.  The best option is to restrict the pet to one specific end of one couch and to place a pet cushion on it.

  • Carpets are not great, because they need to be vacuumed and even professionally cleaned regularly. The problem with wooden floors is that dogs drool, and cats scratch (if you have ever seen a cat trying to run away, but only spins, you’ll know what this looks like, and can imagine the damage to the floor). But tiles are not a good option either. Most vets will tell you that slippery floors are bad for puppies or older animals with arthritis or other back problems. Every slip on a tiled floor hurts, especially while lying down and getting up. Again, the best solution is probably to place a bed in each of the rooms where the family spends considerable time. Dogs are especially happy knowing that one corner of the room belongs to them. Most pets are social, and just want to be in the same room you are.

  • Never buy a household or gardening product like paint, glue or insect repellent/killer without knowing whether it is safe for your pet. If the packaging does not contain this information, don’t use it.

  • For the sake of your pet and your children, keep electric wiring and other breakable objects out of the way.

  • Install an appropriately sized pet door for your pet if you want it be roam outside during the day. A perimeter wall or thick fencing is necessary to keep your pet in the yard.  If you have a pool, there should be a barrier around the pool to prevent it from taking a swim and the potential dangerous safety concerns.

  • Daffodils, chrysanthemums, tomatoes, potatoes, gladiola, carnations, and a long list of other plants are potentially toxic to animals. Ask your vet and your nursery before you plant an entire garden which may harm your pet.