How to make your home pet-friendly

Your pet needs a cosy bed where it can feel comfortable and safe enough to enjoy its rest.  PHOTO/

What you need to know:

Pets have been proven to have therapeutic benefits to their owners. But to get the best out of them, it is important you make them feel at home in your home

In addition to providing companionship, experts say pets reduce stress and improve physical health for their owners.  Different pets have particular needs and levels of comfort.

Simon Bingi, a housing expert, urges pet owners to plan for them right from the construction of the home.

“If you are a dog lover, for instance, make sure there is enough space for them around the home to play safely. Also just like people, their mobility reduces as they age, so if you live in a double storeyed home, think of ways to make the dog comfortable in its old age,” he advises. 

Also rid your home of anything that might be dangerous to your pet. Some of those things include items that might get eaten and choke your pet, drugs, cleaning products, pesticides, fertilisers, wires and electric cables that might result in electrocution.

When buying indoor plants, Bingi says you should first find out if they are safe for your particular pet. For instance lilies can cause kidney failure in cats, so if you have cats at home avoid them.  Other common, but toxic, plants include amaryllis, poinsettia, mums, and aloe vera.

Dogs and cats are adventurous and love to sneak into small places. To prevent them from ending up in dangerous places create for them a space that entirely theirs. 

A kennel with a cozy bed, water source, and safe toys will do the trick. Remember that well-exercised pets are less likely to get into trouble, and more likely to rest well at so create an outdoors where they can run and play at their leisure.

Choose furniture and floor materials that are both stylish and easy to care for.  Leather furniture is ideal if you have cats or dogs because you can easily wipe their fur off without causing damage.

For dogs, a hardwood floor or ceramic tiles are ideal.  Avoid rugs if you have cats or dogs at home, because the carpets can turn into breeding grounds for fleas.

He adds that while planning for your pet you have to also to consider emergency situations and natural disasters so that you can prepare the evacuation equipment for your pet, some pets tends to be stubborn and they need extra care.

If you are renting, look for place that is suitable for your pet.  For example, a small one-bedroom flat is not the best environment a big dog. It is therefore important to make sure that your space is good enough for your pet’s size. 

Also some pets can be noisy which will inconvenience your neighbours if for instance you live in a flat or block of flats where other tenants are living close by.

Bingi says keeping your house clean is one of the requirements when you have a pet, to get rid of fur you will need good vacuum cleaners or hire professional a cleaners if you do not have time.

He adds that to keep your house clean you have to install blockades to stop your pet from accessing every place in your house, blockades also help in keeping away areas that have wires and cables form the pet.


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