Pet ownership in the U.S. has more than tripled since the 1970s, according to The Humane Society. By 2012, 164 million people owned pets with numbers rising. And, according to American Pet Products Association, an estimated $58.51 billion will be spent on pet products in 2014. Pets are a member of your household and need their own space to play and sleep. But, you don’t have to compromise your aesthetically pleasing home to create a pet-friendly haven. Here are a few ways to keep your pet happy and safe while still keeping your signature style.
Most people buy a new home or adopt a pet without much thought as to how to make a safe and comfortable environment. For instance, putting a dog door with access to a busy street is a recipe for disaster and heartache. Hazardous substances like home cleaners also should be put in locked cabinets or completely out of reach of climbing cats and curious pups. Remember many plants and flowers are toxic to pets, even in small doses. Keep lilies and tulips out of your home.
Instead, consider getting cat grass to help your feline with digestion. You also can choose pet-friendly flowers to spruce up your home like African daisies, orchids and or roses. However, although they’re not toxic to animals, don’t let your pets get too used to eating plants in case it upsets their stomachs.
According to a poll by Harris Interactive, 57 percent of people say they frequently let their pets sleep with them. While sharing a bed can offer a nice cuddle, it’s not necessarily right for all pets. Dogs need designated sleep spaces, much like their ancestors who slept in dog dens in the wild. Set aside blankets, pillows or an open crate to recreate the cozy feeling of a den. Arrange it near your bed or in proximity to reaching down and giving your pet a stroke to keep that close bond within reach.
For living areas, pick colorful throw pillows and blankets that can double as a cozy spot for your pets to rest. It’ll keep them happy and warm while giving your home a splash of color. Stay away from satin, velvet-enhanced fabrics or other difficult to clean materials.
Add screens to your windows if you haven’t already. Cats can be tempted to chase after a bird or roll over during a nap and fall out accidentally. Skip the blinds as pets might be tempted to gnaw and ingest plastic corners or get tangled in the ropes. Instead, window treatments like drapes can help keep out the sunlight and give your pet a place to hide and snuggle for an afternoon nap.
Your pet is a member of your family, so indulge in designated fun and play areas. If you have cats, clear off high shelves so they can roam. Set up a corner of the kitchen, living room or bedroom for dogs and playful animals. Get plenty of toys, clear a space to run and add a place for a quick nap. Use a plastic storage container to quickly hide away toys or select a toy chest that blends with your favorite décor to keep things tidy.