Did you know that 65% of households in the United States have a pet? People all over the country are animal lovers, and many people agree that a house isn’t a home until you get a beloved pet.
With cats and dogs being the most common household pets, you may even be considering bringing home your furry friend! However, being a smart pet owner means knowing what you need to do to make your home pet-friendly.
Having a pet-friendly home is about more than just making sure the doors and windows are kept close. You have to keep many things in mind, especially since dogs and cats might not always behave exactly as you want them to.
Keep reading below as we explore the main aspects to consider when you want to be a smart homeowner and keep your pet safe at home.
Choose Pet-Safe Plants
Some plants are toxic to pets, so if you plan to have pets in the home, this is important to consider. Many households have at least one plant in the household, and if the pet has access to it, you never know whether they may decide to take a bite out of it.
A few of the commonly found houseplants that are hazardous for pets include:
- €Spider plant
- €English ivy
- €Snake plant
Always look up information about your plants before you bring a pet into the household. Whenever you’re looking into buying a new plant, you can easily find information about whether or not it is pet-safe from the store or online.
If you believe that your pet may have accidentally ingested an unsafe plant, you should take them to see the veterinarian right away to avoid further harm or death:
What About the Backyard?
When it comes to pet-proofing a backyard, you have more to worry about than just the plants alone.
You should also keep in mind that fleas and ticks might be a concern. Always provide your pets with preventatives designed to protect them from these pests to keep them safe.
In addition to that, you also need to consider physical or invisible barriers for your pets. Fencing is a great way to make sure that your pet can stay safe in the yard, but it also ensures that other animals aren’t able to get in.
Lastly, always consider any potential hazards outside just like you would inside. This might include access to chemicals, electrical or water hazards, and more.
Even if you plan to be outside with your pet whenever they are in the yard, you still want to be proactive in keeping them safe from harm by planning.
Investc in the Right Flooring
Bare floors are the best type of flooring for a pet, so you should be thinking tile, vinyl, concrete, wood, or stone.
Ceramic tile is generally considered the best option for dogs and cats alike because of its stain-resistant, scratch-resistant, and easy-to-clean qualities. However, vinyl is also a very durable option if you want something that is potentially a little less expensive.
Hardwood flooring is a nice choice if you want something a little more upscale but remember that larger dogs can scratch the floor over time with their nails (especially if they are very active).
Carpet is one of the main types of flooring that you won’t want to have if you have a dog or cat. The main issue is that carpet will suck up odors, stains, and pet hair to create a very dirty, hard-to-clean floor.
If you must have carpet, try to avoid wall-to-wall carpet, and stick with carpeting only in rooms that your pet likely won’t spend a lot of time in.
Find a Space for Them
In some households, it can be difficult to pet-proof every part of the home because of the size of the home or the items that you already own. As a result, pet parents may decide to corral the cats and dogs in the home to certain rooms or levels.
You can use baby gates to keep certain four-legged friends in the parts of your home that you know will be safe for them. Although this isn’t always the best choice, it is an option for pet owners that know their pets won’t be safe in specific rooms.
Instead of keeping them locked into one small space, consider using the gate right by the room(s) that the pet can’t enter so that they can still enjoy the rest of the home.
It is best to choose an area of your home that has a lot of activity so that the dog or cat isn’t feeling isolated. You can buy a put pen to set up in the middle of the kitchen or living room, for example, to serve this purpose.
When you have a puppy or kitten, carving out a space like this is a smart idea to avoid any potential accidents or concerns due to the size of the animal. Baby pets will often find their way into crevices or openings that could be dangerous, such as an open dryer door. Always use caution with your pets to avoid injury.
Pay Attention to Furniture Choices
A smart homeowner knows that the furniture in your rooms is a huge part of what makes a house a home, but when you have a pet, you have to think about the practicality of all furniture you purchase.
If you plan to allow your pets on the couch, for example, you have to consider if they might be able to damage it, stain it, or otherwise compromise the material. Your pet may also shed, which could be difficult to deal with when it comes to certain fabrics.
One thing to consider is buying furniture that matches the color of your pet’s fur. Not only will this make it easier to clean, but it also makes it less likely that hair that’s been shed will be obvious to someone looking at it.
You also will want to look for stain-resistant fabrics and materials for your furniture. Certain fabrics, like silk or velvet, are magnets for pet hair.
Leather is a durable and easy-to-clean option, but keep in mind that you may end up with some scratch marks from cat or dog claws.
It may be a good idea to add easily washable blankets and pillows to your furniture as well. This way, you can always have a place for your four-legged friends to sleep that can easily be cleaned up.
Do a Four-Legged Inspection
If you truly want a dog-friendly home or a cat-friendly home, you have to do a four-legged inspection. This means getting down on your hands and knees and looking around to see what your pet could “get into” that they shouldn’t.
Look for hazards that your pet might be able to access. Anything that is a choking or strangulation hazard, for example, should be moved away from where your pets will spend time. You should also look for any suffocation or electrical hazards.
Make sure to remove any medications or human food access that your pet might have as well. Get rid of any opportunities the pets might be able to use to climb onto tabletops or counters.
Keep any chemicals that you have, such as household cleaners, antifreeze, or pesticides, locked away in a latched cabinet. Some pets can maneuver cabinet doors open, so it is best to keep them in an area that can’t easily be pried open with a paw or snoot.
Consider any other potentially dangerous things, like the toilet lid being left up or windows being open, as well. You never know when your pet may accidentally get too brave and put themselves in a dangerous or potentially lethal situation.
Research Your Pet Beforehand
One of the best things a new pet owner can do is learn everything they can about their pet before they bring the pet home. This will help make sure that you know what to expect before you care for your pet, but it also helps you know more about what you should do to prepare for their arrival.
Knowing more about how to care for the pet will also help you get stocked up on any supplies that you might need for the home. You can have everything ready to go so that once they arrive, you are prepared and the pet can adjust more readily to the new environment.
This is a great opportunity to learn more about crate training, housetraining, and other aspects that go along with being a responsible pet owner. Think about what you’ll need to teach your pet so that they are comfortable in your home, but also things that will keep them safe inside and outside of the home.
Plan your vet appointments to make sure that your new pet is healthy and to obtain microchips and tags in case your pet ever gets out of the house.
Once your pet is comfortable, happy, and healthy within your home, you can start to add other little touches to show off how special they truly are. Check out some of the portraits you can get on Impersonate Me for some ideas.
Keep Your House (and Pet) Clean
You should always keep your house clean to make sure that your pet is happy and healthy.
Vacuum your furniture at least once or twice per week, and if your pet is shedding a lot, you may want to do it even more often. Keep the floor clean with regular vacuuming and mopping. Whenever you see hairballs start to pile up on the ground, this is a great opportunity to give your floors a nice cleaning!
Invest in a good quality vacuum that is designed to pick up pet hair for the most effectiveness. If you can find a cordless option, you’ll find the cleanup process much easier!
It’s important to also regularly groom your pet to keep their skin and fur in good condition and practice basic hygiene for general health.
Keep their nails trimmed to avoid excessive scratching to your upholstery or the floors. Brush and bathe your pet regularly to decrease the amount of excess hair that gets around the home.
If you’re a cat owner, you should be cleaning their litter box every day. After emptying the litter, it’s a good idea to use some mild dish soap to clean the box and thoroughly rinse and dry it before adding new litter to prevent disease.
Other tips include:
- Wash your pet’s bedding regularly at a high temperature
- Store food properly and in airtight containers
- Wash your hands after feeding or playing
- Provide clean bowls and freshwater always
- Wash and replace toys as needed
Creating Your Own Pet-Friendly Home
It’s not as difficult as you may have thought to make your home suitable for a pet. You’ll need to do plenty of research on what is or is not safe for your pet, and organize your home in a way that makes sense for their overall safety.
No doubt having a pet-friendly home takes some time and effort, but once you make the necessary changes, you’ll be thankful that you created a safe environment for your cherished pet.
Did you appreciate learning more about how to make a pet-friendly home? Take a look at some of our other articles next for additional tips on being a great pet owner.