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5 pet-friendly upgrades for your home

What we'll cover

  • How to create a safe space for your pet

  • Upgrades that can save you time and money

  • Low-maintenance home improvements

Pet-friendly features can make these special members of your family more comfortable, and they can make your house stand out when you go to sell in the future. Consider these upgrades to make your pet feel more at home in your home.

1. Pet-friendly flooring

Linoleum and vinyl flooring has come a long way from the versions you remember in your grandparents' kitchen and the basement of your childhood home. Today, vinyl flooring can mimic the warm look and feel of hardwood — but without the maintenance and costly price tags. Spills and accidents from non-house-trained puppies wipe up quickly without soaking in or leaving lasting damage.

Stain-resistant carpeting can also save you time, stress and money when your pet creates a mess. Choose between wall-to-wall options that don't absorb any liquids (reducing odors and making clean-up easy) and rugs that can be tossed in your washing machine for easy laundering. No costly, professional cleaning service needed.

Pet-friendly flooring can save you time, stress and money when your pet creates a mess.

2. Cat condos

Everyone deserves a space of their own, including our animals. With a little imagination and some DIY skills, you can turn an underutilized space beneath the stairs or a unique niche/alcove you're not quite sure what to do with into your cat's own little sanctuary. Just grab some cardboard (for scratching posts, of course) and start constructing.

3. Washing station

Keeping a home clean with a four-legged friend can be a never-ending chore. A dedicated bathing area may sound like something only for grooming businesses, but you might be surprised by how useful (and cost-effective) this addition can be. This animal-friendly space (think: stainless steel for easy cleaning and a small staircase for entry so you don't have to lift your 100-pound lab into the tub) for taking care of muddy paws or for washing away the sand after a day at the beach keeps the mess contained and makes bath time more manageable — and easier on your back.

4. Fenced-in yard

This popular upgrade keeps canines of all sizes safely contained and can be a good deterrent for keeping other wildlife out. A fence also gives Fido plenty of space for exercise and those oh-so-loved games of fetch. Consider adding a dog door that leads to the fenced yard for easy access.

If you're thinking about a home's future resale value, it's important to note non-dog owners may also see a fence as a desirable privacy and safety feature for younger children.

Tip: Incorporating raised garden beds and container gardening can also make it easier to keep your pets from digging up your plants.

5. Indoor gates

As much as we love our pets, sometimes you need to keep them out of (or in) certain areas. Installing sliding gates can be a functional and surprisingly stylish way to keep pets in the right place. Typically made of wood, these barriers are secured to a nearby wall or doorway and are more secure than temporary freestanding or tension gates. Most styles can be easily removed if future buyers aren't interested, and young families may actually see them as a bonus feature since they can double as child safety gates.

Incorporating these five pet-friendly upgrades to your home demonstrates a commitment to the well-being and happiness of your pets, while creating a safe environment where they will be able to thrive.

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