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Crazy about your dog or cat? You're not alone. Motherboard Moms are so fond of their pets that they described them in a recent poll as "their best friend." But, as with any bestie, your dog's or cat's habits, belongings, and "decor" can be headaches to live with. Here are simple ways to keep your home lovely—and you, Fido, and Felix happy.
Dogs love a plump place to sleep. That place, according to a recent poll of Motherboard Moms, is in their bed. But it's better for your animal (and for showing who's boss), if your dog has its own bed, says Todd Langston, a dog behavior expert and owner of Pack Life K-9 Behavior Solutions in Orlando. The best dog bed is filled with cedar chips and has a washable cover, he says: "They smell good and repel fleas."
Many pets will chew on anything they find around (your favorite shoes, that cashmere throw), especially when they're young. The solution: Don't leave anything around that you don't want chewed. And distract your pet with his own chewy toys. You can keep the toys tidy and handy like Boulder writer Brenda Reynolds does: she keeps her labrador's toys in a laundry basket. But you can upgrade to a decorative basket. Your dog won't care.
One swipe of Fido's tail over a low table, and your collection is shards only. Protect your valuables (and your pet) by keeping collectibles and breakables out of the way or in rooms where your pet doesn't go.
Your pets will absorb—through their paws—whatever you use to clean your floors. Opt for vinegar-and-water rinses. And keep all cleaners up high where Mr. Nosykins can't lick the bottles.
Spend the money on a nice-looking airtight one, and you'll save you and your pet a lot of trouble.
Unless you like fringed walls and slipcovers, get a cat scratching post. Initially, set it near your favorite perch: that's where cats want to scratch. Discourage clawing on furniture by covering the spot with aluminum foil or tape until her habit's shifted to the post. And skip the grass-cloth wallpaper: it beckons for a scratch, says designer DeAnna Radaj, owner of Bante Design in Milwaukee.
For those days that your pup decides on a dirt massage, a mud room with a sink and built-in hosing center is the answer.
Your dog's leash, raincoat—whatever accoutrements Lassie needs to take a stroll—will be right where you need them (along with your keys) with these handy hooks.
Store dry pet food in an airtight container. It keeps the bugs out and freshness in. Look for one on wheels or consider a built-in pet food storage area.
After you've tripped over the dog food bowls a few times, you'll realize the wisdom of a built-in feeding system. Many cabinetmakers now offer the option.
Despite their alleged multiple lives, cats can use up all nine with one fall from a window. Secure screens and bars.
It's tempting for both cats and dogs to take a sip out of the toilet, but it's not savory stuff, especially with sanitizer in it. Kittens and puppies also love to take a nap in fresh, fluffed towels. But they may not survive a heated spin.