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Simple tips to make your home pet-friendly

27 July 2021

If you own a dog or cat, it is definitely ‘part of the family’ – and we wouldn’t leave that family member out of our house design.

With New Zealand households ranking second in the world for pet ownership (the United States is first), we need to make sure our furry friends have a comfy place to call home.

Whether you are a dog owner (31 per cent of us are) or have a beloved feline (45 per cent of us do) – you need to think about them when it comes to the design of your home.

The best decision you’ll make is to ensure it is pet-friendly, not only to keep them comfortable, but to make sure your home stays in tip top shape.

Using outdoor space to your advantage

We may not be running around the backyard, but our pets definitely are. When designing a house, it’s crucial to think about your outdoor space and how important it is for you. First, do you like to entertain and want a big patio area, and will you need an area to fence off Fido when guests come over? If you have a dog, you need to be mindful they are roaming the yard daily and any extra space you can dedicate to outside, the better. But this all depends on the type of pet you have, because I’m sure your cat won’t be bothered and can jump the fence for a bit more freedom if needed!

Keeping pets indoors and occupied

Depending on your pet’s indoor habits, you may want to create special areas for them to curl up and get comfy. For example, your cat may enjoy a built-in window seat to watch birds, while dogs may benefit from a built-in lounger near high-traffic areas in your home, such as the kitchen or places where you socialise like the lounge room.  

Some new home buyers request designated play areas for their pets in a bedroom or laundry to keep them entertained in a secure location when indoors. Dedicated areas are great option and can reduce the chance of them scratching or damaging furniture as they settle into their new homes.

Use pet-friendly materials throughout your home

We all know that pets (and kids!) can be messy, so it is best to keep this front of mind when choosing certain materials for your home. To keep your floors in good condition and easy to clean, opt for hard-surface flooring such as laminate, stone or ceramic tiles, or polished concrete. Obviously, carpet is a comfortable choice for the lounge room and bedrooms but take into consideration where your pet will be spending most of their time and how that will impact the condition of your home.

A tip for the walls: If you want them to stay clean think about upgrading to an easy-wipe paint for added protection against drool, mud or splatters.

Extra tips to keep your pet happy and you!

  • Avoid rugs and carpet where possible (not only will they get dirty, but dog hair can be tough to vacuum out!)
  • Avoid buying light coloured upholstery
  • Make sure your rubbish bin has a lid for no nasty messes
  • If you’re keen on indoor plants, try a pet-friendly one like an African Violet which is non-toxic.
  • Install a barrier if needed. If the dog isn’t allowed in the bedrooms, then block that part of the house off.

No matter the pet-friendly designs you have in mind, talk to Generation Homes to see if they can incorporate it into your build to ensure your pet is comfy all day – indoors and out!