How to make your home pet friendly!
Nowadays, pets are not just the furry faces that we love to see climbing up on our furniture or sneakily stealing a meatball from our plate. Pets now come in all shapes and sizes - whether they're small enough to fit in your purse, large enough to be an emotional support animal, or somewhere in between! But what about when it comes time to decorate? Have you ever thought of how pet-friendly your home is before making design decisions? Well luckily these days, there are many companies out there thinking of ways for homes with pets to have aesthetically pleasing features that will make you AND your pet comfortable and happy.
Those of us with pets love our beloved furry friends to a degree that could be seen as over the top by non-pet owners. Just because we love them, however, doesn’t mean they are allowed to have free rein to get mud all over the carpet or leave hair on every surface imaginable. There are many products and ideas out there designed to help us deal with their less than desirable qualities so it's not just about how much we care for them but also how clean they keep themselves!
Pets are a big part of our homes, and we like to decorate our homes accordingly. So, it's important that you know how best to keep your pet happy while still being able to be fashionable! Here we are to give you some tips for designing rooms in both cat-friendly or dog-friendly ways so everyone can enjoy their home together as much as possible.
WHAT IS THE BEST FLOORING TO CHOOSE?
Your pet's accidents can be a pain to clean up, but it doesn't have to be that way. There are so many durable flooring materials out there for you and your pup that easily help to create a pet-friendly home! Let’s discuss a few options that will turn your home into a much more pet-friendly place to live:
Stone is a great option because of its low cost per square foot. Vinyl has the benefit of being easy on allergies while providing durability at an affordable price point. Painted concrete is another option that provides affordability with good stain resistance in any color imaginable. This is a perfect choice if you're looking for something other than pure white or gray! If tiles speak more to your style preferences, terrazzo offers versatility as well as beauty without sacrificing quality performance. Hardwood floors provide another option too - just make sure not to choose this option if you have a large breed such as a German Shepherd. Larger dogs have a tendency to scratch up wood quickly.
If you have a pet, avoid wall to wall carpeting if you want to maintain a pet-friendly, clean home. Carpets are prone to collecting hair, absorbing odors and soaking up spills caused by your pets. But if there is no other way for you but a carpeted floor plan, then choose one in the same color as your animal as this will minimize the amount of hair you will see. For example, my dog’s hair is jet black. If I chose a white carpet, every single hair he shed would be visible, and my OCD-self would be vacuuming numerous times a day.
CHOOSE COLORS THAT MATCH YOUR PET
Use your pet as inspiration for choosing colors for everything in your home, not just your flooring. Choose colors that match your pet, so their hair will not be easily noticed.
Keep this in mind when choosing colors for the places in your home that might collect hair such as any piece of furniture, as well as window treatments. Light colors will show off more unsightly fur.
CHOOSING THE RIGHT PAINT
There are many factors that go into choosing the right paint for your home, but it can be difficult to know which type of finish is best for a pet-friendly, clean home. It may seem like a simple choice at first; there's always flat and satin finishes available on any given wall color - so why not just choose one? Well, when you take durability and pet messes into consideration, you'll find out that this isn’t as easy as it seems!
The difference between these two types of paints has more than meets the eye: while they both provide beautiful sheens in their own way, only one will last if smudges from pets happen.... It’s way easier to wipe a smudge off a satin paint finish than a flat finish.
SELECTING A PET-FRIENDLY FABRIC FOR YOUR FURNITURE
Fabric selection can make all the difference between a beautiful result and a lot of time spent vacuuming. Look for Pet Friendly fabrics with tightly woven threads but also avoid those with complex designs or loose weaves as these types provide ample space where stray hairs could still find their way in. The looser the weave and the less complicated texture a fabric has, the less places hair is bound to get stuck
Check out our Track Collection for pet friendly fabrics!
Select a fabric built for heavy usage areas, and consider pet friendly stain-resistant fabric, for example fabric that is made for indoor as well as outdoor use. Avoid fragile fabrics for your couch such as silk, wool, or linen.
THE ADVANTAGES OF PET FRIENDLY LEATHER OR PLEATHER
Leather is a perfect choice for a pet-friendly furniture, and as an added bonus, it improves with age and heavy use. Leather can be easily maintained and comes in so many different colors that you're sure to find one which matches the decor of your home or office. Unlike fabric, leather does not get damaged when there are pets climbing on it; instead, its surface will become more refined over time as those hairs break down into tiny little fibers on top.
We have some great leather selections in our Lady Bird Collection!
Leather may seem like an odd choice for a pet friendly fabric if you have never owned any before, but once you see what sets this material apart from others, then you'll understand why it has been such a popular option among owners who share their space with furry friends!
Any dirt or scratches your pet may make on leather can easily be removed with water, or some soapy water. If you have a cat that scratches a lot, while some scratches may come out simply by rubbing them with water, in general, the scratches will wind up enhancing the weathered look of the leather couch.
THE ADVANTAGES OF ULTRASUEDE/ MICROFIBER
Ultrasuede or microfiber is a great material for pet friendly homes. It’s a synthetic fabric that’s more affordable than leather and looks and feels like suede. There are no loops in the fabric, meaning there is no way for claws to catch within the weaves of the fabric, which makes it resistant to claw marks as well as straggly threads. This fabric is easy to clean and maintain and wears quite well with age. With ultrasuede, animal hair goes practically unnoticed.
To clean stains on microfiber, blot the stain with a clean towel first, and then go over it with soapy water.
A SECRET STAIN RESISTANT PET-FRIENDLY FABRIC
William Wegman, the beloved artist known for his Weimaraner photos and fashionable pet-obsessed customers, has created a line of pet friendly Crypton fabrics aimed at owners who want to outfit their pet-friendly home like they've always wanted. The company offers sturdy suedes as well as twills with witty names such as Polka Dog and Material Dog. This fabric is available in upholstery shops and from many furniture manufacturers and interior designers. You can find it online at www.cryptonfabric.com.
HOW CAN I MINIMIZE THE DIRT MY PET LEAVES AROUND THE HOUSE?
GROOM YOUR PET MORE OFTEN
Although we may get lazy and not want to hear this- the more often we clean out our kitty litter boxes, the less odor there will be to deal with. Similarly, the more often we groom and/ or comb our dog’s hair, the less stray hair will be floating in the air to make us sneeze, or landing on our couches to make them dirty. Regular bathing and combing removes loose hairs before they end up getting stuck to the floor, bed, pillows, or furniture. Similarly, the more often we get out pet’s nails trimmed, the better- as trimmed nails will not scratch upholstery.
It’s easier and more fun to clean your dog often than it is to clean your house often!
USE A PRODUCT FOR GETTING RID OF THOSE UNWANTED PET HAIRS WITH EASE
Pet hair has an odor, and contains an oil that will attract dirt to the fabric on which it sits. We highly suggest purchasing the Dyson DC14 vacuum cleaner for all of your pet hair needs. In addition to removing any fur on hardwood or carpet, it also removes other types of dust so that you can always have a pet-friendly, fresh home no matter what animals or family members are running amok in it!
CREATE AN ENTRY SPACE TO YOUR PET-FRIENDLY HOME, STOCKED WITH ESSENTIALS TO CLEAN OFF YOUR DOG AFTER RAINY WALKS
Tired of making that dirty wet dash from the front door to your bathroom after a walk? You know what I mean- the dirty dog in your arms after a rainy walk, and the intent on not getting any of his dirt on the clean floors before you get to the bathroom to wash him? In order to avoid this little bit of regular chaos, it is obviously a good trick to take two minutes to wash your dog’s paws after walks in the rain or in the early mornings, when there is still dew out. However, a mad dash from the front door to the bathroom is not an ideal solution. Create a space by the front door specifically for cleaning the muck of your pup.
Stock this small space with items that are specifically meant to clean your pet after a dirty walk. I keep a box of baby wipes near the front door so instead of doing a full wash of my dog’s paws in the bathroom sink, if there is only light dirt, I can easily take it off using the wipes. Keep a small garbage can in that area as well to toss the wipes when you are finished. If you have the space, place a chair in that nook so you can sit down while you wipe off your loved one’s paws. You may also want to hang some hooks there for towels. This way, if you take your dog for a walk in the rain, a clean towel will be there waiting for the both of you the moment you walk into the house so you can dry that puppy off immediately. Keep a little hamper there too for dirty towels, and a shelf for clean ones.
HOW DO I KEEP MY HOME SAFE FOR MY PET?
We all love our pets as much as any member of our family and depending on the day- maybe even a bit more. With all of this love, we should therefore always make our home is set up with our pet’s safety in mind- just as we would with a baby. Let’s take a look at some safety precautions to be aware of for your pet-friendly home, that you may not have thought of!
1. Put away any breakable items.
2. Avoid curtains or blinds with long cords your pets could get tangled in. Or find a way to tie the excess cords up so they are not accessible.
3. Keep electrical cords out of the way so your pet cannot chew into them.
4. For cat owners, make sure your windows are covered with screens or bars.
5. Learn what products may be hazardous to your pet and put those out of reach. Examples are fertilizers, pesticides, poisonous people food, cleaning products, medications, vitamins, and plants.
6. Make sure all of your trash cans have tight fitting lids.
7. Use a baby gate to close off an area where he can play.
THE CLEANEST WAY TO SHARE YOUR BED WITH YOUR FURRY FRIEND
A lot of us love our animals to sleep with us in bed, no matter how gross our friends who have no pets think we are. But hey- we can’t deny the fact that sometimes gross things DO happen. Sometimes our pet barfs on the bed. And once in a while maybe a little dribble of pee may escape them. Proof of our love is that we continue to share out beds with them, but we can do a few simple things so that these little accidents don’t permanently damage or dirty anything.
For bedsheets- use cotton in a darker color or pattern that will hide the accident and/ or pet hair in between washes. For winter covers, choose a duvet with a duvet cover. This way if anything happens, you can simply slide the duvet cover right off the duvet, and throw it in the washing machine. Again, choose a cover with a color that will hide any kind of accident. And lastly- let’s talk about your mattress. Mattresses can be extremely expensive so it’s best to buy a thick mattress cover to protect it. As an added bonus, mattress covers can be luxuriously comfortable!
CHOOSE TREATS AND TOYS FOR YOUR PET WISELY
Something that helps keep our homes clean as well as pet friendly is to choose treats for our animals that won’t leave a mess behind. For example, a bad choice for dogs would be their beloved pig’s ears and rawhide bones. Both are covered in nitrates and leave greasy stains on floors and furniture.
Chewing is a necessary activity for pets, so before they go for your furniture to complete this daily exercise, buy some simple rubber toys for them. An example for dogs would be the Kong toy. And for cats, a scratching post/ climbing tree combination.
CREATE A HOME FOR YOUR PET WITHIN YOUR PET-FRIENDLY HOME!
Give your pet a place to call his or her own in your pet-friendly home- a place that doesn’t stick out like a sore thumb, and one on which you will not trip every time you walk through the room. Pets feel safe and secure in a crate or on a dog bed. Sometimes you might find space under a piece of furniture for one of these which immediately answers the question, “where am I going to put this big bulky thing?” Your pet will love the cozy nook that is only his. Gather your pet’s toys together and put them all in a basket near that nook, so they aren’t scattered all over the house and are within arm’s reach. Lastly- most pets love being around people, so place your pet’s home near a gathering place in your home so your furry friend won’t get lonely.
FURNITURE FOR YOUR PET’S HOME
If having an actual dog crate in the corner of your living room is an eyesore, there are many companies who sell furniture that looks like nice pieces of storage additions for your living room, but actually open up into nice dog houses.
HOW TO HANDLE PUPPIES
Puppies can be the biggest challenge when keeping a pet-friendly, clean home. A temporary cotton throw to cover your couch is the best idea for any new dog owner. Puppies are unpredictable and never mean to do any harm, but this won’t matter should you come home to a ruined couch.