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Design with Fido in Mind

Most Canadians would probably agree:  a house is not a home without a pet.  Over two thirds of Canadian households own at least one cat or dog and many own both – that’s a lot of furry friends.  The problem, however, is that a pet can take a toll on your living space and put a damper on your design plans.  Whether it’s scratching floors, staining carpets, or wreaking havoc on your new sofa set, cats and dogs often have their own design ideas. Thankfully, there are plenty of stylish options available to make your home more pleasant for your pets, and your pocketbook.

Carpets
As comfy as carpets are, they aren’t always the best flooring option for pets.  Carpets get stained, collect pet hair, and tend to retain odours.  Stain resistant carpets can help alleviate these problems but be careful, as most are treated with a topical application of chemicals that may be harmful to your pet’s long-term health.  As a safe, cost-effective alternative, try using an area rug or even carpet tiles.  Square carpet tiles join together to create a full carpet or area rug and allows you to mix and match designs and colours.  As a bonus, you’ll have the flexibility to replace soiled or overused tiles at minimal cost.

Flooring
The pitter patter of a pet’s paws is best kept to harder surfaces.  Hard surfaces are healthier for your cat or dog, easier to maintain, and cooler for pets with thicker coats to lie on.  Wood surfaces such as oak, cherry, and maple are also scratch resistant and more durable than other woods.  For a low cost flooring alternative, try using tile, bamboo, laminate or even rubber flooring.  These types of surfaces will resist your pet’s claw marks and help prevent odour retention too.

Fabrics and Furniture
Let’s face it, keeping your dog or cat off the couch isn’t always easy.  So, when searching for pet-friendly furniture, opt for tightly woven fabrics that can resist tears and rips.  Crypton, for example, is a nearly indestructible synthetic fabric.  It’s stain-resistant and perfect for defending against muddy paws and the dirt and grime that pet fur can leave behind.  Quality leathers, ultra suede and micro fibers are all extremely durable, odour resistant, and easy to clean.  And if purchasing a new sofa isn’t in the plans, try using a slipcover.  Slipcovers can be custom designed to fit over any sofa, chair, or futon mattress that Fido likes to sleep on when you’re not home.

A pet friendly-home doesn’t mean that your design ideas have to ‘go to the dogs’.  With the right mix of fabrics, flooring, and furniture, you and your pet can live in comfort and style.

RLP