When your home is stylish and comfortable it’s great to come back from a hard day at the office, kick your shoes off and relax. You can chill on the sofa and feel a sense of harmony when you look around. But what happens if you have dogs, cats, or other pets that shed hair, leave muddy footprints all over the place, and generally create mess wherever they go? Is pet ownership compatible with a nice home – or are you forever doomed to living in a state of chaos?
A pet-friendly home Dogs and cats don’t care what your home looks like, but there are some things you should do to make sure it is more comfortable for them. Floors are a good case in point. Dogs find it hard to walk on slippery floors, so super smooth laminates or tiled floors can be tricky for them to navigate, particularly at high-speed – their back-legs tend to over-take them! Our cats aren’t very stable on the tiled kitchen floor so we’ve put down a rug to make the room more accessible for them. Just imagine if a dog or cat comes running down a hallway too fast and the floor is slippery – they will probably lose their balance and fall over, potentially hurting themselves and leading to a vet’s bill.
The other issue is colour. Pristine white or cream carpets and soft furnishings look fantastic, but are not pet friendly. Imagine how upset you would be if your new puppy came bounding in from a muddy walk and left black mud marks all over the white carpet before jumping on to your new cream sofa. The best solution is to choose pet-friendly soft furnishings in darker colours and easy-to-clean fabrics instead. We have a brown leather sofa that the cats can’t do too much damage to!
Coping with pet hair Pet hair is a major problem if you own a long-haired dog or cat. It gets everywhere and no matter how fastidious you are at cleaning up, there will always be some pet hair floating around. The best way to keep on top of pet hair is to invest in a good quality vacuum cleaner (we got one with a specific pet-hair cleaning head) and vacuum at least once a day. Yes, it is time consuming, but if you want your home to stay clean and tidy, daily vacuuming is the only option.
Keep surfaces clean If you have cats, try and keep them out of the kitchen where possible. Cats have no respect for kitchen surfaces and will happily trample all over your worktop without a care in the world. For this reason, always clean kitchen worktops and other surfaces thoroughly before you prepare food or sit down to eat at the kitchen table.
You can have a beautiful home if you own pets, but it takes more work, so before you look at adopting a cat or browsing pure breed puppies consider whether you would mind living with a bit of untidiness or mess. Pets don’t take their shoes off when they come indoors! They chew and leave hair behind wherever they go, so if you suspect that this behaviour will stress you out completely, think about whether it would be easier to buy a goldfish instead!
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