Tips to Help You Create a Pet-Friendly Home

Are you building a new home and want to make it as pet-friendly as possible? Good for you — and your pets! A pet-friendly home is one where your pets are happy, comfortable, and safe.

From California to New York, pet owners are taking their best friend's needs into consideration during their new home design period or home improvement projects. So, is it possible for pets and family members to share a home and for everyone to be happy? Absolutely! All it takes is understanding your family members’ and pet's needs and planning accordingly.

Designing a Pet-Friendly Home for a Dog or Cat

When you share your home with pets, choosing durable, paw-safe, and stain-resistant fabrics is a good idea. You might also want to cover your pet's favorite upholstery with washable furniture protectors. A great vacuum cleaner that's effective at picking up pet hair is a good idea, too. Speaking of furniture, small dogs and elderly pets will appreciate a ramp or doggie stairs to help them reach their favorite cuddling position.

If you're building a new home or adding on to an existing one, Sater Designs recommends a mudroom as a practical way to confine your dog to one room of the house until you have a chance to clean up those messy paws. Some pet owners even add a special walk-in "doggie shower" to the mudroom to make keeping their furry friend clean a breeze. Then, stock it with the best dog shampoos, conditioners, and balms, and your pup will enjoy a real spa day treat right at home!

What Special Amenities Do Your Pets Need?

New cat owners will soon realize that their cats need scratching posts if they don't want the furniture torn to shreds. Cats have an innate need to sharpen their nails. If they aren't provided with at least one scratching post, they'll find something themselves. Unfortunately, you probably won't like their choices!

A cozy kennel with a luxe crate pad will keep your new puppy out of mischief when it can't be closely monitored. According to the vets at Purina, it's also the best way to potty train your pup. Once they're housetrained, it's time to teach them how to use the doggy door.

Comfortable dog beds will let your dog rest near their favorite people, while a selection of safe chew toys will keep them occupied and happy.

Indoor-only cats will really enjoy a "grazing pad" planted with plants they love to munch on. Rocket Mortgage suggests the following cat-safe plants for your pet's grazing enjoyment.

  • Cat grass
  • Chamomile
  • Lemongrass
  • Peppermint

Catnip can be added in small quantities. Too much of this feline favorite will overstimulate even the quietest of cats.

Give Your Pet a Room with a View

Both dogs and cats enjoy watching what's going on outside, so why not build them their own window seat next to a large window from which to enjoy that view? This is a fairly simple DIY project that your pet will surely appreciate. If your pet is very small or older, they'll enjoy their special seat more if you also provide pet stairs so they can reach it more easily.

Provide the window seat with a cushy pad made from stain-resistant fabric, and don't forget a sumptuous pet blanket to snuggle into! The space under the window seat can be used for storage or to provide a cozy den (complete with a comfy bed) for lounging in when your pet is worn out from watching the antics of squirrels and birds outside.

Keeping Your Pets Safe at Home

For homeowners, sharing living space with your best friends means you'll need to keep your pet's needs in mind when considering interior design. One of those needs is your pet's safety. That's why pet-proofing a home is so important.

House plants can help turn a house into a home, but beware of toxic plants if you share that home with furry friends. The Spruce and the Farmer's Almanac recommend avoiding these popular houseplants for the sake of your pets.

  • Alocasia
  • Aloe Vera (Aloe species)
  • Amaryllis Asparagus Fern (Asparagus aethiopicus)
  • Begonia
  • Bird of Paradise (Strelitzia reginae)
  • Caladium
  • Devil's Ivy (Pothos species)
  • Dracaena
  • Dumb Cane (Dieffenbachia species)
  • English Ivy (Hedera helix)
  • Fiddle Leaf Fig (Ficus lyrata)
  • Geranium (Pelargonium species)
  • Jade Plant (Crassula ovata)
  • Peace Lily (Spathiphyllum)
  • Philodendron (Philodendron species)
  • Poinsettia
  • Rubber Plant (Ficus elastica)
  • Sago Palm (Cycas revoluta)
  • Snake Plant / Mother-in-Law's Tongue (Sansevieria species)
  • Spider Plant (Chlorophytum comosum)
  • ZZ Plant (Zamioculcas zamiifolia)

For a more comprehensive list of plants to avoid (as well as which plants are pet-safe), go to the ASPCA's Poison Plants searchable website. You can even search by the type of pet you have since some plants may only affect either dogs or cats.

Cords of All Kinds Are Dangerous to Teething Puppies and Curious Kittens

  • Puppies chewing on electrical cords aren't just a menace to expensive electronics. They're at serious risk of electrocuting themselves!
  • Kittens exploring their new home can strangle themselves on dangling cords from blinds or electronics.

Everyday items like medication and vitamins, household cleaners, gardening products, and automotive fluids are often dangerous to a curious pet's health. Objects like string or yarn, small toys, rubber bands, paper clips, and pieces of plastic are serious choking hazards, especially for puppies and kittens. Also, you can imagine the carpet damage if you drop a pen where a teething puppy can find it. Maybe ceramic tile would be a better choice after all!

If you want to make your home cozier for your pet without moving or renovating, check out all of the pet-friendly products at Animals Matter. Contact us for help finding the right products for your pet — because our furry friends really are part of the family and deserve the best!

FAQs

How do you create a pet-friendly home?

Do your research on what pets need and like in their living spaces. Then work with your architect or home designer to incorporate as many ideas into your new home as you can.

What is the most important thing to have in a pet-friendly home?

A safe environment for your best friend is the most important thing to keep in mind when creating a pet-friendly home.

What are some tips to make my pet's home more environmentally friendly?

Choosing products that are labeled eco-friendly will help ensure a home that's better for your pet and the environment.

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