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Designing a pet-friendly home


In the 2020 Metricon Dream home Survey, we learnt that 69% of our customers live with pets. Whether it’s a dog, cat, fish or bird, pets are a great comfort and affection source. They become members of the family and are there for all the unforgettable memories in your home.

However, not all homes are designed and built with pets in mind. Scratched floors, torn up carpet, muddy walls and torn furniture are just some of the common issues pet owners experience – especially if you’ve newly introduced a new puppy or kitten.

To make sure your new home is ready for your furry friends, we’ve compiled a list of things to consider in your home.

Choose the right flooring material

Anyone who’s had their pet jump onto their lap and dig in can attest - even when your dog or cat is regularly groomed, their claws can be sharp. If your pet can injure your leg, they sure can do some damage to your flooring too.

If you know you’ll live with pets, hard-wearing materials like tiles are your best option, especially for heavier breeds. Timber flooring might be appropriate for smaller dogs and cats too, but you should be wary of playing with them inside. Both tiling and timber are low-maintenance and easy to clean if your dog or cat loses a lot of pet hair.

Carpet isn’t always the best option for pets – stains are harder to clean, shedding hair is more difficult to remove, and certain styles may snag on your pet’s claws. If you have your heart set on carpet, opt for high-quality wool with no loops.

Are you going outside or not?

Dog and cat doors make your life much easier, but there’s no denying that they can be an eyesore. If you don’t want to install a doggy door into your beautiful new glass bi-folds, we get it. However, you should give your pet a place they know they can get in and out.

A great option is the laundry. Designing your home so that the laundry has access to the yard makes it easy for your pet to go in and out – while you’re home, the door could be cracked open, or you could teach a smart pet how to let you know they’re ready to go outside. If you have a cat, the laundry is a great place to leave the kitty litter too – out of sight, out of mind!

This space will double as a mudroom with hard-wearing floor, so after it’s rained (or if your naughty dog has been digging), you won’t have to worry about muddy paws walking through the living or dining area.

Shady spaces

Australian summers are hot (especially in QLD!), and Australian winters are wet. In fact, if you live in Melbourne, you could experience sweltering heat and pouring rain all within 2 hours!

Your pet shouldn’t have to take the brunt of a wild climate if they’ve been left outside. That’s where an outdoor room saves the day.

An outdoor room allows you and your pet to enjoy the great outdoors while still being undercover and protected from the elements. It means you could comfortably leave your pup outside when you head off to work without feeling guilty – our customers adore outdoor spaces, and your pet will love it too.

Cuddles on the couch

It's wishful thinking if you believe your four-legged friend will spend all their time on a pet bed.
If you love having a cuddle with your cat on the couch, you’ll know that poor-quality materials will begin to show wear and tear quickly. It’s important to splurge on the sofa with pets, so you don’t end up with something that used to resemble a couch before it was torn to shreds.

Genuine leather is an excellent option for pet owners, which might come as a surprise. However, genuine leather is incredibly durable, and while it might pick up a couple of small scratches over time, it will last the longest. Any accidents – from your pet, your child or a glass of red wine gone astray – will be easier to clean off leather too. Choose stain-resistant upholstery when you have pets!

Keep fragile items out of reach

It might be worthwhile keeping that priceless Ming vase out of reach of a mischievous cat, or away from a table that can be bumped by an excitable pooch. Photo frames, glass, crystal and heavy items need to be placed carefully in and around the home – preferably in a room that’s off-limits to your pet.

This isn’t just about protecting your property; it’ll protect your pet too. Glass is hazardous, as your pet could easily break that frame or bowl then walk over it, cutting their paws in the process. Also – you don’t want to be underneath any falling object. Ever had a candle land on your foot? Ouch.

Poisonous plants

We love a good indoor plant, but not all are suitable for your pet. There are many plants available at Bunnings or your local nursery that are poisonous if ingested by a pet. As you know, pets are naturally curious… which means the likelihood of your pet chomping into a leaf that it shouldn’t is relatively high.

It’s best to avoid certain plants altogether. There are a wide variety of pet-friendly plants out there, and it’s easy to find this information online. The NSW RSPCA website has a brief guide to get you started.

Getting your home set up with the right fixtures, finishes and furnishings is critical to avoid extra costs down the line. The changes you’ll make are minimal, but they make your home more liveable for both you and your pet. Remember, they're part of the family too.

If you’re looking to build a new home or purchase a townhouse, get in touch with our friendly consultants today on 1300 786 773 or enquire online.

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