We are a nation of animal lovers. Over 30 million Brits have at least one pet- and to many of us they’re one of the family. Our furry friends are proven to make us happier. Not only does their cuteness inspire joy, but studies show that people with pets tend to live longer and feel less stressed.
As fantastic as they are though, cats and dogs struggle to keep their fur and their claws to themselves at times. Unexpected costs can pile up through accidental damage and wear and tear. From sofas to carpets to your nan’s favourite vase – everything is vulnerable, especially with a playful young pup or kitten on the loose!
So, here are some suggestions to live happily with your furry friends without your home suffering the consequences.
Protect your furniture
When buying any new furniture, keep your pets in mind. Shed fur and grubby paws can be a big problem on fabric sofas, so choosing a wipe-clean leather sofa will make an enormous difference. Good-quality leather is also far less likely to get scratched or ripped by sharp claws.
Protecting your fabric sofa isn’t impossible! You can always invest in some arm covers to defend from scratches or lay a blanket over your pet’s favourite spot to keep the fluff at bay.
If your cat insists on climbing up the curtains, invest in wooden shutters, or blinds without dangling cords. Cats do need to scratch to keep their claws sharp and healthy, so keep a tall, sturdy scratch pole in one of their favourite spots.
Also, avoid placing tempting furniture like hessian, sea fibre or coir baskets and bins in places where paws can get easy access.
Keep your plants out of harms’ way
Plants and pets aren’t a great mix. Dogs like to dig, so large pots are at risk of scattering dirt everywhere, and there’s a certain cat who loves nothing more than to curl up in soft soil… which will be later found tread into the carpet.
If you have a lot of houseplants, make sure they are placed out of reach of paws and noses. Many are poisonous to animals so do some research before adding some home greenery. Take extra care with flowers, particularly lilies, which are particularly dangerous. To avoid risk, remove the pollen-carrying anthers from the flower and keep them in a stable vase which can’t be easily knocked.
Cover your carpet
Mucky paws, unfortunate accidents, and well-meaning of gifts from the garden can all cause significant stains to your carpet.
Aside from investing in good carpet cleaner, rugs are an excellent way to protect the most vulnerable areas- easy to hoover and more resistant to stains and damage than your average carpet. If you’re looking to re-decorate and wish to avoid the problem entirely, laminate or tiles are the way to go.
A little attention goes a long way
All pets, but especially young pups and kittens, demand constant entertainment. After all, those young claws don’t sharpen themselves! Make sure to have toys around to bap, chew or claw at to avoid your furniture or ornaments being used as playthings.
And of course, spending some quality playtime with your pet or taking them out on a walk helps use up that fizzling energy. Soon they’ll be curled up in a soft ball, their paws tucked safely away.