Adding new family members to your home means changing up its design and making adjustments for the health and happiness of your new additions. Just like you would make improvements for a new child, you’ll need to make a few changes for the benefit of your new pets too. While you don’t have to design a nursery or playroom like you would for a kid, there are some remodels and renovations you can perform around your home to make your new furry friends feel more at home. Here are some quick renovations you can do without changing your entire home:

 

#1 Mudroom for Storage and Organization

While a “mudroom” may sound fancy, this design is really about an entryway with hooks and some storage, along with a mat where dirty paws can tread without hurting the floor underneath. You’ll also need a wall that can handle wet fur splashing onto it, so consider your paint choices carefully — as well as any decor. You’ll want towels on-hand to dry the dog before he proceeds into the rest of the house. Consider drilling holes into beadboard or stock lumber for hooks for leashes, jackets and other dog-walking necessities.

#2 Pet-Proof Flooring

You need easy-to-clean surfaces when owning a dog or cat. Carpet is not your friend in this situation because it’s hard to keep clean. If you really want carpet, consider removable, washable carpet tiles. Tile, hardwood flooring and bamboo are good, but dogs can scratch soft wood.  Woven vinyl mats are also easy to clean and are almost indestructible. Linoleum is also easy to clean after a pet has an accident, and it’s relatively easy to maintain on a regular basis too. If you decide to invest in this flooring material, it would cost between $800 and $1,400.

#3 Specialty Furniture

When you get a new pet, you’re likely going to deal with an excessive amount of fur everywhere. To protect your furniture from grabbing too much of it, you should get slipcovers that are easily washable. You can also consider covering furniture with painter’s drop cloths that are easily affordable and a quick solution. If you want to reupholster your furniture, be sure to check for any VOC in the fabric before you hire a professional to do the work. Some options for pet furniture include:

  • Window seat
  • Top-of-the-stairs lookout
  • Cat ramps & trees

 

#4 Bathtub for the Pets

If you have one, utilizing a laundry sink is your best option for keeping the dog and cat clean. You don’t have to get your bathtub dirty and it’s easier than bending over the tub to clean them on a semi-regular basis. It’s also easier to clean than a bathtub because a laundry sink has less square footage than a tub. You can also invest a little more money to install a dog shower in your laundry room.

 

#5 Safety Gates

To protect your dog from some of the dangerous foods in the kitchen or keep him away from the dinner table during meal time, use a gate to set boundaries and protect him from injury. You don’t have to use a chain-link fence design if you don’t want to. Dog gates come in various styles and shapes at pet stores, and there are different heights so even your Great Dane can’t get over the boundary. These don’t work as well for cats so it’s probably best to just put your cat in a room and close the door to protect it in certain situations.

 

#6 Dog Doors

When you leave home during the day for work or school, your animal is going to want to explore and do their business. Instead of trapping them in the house, you can install a dog door in the bottom of the back door for easy access to the backyard. The best solution will depend on your situation and the design of your home. Installing a dog door will involve cutting out a piece of your existing door to install it. If you’re uncertain about how to install a dog door, you can talk to a door contractor about the best way to proceed.

 

Written contribution by Andrea Davis, Home Advisor.