Sharing Your Home With Pets
If you have a cat or a dog that you're on the house hunt with, here are some considerations to help your pet feel more comfortable at home.
1. Hardwood floors. Hardwood floors are a very popular feature in most homes. A dog or cat, though, may prefer a carpeted floor, not only because they are more comfortable for sleeping, they also allow our pets better traction under their paws. To gain traction on hardwood, our pets may attempt to dig their claws into the flooring, potentially damaging it. To help your pet feel more comfortable, you can offer thick, soft area rugs on the floor, or put booties on their paws for traction.
2. Fireplaces. Many families will enjoy the ambiance of the fireplace on a chilly evening, with the pops and sizzles and warmth that they provide. For some pets, though, the pops and sizzles and other sounds that our fireplaces make, although not as loud, and certainly not as frequent, can still be as scary as a 4th of July fireworks display. A gas fireplace would offer a quieter alternative. Dog chews or toys can also be offered before lighting the fire - as a distraction and to relieve any anxiety, too.
3. Fences. The importance of fencing to your pet's safety can't be underestimated. A fully fenced yard keeps your pet off the road and away from the risk of being hit by a car, taken by a stranger, or picked up by animal control. Some dogs have also been known to use the crisscross design of the fence as a "ladder" and climb over and escape. Also, if a fence is too short (4 feet), larger breed dogs might jump over. Remember to install your fence deep enough so that your pet will not be able to dig under it and get out of your yard. When picking the right type of fencing for your home and your pet, remember that ignorance is bliss. A chain-link fence means that your pet can still see the jogger or the squirrel on the other side: he can see exactly what it is that he's missing! A solid vinyl or wooden fence will mean that he won't be able to see those things, and he'll be a lot calmer - and any dogs walking by will not be able to see your dog, meaning that they will be calmer, too.
Our pets are also our family. Keeping in mind some of their wants and needs in a home will ensure that everyone feels at home, in the home.