There’s nothing more natural than providing a safe, comfortable home for your pets. Liz Becker offers advice about building or renovating your home with pets in mind, just in time for construction season.
Creature Comforts… For Creatures!
By Liz Becker
Your pet is not just another object in your home; it’s a part of your family. So when it comes time to design and build that home, don’t let your lifelong buddy get sold short. As you incorporate creature comforts for you, don’t forget your creatures!
There are several key considerations for constructing or renovating your home with an focus on your pet’s needs. Each of these steps will help you make a home that reflects your caring attitude as a pet parent, and makes it a place where those special members of your family can flourish. As is always the case, a little advance planning can save a lot of future expense and hassle.
Think floors. Plan to have non-carpeted floors in areas where your pet eats, uses the litter box, and sleeps. This will cut back on claw wear on carpets, make spill cleanup much easier, and drastically reduce the accumulation of shed hair on whatever carpet you may have. That will also carry over into reduced need for flea control measures.
Think doors. If your animal companion is inside some of the time and outside some of the time, make it easier to go between. It’s very simple to install a doggy door panel insert for sliding door use, and it will lower the frequency of your pet’s vocal requests for movement in or out – an especially welcome improvement in the middle of the night.
Also bear in mind that it can be very helpful to install doors on certain indoor spaces, even if they end up standing open most of the time. The ability to isolate your pet from certain areas, or to confine it for medical purposes, can reduce the chances of injury to your pet, protect fragile items for the humans, and give your animal comfort and calm when giving birth or recovering from medical treatment.
Think stores. Not retail establishments, but the places in your home where you sock stuff away, or even just the windowsill where you let tomatoes ripen. Protecting your animal friends from dangerous and even deadly food, plants, cleaning materials, medicines, tools, and hardware is more than just loving, it’s humane. It will also prevent a number of unneeded and unwanted visits to the vet.
Anybody up for one more rhyming tip?
Think drawers. Okay, it’s a bit cheap considering that drawers are just more storage. But using wall anchoring for dressers, chests, armoires, and other potential tipping hazards is good for more than just little people. Dogs and cats seem to have impeccable timing for barreling through a room when an overloaded drawer is hanging out. A jump or collision to just the wrong place can injure your pet, or at least damage your furniture and its contents. So consider a more aggressive furniture anchoring policy when you’re pet-securing your home.
Your pets are intelligent, rational occupants of your home, but they can’t offer verbal input for how that home is designed. Use your intimate knowledge of your pet’s behavior, needs, and wants to make sure you have a home that everyone can share.
Have you done any renovations to your home specifically for your pets? Please share your experience in the comments below.
Liz is a blogger, freelance writer and recent college graduate. She currently performs market research for an online marketing firm when she is not contributing her own thoughts and observations to the online community
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