Having a pet that greets you like a long-lost best friend when you come home from work every day is one of the best feelings in the world. If you’ve owned a pet, you might be familiar with that guilty (and really cute) look they give you whenever they’ve done something wrong too.
Pets can be quirky and fun but also stressful when they get into things they shouldn’t or ruin household items you spent a small fortune on. Young animals even run the risk of hurting themselves if you’re not too careful.
Ultimately they just want your love. If you follow these seven secrets to make your home more pet-friendly, you and your furry friend will get along just fine.
1. Let Your Pet Roam
If you let your puppy roam the house when you’re home, it’s usually not a problem. Allow the same freedom while you’re gone, and you might be inviting disaster.
Many pet owners keep their dogs and cats in a kennel while they’re gone to avoid unnecessary headaches.
But contrary to what you might think, letting your pets roam around helps satisfy their natural curiosity and allows them to feel at home. Since you’re sharing your home with them, you might as well actually share it!
Trust is an important thing between you and your pet. Walking with them builds trust, but so does giving them the freedom to roam.
Housing them in a cage all day might put your mind at ease, but your pet will appreciate not being under lock and key (just get past the teething stage first!)
2. Keep Your Pet Entertained
At one point, house cats and dogs were once wild animals (take a moment to chuckle at the thought of your Frenchie fending for itself in the wilderness).
Pet furniture might not be the first thing that comes to mind when you think about keeping your pet entertained. Yet, it can actually help them feel like they have a place and some space to exercise it.
Cat towers will help keep your cats off the shelves and still allow them to climb.
A bed might not give your dog space to exercise its primal instincts, but a bed with plenty of toys to chew will keep them happily occupied.
3. Avoid Potentially Dangerous Items
Some household items pose a potential risk to your pets’ wellbeing, so make sure you do your homework. Some houseplants can be poisonous to animals, and those curious little buddies get hungry.
Some other dangers include sharp or small objects they could accidentally swallow or hurt themselves with.
Curtains or blinds with drawstrings pose as much of a threat to children as they do to your pets. Cats without space to climb might get curious and end up tangled in the string, which could result in the stuff of nightmares.
4. Install Proper Flooring For Pets
Cats get their claws caught in carpets and rugs pretty easily, and they might make a habit of doing it because it feels good to them.
Remove carpets and rugs if you don’t want to deal with your cats tearing it to shreds over time — even though it doesn’t harm the cats in any way.
Have you ever played fetch with your dog inside your house with hard floors?
You might notice that they have a lot of trouble keeping their feet under them.
Hard floors can be extremely slippery and might be bad for older dogs with joint issues. It could make something as simple as standing up or laying down an excruciating process for them.
5. Stick To A Routine
Sticking to a routine will give your pet a sense of expectation and excitement. They’ll appreciate eating at the same time every day, just like you would.
Taking them outside to exercise around the same time keeps them healthy and keeps you off the couch.
Cats are pretty low maintenance when it comes to using the bathroom, as long as you regularly clean out their litter box. This will keep them from going somewhere you don’t want them to as well.
Make sure to take your dogs out frequently, too — imagine how much you use the restroom during the day … Help them stay regular too!
6. Barricade Balcony Spaces If Needed
Puppies and kittens may be the most curious creatures on the planet. It can be fun to watch them roam around and try new things for themselves, like jumping off the couch or climbing stairs.
However, this can become pretty dangerous if they’re alone — especially if you have balcony spaces they could fall from.
To help avoid some major accidents, you can barricade off these spaces with baby fencing or chicken wire (if you’re on a budget). These little fluff balls don’t know any better, so err on the side of caution here.
7. Add Child Locks To Cabinet Doors
Most people keep their cleaning chemicals in a cabinet under the kitchen or bathroom sink, or even on a shelf in the garage. These items are usually pretty easy to reach, even for the smallest of pets.
The problem is:
Your pets won’t know the difference between these and any other substance until it’s too late, so use this secret to keep this stuff out of their paws!
Maybe this sounds like something a helicopter parent would do, but trust me when I tell you that it works. Install child locks on all your cabinet doors, and you’ll never have to worry.
This will keep them out of your food, cleaning supplies, and anything else that might result in a big curious mess while you’re out.
Having a pet-friendly home is essential to keeping your furry companions happy and healthy.
Remember that letting them roam helps them feel more at home, and giving them plenty of toys will keep them from destroying your furniture.
Keep dangerous items out of their reach with things like child locks or baby fencing, and get rid of any houseplants that might be poisonous to them.
Always stick to a routine to keep your pet well-fed and exercised. A healthy pet is a happy one, and these seven secrets will keep you on track to that end!
Caitlin Sinclair is the Property Manager at Evolve South Bay with five years of property management experience and many more in Customer Service. She shares her passion for her community and looks forward to making Evolve South Bay the place to call home.