If you’re a pet owner, you already know that half the battle in creating a pet-friendly home is choosing the right furniture for your lifestyle. Let’s face it, that gorgeous white suede sofa just won’t work well with two dogs and a cat. But, just because you share your home doesn’t mean you don’t have options for living safely, comfortably and even stylishly. You don’t have to put up with shredded upholstery and hair-covered rugs when you use the following guidelines.
Keep It Clean
Keeping your house clean with cats, dogs and other pets is a matter of maintenance and some strategic planning. Some of the biggest cleanliness issues with pets are hair and bathroom habits.
To help with shedding, supplement regular sweeping and vacuuming with robovacs like Roomba. You should keep your animals off the furniture or train them to only use areas of the couch or chairs that are covered with pet covers. Furthermore, the ASPCA says frequency of brushing dogs and cats depends on how much hair they have. Brush short-haired animals once a week and longer-haired ones daily or every few days. Bathe dogs every three months, but do not bathe cats. If you have any problems grooming, consider asking your vet about the best way to do it and the right tools to use.
Make sure you tend to litter boxes daily to reduce odors and to prevent your cat from tracking litter through the house. Take the dog outside as often as possible, and train him or her to ask to go out.
Decrease the Damage
Chewing, scratching and digging cause damage to furniture, window treatments, table legs and door frames. The ASPCA recommends redirecting pet activities that cause damage to different, more acceptable items such as scratching posts or chew toys. Cover furniture with pet-proof covers, and restrict pets’ access to areas where they chew or scratch when you’re not home. Use baby gates or put them in a comfortable, enclosed area with toys and a bed. If your drapes or curtains are irresistible, consider replacing them with wooden or vertical blinds. Avoid broken collectibles, bric-a-brac and other décor by putting it out of reach of your pets. Use a sturdy display case or attractive, clear storage bins to keep them safely off tabletops and shelves.
Put It Away
Animals are curious and can get bored easily. When this happens, they often get into things. Keep your pets safe by putting away items that may be harmful to them, such as medications, lotions, wires, chemicals and clothing that has buttons or strings that can be swallowed. The American Humane Association recommends using childproof latches on cabinet doors to keep curious pets from getting into them. Keep trash cans covered or put away to keep pets away from odors and food scraps that may attract them.
Make a place to store your pet food that’s covered. Store pet toys and gear like leashes in a safe place. The more you organize and put things away in a house with pets, the better you’ll be able to manage your pet’s activity.