An estimated 67% of U.S. households are home to one or more pets. These animals bring a special joy to many homes, but they also bring unique needs. If you have a pet or plan to get one, here are some ways you can make your home more pet-friendly.
Create a special spot
Pets, like people, enjoy having a place that’s truly their own. Provide them with just such a space by designating a spot in your home that’s just for them. You may wish to include a bed, a blanket, a few toys or whatever other amenities your pet loves.
Pet-proof your home
Failing to properly “pet-proof” your residence can be harmful for your pet and your home alike. Secure anything that could injure your pet or that your pet could damage, including garbage cans, cleaning products, pet-toxic plants and fragile or unstable objects. It may be best to limit your pet to certain areas of your home by closing doors or installing gates.
Protect your furniture
If your pet sheds or chews or is accident-prone, you may need to protect your furniture. Consider pieces with easy-to-clean materials like leather or microfiber, or purchase furniture covers to protect your upholstery. Choosing materials that match the color of your pet’s fur can help hide shedding. Furniture with bare wood may be a poor choice if your pet loves to chew.
Choose the right flooring
Pets can be tough on your floors, which is why it’s a good idea to be mindful of your flooring choices. Hard floors such as tile, hardwood or laminate are often best for pets because it’s easy to clean up fur and accidents from these surfaces. Just make sure your pet’s claws won’t be liable to scratch your flooring of choice. If you prefer carpet, look into varieties with “pet-proof” qualities.
Use pet-safe cleaning products
It’s important to follow pet-safe cleaning practices if there are furry family members in your home. Some cleaning solutions are harmful to animals and should be used with care or avoided altogether in favor of safer alternatives. If you do use harsh cleaners such as bleach or ammonia, ensure any pets are kept away until the chemicals and any fumes safely dissipate.
Secure your outdoor space
Protecting your pet from dangers outside your home is also important. Keep their outdoor area clear of any tools, chemicals or plants that could harm them. If your pet is prone to running away, a physical or “invisible” fence may be recommended to safely keep them in bounds.
For more tips on improving the wellbeing of your pets, check out our post on smart home devices for pets.