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7 Tips to Make Your Home More Pet-friendly

February 18, 2021

Most pet owners think of their pets as members of the family. So, it's only natural for homeowners to keep their furry family members in mind when renovating and making home improvements.

The Parque, Eco Sanctuary by PINS Studio

Interior Firm: PINS Studio

Whether you’re renovating an entire home or just the kitchen or living room, here are some practical considerations to be made to ensure that the house is safe and comfortable for your pets.

1. Get Easy-to-maintain Upholstery

When it comes to choosing fabrics for your furniture, think carefully about the material you choose to upholster and how likely they are to gather fur and stains. Some fabrics are easier to maintain than others. For example, ultrasuede is easy to clean and considered to be a pet-friendly material, while tweed is a nightmare for trapping hair.

Gita Bayu Villa, Seri Kembangan by Remodons Design Sdn Bhd

Leather won’t catch fur and is easy to maintain, but it can also be punctured or damaged by claws and nails. You may want to consider using slipcovers for your furniture that can be easily removed and washed. If you don’t like the idea of using washable furniture covers, get animal-resistant furniture. Steel-legged furniture, as opposed to wood, is also recommended to reduce claw marks.

Avoid: Fabrics that are a magnet for pet hair such as velvet, mohair, corduroy, velour or chenille. Steer clear of any delicate materials that could be easily damaged by your adorable little friend like silk, for example.

2. Create a Play Zone

An all-important part of a pet's day is the need for a space to play. Create a designated play area that allows your pet to play freely and keep their toys stored neatly in one area that’s easily accessible. For example, cats will instinctively seek out the higher ground and a place to sharpen their claws so provide your cats with appropriate places to climb and scratch so they don’t end up ruining your precious sofas.

Sunway Wellesley, Bukit Mertajam by Vault Design Lab Sdn Bhd

Avoid: Letting your energetic little friend run riot around the whole house. They might end up damaging your furniture in the process.

3. Create a Cosy Place to Sleep

No matter how much you enjoy spending time with your pets, they need their own space to rest and relax in peace. So whether it’s a no-frills crate in a corner of your bedroom or a corner of the kitchen, it’s important for pets to have their own space to relax and sleep after a busy day of playing.

28 BLVD, Pandan Perdana by Archmosphere-ds

Interior Firm: Archmosphere-ds

Plus, giving your pets a dedicated area to sit and sleep can teach them obedience and train them not to sit on couches or hover around the table at dinner.

Avoid: Letting your pet sleep on exquisite carpets or rugs. It will easily accumulate fur and bacteria which are not good for pets as well as you.

4. Create a Feeding Area

Creating a feeding area is beneficial for pets and owners alike, as it minimises mess and ensures feeding is done in an appropriate area. Many animals love routine, so it’s much more comforting to your pet to have a designated area to eat and drink.

Avoid: The kitchen because it is usually the busiest room in most homes, and it’s easy to bump into and knock over pet dishes especially if you have a small kitchen space.

5. Set up a Window to Peek

Every pet loves to peer out of the window to watch the outdoor view or to bask in the sunshine on those sunny days. So when renovating your home, leave at least one large window with lightweight sheer curtains or window blinds that allow your pet to enjoy a nice view.

The Parque, Eco Sanctuary by PINS Studio

Interior Firm: PINS Studio

Avoid: Thick fabric curtains - don't deprive them of their joy!

6. Pet-proof Your Home Décor

A pet-friendly home must make special considerations for just how many accidents can happen around bushy tails and clumsy paws. So remove breakable or heavy objects in a secure area where your pets aren’t able to access (a cabinet for example) and consider displaying only non-fragile décor that won’t hurt your pets if they accidentally knock them over. After all, pets aren't always aware of their surroundings and they don't mean to cause any trouble.

The Parque, Eco Sanctuary by PINS Studio

Interior Firm: PINS Studio

Aside from that, indoor plants are a great way to brighten up a room and add a pop colour to a space, but before you decorate your home with indoor plants, make sure that they are toxic-free. Common household plants such as Peace lilies, Devil’s ivy, Sago palm, Caladium, Poinsettia, English ivy and Cyclamen are poisonous to dogs and cats if they are accidentally consumed.

Avoid: Tables that sit too low - the candles, glasses and other breakables sitting atop might accidentally fall over if a tail wags too close.

7. Opt for Durable Flooring

Some of the most impactful decisions you will make when designing your pet-friendly home is your choice of flooring. The last thing you want is to fork out a large portion of your budget on expensive hardwood floors, only to have them stained and scratched.

Summerskye Residence, Bayan Lepas by EMPT Studio

Interior Firm: EMPT Studio

If you have a puppy or a kitten that is still learning to toilet-train, we highly recommend flooring that is easy to clean if they get stained or wet. Ceramic tile, concrete, wood laminate floors are a great option in terms of durability and ease of maintenance. Not only are these types of floors durable, but they are cooler than carpet, which is a benefit if you live in a warm climate and have a pet with a long or thick coat.

Summerskye Residence, Bayan Lepas by EMPT Studio

Interior Firm: EMPT Studio

For those who prefer the warmth of carpet underfoot, choose a dark tone or patterned carpet that’s close to the colour of your pet’s fur. That way stains and shedding are less visible. You should also choose stain-resistant, low-pile carpeting so accidents are easier to clean up. And pay extra for anti-microbial, moisture-resistant padding to protect the underlying floor.

Avoid: Hardwood floors that scratch easily and require rapid cleaning should a puddle appear (hardwood floors stain very quickly)! If you are absolutely set for those beautiful wooden floors, then opt for harder woods like mahogany or oak.

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