Americans spent $72.5 billion on their pets’ care and keeping in 2018 alone, and nearly two out of three households are also home to a pet. If you are bringing a pet home, moving into a new home with your current pet, or refurnishing your home to better accommodate your furry or feathered friend, our Tips for a Pet-Friendly Home will have you picturing a den that is both durable and stylish.

1.) Protect Your Floors and Furniture

Whether this means laying down skid-proof rugs on hardwood, stain-proofing your carpet, or spreading a blanket down where your pooch naps, it’s the same principle: an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.

If you’re choosing a new carpet, opt for low-pile, which holds on to less hair. Patterns hide fur well, but if solid colors are more your taste, read on to tip #2.  

2.) Consider Color/Coat Coordination

If you have a tan dog, choosing tan flooring, rugs, or furniture would be the simplest way to keep fur from being immediately visible. Even homes that are vacuumed twice-weekly, as recommended, will probably have visible fur accumulation otherwise. 

3.) Install a Locking Pet Door

If your pet is permitted to access the fenced outdoors, a pet door is an ultimate convenience. However, this may mean that your pet brings in a great deal of mud or damp during the less balmy months.

To make sure your Fido or Mittens doesn’t track in mud, a lock on the pet door will suffice. A good lock has the additional benefit of increasing your home’s overall security overnight and when you’re out of town.

4.) Keep Up with Cleaning, then Scrub Once More

Our pets are adorable, and it's a good thing, for there’s no denying that they do add quite a bit to the cleaning we must do. A home with pets that is not kept clean will always have an unpleasant must and will present a health hazard by way of allergens, viruses, and bacteria.

Keep your home healthy and smelling sweet with elbow grease, a good vacuum, and your pet by your side. Remember, our pets also experience health benefits from the cleaning we do and deserve to live in a well-kept home. 

5.) Corral the Clutter

Just like every other member of the family, a pet tends to come with an array of belongings and accessories. To keep pet clutter from crowding you out of your home, choose your “pet stuff” zone and keep things corralled. 

If you start overflowing this area later on, try to sort, eliminate, and reorder your pet’s things rather than expanding it into other parts of the house.

6.) Set Up a Grooming Station

To keep your home looking and smelling its best, it’s important to keep your pet clean! Speak with your vet about the best methods and products for your animal’s specific needs, then keep up with the grooming schedule your vet recommends.

If you’ll be grooming your pet in your own home, we strongly recommend setting up a dedicated grooming station. If you have the space for it, a complete table with necessary tools and a nearby bath with a detachable sprayer are life-savers for owners of cats and dogs alike. 

Nail clipping, ear cleaning, and constant brushing are excellent ways to practice proper pet husbandry as well as protect the surfaces in your home.

7.) Research Your Textiles

The right textiles for your sofa, armchair, and flooring all depends on the type of pet you have. The trick is to consider your pet’s species, coloring, and habits while you’re decorating. Long-haired white cats are never going to get along with a highly textured, dark sofa, after all, and a bulldog’s drool would wreak havoc on natural suede. 

While it is reasonable for the owner of a dog to teach their pet to stay off furniture, owners of cats and other less tractable animals must be more proactive. Cats famously enjoy shredding wood trim, couches, and carpets; by choosing slick surfaces that prevent their claws from sinking in, you’ll take the fun out of attacking the couches. 

In general, strong leather or pleather, manufactured suede, smooth (stain-resistant) textiles, and washable wools are the best choices for homes with pets. 

If you purchased your furniture before taking your pet home, or have inherited heirloom pieces, it may be necessary to cover them with washable covers.

8.) Choose Washable Everything

Choose the “washable” version of everything possible. Pets, like children, will increase the wear and tear on surfaces, so no animal-loving home will be show-room perfect for long. However, when your belongings are built to withstand washing, they’ll look better longer.

9.) Tips for Owners of Exotic Pets

Be sure you understand the law regarding your pet where you live (pythons must be kept under lock and key in Florida, for example), and carefully research the damage this type of pet may have caused other owners. Ask online; owners of your type of pet will likely enthusiastically share how they have modified their homes to be more pet-friendly.

10.) Plan for Future Pets

Although today you are only responsible for the pet you have, it may be prudent to keep an eye on the future as you create your pet-friendly space. Not only may you choose to add pets to your home later on, but your friends or family members may also stop by with their pets. The more broadly you can create a space where people can enjoy their pets without a care or concern, the more enjoyable these visits can be!

Do you have additional tips for Parks homeowners who are pet-proofing? Leave advice in the comments!

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