Welcoming a new pet into your home is an exciting time that involves a different kind of nesting. While it’s not quite up there with the prep involved in bringing a human baby home, creating a safe and welcoming space for a future fur baby can make life much easier for you both. Before you hit the pet store and spend up large, read our DIY tips to turn your home into a pet-friendly paradise, both indoors and out.
Create an indoor safe haven
Do you really want Fido or Felix to make themselves comfortable on your new linen sofa? Creating specific pet-friendly zones in your home has huge benefits for your pets and furniture. It helps them feel safe and secure having their own special spot to retreat to, and it also helps them to develop an understanding of boundaries. Whether you decide on a simple DIY pet bed, dog crate or a contemporary geometric pet house, your furry friend will be happy.
Design a feeding station
Stumbling over water and feeding bowls scattered across the kitchen is a common pet-related hazard, so eliminate this from your pet paradise by creating a designated feeding zone that’s not prone to heavy foot traffic. The laundry, a covered porch or a bespoke built-in spot in the kitchen are all great options – and these days, you’re not just limited to a simple metal feeding bowl. There are plenty of aesthetically pleasing feeding mats, bowls and even water fountains available to purchase, and if you’re feeling crafty, get inspired by these DIY feeding and storage solutions.
Consider indoor-outdoor (pet) flow
Will your pooch or puss need to be able to move freely between the indoors and out? If you’re out of the home all day, you may not want your pet cooped up inside or shut outside at the mercy of the elements. Having a cat or dog door installed is invaluable in this situation, but you also need to consider whether you want them to have free (unsupervised) reign of your property. Think about areas of the home you can ‘close off’ if needed, and for dogs, adequate outdoor fencing is vital – more on that to follow. Pet-friendly mudrooms are a popular option – they double as a space to clean your pet up before entering the home (saving your carpet from mud-caked paws), and as a safe indoor zone for unsupervised play. Here’s how to create a mudroom fit for Fido.
Check your boundaries
While it’s often the first consideration – particularly if you’re bringing home a new pup – it’s essential to ensure your fencing is up to the task for a puppy and as they reach full-grown dog-hood. Take particular care and repair or block any gaps that a Houdini pup could squeeze through. Remember, some dogs love to dig, so consider steering their digging attention away from a great escape to a dedicated doggy digging area.
From adequate shade to water features, bespoke dog patrolling paths and outdoor cat enclosures, there are plenty of DIY projects you can tackle to keep your pet entertained, safe and loving al fresco living. For doggo friends, a cosy kennel is a must. And if you’re handy with the power tools, tackle this cute Bunnings dog kennel.
Lastly, do an ‘all fours’ inspection
Take a puss or puppy’s eye view of your home and inspect it from the perspective of your pet. Here are some things to look out for:
- Check for dangling cords that might be dangerous – simple things like cords for blinds or electronics can present a risk for strangulation or electrocution.
- Stow away human foods and medications – eliminate temptation by storing foods (some of which can be toxic to pets) and medication behind closed cupboard doors.
- Pet-proof your rubbish – pets love a rummage in the rubbish, so ensure your household rubbish is either stored away or has a tight-fitting lid.
- Pet-safe plants – many common plants, including poinsettia, lilies, and aloe vera, are highly toxic to animals. Do a reccy of your indoor plants against this useful list.
- Be mindful of open windows – if you have windows that are particularly high up that you like to open, consider installing sturdy pet-proof screens. While cats don’t often willingly jump from great heights if they’re startled, it can easily happen.
- Keep the toilet lid down – while using automatic bowl cleaning products is convenient, it’s not something you want your cat or dog lapping up to quench their thirst. Keeping the toilet lid closed is a good habit to protect furry friends from accidental poisoning and, in some cases, drowning.
Is your home lacking pet potential?
Welcoming a four-legged friend into your home is a life-changing experience with plenty of health and lifestyle benefits. But if you feel like your current home doesn’t quite meet the needs of a furry companion, contact your local First National Real Estate office. They can help you narrow down your must-haves and point you toward a perfect pet-friendly piece of real estate.