If you’re a pet person then your furry friends are a part of your family. They have as much say in your home and lifestyle as your partner and children.

Nothing wrong with that. Pets can bring you so much joy. We know from the therapies that exist using animals as a medium to heal after trauma or to deal with major life changes. Animals and pets are simply awesome and their companionship is unmatched.

So having them in your home with you is wonderful. That is until they damage your imported Italian furniture beyond repair, then things don’t look so wonderful. Before you lose all hope, you can make an effort to pet-proof your home so that your nice things remain intact.

Pet-proofing is akin to childproofing your home

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You are making small changes that will ultimately protect your things against a boisterous bundle of fluff. Here’s what to consider if you’re about to come home with puppy or kitten, or if your current furry buddy is enjoying your furniture a little too much.

Colour and textiles must be considered

Small patterns, dark colours and strong textures are key. Make sure you purchase items that are busier than your usual style as they will help mask the hairs shed by your pet. Dark colours will wear better than lighter shades and any stains and marks are not seen as easily.

Consider fabrics and textiles that can work both indoors and outdoors

Not because you’re going to use them in this fashion but because these fabrics will be able to handle an excitable pet with claws, who doesn’t wash their paws before they come indoors. Generally, strong textiles that can be used inside or outside can handle some heavy-duty cleaning, scrubbing, and even bleaching. This means that when accidents happen you can do the necessary to get the stain and smell out of the furniture or rug.

High-pile carpeting is out of the question

High-pile carpeting is plush and luxurious. It’s a real win for your bare feet and just like you, your pets will enjoy it too. But it’s no good. If you’re the parent of an animal, you need to be super aware of how your pets can get hurt by things you don’t even think about.

High-pile carpets will attract your dog or cat and they will want to nestle into the carpet to feel comfortable and warm. But they have claws and either they’ll end up hurt or your beautiful carpeting (which possibly cost you a small fortune) will be completely ruined. Their claws can hook into the bigger looped carpet strands or your carpet will end up with holes in it where they’ve decided to dig or give it more fluffing.

If you’re the parent of an animal, you need to be super aware of how your pets can get hurt by things you don’t even think about

Cats need to scratch

You can’t deny your fur-baby feline a scratching post. They need to scratch and if you don’t give them a place to do so they will inevitably use your furniture. Now there are a bunch of pet shops who supply scratching posts and toys for your cat to enjoy but they don’t always look great. So you have a couple of options.

You can choose textures and fabrics that won’t suffer if your cat decides to knead it fiercely with their paws and claws. These include material like velvet, which isn’t created with loops of thread, but rather is cut in the same way you cut hair. Or you can invest in some rope and create homemade scratching posts in your home where there are pipes and the like. Make use of sisal rope and attach it with glue to make a scratching post of pole.

Everybody loves a blanket and your pets are no different

Your dog or cat should have their own blankie. If you introduce it at a young age then they’re likely to embrace this blankie and spend ample time sleeping and cuddling on it. But your pets will always want to jump on the sofa or the bed with you. You can, of course, train them out of this habit but sometimes a couch cuddle with your pet is just what you and they need.

You can have the best of both worlds by covering your lounge suite with a durable blanket or throw that can withstand your pets jumping on and making themselves comfy. You should place your pet’s blankie where you want them to curl up…

…except of course, when you and they are in need of some serious cuddles and lap time is in order.