You might not have thought about how to make your house pet friendly, but if you're thinking about getting a new cat or dog then there are some things that you definitely need to consider. Puppies and kittens can be just like having a baby at home, and even older animals have some special considerations. That's why we're here to tell you our top tips for making your house pet friendly.
A new pet isn't just a companion, it's also a big responsibility, and if you want to avoid expensive repair bills, or vet costs, then it's important that you think about how your home is set up. Of course, before you start with anything, you should definitely check out your home insurance policy. This is for two reasons. Firstly, because if you're going to make any structural changes to your home you should know whether damage will be covered in the event of a mishap. But also because many home insurance policies contain clauses about pets- many cover vet bills should your pet be harmed by structural damage in your home, or be injured on the road outside your house.
Now, let's get on with our top pet friendly home tips!
1. Consider Floors Carefully!
With animals around, floors can easily get damaged. Little ones will have little accidents, and claws can easily damage rugs and carpeting. Linoleum or hardwood flooring are both good choices if you're thinking about getting a pet, since they're easily cleaned. Remember that some kinds of wood (oak, for example), are harder and therefore more damage-proof than others. Carpets are still a possibility, but avoid light colours, and opt for floor coverings that are thick and will withstand frequent washing and vacuuming.
2. Furniture Choices
Obviously, furniture choices are also important. You may think that you can keep your new pet off the couch, but it's tougher than you'd believe! Again, darker colours and sturdier fabrics are your best choices. Got a white sofa? Then consider getting a throw or blanket to cover it. Check out our article on cleaning tips to get the best info on keeping your home clean even when there are animals around.
Cats in particular tend to scratch at furniture legs. If this is a problem, check your vet or local pet store for a cat deterrent spray to break the habit! In some cases a small spray bottle with citrus juice or chilli powder mixed with water will also do the job.
3. Windows and Balconies
Windows can be a problem, especially with cats that like to climb. You might want to think about putting nets or safety bars over accessible windows if you like to have your windows open. Balconies are equally dangerous. Fortunately there is a wide range of cat protection nets and grids available at hardware stores for balconies, so your furry friend can enjoy the fresh air and stay safe. Cats DO fall, believe it or not, and smaller dogs can slip through gaps at the bottom of balcony railings.
4. And Doors Too…
Main doors especially can be dangerous, since these allow pets to access the great (and often dangerous) outdoors. Smarter breeds of dogs can even learn how to open normal door handles. Make sure that your main doors are safe so that pets can't escape. And if you're thinking about allowing your pet access to outside then consider installing pet doors. This will save you getting up and down all the time to let your pet in and out. And again, don't forget to check that household insurance policy to see if you have coverage should your pet be injured in a road accident.
5. Get Rid of the Toxic Stuff
Pets like to eat, and they'll chew on pretty much anything. Every year thousands of pets are poisoned through eating everyday household substances. Keep cleaning fluids and other toxic things well out of reach of both cats and dogs. And remember, some plants are also poisonous (poinsettia and jasmine, for example), so you'll need to remove these from your home if you're going to get a family pet.
6. Yard Safety
If you're going to be allowing your pet outside access then you'll need to check your property. Fences should be in good repair to stop animals escaping, and watch out for those poisonous plants again. If you've got a pool, you might want to consider fencing it in too, or at least investing in a hard cover rather than a potentially dangerous soft cover. Keeping animals safe in the yard can be tough, so you'll need to be observant on this one.
7. Their Own Space
Finally, just like humans, pets like to have their own space. A quiet corner with a basket and an area that's specifically for eating and drinking should be enough. You might also want to think about getting some special pet furniture. There are cabinets that can hide cat litter boxes, for example. Some pet owners choose to make modifications to their homes, such as installing platforms for cats to climb, or putting in doggy doors even internally so that dogs don't scratch at closed doors. These are all up to you, but your new friend will appreciate your efforts!
Getting a new pet is a big decision, since it will represent a big responsibility. However, you shouldn't forget that your home will also be your pet's home, and you'll probably need to make some changes to accommodate a cat or dog. With a little forethought though, this isn't too complicated. And preparing your home will save you from the needless expense of replacing broken furniture or damaged flooring.
Main subject: how to make your house pet friendly