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6 Ways to Make Your Home Pet-Friendly

June 26, 2023
Dog laying upside down on a beige couch 1189

For many pet owners, their animal is an equal member of the household and deserves just as much comfort and safety as anyone else who lives there. Creating a pet-friendly environment does just that!

We love our pets simply because they love us too. Making a pet-friendly home can demonstrate your love, care, and commitment to your pets and promote a happy, healthy life together.

Fortunately, you can have a beautiful house and a pet too. The key is to make the right selections and accommodate your animal’s needs. You may even find that when you’re done, you have an animal-friendly house that is more comfortable for humans too.

Here are six accommodations you can make to create a pet-friendly home:

Young couple with their dog on a couch in a Brookfield Residential home at The Orchards in Edmonton

Parkland Community, Edmonton, Alberta

1. Secure hazardous items

People often joke that their pet helped prepare them for becoming parents, and there’s some truth to that! Much like baby-proofing your home is essential to keeping your little one safe as they grow and explore, so is pet-proofing.

Remove or securely store any household chemicals, toxic plants, medications, and other hazardous substances out of your pet’s reach. Baby gates are a great tool for preventing your pet from wandering into spaces you’d prefer they don’t enter. Ensure that electrical cords are concealed or secured to avoid chewing.

Spend some time following your pet around and see what they’re naturally drawn to. Some animals can’t resist the trash cans, so you’ll want to ensure they’re secured. Certain foods like chocolate or packaging from raw meat can make your pet very ill. If your pet is constantly wandering into your kids’ playroom, do inventory for any small pieces or plastics they may be inclined to chew. Knowing your pet will help you best pet-proof your home for them.

2. Clean regularly

Even if you match your fabrics to your Golden so perfectly the hairs are barely visible, you need to vacuum your furniture at least twice a week (daily when they’re shedding excessively). Pet hair has an odor and contains an oil that will attract dirt to the fabric it lands on. Invest in a high-quality vacuum; you’ll wonder how you ever lived without it when you see the horrifying amounts of dirt and hair it picks up.

Cleaning regularly applies to your pet too! The cleaner you keep your pet, the longer your house will stay clean. Trimmed nails won’t scratch floors or upholstery. Regularly brushing and bathing removes loose hair before it ends up on your floor, bed, clothes, and curtains. You’ll also minimize how often you have to deep clean couches and rugs.

3. Use pet-friendly fabrics

Investing in quality fabrics that can withstand fur, claws, drool, and more is a great way to make your home pet-friendly. Added bonus? It’ll help your budget because you won’t constantly need to buy replacements. While there’s no such thing as a completely pet-proof fabric, there are several that can hold up to the wear and tear your pet may bring.

  • Microfiber: Microfiber fabrics, such as microsuede or micro-velvet, are known for their durability and stain resistance. They are resistant to pet hair and easy to clean with a damp cloth or vacuum.
  • Crypton: Crypton is a nearly indestructible, synthetic fabric engineered with a protective barrier resistant to stains, smells, bacteria, and muddy paws.
  • Outdoor fabrics: Outdoor fabrics, made from durable materials like polyester or acrylic, are specifically designed to withstand the elements. They’re resistant to fading, stains, and moisture, making them a good option for pet owners.

Go for large patterns that will naturally hide minor marks, and invest in a scotch guard treatment on whatever fabrics you have.

Dog laying next to a woman sitting on the floor working on a laptop

4. Skip the carpet

Carpet is not ideal for a home with pets when you’re trying to keep the space clean. Carpet fibers trap pet hair, dander, and odors, making it more challenging to keep the floor hygienic. If your pet has an accident or vomits, you may be left with deep stains and lingering odors. Some cats are prone to scratching carpet, resulting in snags, fraying, and pulled fibers. Carpet is also a great hiding place for fleas and ticks, making it harder to control infestations.

Flooring options like hardwood, laminate, vinyl, or tile are easier to clean, more resistant to scratches, and less prone to trapping allergens and odors. If you have an aging pet, use non-slip area rugs or mats wherever your animal walks or rests frequently. They’ll provide traction and insulation and be easy to wash as needed.

5. Give them their own space

Like anyone else in your household, your pet deserves a place to retreat when they need space. Creating a dedicated area, such as a cozy bed, crate, or designated room, helps establish a sense of security and comfort for your pet. It’s a safe haven where they can keep their toys and relax when they feel overwhelmed by household activities.

6. Keep them busy

A bored pet is often a destructive pet. If you feel like your dog or cat is destroying everything, change up their toys. A rubber toy like the Kong is a great alternative to the sofa leg. A scratching post and climbing tree combo may be more appealing to your cat than the carpet. Toys that engage and mentally stimulate your pet are key to preventing them from destroying your home.

Rotate your pet’s selection of toys periodically to keep them engaged and prevent boredom. Regularly inspect and discard any damaged or worn-out toys to ensure your pet's safety.

Much like kids’ toys, pet toys often end up all over our homes and create extra clutter. Using decorative baskets or bins that match your home’s décor makes it easy to throw everything in while keeping the aesthetic stylish. The open top also gives your pet easy access to their toys when they’re ready to play – though they likely won’t return the favor and put them away!

Fluffy cat lying on a white quilted pillow

We love our pets just as we do any other member of our household. Creating a pet-friendly home shows them you care and gives them a safe space to thrive. Our homes should always be where we can enjoy our daily lives – and the same is true for our furry companions.

Brookfield Residential’s commitment to building the best places to call home extends to all family members, including our pets. From innovative dog park designs to dedicated rooms within our pet-friendly homes, we’re incorporating modern features at every turn.

Check out the Brookfield Residential blog for more interesting and helpful topics like our Home Safety Checklist or What to Do When the Power Goes Out. You can explore where we build and connect with our sales team when you’re ready to learn more. We’ll be expecting you!