Do you own pets? Whether you have a family dog or cat, or smaller animals like fish or reptiles, it's important to consider your pets in your home design. Planning for your pets helps improve their quality of life just by making some small changes.
"Most people don't think about pets when buying or building houses—not even the pet owners themselves," according to David Beart of professorshouse.com (a Canadian company that will start building "the world's most pet-friendly house" at the end of the year). Beart says, "Over half of all homes have pets living in them, but animals are still an afterthought when it comes to home improvements. What I really want to get across is much more than just creating the world's most pet-friendly house. It's about making people think of pets with importance rather than as possessions, or even disposable."
Here are some things to consider:
1. Hazardous Household Items
Be sure to keep foods, medications, cleaning products, etc. out of reach of your pets. Even foods and products that are okay for humans can be harmful to pets. Also consider keeping trash in a separate space (in the garage, under the kitchen sink) so pets can't access it.
2. Cords and Plugs
Keep cords and plugs out of reach. When left in the open, animals can chew on them and they can even be a strangulation risk.
3. Sturdy Screens
Many animals love to sit in windows, especially when they're open. If your pets sit in your windows (especially on higher floor levels), be sure to have sturdy screens in place to keep them safely inside.
Hardwood floors and tile are most ideal for pet owners. This way, if there is an accident, or your pet comes inside dirty or wet, clean up is simple. If you choose carpeting, we recommend selecting darker colors or a color that matches your pet's coat. For example, if you have a dog with black fur, white or beige carpets will require a lot of maintenance to keep clean.
For furry pets, we recommend choosing easy to clean furniture like leather or synthetic materials. You may also opt to use protective covers on your couches, chairs, and other furniture, especially if pets sit and lay on them.
6. Pet Proofing Your Yard
When pets are let out into the yard, you may want to consider adding a closed in fence or invisible fence. Additionally, it's important to have an inventory of the plants you have in your yard. See ASPCA's list of toxic and non-toxic plants.
If you live in the Northern Virginia area and you’re interested in a free estimate, or would like to know how Lensis Builders, Inc. can make your home even better, give us a call at 703-367-8999 or fill out a short contact form. If you’re looking for inspiration for your next project, visit our Pinterest page.