Are you one of the millions of Americans who welcomed a new pet into your home this past year? Or has your furry best friend been a member of your family for a long time? Whether you’re new to pet ownership or you’ve had pets for years, it can be a great benefit for both you and your pet to design your home with their needs in mind. These are our top tips for making your home more pet-friendly.

Use semi-gloss or glossy paint

Let’s face it — we may love our pets but they sure can make a mess! Cleaning up after pets is a fact of life when you welcome them into your home. You can make your life much easier, though, by choosing pet-friendly paint finishes. When you’re painting a room or a piece of furniture, choose semi-gloss or glossy paint. These are much easier to wipe down if (OK, when) they get wet or dirty because of your pet.

Create a pet station

Dedicating a specific spot for a pet station can help keep you organized. Choose a place such as a laundry room, your mudroom, or even just a spot next to the door. Use storage cabinets to keep treats, toys, brushes, and other items. If you have the extra space and the means, then consider adding a dog wash or a large sink so you can give your pets baths when they need it.

Choose carpeting that matches your pet

Pet hair is something you learn to live with when you have pets. This is especially true if you have a pet that tends to shed a lot — their hair gets on everything! One of the best things you can do is to choose carpeting or furniture that matches the color of your pet. This way, the hair they shed will be less noticeable. If possible, choose stain-resistant carpeting that is easier to clean up when the inevitable accidents happen.

Go all-in on cat scratchers

One of the biggest complaints that people have about their cats is their tendency to scratch up the furniture. Scratching is part of a cat’s normal routine. The best way to keep them from ruining your furniture is to supply them with plenty of cat scratchers. Put one in every room. If your cat has many dedicated places where it is allowed to scratch, then your furniture will experience much less wear and tear.

Give them an accessible window

Dogs and cats like to be able to see what’s going on in the world outside their homes. For this reason, you should have at least one big window in your home where they can sit and enjoy the view. This is particularly good for cats who may be indoors-only, as it helps to alleviate boredom.

Get a dog door

Finally, if you want to splurge a little, then consider getting a magnetic or electronic dog door. These devices work with your pet’s collar to make sure the door only unlocks for your pet. This allows your pet to come and go but keeps wildlife outside where they belong.

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