As an architectural firm that produces spectacular home extensions in London, we have extensive experience with all types of households. Whether it’s a house of one, shared flat, small family, or a large family that just keeps getting bigger! Today, we would like to talk to you about household pets, because they’re an important part of the family too.
Prior to the Covid-19 pandemic, it was estimated that 45% of households in the UK had pets. Unsurprisingly, due to the multiple lockdowns and increased time spent at home, this has increased to approximately 56%, with cats and dogs being the most common companion. Therefore, we think it’s the perfect time to address how homeowners can make their properties a more pet-friendly environment.
We would firstly recommend setting up a dedicated play area for your pet. If you don’t have this, they may run wild around the house, snooping into corners of the house, looking for a spot to make their own. A play area does not have to be big, but it must be safe. For a smaller property, consider space-saving options such as utilising the space under a staircase. If your house boasts an open plan layout, create a play zone by laying out a durable rug and splaying out his/her toys.
It is instinctive for cats to drag their claws, whether they are stretching, discarding dead skin cells, or expressing excitement/anger. When caring for an indoor cat, you don’t want your furniture and flooring to fall victim to these habits. A solution would be to include a tall scratch post in your living room or bedroom to distract them from destroying your belongings.
Durable and low maintenance flooring
Flooring is an important feature to protect within your home, as any dint is in plain sight and can be inconvenient to repair. Wood floors are beautiful, amazingly strong, and durable, but they are also particularly susceptible to dents and scratches. This characteristic, along with its ability to soak in stains, makes it not pet friendly. Homeowners can avoid this by regularly cutting their pet’s nails, and adding a hard lacquer or textured/satin gloss that would make it difficult to see the blemishes.
Laminate flooring is a popular alternative as it’s durable, easy to clean, and relatively affordable, with a wide range of colours and textures to suit your interior scheme. Carpet is also an option, though a light carpet could be easily damaged in the event of an accident, especially with a puppy or senior dog. Darker, short pile carpets are most appropriate in this situation.
It’s a sore topic to address, but pets tend to age faster than humans, with the exception of turtles. Making your house accessible for a disabled or elderly animal can improve your companion’s quality of life. For dogs with arthritis, padding and carpet on wooden floors prevents stress on their weary joints. Furthermore, the less steps the better, as staircases may eventually become an arduous task for them due to the lack of strength and energy. Lay out short-pile rugs or textured mats to make walking and resting less stressful for your pet.
Having a utility room is incredibly convenient, especially if you have a messy pet. You can install a large sink or extra shower dedicated to this task. Having an access point that faces the front entryway allows the homeowner to rinse/wipe their dog down after a long rainy walk, before entering your germ-free property. This room also adds value to your property, so it’s a win-win for everyone.
Be careful of the types of plants you keep in your household; they may be toxic to your cats and dogs. For example, lilies are incredibly toxic to cats when licked or eaten, and can subsequently cause kidney failure. There are online resources from the RSPCA and similar charities that provide a detailed list of household plants to avoid. You may be surprised to hear that even the common chrysanthemum or aloe vera can cause negative effects on your pet’s health.
When you have an energetic pet, you should consider obstructing any possible escape routes on your land, including your garden. Your bunny could bolt right under your fence, or your dog could jump into your neighbour’s garden. If your fence is below 1.8 metres in height, you can opt for a trellis to be added atop your existing fence. This adds extra height and increases privacy without blocking sunlight.
If you are living in a flat with no green space available to you, why not renovate your balcony so you and your pet can enjoy some fresh air without trekking down to the ground floor every day. Keep a large cage here to allow them to enjoy the outdoors safely, or you can place some ceiling height netting around your balcony to prevent them from jumping over.
We hope you are now well-equipped to keep your pet’s needs in mind when reconfiguring or decorating your house. If you would like to talk with us about your home renovation project, our team would love to hear from you. You can contact us on 02070432378 or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org. To book in a telephone consultation for a time that best suits you, click here.