For an increasing number of people, their homes are not just for them to live in – they’re for their pets, too. It’s important that your home works for every member of your household, including your animal companions.
Dogs are the most popular type of pet, and a lot of people do an expert job at making their homes dog-proof, but there are more types of pets than just canines. Cats rank second in the pet popularity contest and are succeeded by fish, birds and other types (e.g. hamsters, ferrets, rats and rabbits). You need to make sure your house is friendly for whatever type of pet you have, and here are a few ways you can do that.
First of all, consider your flooring. If you have a cat, dog or rabbit, this will be more relevant than if you have a fish – for obvious reasons. Hard wood floors look nice, as do tiles and luxury marble, but they do your four-legged free-roaming companions no favors. They are slippery and can cause serious injury as your pets struggle to gain traction, leading to things like splayed legs and broken bones, not to mention a lot of skidding and crashing into things.
If you do choose hardwood floor in your house design, consider laying some statement rugs so that your pets do have an area where they can grip and gain traction without injuring themselves.
Alternatively, if you have carpet, you need to make sure it’s not so long that it poses a choking hazard if your pet was to ingest it, and you also need to make sure your pet won’t ruin it. Cats and rabbits like to scratch and/or dig which could cause damage to your carpet, so this is something to also consider when choosing suitable flooring. If you have a new puppy you may consider supplementing with puppy pads over at Pet Parents so if they have an accident nothing gets ruined.
Doors and Windows
We all know that pets are a flight risk, so you need to ensure your doors and windows are sealed correctly. If you have dry rot that has compromised the wood surrounding your doors and windows, your pet could easily escape depending on their size. This is more of a risk for smaller pets, but it’s also a general security risk for your house. Any signs of damp and decay should be immediately investigated as a matter of urgency because the structural integrity of your house can be affected.
Aside from rot and damp issues, consider if your doors and windows are safe. For example, if you have a bird, can you be certain that if it escapes its cage it won’t fly straight out the window/door? Think about incorporate mesh door screens and window shutters or slated blinds into your house design so that there is a barrier between your pet and the great outdoors.
A lot of small pets and the occasional dog have an affinity for wires and cables. Not only is this dangerous, but it’s also annoying if they chew through them. To combat this, you need to think long and hard about wire protectors and cable management systems. A lot of TV and media stands now come with integrated cable management that hides unsightly wires and keeps them out of reach of pets.
In the case of other wires, like lamps and phone chargers, think about investing in cable protectors. They are plastic tubes that encase your wires and cannot be chewed through, providing discrete cable management and protecting your furry friends from a nasty electric shock all at the same time. Alternatively, wire racks and tacks will also keep wires out of reach and tidy.
These are just three of the ways you can make your house pet friendly and is not inclusive of everything. You will need to take into account outdoor space and furniture, as well as local wildlife and if it poses a threat to your pet. All of these things combined will allow both you and your pet to reside in perfect, safe harmony.