Pet Friendly Living Rooms
If your home is going to the dogs, along with the cats, join the club. While we need to take into account our families' needs while redecorating, many of us forget to take our furry and feathered friends into account. Don’t forget Fido, he would never forget you!
Some of us match our furniture to our pets to avoid unsightly pet hair on the couch. For me, that worked for awhile, but then we added more dogs to the family, so with 4 Boxers – 2 white, 1 fawn and 1 brindle, it didn’t quite work out. We had to change course and choose a busy patterned upholstery to mask the dirt and fur that accumulates between the regular and frequent vacuuming.
Another option is leather furniture, a quick wipe down with a Swiffer gets rid of the pet hair. But watch leather furniture with those sharp clawed kitties and puppies with the sharp toenails, they can scratch and puncture leather.
Silks and velvets are out, they wouldn’t last a day in my house. Stain resistant fabrics are definitely in, and synthetics can reign supreme in a pet friendly living room. In fact, there’s a new fabric on the market called Crypton, and it’s nearly indestructible, made for pet lovers and their furniture. It’s resistant to stains, bacteria and odors, and has some really nice patterns available. Crypton's available online and at Joanne’s Fabrics. I haven’t tried it myself, but I’ve heard great things about it.
You have a choice between hardwood floors or rugs. I don’t suggest wall to wall carpet, as accidents happen and the whole room of carpet needs to be replaced, an expensive prospect. Carpet tiles are a good alternative, and area rugs over hardwood are much more pet-friendly flooring.
Toenails of heavier dogs can scratch wood floors, keeping nails trimmed can reduce the problem. For heavier dogs and more expensive flooring, there’s a product called Softpaws that fits over the toenail and keeps it from digging in the wood.
Don’t use flat finish paint, especially if you have slobbery pets. You need paint with some gloss to it so it’s cleanable. Flat finish paints don’t clean well.
I can tell you from an ugly $250 antique plate experience, pets and breakables don’t mix. Even though Boxers don’t have tails, their butts can take out entire tables. One kitty jumping on a side table can wipe out family heirlooms. Breakables need to be up on the wall or on high shelves.
Plants are lovely, but oh-so tempting as toys. Ask my fawn Boxer, Lola, she pulled a large plant out of its pot and ran through the house with it, dirt everywhere, and yes, I did have white carpet at the time.
You may say, not my baby, he wouldn’t eat a couch. Yes, that happened too. Two of my sweet puppies tried to dig the buttons out of a gorgeous leather Chesterfield sofa, then tried to eat the stuffing that they pulled out. That not only ruins the couch, but can block intestines and lead to costly surgery – luckily we got to them before that point, but the couch didn’t make it.
I speak from experience, it saves time, money and vet bills to take your pet into account when you’re redecorating.