Dogs and cats were once as functional as a modern kitchen appliance – guard dog, mouse catcher – now they are more likely to be ‘one of the family’ or a designer home accessory.
Pets are often the messiest members of the family, shedding fur all over the house, but some velveteen fans have combated the problem of pet fur with breeds including the hairless Sphynx cat and the Chinese Crested dog. Yet dirty paws and sharp claws still prevail and if you have a designer pouch, it is likely you also desire a designer pad – surely it is possible to have it all.
Many will be pleased to hear that you do not need to go to these extremes, with a bit of thought, carefully chosen fabrics and colours, you can have a designer pet friendly home without the need for a designer pet.
How to create a pet friendly home
Unfortunately there is no magic alternative to the vacuum cleaner, if your pet sheds you will need to vacuum regularly. Pet fur has an odour and is naturally oily, attracting dirt and dust. But you can help combat fur collecting on furniture, by choosing fabrics that are resistant to stains and smells. Silk and velvet are a definite no – unless you own a Gremline – but Crypton is virtually indestructible as far as fabrics go. Leather is also a good as it can be easily wiped clean.
Carpets are not at all advisable, they absorb odours and stains like a sponge. If you do insist on using carpet, avoid light and bright colours that will show stains, instead opt for a neutral colour with a low pile, that is easier to clean. And don’t even consider a continuous loop carpet, when it snags your pet will have hours of fun unravelling the whole lot!
Hard flooring is recommended but it needs to be well sealed, wood and ceramic tile are porous and prone to staining. To avoid your pets ice skating around you home, choose a material with a textured non-slip finish to prevent them from sliding. If you put rugs down, ensure they have an under layer to prevent them from moving around.
Colour isn’t as important as the choice of material, everything is going to get dirty at some point. Wipe clean paint means you are able to clean stains as they happen, avoiding paint touch ups and the frequency of re-painting jobs.
On a more practical level: feed bowls, litter trays, dog beds, these all get in the way and often look unsightly. But there are many ways of integrating your pet’s little luxuries into your home that are both stylish and functional.
You may be able to teach your children not to play with their food but animals aren’t so easy. My cat for instance, likes to remove her biscuit from her bowl and eat them on the floor one by one, leaving any unwanted biscuit and crumbs. To improve your pet’s table manners here are some designs that keep feeding stations neat and tidy and look great.
The litter box
Where to put it? It smells and worst of all its U-G-L-Y, but we found some designer kitty solutions.
The cat cabinet is so inoffensive that you would never guess it contained a litter tray.And for classy kitties… the litter box hider made from high pressure laminate encase of any little spillages.
The dog bed
They always seem to take up so much space and get in the way, but with a built in bed and entrance you will keep your pets from getting under your feet.
The walk in dog bed with easy access doggy door built into a bookshelf.
The pet-centric renovation
If your pets are like children to you, as they are often considered in Japan, why not renovate your home into a kitty playground. This looks like great fun for the cats.
If you want to turn your home into a pet paradise, perhaps you want to install a doggy door or create some kitty steps, post your job on RatedPeople.com – for free. Our tradesmen are animals lovers (or so we like to think) so if you post a job for a cat friendly kitchen renovation, claws will be out when all our rated Carpenters rush to be the first to buy your job lead.