If you have a pet, and the majority of American households have at least one according to a recent National Pet Owners Survey, you know that they can get into just as much trouble as a child. Not only can they make a mess or even do damage to your home, they can harm themselves with their natural curiosity and desire to eat just about anything they find. Here's how you can create a more pet-friendly home to keep both your four-legged friends and your house safe.
Buy Furniture with Stain-Resistant Materials
The last thing you want to do after purchasing that beautiful new home among the San Antonio houses for sale, or anywhere else, is to buy pricey furnishings with delicate fabrics that won't hold up to damage your pet can do. That velvet couch, for example, may be gorgeous, but it's also going to attract hair like a magnet, and if Fido or Fluffy has an accident, you're going to have to get it dry cleaned. Corduroy, tweed and anything that has an open weave can easily snag on claws and end up unraveling. Open weave fabrics also tend to trap hair and dust that's nearly impossible to clean unless you can remove the cushions - plus, when all the debris gets embedded in the fibers, that furniture is going to stink.
When investing in furniture, look for stain-resistant materials such as coated cotton, treated leather and micro-fiber - Ultrasuede is a great machine-washable microfiber that feels just like real suede. Look for rugs that can be spotted-cleaned, such as the type made from treated wool.
Skip the Delicate Bedding
If your pet sleeps with you, there are likely to be accidents, cats are known to vomit often, and it happens to dogs occasionally too. Then there's pet hair, drool, and so on. Be sure to get easily washable bedding materials like duvet covers which are easy to take off and wash regularly. Protect your mattress with a thick pad.
Give Your Pet Something to Chew or Scratch On
Dogs like to chew, and cats like to scratch. If they don't have anything to turn to, they're going to go for your furniture or something else you don't want destroyed. Avoid rawhide bones and pig's ears for your dog as they're coated in nitrates and can leave grease stains on furniture and floors, plus they smell bad too. Instead provide durable rubber toys. For cats, buy a scratching post or make your own. It's easy to do with an old piece of carpet, a wood post, wood base and some screws.
Make It Safe
Of course even more important than furniture and the like, is keeping your pet out of harms way. Everything from household cleaners to certain foods, and even plants can be dangerous - for example Lillies can cause a cat's kidneys to shut down. Before adding plants to your home do some research to make sure they are safe for your animal companion. Also be sure to keep anything that can be toxic (medications, chemical-filled cleaners, etc.) on high shelves or locked away so pets can't reach them. Don't forget your trash can, which can hold all sorts of potentially hazardous items - be sure it's a lidded one and keep that lid on tight.
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