fur the love of your home
kids + pets safety
eco friendly pet tips 101
The Daily Cat
PET HOME MAGAZINE
Animal house: New products make your home
By Sheba R. Wheeler, New York Times
looks different when you're 2 feet high.
Decorating with a furry companion in mind means stooping to the animal's
level. Some decor changes make pet ownership easier, but they may not
benefit our four-legged friends.
"If you have pets that are your family, there's no problem having a
beautiful home," says Colleen Paige, a Seattle animal behaviorist.
Couches needn't be covered in plastic slipcovers to avoid pet wear and
tear. More pet-friendly materials and furnishings, along with clever
interior designers, are available to help forge homes that both pets and
humans can appreciate.
Paige, who often helps clients shop for new homes, can pinpoint potential
pet problem areas and suggest ways a home can be modified to better suit
its animal inhabitants. One of her first questions for clients: "Is it
pet-friendly for you, or for your dog or cat?"
Experts suggest starting any pet-friendly decorating with the area in
which pets spend the most time -- the floor.
Many designers warn pet-loving clients against carpeting in favor of
stain-resistant ceramic tile or hardwood, which can be mopped or vacuumed.
In general, stains are harder to remove from carpet, which also can harbor
lingering odor, fleas, pet hair and dander.
Continuous-loop carpeting is a special no-no because it snags and unravels
But Paige approves of carpeting. She says dogs especially benefit from
having traction to keep them from slipping around and hurting themselves.
Most of the floors in her home are carpeted. The rest are covered with
throw rugs. Paige's Chihuahua, Tinkerbell, still slips on the wood
flooring between the throw rugs, often bumping her shoulders and head.
Clip dogs' nails regularly to give them better footing in the house, and
cover hard floors with plenty of inexpensive throw rugs with rubber
backing. Sisal or seagrass mats are good options because they stand up to
Pet owners also should vacuum regularly -- daily during shedding season --
and match the color of any new carpeting to the hue of their pets' fur.
Persian rugs? Not the best choice for floors in pet-friendly homes.
Consider hanging them up like a tapestry -- or hold your temper. On the
floor, expensive rugs will inevitably get torn or stained by a pet.