Welcoming a new set of paws or claws into your home is a big deal. Simply put, pets are family. And when you’re preparing for a new animal companion, there’s plenty to consider when it comes to both your comfort and theirs. You’ve done the research on the breeds right for you and your family’s lifestyle. You have their food and treats neatly tucked away. You’ve curated a flawless assortment of toys. But what about the rest of your home you’ll soon be sharing? Check out these pet-friendly home hacks to create the perfect space for their arrival.
Flooring Solutions for Happy Paws
Ideally, you’d want durable floors with material that can withstand scratches, stains, and accidents. If you already have hardwood floors with a strong finish or pet-friendly vinyl, great! But if you have carpet or delicate surfaces, area rugs—preferably dark ones—can provide cozy spots for your pets and protect your floors. While fancy, plush rugs may be tempting, it will be way more practical to get low-piled rugs that you can toss in the washing machine. There are plenty of aesthetically on-point washable rugs, and your floors will thank you.
Creating Comfortable Pet Zones
Crates are important especially if you’re house-training, but they also provide a safe space they can retreat to—never as a punishment! You also want to have designated spaces for your pets to go to outside of their crate. Set up cozy pet beds, cushions, or corners with soft covers.
If your breed of pet sheds, washable blankets will especially be your new best friend, and you can train them to only lay on certain areas with blankets instead of your furniture, washing them when you need to. Boundaries are also extremely important to create for your pet. Baby gates are very useful if you want to keep dogs away from certain areas, like the kitchen or bedroom.
Keeping Your Furniture Scratch-Resistant
The challenge of maintaining your furniture in the face of enthusiastic scratching, or accidents, is a delicate one. To strike a balance between your pets’ natural behaviors and your home’s aesthetic, determine if your current furniture is made of pet-friendly materials.
Leather and synthetic fibers like microfiber are particularly resistant, but if you don’t have those, washable furniture covers are a lifesaver.
For many cats, scratching is inevitable. Incorporating scratching posts into your space is essential. These posts redirect their scratching impulses away from your furniture, preserving the integrity of your interior while granting your pets a dedicated zone for their natural activities.
Aesthetic Storage Solutions
Storage serves a dual purpose by tucking away pet toys, supplies, and even food to keep a clutter-free home. Decorative baskets, both charming and functional, can also serve as a fun way to corral your pets’ belongings.
Indoor plants may liven up your home, but some can be harmful or even deadly to curious pets. Make sure to move any toxic plants so they’re out of reach, and take the opportunity to add non-toxic plants. Plants like the spider plant, Boston fern, Areca palm and bamboo palm are all safe choices.
Pet-Friendly Cleaning Solutions
You love a clean and hygienic home. Unfortunately, many conventional cleaning products contain chemicals that can be unsafe for animals. In order to maintain a pet-safe environment, consider adopting pet-friendly cleaning solutions that are effective yet gentle.
One approach is to concoct your own cleaning solutions using everyday household items like vinegar, baking soda, and mild dish soap. These natural alternatives can effectively tackle dirt and grime while keeping your pets safe. You can also find eco-friendly cleaning products explicitly formulated to be pet-safe.
An Assortment of Toys
If your pets have plenty of toys, that’s less of a chance they’ll get bored and chew up your furniture or favorite pair of shoes. Make sure you have a variety of toys recommended for their breed, like hard or soft chew toys, puzzle toys, balls and ropes.
Cats love observing the world from high vantage points. Install window perches or shelves near windows so your feline friends can enjoy bird-watching or simply bask in the sunlight.
Designated Play Areas
Set up designated play areas with climbing structures for cats or play tunnels for small dogs. These spaces encourage physical activity in a focused area activity and prevent pets from becoming sedentary.
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