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8 Tips to Make Your Home More Pet-friendly

November 22, 2022

Pets give us a lot to be thankful for, and here's how you can thank them in return.


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.

Summerskye Residence, Bayan Lepas by EMPT Studio
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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 four-legged friend.

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.

Zenia Parkhomes, Kuala Lumpur by Alvinterior Concept Sdn. Bhd.
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A slipcover lets your fur friends to snuggle up with you on the sofa without the risk of destroying it. View this project by Alvinterior Concept Sdn. Bhd.

Faux leather or 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 or being chewed.

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

2. Create a dedicated 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.

Mizumi, Kuala Lumpur by Anwill Design Sdn Bhd
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Even if you live in a small apartment, you can still create a play zone for your pets. View this project by Anwill Design Sdn Bhd

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

Take a look (below) at how this owner created a dedicated room for their feline friends to stay active indoors, while ensuring the rest of the house remains neat and organised.

pet-friendly home
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View this project by Blaine Robert Design

3. Create a cosy spot to sleep

No matter how much you enjoy spending time with your pets, they need their own space to rest and relax in peace. Whether it’s a no-frills crate in a corner of your bedroom, a corner of the kitchen or under the stairs, it’s important for pets to have their own space to relax and sleep after a busy day of playing. Plus, giving your pets a dedicated area to sit and sleep can teach them obedience.

pet-friendly home
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View this project by Blaine Robert Design

Avoid: Allowing your pet to sleep in your bed with you. It will cause behavioural issues, disrupt your sleep, and potentially bring diseases/parasites into the bedroom.

4. Create a dedicated 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.

Mizumi, Kuala Lumpur by Anwill Design Sdn Bhd
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View this project by Anwill Design Sdn Bhd

Avoid: Inside 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 for them to peek out

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.

Cheras by Nu Infinity
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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.

Summerskye Residence, Bayan Lepas by EMPT Studio
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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.

Summerskye Residence, Bayan Lepas by EMPT Studio
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Avoid: Tables that sit too low - the candles, glasses and other breakable objects sitting atop might accidentally fall over if a tail wags too close. You should also conceal any types of wiring at home.This will keep your home tidy and prevent your pets from chewing on the wires, which is hazardous for the animal.

7. Opt for durable flooring

One 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.

Tropicana Aman, Selangor by Mieux Design
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View this project by Mieux Design

If you have a puppy or a kitten that is still being toilet-trained, 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.

Sunway Wellesley, Bukit Mertajam by Vault Design Lab Sdn Bhd
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View this project by Vault Design Lab Sdn Bhd

Avoid: Thick rugs or carpets because these surfaces have the tendency to accumulate dander and fur, and may transform into a breeding ground for bacteria.

8. Install pet door flaps for easy access

When designing the layout of your home, keep your pet's lifestyle in mind. If your cat or dog goes outside, (either to the back yard, balcony or your home’s garden) make it easy for them to come back in by installing pet door flaps. This also eliminates the need for you to open the doors for them whenever they want to go outside or come back inside.

Cheras by Nu Infinity
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Avoid: Large, highly-noticeable door flaps because it can pose security problems, creating a weak point in your home’s exterior where an intruder might be able to gain entry.

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