by Studio Lisa Bengtsson

10 ways to make a pet-friendly home for your furry companions

Izelle du Pisanie Izelle du Pisanie
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More than 60% of homes in the US include pets as valued members, and the trends seems to be continuing with no signs of regression. This is not surprising to us at all, since we at homify are well acquainted with the benefits of pet ownership, and encourage it strongly if it suits your lifestyle. 

Besides anecdotal evidence and the confident testimonies of pet-owners worldwide about the immeasurable comfort and joy provided by animals, science has long established manifold benefits related to human-animal bonds. Research published in 2009 by the University of Chicago clearly delineated how bonds with pets can increase human resilience along the life cycle, especially in times of crises. Since then, we have seen a proliferation in research regarding positive animal influence on human health, both physical and mental, which has led to the burgeoning field of pet therapy.

As we receive so much joy and support from our animal companions, we decided to think of some ways how we can make their lives with us more comfortable and enjoyable in turn. Take a look at these few ideas that will help you turn your house into a pet-friendly haven for your furry companions!

1. Looking at space.

When deciding to buy or rent a home, make sure you pick a dwelling that will accommodate your four-legged family members. Pets are very much like children, and if we commit ourselves to caring for one, we do so for life. Therefore, you do always have to consider how they will fit in at any new living space you choose. 

Conversely, if you are taking the plunge and committing yourself to buying a pet, make sure your choice is informed by what space you will have available for them. We know this can be a difficult decision to make, since you may lock eyes with a St. Barnard at the local animal shelter and have your heart set on him, but keep in mind that a home without significant space will only cause heartbreak and discomfort for you both. 

This is not to say that if you have an apartment, you cannot have a pet, but make sure your interior spaces are roomy and that you schedule ample time to get them outdoors as well.

2. A place all their own.

Just like we have our very own bed to which we return each evening or where we even spend our waking hours, you can create a special spot for your pet. This is usually wonderful for dogs, whilst cats are a little more picky of where they retire, and may ignore your attempts entirely!

Nevertheless, a little cot for your pet will give them a dedicated space where they know they can rest unhindered. You can even go ahead and personalize the spot, adding a charming touch.

3. Be mindful of your decorations.

BOWDEN RESIDENCE: scandinavian Living room by Post Architecture
Post Architecture

BOWDEN RESIDENCE

Post Architecture

Think twice before buying or adding new items of decoration to your home. Your interior design can have a profound impact not only on your pet, but also on your own sanity. 

Make sure that you keep breakable out of reach of your animal companions, as they may easily endanger these items, regardless of how well they are trained. 

Also consider houseplants, as some can be very poisonous to pets, such as Aloe Vera, Ivy and Philodendron. 

4. Flooring foundations.

Anyone who had gone through the process of rearing and training a young pet will know about the woes that accompany it. Puppies and kittens who had not yet been trained and find their way onto carpets and rugs have left many a disparaging mess for owners to try and clean up later. Curious critters are also prone the scratching away or otherwise damaging flooring through their heavy activity. 

Therefore, pick a flooring type that is easy to clean and heavily wear-resistant. Wooden laminate is an excellent example, as it is tough and easily cleaned, whilst still looking elegant and warm. 

5. Feeding time.

Just as with a designated sleeping area, it is important to dedicate a space to your pets for feeding. Animals, much like humans, are creatures of habit. Unlike us, however, our pet friends adjust with much more difficulty to changes in their environment and routine, especially if it breaks a status quo that has been established over years. 

This is why moving can be a very traumatic experience for animals. 

Make life easier for your furry friends by designating a feeding area and establishing a daily routine for meals. You will be sure that they are getting all the nutrients they need and are less stressed. 

6. Outdoor rules.

Make sure you have sufficient outdoor room for your pets, even though you may not have a garden. Patio's and terraces are just as great for pets. Also, if you do not want your pets in certain areas of the garden, invest in durable fencing for these areas. 

7. Access.

Depending on the level of access you would like to give your pet to your home, make sure you have sufficient entryways for them. If you don't want to get up each time Fido wants to go outside or come back in, install doggy doors for them to help themselves. Leaving a window or two open for the cats will work just as well.

8. Pet-friendly furniture.

Whether inside or outside, we don't want our pets to abuse or destroy our furniture. Similarly, we usually want them to enjoy our items just as much as we do. Therefore, look out for items that are easily accessible to your animals, so they don't have to damage it while trying to get onto it. Also look at items that are wear-resistant and easily to rid of pet hair and other dirt marks. 

9. Boundaries.

It is worth your while to invest in strong, durable and even high fences or walls for your property. This will give you peace of mind, knowing that your beloved pet can't get out of your yard and into danger. The height issues are especially pertinent when it comes to cats, who often easily make their way over low or medium fences. 

This will also keep other critters out of your yard who may seek to stir up a fight with your pets. 

10. A little fun.

Even though your animal friend may not appreciate it as much as you enjoy it, show your love for your pet with pictures and decor that celebrate them! Anyone coming into a home like this will know that animals are highly valued. 

We hope this article shed some light on how to make your home more pet-friendly for your loyal companions. Remember, if you are considering getting your first pet, please do go to animal shelters first. There are so many animals who need a loving home!

If you prefer small critters of the human kind, take a look at these 16 fabulous ideas for children's room. 

How do you show your appreciation for your pets in the home?
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