We change our homes to accommodate our needs all the time. As some of our family members age, we make our house more accessible for the elderly. When we bring home a new bundle of joy, we start installing all sorts of baby-proofing devices. Likewise, there are several special updates we can make to our living spaces for our special four-legged family members. Here are a few ways you can create a pet friendly home.
Some of the steps you’ll take to make your home pet-friendly for your indoor pets will feel similar to baby-proofing your home. Any lower cabinets that your pets can access will need safety tabs or locks, especially if they contain cleaning products, medications, food, plastic or toxic items. The same precaution should be taken for your trash; garbage contains multiple hazards. Coffee grounds or chocolate (not that anyone throws away chocolate) includes caffeine which can be toxic. Grapes and raisins can result in kidney failure. Tremors, seizures, and central nervous system damage can be brought on by nutmeg, and sugar-free foods with Xylitol could cause liver failure. If these surprise you, learn more potential poisons for your pets named by the ASPCA. Remember, the poisons don’t stop with foods; indoor and outdoor plants can also create a danger.
If your pets are more adventurous and enjoy the great outdoors, a fence is a basic need. Some pets are more determined than others, so a chain link or wooden fence may not even phase your pet. Electric fences provide a safe and stronger option. A transmitter in the collar of your pet will provide a small (and harmless) jolt to your pet when he or she tries to cross a perimeter of either a portable wireless or an in-ground wiring system. Because cats can be a bit more crafty and agile than your standard dog, your choice of fence may need to be a bit creative. Companies like Purr…fect Fence provide options to allow your cat to enjoy being outside without wandering too far.
Quality sleep is important for everyone, including your pets. We’ve covered ways you can create and foster better sleep for yourself. Why not do the same for your furry family members? Your pet’s sleeping space might already be established… and likely that is *your* bed. If you’d like to reclaim your bed as your own, create a sleeping space specifically for your pet. Dog and cat beds are easy finds at most any pet store. If you prefer not to place them in plain sight, consider adding a pet door to a closet door (or replacing the door with a curtain).
To follow the best safety measures, wet food should be refrigerated at 40 degrees Fahrenheit while dry food should be stored at 80 degrees Fahrenheit or below. If storing the food in your garage or outside shed, this means months with extreme temperatures could pose problems. Once the original packaging for the food is open, it’s best to store the food in a food-grade plastic container. This helps keep it fresh and protected from other uninvited animals and rodents who might find it delicious. For ease on your dog or cat, place the food and water bowls on an elevated shelf or box instead of directly on the floor.
Friendly Fabrics and Flooring.
When choosing décor for your home, you’ll want to look for fabrics and flooring that is easier to clean. Ultrasuede and easy-care leathers are good choices for quick, clean wipes. Furniture fabrics that are similar to your pet’s color help hide fur that may shed; the same applies to carpets. Speaking of flooring, hardwoods with a good urethane finish are a good choice for smaller dogs and offer easy-to-clean surfaces. Ceramic tiles might be a better, easy-clean option for larger pets. If the home is mostly tiles and hardwoods, a small rug or bed is a great cozy gift for your animal.
We all need time alone, even your pet. Create their own Dog Den or Cat Cove. This can be anything from a closet or an area of a large room to a fully built outside dog or cat house in the backyard. If going to the extent of building a separate outdoor house, be sure it allows room for your pet to stand up fully, stretch and be comfortable. You’ll also want to ensure it has proper drainage so that it is a good place to be even in the rain and snow. Whatever the space may be, have fun with it. Frame small photos of their favorite movie and TV stars like Toto from the Wizard of Oz or Garfield or maybe their namesake. For my own beautiful cat (Olivia Newton John), I simply have a soft towel placed on a shelf in my closet. When I get on her nerves, she has a place to go and escape.
We know there are a good number of other types of pets other than cats or dogs. There are many resources for guidance on providing good homes for turtles, rabbits and an assortment of many other types of pets.
These tips can help you have the perfect home for Fido, Fluffy, Spot or whatever the name is for your four-legged loved one.