Planning to do some home remodelling? Be sure to factor in your best friend’s safety and comfort!
If painting is part of your remodeling plan, look for products that are no or low VOC. These chemicals are put in paint to help it dry faster and inhibit the growth of mold and bacteria.
Paint can off-gas for up to 18 months after application; off-gassing is the “new paint” smell we notice after we paint. These toxins can affect breathing by increasing the risk of upper respiratory infections, allergies and certain types of cancer.
For easy clean-up, use a washable semi-gloss in areas where your dog spends a lot of time, such as favourite sleeping spots near walls, etc.
For flooring, think hard surfaces. They’re healthier and easier to maintain because they don’t trap dog hair, stains and odours the way carpet does. Most commercial carpeting off-gasses, which is even more of an issue with dogs than with people because they’re so much closer to the floor than we are, and spend a lot of time lying or sleeping on or near it.
Tile, bamboo, hardwood, or rubber flooring are healthier options. If you must have carpeting, stay away from large-looped Berbers; claws can get caught in the loops, causing potential injury and snagging the carpet. Or consider area rugs. They’re easier to keep clean and are less expensive than wall-to-wall carpeting. Make sure area rugs are anchored with rug grips or a piece of heavy furniture to prevent dogs (and people) from slipping.
TIP: When picking a flooring colour, choose one that matches your dog. If you have a golden retriever, for instance, a similarly-hued floor surface will help hide shed hairs. Patterned flooring helps disguise stains and looks cleaner longer.
When looking for animal–friendly fabrics, choose those that are tightly woven and can resist tears and rips. Fabrics with a smooth finish, such as leather, ultra suede and micro fibres, are extremely durable, odour resistant and easy to clean. To maintain it, just wipe dog hair off with an electrostatic duster or damp sponge. Leather is also very forgiving when it comes to scratches – just be careful of actual punctures. Patterns and textures will help hide stains and hairs.
If buying new furniture isn’t an option, get slipcovers! They come in a variety of colours and styles and are easy to keep clean since most are machine washable. Use slipcovers constructed of indoor/outdoor fabrics; they are resistant to fading and mildew and come in many stylish patterns and colours.
Multi-functional accessories are essential when designing with dogs in mind. For example:
- Leash holders can be used to hold towels for muddy paws as well as dog-walking equipment.
- Storage bins can store toys, extra blankets, bed covers and doggy sweaters.
- A baker’s rack or shelves in a mudroom or back hallway can serve as a handy dog centre – everything is in one place and easily accessible
Crates & Beds
CRATES or BEDS should be kept in a draught-free spot that’s out of main traffic areas. Or consider an animal cubby, a special niche that gives him his own “den” to sleep in or for privacy. Cubbies can be incorporated under vanities or cabinets. When outfitted with a microfibre cushion, your companion can relax in an out-of-the-way spot while still “watching over” his territory.
Ramps should be considered for navigating stairs and furniture. They help reduce back and joint injuries and are beneficial for small, elderly, disabled and/or injured dogs. Stairs can also be purchased in segments to make an easy transition for small or handicapped pooches.