According to a recent survey by the American Pet Products Association (APPA), 68% of U.S. households own a pet. Homeowners are increasingly aware of the need to make their houses conducive to pet ownership. Both pets and their owners benefit when the details take center stage, and you don’t have to compromise on style in order to make room for your furry friends. Consider some of the tips below to make your pet-friendly home sensible, attractive, and organized.
Create a “pet central” area in your home, whether this is a particular room, such as the mudroom or laundry, or a specific cabinet where food, toys, and leashes are kept. Store pet food or treats in colorful or patterned canisters that blend in with your overall esthetic. If storage space is at a premium, invest in attractive bins where items can be quickly tossed for tidying up or quickly retrieved for walks or play. Color-coordinate your pet’s bed, leashes and supplies to keep a streamlined, less cluttered look.
Some basic, simple steps can help keep both your pet and your home safe from harm. Use a safety gate to detain pets from certain rooms or to block floors where they are not allowed to roam. Eliminate any toxic plants from your home and place a lid on your garbage can so pets can’t get to bones or other sharp objects that could harm them. Make sure electrical cords or blind pulls are located safely out of reach. Store cleaning supplies, detergents and medications behind closed doors.
There are numerous ways to pet-proof your home for essential sanitary and functional reasons. Purchase upholstered furniture treated with a stain-resistant product or use indoor/outdoor fabric to re-cover existing furniture. Consider slipcovers that are washable and bleachable. If your pet sleeps in your bed, invest in a waterproof mattress pad in case of accidents. Use carpet tiles instead of wall-to-wall carpet. This allows you to remove and replace any areas that are damaged or stained. Ceramic tiles hold up well to paws and claws; if you prefer the warmth of wood floors, stick with hard woods such as oak or mahogany, which better withstand heavy use. If an area rug suits your style, a seagrass or sisal rug is a durable and less expensive option.
Good news! You don’t need to compromise on style in order to make your home a haven for pets. It’s possible to add practical pet care that complements the rest of your décor. Buy a colorful, geometric rug to place under your pet’s food and water dishes to protect the floor. Purchase a pet bed that matches the surrounding environment. Food and water bowls come in all sorts of materials and surfaces; steel, aluminum, metal and stone options are both durable and trendy. Hang a series of fun, graphic leashes on hooks beside the door. Purchase a table dog bed or retrofit an existing side table to pull double duty … room for lamps, books and décor on top, space for a “napping nook” on the bottom.
It’s possible to create a pet-friendly setting that combines both functional and fun elements for storage and style. Whether it’s a soft rug, a new bed, or an eye-catching storage bin, you and your pet can feel equally at home in the same space.