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Easy Ways to Pet-Proof Your House

Read this before your furry monsters try to destroy everything.

Stewie and Gracie: The masters of my domain

One thing you don’t see a lot of on our renovation shows: animals. But over the years, we’ve encountered many homeowners who want to work their dogs, cats, and other creatures into their home designs. Here are a few tricks I’ve picked up along the way.

Protect Your Floors

If you have the luxury of being able to choose or change your hardwood floors, be aware that many species of wood are softer—and scratchable—than others. If you want to take it to the next level, you can even do a single board laminate or a vinyl plank product, as quality versions of these are indistinguishable from real hardwood yet 10 times more durable. If you opt for real hardwood, go with a hand-scraped look with a matte finish. It hides scratches and is a breeze to maintain.

Encourage Their Independence

It is important to have a conveniently located dog door so your pups can let themselves in and out as they please. This feature should be added to a wall or door in a size that’s proportional to your dog. And before you install, make sure it won’t be a major distraction from the design of the room. 

Redirect Their Scratching

While I’m primarily a dog guy, I’ve learned a good deal about cats over the years. It’s crucial for them to have an easily accessible scratching post so that they learn to claw there and not on your expensive new sofa, chair, or bedding. When it comes to materials, leather is the absolute worst choice for any clawed critter—try a high-quality microfiber instead. 

Give Them Their Own Toy Chest

Don’t leave all of those gnarly toys laying around—set up an out-of-sight storage bin for your pet’s bones, chew toys, slobbery tennis balls, and collars. Then strike up a deal: They can only have two or three toys out at a time, like all the other good boys are doing.

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