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Pet Friendly Homes

  • Home Owner Tips
  • Tuesday, September 13, 2022
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Pet Friendly Homes

You’re building a new home, and of course you’re going to bring your family’s best friend with you! Pets are a wonderful addition to any family and are proven to be beneficial to our physical and emotional health. When it comes to building a new home or in introducing a new pet to your home, there are some things you might want to consider:

  • Where will you feed your pet?
  • Where will you keep your pet’s favourite bed or crate?
  • Does your cat have a climbing house or perch? Where will you put it?
  • Where will your pet’s toys be kept?
  • Have you thought about where you’ll give your dog a bath?
  • Do you want your pet to go outside? If so, how?

While the inclination, especially in a brand-new home, might be to tuck their beds, toys, and other items away, animals love their humans and want to be with them. So, putting their things out of sight may not only make them unhappy, but can often lead to these things not being used at all … or worse, they’ll decide your favourite new sofa is their favourite new toy. Instead, consider not just how they can fit into your space, but how your space can fit them.

Dedicated Space

When choosing your home options, you may want to consider setting aside some dedicated space for your pet. They don’t necessarily need their own rooms – though a main floor flex room turned pet room just might be the perfect option! Built-ins with great spaces for your cat to climb, doggie & kitty doors for easy access to the outdoors, space in the mudroom for outdoor accessories, and a pet wash are things you may want to plan for.

It’s also a good idea to take your pet into consideration when choosing interior selections. Is your cat or dog an escape artist? In that case, round handles over levers for inner and outer doors would be a better choice. Choosing high-quality, durable paints will not only allow you to wash walls without leaving marks, but will also hold up to ball marks, scratches, and dirt. There are also many options for flooring, materials, and fabrics that not only repel pet hair but are more durable and long lasting.

Installing built-in water and feeding stations in your home, whether they be in the kitchen or elsewhere, will also create functionality and convenience for you, your pets, and your family. You can install a built-in water bowl, with a waterline and taps to keep your pet hydrated, and build its feeding dish into a drawer for easy feeding, storage, and cleanup.

What about outside? For instance, if you have a high-energy dog, you may want to include a dog run, agility course, or just a nice place to play fetch. If you have a cat that likes to lounge in the heat, creating a spot in the sun for them is a great idea, either in the grass or on their own private catio. Other petscaping ideas you might like to include are fun water features, shelters, climbing perches, or cat-friendly plants like catnip or cat grass.

Keeping Your Pets Safe

Curiosity about their new surroundings might have pets pawing at cupboards they shouldn’t sneak into or scratching at new furniture. To keep your pets safe and your new house in good condition, follow these tips and tricks for pet-proofing your home.

Kitchen: There are many powerful soaps, detergents, and foods that are poisonous to pets that are kept in our kitchens. Ensure you are aware of what they are, and keep pantry doors tightly closed, store food on higher shelves, and use child-locks on cupboards and cabinets where cleaning products are stored. You should also keep sharp objects out of reach and be sure to keep an eye on your pet when using the oven, stove, or other dangerous appliances.

Bathroom & Laundry Rooms: Like the kitchen, we often store many cleaners, detergents, medication, and equipment that are dangerous for pets in our bathrooms and laundry rooms. Again, put these items away in child-locked cupboards, and ensure to monitor pets when using the washer, dryer, and hot tools such as curling irons. Pets are curious, so it’s also advisable to keep toilet seats closed, and things like loofahs and sponges out of reach.

Living Room & Bedrooms: Living rooms, bonus rooms, and bedrooms present many opportunities for pets to get into trouble. Keep cords & wires should out of reach to prevent chewing, and be careful when choosing houseplants as many present a danger to pets. Your home’s HVAC System is also something to keep in mind; pet hair and dander can get caught up in air filters and the ventilation system and should be cleaned regularly to prevent damage.

It may seem like a lot of work and a ton of things to consider, but as those of us who have pets know, it’s totally worth it.

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