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A welcome home for new pets

For many new homeowners, one of their first tasks, even before redecorating, is finding a furry friend to share it with.

If that's you, then here are a few tips on introducing new pets to your home from Veterinarian Nurse and freelance writer Jennifer Glenn.

According to surveys conducted by the People's Dispensary for Sick Animals, the number of pet owners just keeps rising, with the lockdowns of 2020-21, in particular, providing the impetus to bring an animal friend into the home. Animals can bring so much joy, companionship, and comfort, but of course, they may also bring with them some mess. Whether it’s cat litter trays, dirty dog's paws, or the hay and poo left by rabbits and rodents. Finding a calm balance between catering for them, and catering for the humans, is key - and very possible with a few design hacks.

Valuing pet-friendly seating

One of the biggest challenges that pets offer is damaged furniture and possibly fittings. As consumer watchdog Which? highlights, there are countless ways that homeowners have sought to challenge pets when they gnaw on furniture, ranging from sticky tape to deter dogs, to scratchpads to help cats distress, and even the use of obnoxious smelling sprays to keep animals of all kinds of.

Animal lovers, however, have a third way. Instead of fighting against the animals and looking for ways to minimise their impact, look to use materials that are animal-friendly. Microfiber, cotton, and nylon are all easily cleaned and easily vacuumed, too, removing loose hair. When put around wooden areas and harder settings of furniture, they can protect them from even the most persistent or naughty furry friend. What’s more, with new design trends, they can be perfectly aesthetically pleasing - and won’t break the bank.

Protecting the hardware

Of more concern for homeowners is damaged fittings, such as skirting boards. According to, it can be a good idea to put in temporary fittings. Thin sheets of pine across skirting boards, for example, won’t change the look of the room drastically, but they will stop animals from gnawing. It'll be a labour of love but will easily provide protection.

A dedicated area

Perhaps the best thing you can do is provide a dedicated area for animals. This can be a corner of the home, and you’ll create it with some degree of acceptance that it’ll be scuffed up and messy, and may require renovation in the future. However, doing it this way minimises the risk posed to the rest of the home, and will provide a lot of comfort for your animal. You can then train them - especially dogs - to be well-behaved around the rest of the home and treat it with respect. Giving them a corner is a kind act, and will psychologically benefit both you and the furry friend.

Bringing a pet into the home can be a challenge - but it’s well worth it. Homeowners want to preserve their home values, and they absolutely can, with a bit of proper planning and contingency put in place to ensure animals treat the home properly, too.

Find more of our interior design blogs for inspiration.