Considering how more and more people are keeping their pets indoors we can safely say that many are considered more than just mere animals – but our housemates and friends even. Dogs have been by our side for thousands of years and we have a special relationship with them, so much that many of us are willing to adapt our houses and way of life just for them.
When thinking about adapting your house or apartment for your canine or feline friend you should think in terms of pet-accessibility and how the new environment can be fun and stimulating for them.
Here are a few ideas on how to accomplish this
A Dog House
The four-sided, watershed roofed dog house is something we see all the time in cartoons and media, but do you have one? Everybody who has a yard where their pet resides should think about a place for their four-legged friend to hide from the elements. Sure it can bundle up on the porch in front of the door but that’s poor protection from the wind and cold. Dog houses are a great DIY project for a handy family and can also be a great tool for teaching a dog to know their place when commanded so. This small shelter can be designed and made in a matter of a few hours if you already have all the materials you need. Remember to place it somewhere convenient so you can easily check on the pet and that they can have a view of the house and gate.
Getting Into the House
Most animals enjoy going out for walks and being outside, though sometimes we are either too busy or just not in the mood for it. In that case what better solution than to have them go out for a walk themselves? Well, in case we are not there to let them out, it would be good to have a small entry they can use, like a dog door for screen door. A cute and simple addition to any normal door, pet doors are a fantastic way to help your companion enjoy a bit more freedom. Door flaps for dogs are an easy-to-install solution to such a problem and can double as cat doors too. Make sure you get them large enough so your pet can pass through them, because if they get stuck it makes for a funny, but troubling for them scene. Don’t forget that some plants can harm your pets, especially cats, and that’s why you should always opt for cat safe house plants.
Any indoor pet will have to be washed from time to time, even more often if there are also small children present. Though some will happily jump into a bathtub and splash water around with their paws, experience has taught us that most will fight it or at least not be compliant. In either case, to protect the rest of your bathroom, but also the clothes on you and your shower curtain it is a good idea to invest in a separate shower curtain and adapt it for when they are being cleaned. Any tougher fabric curtain can be cut with two holes for your arms and one for your head, so when showering your pet the rest of your body won’t be exposed.
How many times have you scolded your cat for scratching the couch? Both you and the cat aren’t happy – the cat, because you won’t allow it to play as it wants and you because now the furniture is damaged. One option is teaching the cat to behave less destructible, but if it is an adopted or old cat that may be a tough option. Another option is to add a resistant covering over any furniture the cat likes to claw and keep it on when the pet is allowed to enter the room. This way you don’t have to be bothered whether the cat is misbehaving, while the cat has the freedom to release some stress through safe scratching.
Worrying about the quality of your fence can be very stressful for you, but also for your dog in a way. Dogs are very territorial animals and they will bark and growl at most people if they pass next to “their territory”. This aggressive behavior can be treated in a series of ways, from shock collars to keep them inside but there is a much more pleasant solution. A better fence, one that is tall and dense enough for them not to see through and over it, is a simple solution to limit such behavior. This, of course, also makes your pet safer as it’s less likely they will run before a car or get kidnapped. Making our pets happy is reason enough to remodel parts of our home, and not to mention if it’s a plus for their safety too. So don’t shy away from these ideas but instead see how you and your companion can have a more pleasant home together.