Life & Style Weekend - - HOME - WORDS: TRACEY HORDERN

Ac­cord­ing to the RSPCA, Aus­tralia has one of the high­est rates of pet own­er­ship any­where in the world. For most Aus­tralian fam­i­lies, pets are part of their fam­ily, with dogs and cats be­ing the most pop­u­lar choices for a house­hold pet.

In New York ar­chi­tects can now in­clude of­fer­ings such as ded­i­cated spa­ces for the pets to eat, dress and bath for wealthy clients. Nat­u­rally, this is an ex­treme re­sponse and you don’t need to spend as much to de­sign a home you and your an­i­mal companion will love. Rather it’s a mat­ter of cre­at­ing an en­vi­ron­ment to suit the needs of you and your fur chil­dren.

Start­ing with the ba­sics of pet proof­ing your home, a fence, gate and pos­si­bly a pet door may be nec­es­sary. In the home, you can re­duce your pet’s pref­er­ence for your so­fas, chairs and beds by pro­vid­ing fur­ni­ture of their own. Stylish pet crates, beds and cush­ions are a great alternativ­e.

For pets that in­sist on shar­ing your fur­ni­ture, you may want to in­vest in at­trac­tive, re­mov­able and wash­able cov­ers. Al­ter­na­tively, choose fur-re­sis­tant ma­te­ri­als for your fur­ni­ture such as leather for so­fas and chairs. Pro­tect chairs from cat scratches by choos­ing steel or wooden legs.

For clean­li­ness and health, it’s a good idea to choose a des­ig­nated sin­gle place in your home for pets to eat ev­ery day, ideally in a laun­dry or util­ity space.

And fi­nally, de­pend­ing on the type and size of your pets, ad­just pre­cious decor pieces around the home. Move any­thing that’s break­able as pets are clue­less, care­less and of­ten have a lot of en­ergy that can wreak havoc with your valu­ables.

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