8 Ways to Make Your House a Home for Your Pets

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As the estimate goes, whopping 73 million dogs and 90 million cats live in American homes. If you’re a pet owner you’re probably conflicted: love Spot and Whiskers, hate the messes they can make of a home. The not-so-pleasant signs that a pet lives in the home are downright smelly, or hairy, or frayed, or dirty—or all of the above. The good news is, there are ways to help your home accommodate your pets so they’re happy, you’re happy, and so are the people who come to visit. Here are 8 ideas for making a home pet-friendly. 1. Stick with pet-appropriate flooring. That means as many non-carpeted rooms as possible. Where carpet collects dirt and odors, tile, wood or linoleum surfaces offer low-maintenance and smell-repellant options. Find more ideas at MSN.com.

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2. Even hard floors need to be cleaned, but be sure to avoid bleach when it’s time to mop. Remember: your pet’s paws absorb whatever you wash the floors with. For more ways to make your home pet-friendly see Better Homes & Gardens.

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3. Upholster with fabric that is easy to clean, like leather or vinyl. Another option is to use removable and washable fabric or throws on the couch or any other piece of furniture your pets like to hang out on. Or, simply buy your pet a personal bed and keep him off the human furniture—if you can. See decorating ideas by Better Homes & Gardens.

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4. Pets will eat the darnedest things so poison-proof your house. Plants are the biggest culprits for upset pet tummies. Check out the ASPCA’s partial list of plants to avoid, including aloe and American holly.

5. As every cat owner knows, the litter box can be your home’s greatest offender. Today, there are some great eco-friendly solutions that control odors and even clean up easier. Unfortunately, the popular clumping clay litter should be avoided because the dust can coat your cat’s lungs. For some product ideas, visit TLC.

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6. If you have a cat that likes to claw screens, or a pooch that is hard on screens, there are some pet-proof screens out there. Try PetScreen. These sturdy screens are great with sliding glass doors and are also good for making sure pets in an upstairs room don’t fall out an open window. MSN has more information about using pet screens.

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7. If you need to install a pet door, take heart—there are some attractive options available these days. Your pets will be happy with their freedom and your home will still look beautiful. This pet door can be seen on Better Homes & Gardens.

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8. Organize all those household pet toys with flair. There are lots of creative solutions, and Mini Manor blog says it’s all about cute baskets.

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