Having pets at home can mean unexpected messes and energy that sometimes can’t be contained. Cats like to knock things over, puppies have accidents, and all pets get a little overzealous when coming in from playing outside.
Of course, pet ownership also involves so much joy, it’s worth dealing with the inconveniences!
Yet there are things you can do to keep cleaning duties to a minimum while ensuring that your pet has everything they need. Make smart changes to accommodate your pet, and you may find that benefits apply for you, too.
Here is an overview of seven pet-friendly features that will make your fluffy, feathery, or even scaly friend feel more at home while making your job as a pet parent easier.
1. Central Vacuum Cleaning System
Pets don’t clean up after themselves, so guess who gets the job? Maintaining a household already involves cleaning, but pet parents have it even worse. Bathing your pet is one thing, but you’ll also need to take care of the hair, dander, and even bugs that wind up in your home.
One key feature in a pet-friendly house is an effective vacuum cleaner, but even better is a central vacuum cleaning system. A central vacuum cleaning system can prevent the buildup of fur, dirt, and even creepy crawlies at home. It’s also easy to use, and convenience is key when caring for pets.
2. Designated Pet Area/Room
Animals are territorial, and they would appreciate their own space – or, if possible, their own room. A designated pet room will also be beneficial to you, especially if you are a dog owner.
The room comes especially in handy when your dog re-enters the house after an exciting and muddy or dusty day outside. Your dog can hang out in their room without getting the rest of the house messy.
A designated bedroom can also serve as a sleeping and storage area, whether you have a dog, cat, or another small yet territorial pet. Or if your pup has allergies and needs special food or care, a separate room you can keep clean is a must.
If possible, give your pet a room near an exit. That way, coming and going is convenient (plus safer for your pet in the event of an emergency).
3. Pet Furniture
When keeping your pets off the furniture isn’t feasible, you might wind up with scratched-up couches, chewed-on chairs, and fur everywhere.
An excellent solution to this problem is getting your pets their own furniture, customized for their needs. Pet furniture is simple and yet central to a pet-friendly home, especially if your pet is a discriminatory critter (for example, a cat) who knows you’re saving the best seat for yourself. It can also be appealing, as it comes in creative styles and designs.
Cats are especially notorious at scratching furniture, but a scratching post can entice your kitty to abandon their couch scratching. Dogs are simpler creatures, and a comfortable bed usually does it. However, they will need training to nix destructive habits like chewing cushions.
4. Lots of Toys
Pets love being the center of attention. But you can’t always play fetch or sit and snuggle when your pet wants to. So, toys are a must in any pet-friendly household.
Toys are a fun and convenient way to keep your pets occupied. Pets love toys, and some even develop emotional bonds to their favorite playthings. The right toys can even encourage your pet to maintain a healthy weight through daily activity.
Choosing toys might be tough, because each pet is different. Consider what your pet likes and whether they’re a chewer, climber, runner, or some variation! Ultimately, whatever toy collection you create, storing it somewhere you won’t trip is essential. So, investing in a toy box for your pup might be a smart choice.
5. Stain-Resistant Fabrics
Pets, no matter how disciplined, are bound to make messes now and then. You, too, are bound to make messes. To this end, it is recommendable to use stain-resistant fabric for your furniture and upholstery. These fabrics are resistant to stains, dirt (mud on your pets’ paws), bad odor, and bacteria.
There are lots of stain-resistant fabrics ideal for home furniture. Leather, for example, is a popular option for a pet-friendly home. It is aesthetically pleasing, comfortable to the touch, and more durable than most other fabrics. It is also stain-resistant and easy to clean – you can wipe off stains using soap and water as soon as your pet makes a mess.
Microfiber is stain-resistant and machine-washable, so cleanup is easier when stains threaten your color scheme. Microfiber also packs more appeal and comfort than most other stain-resistant fabrics, as it comes in a wide range of colors and designs. It is made of a material that is incredibly strong despite its smooth and soft texture.
If you want to go one step further, you might want to consider pet-proofing your bathroom. For particularly mucky pups, it’s a good idea to ensure you have an easily accessible washroom for them after a long day running through fields of puddles.
By taking this into consideration when designing your bathroom, it’ll make the whole process of keeping both your furniture and your pup muck free much easier.
Dogs cannot get enough of their time outdoors. Some dogs even get so carried away that they wander off on their own. It is one of the most worrying experiences for any pet owner, not knowing where their furry friends are and how they are doing. It also makes fencing an important feature – and a necessary one at certain times, depending on your neighborhood.
In most cases, a sturdy fence will prevent your dog from leaving the property and wandering off. It also allows you to let your dog out into the yard where they can play more freely, even if you’re inside while they head out for potty breaks or playtime.
A fence will minimize the chance of your pet wandering off. Of course, there are exceptions. For example, cats can squeeze through tiny spaces, and they come and go as they please. But in most cases, a sturdy fence will help keep critters contained, though ensuring that your pup’s microchip details are up to date is a smart failsafe.
7. Hard Flooring
Carpets, rugs, and soft flooring don’t fare well when there are pets around. For starters, softwood flooring is susceptible to scratching, which is something that often happens with cats’ and dogs’ nails. Pets can also have difficulty walking on carpet and upholstery, as it tends to get caught in their claws.
Additionally, carpets and rugs collect dirt, dust, and even parasites from your pets. Whether you have allergies to pollen or pet dander, dust in your carpet and on rugs can cause problems for the whole household. Plus, it’s just plain messy.
One solution is to install hard flooring. Hard flooring is less susceptible to scratching and easier to maintain. While it is still susceptible to dirt and germs, it is easier to clean than carpets and upholstery. The dust and mud are easy to wipe, and there is nowhere for parasites and bacteria to hide.
Most importantly, pets can move easily on hard flooring. Besides, hard flooring options, such as hardwood and tiles, are just as visually appealing as they are convenient for everyone in the home, humans included.
A Cozy Home for Everyone!
As a valued member of your family, your pet should feel right at home in every way. From keeping the home clean to ensuring your pets are entertained, creating a pet-friendly household is easier than you might expect. Installing these pet-friendly features will make your home more inviting for you and your menagerie. Plus, the right additions can make your work of picking up after pets (and humans) easier and more manageable.
About The Author: Mark Webster is the co-founder and chief editor at DogFoodHeaven.com. His aim? Simple. Cut through the jargon and help you make the right decisions for your furry four legged friends.
Photo by cristian castillo on Unsplash
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