Dog resting on couch and cat resting in bed in a pet-friendly home
If you have pets, they need to be safe and comfortable at home, too. (DepositPhotos)

Our homes provide comfort, warmth and safety for everyone, and that includes our furry friends. Here are some tips to make your home pet-friendly.

And while we know people keep all kinds of animals as pets, we’ll primarily focus on dogs and cats.


Kitten cuddling on pet bed, asleep with head on a bean bag
If you create a space that’s particularly comfortable for pets, they will return to it. (DepositPhotos)

1. Create Designated Pet Spaces

Your cat or dog, particularly if they are a kitten or puppy, will likely go into all kinds of places they shouldn’t. That means cabinets, the washing machine or clothes dryer, if left open, wardrobes and other nooks and crannies you’d prefer they’d avoid.

By designating a space of their own, you’ll give them a safe, pet-friendly environment where they can play or hide. Of course, curious creatures will still explore your home, but having a spot they feel is their own should minimize this.

Outfit the pet area with their toys and bedding, water nearby, and their accessories for when you need them. Litter trays should be easy to find, but far enough away from eating and sleeping areas.

If you have elderly pets, make sure they can easily access this area. (It shouldn’t require climbing stairs or jumping over and into areas.) And if you have rowdy puppies or kittens, consider a baby gate or a little fence to keep them out of certain areas until they get used to your home.


Cat sunbathing in window, sitting beside poisonous plants
These flowers look nice, but are they pet-safe? Ask nurseries — or search online — before buying plants. (DepositPhotos)

2. Eliminate Hazards

Look at your home from your pet’s point of view. You might be surprised by how many hazardous and poisonous things are within their reach!

Any pet owner will tell you that while a dog or cat may cause damage to your home — and it definitely will — this pales in comparison with the idea of harm coming to their fur babies.

To make your home pet-friendly, store any cleaning products, with potentially dangerous chemicals, high in cabinets, well out of reach. And keep them tightly closed, just in case.

Some pets like to chew cables, so hide any electrical cords out of harm’s way, or cover them with spinal cord wrap to protect them from sharp teeth and claws.  

People often forget that plants can be poisonous to dogs or cats. There are plenty of online resources to help you choose pet-friendly plants for your home, or you can ask for recommendations at your local home and garden center.

Finally, antifreeze is highly toxic, and a tiny amount can kill a dog or cat, but many find the smell enticing, so keep it locked tightly away, and immediately clean up any spills.

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