How to Design a Pet Friendly Home
Pets have an enormous impact on a family home and people often think that having a stylish home and pets at the same time just isn’t possible. But there are ways of ensuring that your home is designed to suit pets and humans alike.
Planning for a Pet
Having a pet can benefit a family in many ways – it can be a companion, a playmate and a friend. Furthermore, helping to feed, exercise and clean their pets teaches children to respect other living things and how to behave responsibly.
However, if you are about to acquire a pet, make sure you give due consideration to the long-term financial implications and commitment required. In addition to taking into account the cost of food, veterinary charges and, in some cases, boarding fees, you should also be aware of the impact that pets can have on the wear and tear of your home.
A suitable choice
Your home should be suitable for the particular pet you are considering. Puppies, for example, are irresistible when small, but will require a larger area in which to live happily and exercise as they grow. However, although dogs will benefit from a garden in which to explore and play safely, it is possible to provide them with adequate exercise if you have a park or open ground nearby. Discuss your decision with a veterinarian if you are unsure.
Sometimes we only discover that a child is allergic to a particular animal after it has been introduced to the home. it is very difficult for children to cope with an animal being removed from the family home, especially if they feel that they are responsible, so it is best to discover it your child is allergic before gelling a pet.
While there is no concrete way of discovering if your child is allergic, you can try to expose him or her to the type of pet you are considering by visiting pet stores, or perhaps an animal shelter where volunteers are welcome to help look after the animals. Alternatively, a weekend spent with friends who have the type of pet in question may reveal a hidden problem.
A word of warning
When choosing a pet, especially it your decision is due to the constant nagging of a seven-year-old, remember that the words you will have to look after it are no guarantee. You cannot expect a very young child to take responsibility for an animal s life and well-being, as they have no real comprehension of what this will involve: this will rest with the adults in the household. You may feel a pet such as a hamster will be less work long-term.
A pet-friendly home
Many animals will live happily within a home environment and have little, if any, impact on their surroundings. Guinea pigs, hamsters, fish and many other creatures can bring your family hours of pleasure without requiring special consideration when decorating a room. Cats and dogs, however, take a far more active role within the family and will have an impact on how you decorate your home.
All pets with fur will moult. A long-haired sheepdog, for example, will leave a wonderful layer of abandoned fur on your carpets. It is a good idea, therefore, to choose a carpet in a color and/or pattern that makes this less obvious. Similarly, you may find that the corners of kitchens and hallways that are clad in semi-hard or hard flooring collect nests of moulted hair. Try using a rug in such a selling, as the hair will become caught in its textural surface. You will then only have to vacuum the rug on a daily basis, rather than the whole floor.
Furniture and fabrics
While we all know that pets should not be allowed on furniture, in many homes this rule goes unheeded. A family environment that is home to a dog or cat should be furnished using upholstery fabrics that can withstand the rigours associated with such pets. Cats, in particular, can have a devastating effect on furnishing fabrics, sharpening their claws on them at even opportunity. Woven fabrics or tapestries are best avoided, but lulled fabrics will show less damage.
Wet paws and a dusty coal is a daily hazard for furniture and furnishings in a family home with pets. There are many upholstery fabrics now available that are easily laundered, however. Choose colors for their practical as well as their aesthetic qualities, and remember that patterned fabrics show less dirt than plain styles.
Stain-resistant fabrics are a helpful addition to the family home, but little can be done to stop furniture from becoming grubby through wear. If you have an animal that lends to be on key items of furniture, a throw may prove to be an asset, you can use the throw to protect your furniture on a day-to-day basis, but it can be removed easily and quickly, together with any fluff or fur, when guests arrive. It is also easier to launder a throw than it is to clean upholstery covers.
Pets should not be allowed to sleep on the human family members’ beds for hygiene reasons. Most dogs will be perfectly content with a comfortable basket positioned away from draughts, unless if has been introduced to the luxury of sharing your bedroom. Dogs should be discouraged altogether from the upper floor or sleeping quarters of your home. A dog is a pack animal and must be taught that all the human members of the family are above it in the pack pecking order. By allowing a dog into the bedroom, it assumes that it is higher in the pecking order than it should be, and can develop an assertive milliner.
You will need a certain amount of equipment just for your pet. Adequate feeding bowls and bedding will be required, and they should be kept clean and in good order. If you have a cat or dog, you will need to worm your pet regularly and use special products to control fleas. This is not only for the good of the animal, but also for the well-being of your family. While fleas do little more than bite humans, worms can be passed from animal to human, with potentially serious consequences.