Just like when a baby is on its way, planning on getting a pet will also take some sacrifices. One of those, and perhaps the most important of all, is making sure our home is pet-friendly. But how? Well, you may have to get rid of a few things and choose convenience over aesthetics. There are also certain adjustments you may have to go through in terms of floor plans, furniture arrangements, etc. Curious? Here are 10 suggestions on how you can make your home pet-friendly.
Yes, you read it right. Before getting your pet into your home, make sure to look at your place from your pet’s perspective. You may even have to go down on all fours just for this. And yes, I am serious.
Well, you have to know that there are curtain cords, electrical sockets, and wirings that may look harmless to you but could potentially hurt your pet. And these are hazardous household items that can easily be missed out when you are just looking at things at home.
Believe me, there are actually hazards everywhere that can be disastrous to your pet.
Your trash bin, for example, can be one dangerous place for your pet to be near to. Put it somewhere inaccessible to pets. If it is accessible, make sure it’s always covered. Pets have great olfactory senses and can get attracted to the smell of things inside your bin. If it can be reached by your pet, you may just wake up one morning to find trash strewn all over the place, or worse still, your pet could choke on chicken bones or other items it found in the trash bin while you were sound asleept.
Speaking of putting yourself in your pet’s paws…, if you own a cat, you need to think like a cat. Would you get attracted to that antique vase perched on top of the counter? Colors and attractive decorations attract pets.
Pets do not understand the concept of decorations and would assume that your precious decor items are toys. You don’t want to come home to find your antique vase in shards, do you?
You also need to take into consideration the plants that you put inside your home. Some plants are poisonous to cats and dogs, as shown in this infographic by PurringPal, a cat info site. Either you put the plants somewhere far away and safe from your pets, or you don’t have plants inside your home at all.
Just as the name implies, do not leave your medications lying around for your pets to find because not all medicines intended for humans are good for pets. Most, if not all, are hazardous to their health.
When choosing a toy for your pet, make sure to choose the ones that do not make a mess. It won’t be much fun having to clean up each and every time your pets are done playing. Rawhide for dogs, for example, make a lot of a mess on your floor.
Another example would be catnip balls for your cats. We all know how excited cats get with catnip, so this is a big NO; unless you intend to spend the whole day picking up catnip flakes from the floor.
If need be, have your pets play with these toys outside; or have them play with toys that do not make such a mess.
Now, it is not just the mess on the floor that you have to think about when you have pets. You also have to consider the possibility of scratches – what with all those sharp claws your pets have. And so when you have a pet on the way, it would be wise to skip softwood floors. Rather opt for ceramic tiles that are scratch-proof and can easily be cleaned.
When you talk of fabrics and materials for a pet-friendly home, get rid of white fabrics. White (and its many shades of variation), easily show stains. Choose darker hues that won’t show stains.
But of course, it doesn’t mean that if the stains don’t show, you no longer need to clean them. You still should 😉
This brings me to the next point, which is for you to choose materials that can easily be cleaned. A couch made of leather, for example, is way easier to clean than a couch made of linen.
You may also want to ditch the carpets as these can easily be destroyed by cats scratching, dog and cat hairs falling, cats barfing, and so on. If you really insist on a carpet, go for something that has the same color as your pet.
No matter how much most pets dislike being groomed, do it anyway. Regular grooming removes dead hair and minimizes the amount of fur that will be shed on your carpet. This will save you a lot of time and effort cleaning up hairs from the carpet and furniture around your home.
Just like us humans, pets appreciate their personal space. There should be a part of your home that your pet can retreat to that offers a quiet and secure corner for your pet. This personal space should be equipped a cosy bed, as well as your pets toys, food/treats and water.
How many times in the summer have you decided to open your windows to let some summer breeze in?
When introducing a new pet to your home, you may want to consider screening your windows to keep it contained. Your pet may escape through an open window and wander away, or if you live in a high-rise building may jump out and injure themselves. To prevent either of these scenarios, screening your windows is a must.
Getting a new pet may require certain adjustments at home. But one should always remember that the benefits of owning a pet certainly make up for the adjustments that you have to make to ensure their welfare and your sanity.
So now that you know what you are in for, go ahead. Do not hesitate. Get that pet.
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