(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!)
Whether you’re dreaming of a complete home remodel or a simple decor update, you may not be factoring your pets in your decision-making and overall design process. But how many times have you regretted a furniture or upholstery choice once Fido or Fluffy got their paws (and fur) on it?
You can make any room look more stylish, even if you have a chronic shedder or scratcher living in your home. All it takes is a little planning and some research on the best products to stand up to your furry family members.
“No matter how you want to update or refresh your home, it’s best to be proactive by considering the amount of traffic, the overall purpose the room serves and what kind of wear your room will endure from people and pets,” says Katie Allen, design and trend director at LL Flooring. “Then pick products and furnishings that will both look great and stand the test of time.”
Here are some tips for your next remodel, ensuring you and your pets will love the new space:
Start with a durable base
Changing up your flooring can completely transform the look of the room, but you have to remember that pets cause more wear and tear on your floors than any other element of your home. So it’s best to start by choosing stain-resistant, durable and attractive flooring for a long-lasting room makeover.
For example, LL Flooring, which was previously Lumber Liquidators, offers options that add beauty to your home, no matter how much traffic the rooms get:
• The AquaSeal flooring line features water-resistant locking technology to help protect against accidents and other messes for up to 72 hours. The durable flooring will also stand up to heavy foot traffic, from both pets and kids, is easy to clean and offers quick click installation.
• The CoreLuxe flooring options offer an enhanced wear layer that will help defend it against scratches, scuffs and stains. Its no-fuss maintenance is as attractive as its authentic hardwood looks, but unlike wood, this flooring is waterproof – wet-mopping and common household spills won’t damage it.
Both types of flooring come in a wide variety of colors and styles that can be seen, along with hundreds of other options, by using the Floor Finder tool on LLFlooring.com.
Out of sight, out of mind
If possible, try to match the color of the room’s fabrics (and/or flooring) to your pet’s fur color. Doing this will help hide at least some of the hair they leave behind. If you have a black dog and choose a white rug, all your time will be spent vacuuming. Multiple pets? A multi-color pattern for your upholstery or rugs can be your best friend (next to the four-legged one, that is).
Choose the right materials
Stain resistant, smooth-textured upholstery for your couches and chairs — such as leather or synthetic materials — work best, as they are less appealing to scratch and make it easier to deal with any pet-related messes. Slipcovers work well too, since they are machine washable, and they can cover flaws on any furniture you’re not yet ready to upgrade.
Discourage furniture abuse
Avoid wicker and rattan furniture and accent pieces, since it can be used as a chew or scratch toy by your dog or cat. As an alternative, create a designated play area with your animal pal in mind, supplied with all the toys and comforts they need. Offering multiple scratching posts for cats is a great idea, especially if they contain catnip to attract your feline friend. Provide your animal companions with their own special beds, encouraging them to snuggle up with attention and treats.
Pet proof your rooms
Just as you would childproof your home when prepping for a mobile little one, consider each room from your pet’s point of view. What is at a level they are likely to bump or whack with their tail? Don’t keep breakable items on coffee tables or other low places where they can be bumped into and broken, or up on shelves that kitty can reach easily. Store those items safely away or display them in a closable cabinet.
With these tips in mind, your home or room makeover can be a haven for your entire family, including your pets.
(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.)