When you pass by pet stores or when you see a friend playing with his new furry companion, this might make you feel a teeny bit jealous. It will also put ideas in your head about getting a pet. However, looking at a cute fur ball and taking care of one are two very different things. Having a dog, a cat or any domesticated animal is a serious responsibility, and failure to properly provide for an animal can get you in legal trouble too. So, think carefully before getting a pet. Once you’ve made up your mind, understand that you also have to make some changes in your home so that you’ll be able to properly accommodate your new cuddly housemate.
1. Consider how much space an animal needs. Recognize that animals need enough space for roaming, playing, eating and sleeping. Carefully reflect on these factors before deciding on how many and what animals to have. For instance, if you live in a small apartment and you want a dog, consider getting only one that belongs to a smaller breed. If you have a lot of space at home, you’ll be able to accommodate more and bigger animals.
2. Make use of accessories. Whether you have a dog, cat, hamster or even a tiny goldfish, you have a wide variety of pet accessories to choose from. Buy them in local pet shops or online. There is a vast collection of gates, crates, kennels, bowls, beds and also behavior and training accessories.
3. Use the right type of flooring. Some people like the feel of lush carpets or rugs, but these are not really great ideas if you have a new and untrained dog or cat at home. Cleaning off waste and urine stains, and removing strong odors from such items can be really difficult. Instead of floor materials that easily absorb animal waste, it is better to use stain-proof flooring, such as concrete, tiles, vinyl or wood. You can opt to cover surfaces with rubber or litter mats as well.
4. Remove tempting items. Puppies like to chew on everything and kittens will probably scratch on furniture. To avoid damaging expensive furnishings, hide temptations while you’re still training your pet. Protect power cords, put small ornaments out of reach, and keep shoes and clothing in secure drawers or cabinets. As for cats, provide a scratching post or cover seats or sofas with plastic or any scratch-resistant material. You can also consider de-clawing your feline.
5. Discover the convenience of using stain-resistant materials. Plastic or other stiff materials are not your only option. There are now fashionable yet durable pet- and kid-friendly fabrics that will make your life easier. Manufacturers create different brands of stylish, soft, but hard-wearing materials that can help protect your expensive home furnishings from all sorts of abuse that can result from having an animal at home. If you need help deciding on which kinds of materials will work best for your house and your pet, consult Susan Hopkins Interior Design or any professional interior decorator that can offer you sensible, modern and chic design suggestions.
6. Groom and train your pet. A well-groomed pet will not shed as much, which is especially helpful if you don’t like animal hairs sticking to everything. In addition, early training will benefit you as this will reduce “accidents” at home.
Claire Patel is a freelancer who frequently blogs about home improvement. She also likes gardening and DIY projects.
- Pet-Friendly Luxury Design(online.wsj.com)
- 7 Tips to Be an Eco-Friendly Pet Parent(bubblypetz.wordpress.com)
- Dog-friendly Home Design(interiorsbystudiom.com)