Bringing home a new pet or moving in to a new home with a pet, means creating a pet-friendly environment. From protecting wooden flooring to choosing pet-safe paints, a pet-friendly home is also a people-friendly home!
The Importance of Creating a Pet-Friendly Home
A pet-friendly home is important both for the health and safety of a pet and for the comfort and safety of people in the home. What exactly does “pet-friendly” mean though? A pet-friendly home is one in which pets are safe from health and safety risks. As a consequence, people in the home are also healthier and happier too.
Flooring is a major consideration for pet owners when pet-proofing their home. Flooring must be protected from damage by pets, but it should also be safe for pets to walk on.
Hardwood flooring can be made from different tree types, for example hardwood floors can be made from oak, hickory, or walnut wood. Depending on the type of wood used, this wood can be easily damaged by pet claws. Additionally, hardwood floors can pose a risk of slipping and falling for older pets (and people!)
There are a few ways that pet owners can address these concerns.
- Utilize rugs and runners to create a better grip for pets and to protect softer woods.
- Use “claw caps”. These soft silicone caps for pet nails give pets a better grip on flooring and prevent scratching of softer woods.
- Replace softer hardwoods with more durable hardwoods or cork flooring.
Pet-Friendly Hardwood Options
Non Pet-Friendly Hardwood Options
Tile flooring has a leg up on hardwood floors because it isn’t damaged by pet claws. Tile flooring does, however, pose a slip and fall risk for older pets (and people!)
Some more interesting info about pet-friendly flooring can be found in this article.
Pet owners can remedy this risk to older pets in a number of ways.
- Use rugs and runners to create more “graspable” surfaces.
- Use “indoor” shoes for pets with significant stability issues.
- Use pet socks with grips for pets that have stability concerns.
Carpets are often the safest option for pets that have stability concerns. Unfortunately, carpets are often the most difficult flooring solution for pet parents to manage. Carpets tend to hold pet hair and stain easily.
Common problems with carpeting can be remedied or at least partially alleviated in a few different ways.
- Choose a carpet that is a complementing color so that pet hair does not discolor carpets as much.
- Choose a more durable carpet option rather than plush carpets that don’t stand up over time.
- Maintain a regular vacuuming schedule and clean stains as soon as they occur to prevent stubborn stains from setting in.
- Use rugs even over the carpet to protect high traffic areas and areas that will stain easily.
Pet-Friendly Carpet Choices
Non Pet-Friendly Carpet Choices
Pets and Home Fabrics
With so many fabric surfaces inside the home, there are more than a few challenges when it comes to keeping a home pet-hair free.
One of the most important upholstery choices any pet owner will make for their home is couch upholstery. Certain material types attract and adhere pet hair much more easily than others. These materials not only become an eyesore, but they are also notoriously difficult to clean. So, it is important for pet owners to select an upholstery option that does not pose such a challenge.
Pet-friendly Upholstery Material
Non-Pet-friendly Upholstery Material
If pet-friendly upholstery options prove too costly or undesirable, pet owners may also consider investing in pet throws. These shaped furniture covers are affordable and cover furniture to protect them from pet hair.
If pet owners allow their pets on bedding, pet-friendly bedding is a must. Bedding that traps pet hair will not only look dingy, but it can also pose a health risk to pet owners with asthma and allergies.
There are a few methods of keeping bedding pet-friendly.
- Owners can cover bedding with a throw or blanket to keep pet hair off duvet’s, comforters, and sheets.
- Washing bedding more regularly also keeps pet hair accumulation down.
Choosing pet-friendly bedding fabrics is also a good approach to minimize pet hair accumulation.
Pet-friendly Bedding Fabrics
Non Pet-Friendly Bedding Fabrics
Pets and Paint
At some point in time, most pet owners want to paint their home. As pet owners, however, it’s important to ensure that all paint used is pet-friendly. Non pet-friendly paints can cause sickness and even death in pets! These unsafe paint options often contain high levels of volatile organic compounds and other toxic components.
Among many others, the following paint brands have been certified as pet-safe:
- Unearthed Paints
- Sherwin Williams Harmony
- Anna Sova
- American Pride Paint
- Benjamin Moore Pristine EcoSpec
- The Real Milk Paint Company
- Masters Blend
- Vista Paint
- Green Planet Paints
- Homestead Paints
- ECOS Paints
- Earth Paint
Pets and Interior Design
Making a house a home is largely done through interior design. Knick-knacks, accent furniture, and art all come together to create a comfortable and personalized home. When a homeowner has a pet, however, it is important to ensure that these things do not contribute to a dangerous environment.
Pets and Houseplants
Tiger lilies are a plant that must be avoided at all costs!
Houseplants are often utilized for accent pieces in a home, but they can often pose a poisoning risk to pets in the home. A surprising number of common household plants and flowers can be dangerous if ingested by pets. In order to keep a home pet-safe, pet owners need to be aware of what these dangerous plants are and keep them out of the house! The ASPCA offers a comprehensive list of plants that are toxic and non-toxic to dogs and cats on their website here.
Even the most vigilant pet owner may have rooms of the house that are unsafe for their pets. Being a responsible pet owner does not always mean keeping the house completely free of hazards, sometimes it means keeping off limits areas off limits! The best way to accomplish this is through the use of pet gates or baby gates to keep these hazardous areas out of range.
Free-Standing Furniture and Decor
Lastly, free standing décor elements can also pose a risk to pets if not properly stored, displayed, hung, or anchored in the home. Pets climb, run, jump, and investigate just about everything so pet owners must be vigilant in ensuring the free standing furniture is unable to fall or cause injury to pets.
Pet-Safe is People-Friendly
Eliminating slip and fall risks, toxic paint fumes, the build-up of dog hair, and unstable furniture risks makes a home safer for pets, but also for pet owners. When it comes down to it, a pet-safe home is a people-friendly place!