Many families love to have pets in their households, especially dogs and cats. Pets can add a whole new dimension to family life, and dogs particularly can be wonderful friends for kids.
But can you have a dog or cat in your home and still keep your place clean and looking beautiful?
Read this guide to discover seven easy ways to make your home pet-friendly, even with a furry friend around!
1. Choose Pet-Proof Furniture
Anyone who has ever owned a puppy will tell you that nothing much can survive those needle-sharp pearly whites when the fur baby is teething! Dog and cat claws can wreak havoc with wooden furniture, while wicker and sisal materials can make excellent chew toys and scratch posts. Instead, we recommend that you opt for metal, plastic, or chrome furniture that tends to be more resistant to scratching and chewing.
Prevent damage to your wooden and glass tabletops by positioning them well away from windows. Many dogs will jump up onto a table to gain a good view out of your window when you go out. So, be sure to position tables well out of temptation’s reach or keep your shades or drapes drawn while you’re out to deter a nosy pup from jumping up.
Ideally, you should crate train your dog so that he’s contained while you’re not around to watch him. If you have a multi-dog household, you can save valuable space by choosing crates you can put on top of each other. Place the stackable crates within sight of the window so that your dog can enjoy the view without damaging anything. Of course, don’t put the crate in direct sunlight, or your dog could overheat.
2. Choose Pet-Safe Window Coverings
Many pets that are left home alone love to spend time looking out of the window, watching passers-by, and waiting for you to return home. Although that’s very touching, it can also lead to your window coverings becoming upholstered in pet hair!
So, when you’re choosing window treatments, avoid using heavy fabrics that trap pet hair and grease and are difficult to clean. We also advise you to avoid using hanging cords. A dangling cord can present a risk of strangulation should a dog, cat, or small child become entangled.
Instead, choose short, lightweight fabric tie-backs to keep drapes back away from the windows when you’re out, and opt for wipe-clean, cordless shades. Fabrics that are run-resistant and machine-washable are a good option, especially if you have cats that like to climb, and fancy ruffles and swag styles are best avoided.
If you want to deter your pets from gravitating to your windows, you might want to consider using one of the different types of privacy films that are available for your living room and bedroom windows.
3. Dog Beds Can Be Stylish
Ideally, you don’t want your dog to sleep on your best sofa and chairs. Often, providing your pup with a comfy, cozy bed is all you need to do to tempt your canine companion off of your furniture.
You can buy some gorgeous, superb-quality pet beds and dog sofas that are made from hard-wearing, high-quality fabrics to blend and coordinate perfectly with your chosen home décor.
When choosing a pet bed, always go for one that has a machine-washable cover, and remember to wash your pet’s bed regularly to remove odors and keep the fabric looking good.
4. Opt for Non-Stick Upholstery
One of the biggest issues for pet owners is loose hair. Pet hair can leave an ugly layer of greasy fluff all over your furniture if your animals are allowed to sleep there. That not only damages your upholstery but can also be a nightmare for anyone with pet allergies.
You can avoid the problem by choosing new furniture or having old items recovered with non-stick fabrics, such as synthetic fibers, leather, and damask. Fabrics to avoid are fluff-magnets like velour and velvet.
5. Pick Dog-Friendly Wall Coverings
When you’re decorating your home, think very carefully about what wall coverings to use. Dog hair sticks like Velcro to expensive textured wallpaper and pricey silk wall coverings can be ruined if your dog shakes pond water all over them after a winter walk. Look at the corners of your walls, especially in doorways. We bet you’ll see dirty gray areas where your pets have rubbed themselves when passing by.
Why not use semi-gloss or satin finish paint instead of wallpaper? Pet hair doesn’t easily stick to paint, and the walls can be wiped clean with a damp cloth when necessary to remove grease and splashes.
6. Use Scratch-Proof Flooring
No matter how careful you are, your carpets and expensive rugs can be ruined by potty training accidents and muddy paws, not to mention the amount of hair you’ll need to spend time vacuuming up!
Wooden flooring might seem like a workable, practical alternative. But softwood can be prone to scratching, so choose hardwoods instead, such as oak or mahogany, that can be more hard-wearing and resilient. Even better, use ceramic tiles, stone, or laminate in areas where your pets have access. Those materials are easy to keep clean, won’t get damaged as easily, and can also keep your pets cooler when the weather is warm.
7. Houseplants Can Be Hazardous!
Although living plants can add color and are undoubtedly aesthetically pleasing, they can present a hazard to some pets. Puppies and kittens enjoy chewing on plant leaves and can even dig up potting compost, leaving a mess all over your floors.
If you want to have live plants in your home, check that the varieties you choose are non-hazardous to pets, and put the plants well out of reach of your pets.
An alternative is to use silk plants, which are pet-safe and have zero maintenance requirements aside from a quick rinse every now and then to get rid of dust.
You can still enjoy a beautiful home even if you have pets!
Follow the top tips and advice in this guide and choose pet-friendly décor that will create a stylish, practical, safe environment for all your family, including the furry ones!