Pet-Friending Your HomeJanuary 16, 2012 // Posted in:
If you think it is time for a new pet, consider whether your home is up for the challenge. After all, pets cause damage; especially if you don’t prepare beforehand.
Thankfully, making your home pet-friendly doesn’t have to mean sacrificing style for practicality. There are several ways to protect your home from the potential perils of pet ownership while maintaining an impressive aesthetic. Here are a few home improvement projects that will allow you to exercise your creativity and do-it-yourself enthusiasm.
Paws get muddy. Then those paws track mud into your home. Not only do those paws have mud, but they have claws that can create unattractive scratches.
The woes of paws are a fact of life, but there are many measures you can take to prevent damage. Instead of pebbled paving on your sidewalk and patio, consider using slate. This groove-free alternative will help keep mud at bay, so when your pet walks over them mud won’t stick to their paws.
When it comes to interior flooring, opt for tile or urethane-coated hardwood. Pets on carpet present all kinds of problems, not least of which are hair and stains. If you have the space, consider creating a mud room for pets to wipe off dirty paws before they run through the house. A laundry room could work for this or even a section of your garage or basement.
Gates and Pet Doors
Don’t want your dog around while the neighbors are visiting? Have a house guest who is allergic to cats? Interior pet gates are a great way to keep your pets in one place—at least temporarily. It also helps keep them away from where you store hazardous materials, such as cleaners and medications.
You can install and build them yourself according to the dimensions of a given entrance. Alternatively, you could make or purchase several portable pet gates to move around your home. Just make sure that gates at the top of a landing are secure to avoid pets leaning up against them and falling down the stairs.
Pet doors between the outside and mud room are also an option if you need to combat scratching on doors. To make it easier for your pet to get around, consider installing additional pet doors between other rooms, too.
Simple and Streamlined
In addition to being easy to clean, a minimalist look will help you protect furniture and valuables from damage. Keep fewer items in your rooms in general, and place decorations up high so that they are out of reach from curious pets. This helps eliminate climbing and scratching opportunities.
One great way to get rid of pet-related clutter is to create a feeding area beneath a floor cabinet in your kitchen. This will keep food and water bowls off the floor—a solution that not only means less mess, but also fewer opportunities to trip over the food bowl.
Soundproofing certain rooms can be attractive and utilitarian. If you are keeping pets in an adjoining room or just want to keep them quieter while entertaining, something as simple as putting a large piece of furniture—say, a bookcase—against the wall can cut down on the noise.
You might even consider acoustic-weave wall tiles. There are any number of patterns and colors available to match the decor of your room, and installing them is an easy DIY project.