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Living with pets is considered a challenge for everyone. When designing or decorating a home, pet owners do not only need to factor into their decision cleanliness and design, but also the comfort of their furry friends.
Space and flooring considerations – Dogs and cats need space to run around and play. When deciding on the interior layout, ensure that you allot enough space for them to do just that. Likewise, make sure that the flooring material you choose suits a household with pets. Tiles are the best bet for this as they are scratch-proof. Hardwood, such as cherry, oak, maple, balsa, elm and mahogany, is also a good choice, but make sure that your pet’s nails are regularly trimmed to minimize scratching. Avoid carpets as much as possible as pet hair and odors stick to them, making cleaning a chore.
Furniture options – Upholstered furniture is always a good choice; however, it is not easy to eliminate stains, fur and odors from it. Experts advise choosing leather or faux leather as this can be cleaned easily. But, add slipcovers or runners on chairs and sofas to avoid “punctures” when pets climb up to them. Be sure though that the covers or runners you choose go well with your overall interior design theme.
Safety first – Because pets love to play with anything that they get their paws on, ensure that you keep them away from electrical sockets and wires, window cords and trash to avoid electrocution, strangulation and choking hazards. Medicine and household chemicals like home cleaning solutions should be stowed in a high cabinet or a locked storage area to prevent poisoning. If indoor plants are a must in your household, choose the non-toxic varieties like Areca/Golden Palm, bamboo, lamb’s tail and button fern. Also install sturdy window screens or guards especially when you are staying in a high-rise to prevent pets, especially cats, from falling.
A cozy “home” – Allocate a “pet room” where pets can feel cozy and at home. Add bed, safe toys, food and clean water. This would keep them from making an abode out of dryers, cabinets and furniture. However, litter boxes should be stored in a separate area. If possible, create an outdoor access, e.g. to a backyard, for them to be able to exercise and play outdoors.
• Allot enough space in your house where pets can run around and play
• Create a “pet room” where pets have their own bed, safe toys and food
• Prevent poisoning by storing household chemicals in locked storage areas
Source: Ellen Joyce Soriano, Special to Properties
The writer is a freelancer