(Welcome to the weekly pet column of Pet Connection Programs Inc. of Marilla, N.Y. A new article is posted each week, so be sure to check back on a regular basis!)
Moving into a new home is exciting — for the humans in the family. It can be less comfortable for pets who need time to adjust to a new environment, learn their way around and discover the best nap spots in their new home. As a loving pet parent, you want every member of your family to be as happy and comfortable as possible. Here are some tips to make your home more welcoming to your four-legged family members:
Your furry friend will need his own space for meals, unless you don’t mind him begging at the table when you eat! Make sure he has a bowl that is appropriate for his size and always clean it between meals.
Vets recommend feeding pets only once or twice a day, so you’ll want to stow away bowls when they’re not in use. Many homes, including manufactured homes offered by Clayton, can be customized with a pet friendly feature — pet dish drawers that allow you to conceal feeding dishes when they’re not needed, and slide the drawer open when it’s meal time. It’s a great way to keep your pet’s dining area near yours but also out of the way.
Dogs and cats spend a lot of their day napping and relaxing, so be sure to provide a variety of spaces for your pet to just hang out — with you or on his own. Clayton builds pet-friendly spots into many of their home models, including window seats and hideaway cubbies where pets can nap in peace.
Sunrooms are also great for both pets and their humans to enjoy the feeling of al-fresco dining while remaining securely inside. Sun worshipping pets can also catch some rays while hanging out.
Helpful grooming stations
While many dogs enjoy a bath now and then, the process can be messy at home. Including a pet wash station with a hand-held hose in the mudroom ensures you’ll be able to clean up your dirty pup before he drags dirt through the house. Make sure you outfit your wash station with an ample supply of soft, absorbent towels, dog shampoo and all the grooming tools you’ll need to keep your pup looking great.
Safe and happy outdoors
Many pets enjoy a good romp outdoors, and you want your companion to be able to safely play in his outdoor environment. Start by adding a fence if you don’t already have one. Choose one with vertical slats or rails close enough together that a pet can’t slip through, and high enough that he or she can’t jump over it. Next, be sure your pet has plenty of shady spots where he can hide, nap or just chill. Consider adding an outdoor pet fountain so pets always have access to fresh water, and a pet door to allow your dog or cat to easily come and go from your backyard.
Unless you have a rare hairless breed, you probably deal with pet hair daily. As you’re decorating your new home, remember choosing carpeting close in color to your pet’s coat will make shed hair less visible. You should also keep in mind the size of your dog as you’re choosing hard flooring. Sturdy laminates will hold up better if you have large dogs in the house, while smaller dogs and cats may have trouble getting traction on vinyl or hardwood floors.
“When you’re buying a home, it’s important that you consider every member of the family, and pets are a huge part of our families,” says Clayton CEO Kevin Clayton. “Choosing to include pet-friendly features enhances not only a pet’s home life, but creates a better functioning environment for the homeowners too.”
Visit www.claytonhomes.com to learn more about the pet features available or find a home center in your area.
(For more information on pets and animal adoption, please visit www.petconnectionprogramsinc.com. Or, visit their Facebook page at www.facebook.com/PetConnectionProgramsinc. Located in Marilla, N.Y., Pet Connection Programs Inc. is a nonprofit maternity and special care shelter founded in 1984.)