Creating a space that can be enjoyed by both adults and children can be daunting. Incorporating pets into the mix can seem downright impossible.
Keeping all of your children safe (including the furry ones) is always the number one concern of any home design. However, safety doesn’t have to compromise the style.
We’ve listed the most common design features of pet-friendly homes to make life easier while keeping everyone safe. Keep reading for more information!
Pet Hair Vacuums
The majority of homes have some sort of vacuum cleaner. These standard vacuum cleaners stand no chance against pet fur.
While some people don’t mind the constant reminder of their four-legged friends, many others do. Most pets shed, so having them inside will have you finding strands and hairs quite often.
The easiest way to prevent walking into an interview or other appointment covered in hair is to vacuum twice per week. Choosing a vacuum that is made to pick up pet hair will make Fido’s shedding much less of a big deal.
You actually don’t have to spend hundreds of dollars on these vacuums, either. There are handheld ones on the market that start around $30 that are made specifically for upholstery.
Pet-friendly homes usually include a good bit of stain-resistant fabrics. However, times have changed and they aren’t an eyesore like they once were.
These fabrics are great for not allowing typical pet stains like urine, feces, or vomit set in. They’re also great for stopping stains that might have been placed there from dirty little paws.
Opting for stain-resistant fabrics will make clean up a breeze and allow your furniture to last far longer.
A great fabric to consider is low-maintenance or easy-care leather. This material holds up well against claws and excited puppies and kitties running and jumping around.
Of course, the best idea to protect furniture from claw marks is to make sure pet nails are maintained or covered with nail caps.
Hard Surface Floors
Some people prefer the feel of soft carpet underneath their feet and find it warmer than tile or wood floors. This is something you won’t find in pet-friendly homes.
As comfortable as a carpeted floor can be, it is a magnet for pet fur, stains, and odors. Unfortunately, pets can be quite sneaky when it comes to relieving themselves.
Although you can be vigilant about cleaning up after them, there could always be a spot or two that you find too late. Once the stain has set into the carpet, it is almost impossible to completely remove it.
A popular trend in homes is a mudroom. Usually designed around children and adults coming inside from wet or muddy conditions, these rooms are also perfect for pets.
There are plenty of design ideas available, but some popular options include a dog door, places to store leashes and towels, or a doggy shower.
The doggy shower is a pretty cool idea–it’s like a normal bathroom shower but with a low-mounted handheld showerhead. It can double as a rinsing station for muddy children, too!
Pet Toys Galore
Most pet parents will keep several toys on hand. Pigs’ ears are a popular choice for dogs and puppies. Spot loves the smell, taste, and challenge of these chews.
Unfortunately, they aren’t that great for him and leave greasy stains on any fabric they come into contact with.
Likewise, cat parents probably know that string can hurt Socks. Some kitties love to sit in boxes, which is fine until they decide to tear them to shred.
Pet-friendly homes know that investing in indestructible toys is the only way to go. There are plenty of these on the market ranging from lasers to treat-delivering balls.
Finding a toy that is safe and entertaining for your pets will tucker them out and make them much calmer at bedtime. Fun toys also give fur babies something to do while you’re busy at work.
You’ve seen the videos of a pet owner walking into the house and there being shreds of toilet paper, garbage, or any other item. This happens pets are curious and like to have fun.
This problem can be avoided by closing doors and securing items that could be harmful or used to make a mess. Some pets are incredibly smart and can figure out how to open doors and cabinets just by observing you.
When or before this becomes a problem, consider installing child-proof latches on cabinets. For doors with knobs that are easily opened, think about external button locks. It’s understandable not to want external locks, so there is also the option of knobs that require thumbs to open.
Too often pets end up poisoned unintentionally with household cleaners. Even chemicals that are stored properly can become an issue.
Pets are always curious and quite often they will come behind anything previously cleaned and sniff or lick it. This little bit of chemical intake can easily be enough to harm them.
Anti-freeze is the most common offender because it smells and tastes delicious to cats and dogs. In fact, it’s estimated that up to 10,000 cats and dogs die each year from exposure to this chemical.
While we’re discussing poisons, you should also be aware of a few other harmful household goods. Pet parents should be hyper-aware of potted plants, landscaping, and cut flowers that can pose a risk.
Lilies, Marijuana, and English Ivy are just a few varieties that can be deadly to felines. Daffodils, Tulips, and Bird of Paradise are known to be harmful or deadly to dogs. Sago Palm, Aloe Vera, Oleander, and Amaryllis are all plants that can be fatal to both dogs and cats.
All of these plants are unassuming, common household plants–many of which have uses outside of smelling nice. It should be plain to see that any plant added to the home needs to be cross-checked to be sure it won’t cause illness or death.
Food and Water Bowls
A fur child should be spoiled, but it doesn’t mean you have to invest in crystal-encrusted food and water bowls.
Just as you wash your dishware every time you eat, their food and water bowls need to be cleaned, too. Aside from this fact, many cats and dogs are finicky drinkers.
They like their water to be fresh and cold just like you do. It’s not always an option to be at home to freshen the water, but a fountain could be an option.
These fountains recycle the water that is in them and by constantly churning it through, keeps it a bit cooler. Some dogs don’t care at all about this, but felines will likely appreciate this type of water bowl.
Food storage is also something to consider. Many pet owners buy food in bulk to save a bit of money. This isn’t a bad thing, but if it isn’t stored in the bag, in an airtight container, it could easily be contaminated.
When scooping food out of the bag, it’s important to use a clean bowl, cup, or spoon each time. If it’s not clean and consistently reused, the risk of contamination goes up significantly.
Cold food should be kept at 40 degrees or lower, just like human food, to avoid spoilage. You should keep in mind that cold or wet food is more prone to bacterial growth than dry brands of food.
Getting organized is sometimes a luxury you don’t have. Having a pet forces you into this ‘luxury’ because if you’re not, your house becomes a war zone.
Anything left out, whether it be shoes, clothes, dirty dishes, half-full glasses, or a full trashcan is fair game to a curious kitty or inquisitive pup.
If you’ve ever visited a home of a pro pet parent, you’ll probably notice most things aren’t out of place. Having a pet inside forces a bit of organization to prevent huge messes.
Dogs might be the king of running off with clean or dirty underwear, while cats are queens of knocking any and everything from the counter. Sometimes the only way to stop this behavior is to beat them at their own game and put it away!
This also helps keep them from hurting themselves on anything they might break or eat.
Chic, Functional Furniture
You probably didn’t think of having chic or functional furniture as being in pet-friendly homes. However, it doesn’t have to be a distant memory. There is a huge selection of pet-friendly furniture.
Depending on what you’re looking for, you can find pieces specifically designed to look good while being easy-to-clean and stain resistant. There are also pieces that are aesthetically attractive made for your furry friend.
The benefit of looking into this type of furniture is that it allows your pet a place to play and hide. It can also serve as a type of exercise equipment for an otherwise sleepy cat or dog.
Pet-Friendly Homes: Mission Possible
Turning your home into a sanctuary for your pet doesn’t have to be ridiculously expensive. It also doesn’t have to take away the style, or elegance.
Ideally, pet-friendly homes are designed in a way that makes the human residents happy while keeping the fur child(ren) safe and having fun.
If you’d like to learn more information about living the pet parent life, check out our blog!