For most pet owners, our furry friends are considered a member of the family. So like any member of your family, when you’re planning your home space, you want to be mindful of their needs too. Your home should be comfortable and safe for your family, and your pets too so here are some tips for creating a pet-friendly abode.
You have to put yourself in your pet’s place—and get down on all fours—to take a look around. Make sure you inspect areas that your pet can access by way of climbing or jumping. You’d be surprised at the dangers a periodic inspection of your home can reveal. [This Old House]
- Keep unsafe items out of reach: try seeing things from a “pet point of view”, and keep anything that could choke, electrocute or suffocate an animal. Keep window treatment cords short, keep wires and electrical cords covered. It’s also important to keep human foods and medications out of reach as well.
- Secure the garbage: your garbage is full of materials that are toxic or even lethal to your pets, so you don’t want them getting into it. Be sure your garbage is secured and can’t be accessed by a pet, this might mean having magnetic cabinets or keeping your garbage in an area with a door.
- Pet-safe plants: did you know many common household plants are toxic to animals? If you have cats, lilies can cause kidney failure for them. Other toxic plants to pets are amaryllis, poinsettia and aloe vera. The ASPCA has a great list of toxic plants to avoid for pets.
- Give them space: giving your pets designated spaces will help prevent them from seeking refuge in other spaces that might not be safe or ideal. Have their beds (and litter boxes) located in comfortable places that aren’t too isolated, if pets don’t feel comfortable with their space, they are unlikely to use it.
- Pet-proof flooring: pets that shed can make a lot of extra cleaning for you, so be smart about your flooring choices. Pet experts recommend hardwood flooring for lightweight dogs and ceramic tile for heavier dogs. A trick for saving cleaning time is to choose a carpet colour that matches your pet’s fur (if you must have carpet).
- Pet-friendly fabrics: if you can’t resist letting your pets on your furniture, go for materials that won’t be dramatically affected by wear and will be easy to clean. Materials like leather and ultra-suede will be perfect options for your furry friends.
And if you are a pet owner and are planning a move, here are some tips on moving with pets (so it can be stress-free for you and your furry friends).