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Pet-friendly Homes and Yards With Curb Appeal

You love your home and your pet, but as entertaining and loved as they are, sometimes pooches and kitties can wreck the ambiance with damage from rowdy horseplay, general mischief-making and not-so-sweet smells. Try these tips to keep pet-friendly homes and yards welcoming, curb-worthy spaces for everyone.

Decorate With Pet-friendly Style

Even well-groomed pets leave smudges on door jambs. Dogs fling drool across the room. Wagging tails and feline acrobats break our knick-knacks, and parrots love chewing wood picture frames. Protect walls with either satin finishes or semigloss paint for easiest clean up and elegant style. Instead of loosely displaying knick-knacks and framed pictures on shelves and tabletops, consider a pretty display cabinet for collectibles and hanging art on walls. If you have a parrot or other large bird that you let sit outside a closed cage, keep it on a stand instead of suspending it from the ceiling where it can lean over to munch on Great-Grandma's heirloom portrait frame.

Spruce Up A Dog Run

Install pet-friendly shrubbery and trees to outline long, winding paths pets can romp and run without wrecking. Small cedar chips are prettier, cleaner and more comfortable on paw pads than bare ground, gravel or pine bark that bites. Choose sturdy plants with soft leaves that can withstand Rover's romping, and place pieces of driftwood or large stones in borders to deter traipsing through the tulips.

Keep It Clean

Pet-friendly families have indoor and outdoor carpets of sorts, and each needs its own kind of cleaning to keep it pretty and healthy for the pets and their humans. Tracked-in dirt, pet pests, pet dander and hair become embedded in carpet over time. These can make your home smell like, well, like pets live there. Biting bugs and respiratory difficulties don't exactly welcome guests warmly.

Choose non-porous, bare floors with a water-resistant or waterproof finish if you can. Wash throw rugs regularly to keep them fresh. Have area rugs, carpet and fabric-upholstered furniture professionally cleaned two or three times a year. Keep your grassy carpet looking its best by quickly cleaning up after Fifi and Sherlock, and reseeding any worn patches. Periodic pest control to minimize fleas and regular mowing will help keep pests and prickles from hitchhiking inside on Poochie.

Our pets may not feel the same pride of ownership we homeowners do, but they let you know when you've made their day. Keep them happy indoors and out using some of these ideas while making guests and neighbors so glad they came by.

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