Life with pets is awesome. They offer you unconditional love and loyalty and even serve as your protectors when the need arises.
They’re more than just animals – they are companions and precious members of the family. As such, you must treat them the way you would any loved one.
Besides ensuring that they have a regular supply of pet food, you also need to give them a home. Not just any shelter, mind you; it has to be comfortable and safe for them, too.
Whether you’re moving to a new apartment with your furry baby or are looking to bring home a new pet in your existing home, you’ll need to carefully prepare the place to ensure that it is ideal for them. To help you out, below are several things you can do to make your apartment into a pet-friendly home:
1. Pick the right flooring material
Pets are wonderful, but let’s be honest; they also come with sharp claws and teeth that may scratch hardwood floors. Save yourself the trouble by opting for harder types of wood like oak or mahogany.
If you can do without wood flooring, you may opt for ceramic, stone, or laminate flooring – all of which fare better with playful animals running around the house. As an added bonus, they’ll also keep your pet cool in the summer.
2. Skip the carpet (or use carpet tiles)
Besides hardwood, another flooring implement you should consider skipping when you have pets around is wall-to-wall carpeting.
Although this offers incredible perks like a soft cushion underneath your feet and better room acoustics, cleaning pet stains off of them can prove quite tricky. Sure, you can hire professional carpet cleaners, but that only means you’ll have to spend more money when you could’ve easily avoided the expense.
Of course, there’s still a compromise to this if you truly want carpeted floors – carpet tiles. This nifty innovation lets pet owners enjoy all the advantages of having a carpeted floor without too much of a fuss in cleaning. You see, instead of removing the entire carpet, you can simply pull up the dirty carpet tile and focus your cleaning efforts on it.
3. Avoid breakable décor
Decorating is a fun activity when you’re moving into a new apartment. But when you’re moving with a pet, things may change, depending on the type of animal you will bring home.
With cats and dogs, you’ll have to keep in mind their playful nature before deciding to display your great grandmother’s century-old vase. Instead, keep the décor to a minimum or, at the very least, steer clear of breakables.
Of course, this doesn’t mean you should just throw these precious items away.
If you wish to see them whenever you enter the room and don’t want to keep them in storage, you can put them somewhere that is both visible and out of the way. A good example is a hanging cabinet with a glass panel. This is a great way to prevent shelf-climbing cats or running dogs from tripping over fragile items and breaking them.
4. Choose pet-safe plants
Creating an indoor green space is a great way to decorate your home. It also provides countless benefits for your health, like cleaning the air, reducing stress, and improving your overall mood.
But as a pet parent, you must remember that not all indoor plants are safe for your furry baby. Some may even be toxic to them, so you must choose the foliage you bring inside carefully.
If you have a cat, you should steer clear of lilies as these may cause kidney failure when ingested by your feline friend. Amaryllis, poinsettia, aloe vera, and mums may look great in your interior, but they may also harm your animal companion.
To be safe, stick to the following indoor plants that are known to have no harmful effect on animals:
Calatheas are excellent houseplants popular for their beautiful leaves that provide splashes of colour and pattern to any room. These plants also make great air purifiers.
Calatheas come in many varieties that reflect the fun nature of their foliage, giving them monikers such as rattlesnake, peacock, zebra, and many others.
Echeverias are a family of succulents that come in the shape of blooming flowers (although they do have blooms that appear during spring and summer in mature plants). Still, their lovely rosettes are what make these desert plants quite famous among plant lovers.
Also known as “air plants,” these types of indoor foliage thrive even without soil. As their nickname implies, air plants survive by taking nutrients and moisture from the air, so they do well even when placed on top of pebbles, wood, or even hung in iron hangers.
5. Set aside an area for your pet near the entryway
When you have pets that frequently go in and out of the house, you’ll want to decorate your place with a pet area near the entrance. This spot should have easy-to-clean floors (if you want to avoid muddy paw prints on your carpet or rug) and serve as an area where pets can clean off.
Put some rugs you don’t mind getting dirty and attach a hook nearby where you can keep towels for cleaning off wet fur. Add more hooks for other outdoor pet essentials, like a dog leash.
6. Set up your pet’s own bed
Many pet owners choose to co-sleep with their pets. But even if you’re okay with this, you should still set up an area where your furry pal can sleep and play in.
Having an animal companion is not so different from having a roommate – each of you need to have a space of your own. As a pet parent, you must set some ground rules when it comes to sleeping, so that your pet won’t be bothered when you need the sofa or bed for yourself.
When making your pet’s bed, you may recycle some of your old blankets and covers, or you can buy a doggy bed or feline basket from a pet shop. Either way, what’s important is that your furry pal should have an alternative place to sleep in.
A place for you and your pet
Sharing an apartment with a furry companion can be one of the most wonderful experiences in the world. You just need to set up a place where you and your pet can feel comfortable in.
Farah Al-Khojai is the Managing Partner of Pet’s Delight. A passionate entrepreneur, Farah holds a Bsc in Government from the London School of Economics. She is always on the lookout for new opportunities to develop and grow the pet and equestrian retail and wholesale market in the UAE and beyond, and is proud to be at the helm of the first and the largest pet care provider in the market representing world-class brands including Orijen, Applaws, Hunter, Savic, Flamingo, Ruffwear and Rogz.