How to Pet Proof Your Home Without Compromising Style

By Ellen Gefen

Many of us can identify with the saying, “A house is not a home without a pet.” Having a pet not only takes a toll on your wallet, but on the prized possessions in your home, too. That’s why pet proofing your home should be a priority. Most likely that high-end sofa is now a doggy bed and the coffee table legs have become the cat’s scratching post. Thing is, you can pet proof your home without compromising your style.  Here’s how.

Use Protective Furniture Covers

Although you probably try to keep your pet off the sofa, resisting the urge to cuddle is sometimes impossible. Instead of having to vacuum the couch after a cuddle sesh, simply put a protective cover over your furniture that you can pull off and throw in the washing machine. This stops any other damage to your furniture, like muddy paws or an overly excited bladder control issue. After all, they’re just SO happy to see you!

These days, furniture covers aren’t the ugly, dowdy things they used to be, so there are plenty of patterns and colors to choose from. If you’re feeling less than thrilled about having a cover on your furniture, try using form-fitting slipcovers. They come off for cleaning and are more sleek and sophisticated than their bulky counterparts.

Purchase Furniture-Style Pet Crates

Wire crates and litter boxes are not only an eye-sore, they’re clunky too! Thankfully, there are alternatives to giving your pet their own personal space while also keeping your home’s stylish vibe. From kitty litter boxes to crate enclosures that can hold the biggest of breeds, you no longer have to compromise functionality–or your interior design. Crate covers and litter box houses now blend seamlessly with home décor, and you can even turn them into functional tables. These enclosures also cut down on smells, such as eau de litterbox.

Consider Metal Legs

It’s no secret that puppies love to chew and cats enjoy using furniture legs as scratching posts. But what does that mean for your newly purchased loveseat? If you’re in the market for new furniture and have a pet in your home, consider furniture with metal legs. They’re stylish and modern, and not as clinical as you might think. They’re harder to scratch and not as appetizing for your pet to chew on, which will deter any nibblers from using your furniture as a tasty snack. Plus, they’re a whole lot easier to keep clean should there be any accidents.

Invest in Anti-Chewing Spray

Just about every pet store, grocery store, and big box retailer carries spray that will deter pets from chewing on your home decor. The non-harmful, bitter spray can be used on a wide array of surfaces, like furniture, rugs, curtains and more. Better to have a bitter taste in your pup’s mouth than being left with a bitter taste in yours because of a escalating furniture repair bills. Most of the sprays don’t stain furniture, but just be sure to read the label first before spritzing on your sofa.

Choose Durable Fabrics

All it takes is for one rough-and-tumble game of Fetch for your dog to jump on your couch and claw it accidentally. If you want to ensure a longer life for your furniture, look for pieces that are made with more durable fabrics. Look to leather, wool, or even velvet as fabrics that can handle high traffic–and your dog’s claws, too. You might even opt for outdoor furniture that can be used indoors, since many pieces that are meant to be outside are stylish enough to have inside your home.

Invest In Stylish Pet Pieces

Who says that your pooch’s water bowl has to be ugly? Your pet’s toys and other items should be just as stylish as the rest of your home. So, when you’re looking to upgrade his doggie bed, or pick out a new scratching post, don’t think that you have to sacrifice style for functionality. Investing in quality pieces ensures that your doggie decor matches the rest of yours, too.

Your pets and your home furnishings don’t have to clash with one another. With some simple design tips, they can all co-exist peacefully–without someone being put in the doghouse.