For many of us, a house wouldn’t be a home without a pet — or two — or several. But even the most ardent pet lover will admit that cat towers and giant dog beds do little for the decor of a home. Fortunately, there’s a plethora of products on the market that will keep your pet happy and your home looking good. Here are a few top picks.
1. Food and water stations. Pets need clean water and food throughout the day, but all that eating and drinking can make quite a mess. Try a raised feeding station to keep bowls off the floor but still accessible. Choose from a variety of styles to match your décor — sleek modern, traditional designs, or even models painted to match your walls or woodwork. Not only are they easier on the eye, they reduce strain on your pet’s neck. A win-win.
2. Hidden storage. Take control of the bowls, beds, litter boxes, and toys cluttering your home by creating hidden storage areas. Options include alcoves for pets beneath existing furniture such as end tables. Or take it a step further and create dedicated spaces beneath counters or benches. This can be a great option for hiding a pet bed or litter box.
3. Beds. If your pet’s bed is out in the open, you may want to consider models and designs that coordinate with the style and décor of your home. Go neutral with a bed the same color as your pet’s fur. It will conceal dirt and shedding in between cleanings. Want a coordinating look but can’t find the right fabric? Make a custom cover using upholstery fabric. Tip: an added zipper will make washing a breeze. If you want something really special, look for pet beds made to look like miniature versions of sofas or chairs.
4. Gates and crates. Many of us need to keep our pets out of certain areas of our homes from time to time. Buy how do you do that without turning the space into a mini prison? Fortunately, gates are now available in a variety of materials. Look for gates made of similar woods and metals to your home furnishings. Crates can be more difficult to hide. For smaller pets, crates that are integrated into furniture (like a side table) are a good choice. For larger pets, try a crate that can be folded up when not in use.
5. Treats and toys. Providing your pets with toys isn’t just pampering, it’s practical too. If you don’t give them something to scratch or chew on, they might go after your favorite chair. Trouble is, these treats can be messy, and — let’s face it — a little gross. Try indestructible rubber chew toys for dogs. For felines, try a cat tree that you can attach to an out-of-the-way wall, a nice upgrade from the traditional carpet/cardboard combo.
Not intended to solicit buyers or sellers currently under contract.
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