Whether you’re buying, renovating or building a new home, you’ll want to keep in mind your feline and canine companions. If your pet will be indoors with you some or all of the time, you’ll want to take steps to prolong the longevity and attractiveness of your interior spaces. Living with cats and dogs can result in your home deteriorating a lot faster – but it doesn’t have to! There are plenty of options and alternatives available to you to counter this.

We show you a few simple ways to make your home pet friendly which could also save you serious money in the long run.

Floors

If building or renovating, consider hard flooring instead of thick carpet. Great options include hardwood, painted concrete or linoleum as they are durable and easy to clean should your pets make a mess. Our favourite surface, however, is ceramic tiles. These are stain resistant, easily cleaned and your pet’s claws won’t scratch and damage the floor. An added bonus is that your pet will love a nap on this cool surface during the hotter periods of year.

Carpet

If you can’t bear to be without a soft, warm surface beneath your feet, you still have a couple of pet-friendly options. Try to avoid wall-to-wall carpet, as these inevitably absorb all the odors, moisture and hair that your pet leaves behind and are difficult to clean. We suggest using inexpensive rugs instead, as these can easily be replaced if need be, and lifted and cleaned should your pet bring dirt into the house.

However, if you have your mind set on carpet, avoid the continuous loop style, as they can easily be ripped by your pet’s claws. A good alternative is a low pile design as they are easier to clean and vacuum than longer, thicker styles and won’t trap as much hair. Better still, use modular carpet tiles, which are far cheaper to install than regular carpet. If your pet ruins a patch you can simply lift and change out one tile without having to replace the entire carpet, saving you a considerable expense and effort!

Walls

Pets of all sizes can (and will) rub against your walls, leaving smudges and stains. Whilst flat-finish paint may look good, it is extremely difficult to clean. Attempting to wipe-down this finish can result in the paint itself being removed and requiring a touch-up. Better alternatives are eggshell or satin finishes; they are as easy to wipe clean as glossy coats, and bring a touch more class to your home.

Decor

If your pet is a breed that sheds hair, you’ll be used to the painful sight of fur all over your carpet and furniture. Whether you allow your pets on the couch or they simply won’t take no for an answer, you’ll quickly tire of repeatedly vacuuming the endless fluff! A good counter is to match the colours of your furnishings to the colour of your pet’s coat.  Fortunately for you, cats and dogs don’t come in magenta or electric blue, so it’s easy to select a natural colour scheme that will blend with your pet’s hair. You’ll still know its there, but your guests don’t have to!

Pet areas

Restricting which parts of your house your pets have access to could be achieved by impeccable training, but an easier and more realistic option is to segregate areas with physical barriers. Baby gates are a good choice for blocking off bedrooms or even the entire upper level of your home and can be purchased relatively cheaply.

Even once you’ve invested in pet-proofing your floors, walls and furnishings, you’ll still want to minimise the amount of muck that is brought into your home in the first place.  This can be achieved by setting up designated points for your pet to enter the house. These entrances should have impervious flooring and walls, allowing you to quickly clean and dry your pet without worrying about making a mess – a laundry room is always a good option. Having an assortment of old towels at the ready is an essential for wiping wet, muddy paws and stops grime at the door before your pet can run dirt through your home.