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The Do’s and Don’ts of Dog-Friendly Decor

Bloodhound or boxer, spaniel or shih tzu, pointer or pug, your precious pet is a big part of the family. But things can get messy when it comes to sharing your life with a dog – fur, mud, toys and all. Make it easy on yourself by adopting these home-style tips to keep things clean and comfortable for everyone involved.

Find the right flooring.

Let’s face it: You’re pretty much vacuuming or dry mopping every day, so make it a routine. This will keep you ahead of the fur game. Go with flooring that is as easy to clean as possible. Put down inexpensive, slip-proof rugs on heavy traffic areas to ward off wood-floor scratches. Replaceable tiles are great for eradicating “accidents.” Opt for sea-grass mats instead of shag carpeting.

Be smart about furnishings.

You may want to match furniture to your dog’s coat if she is the shedding type. Neutrals and patterns are a safe bet – whatever won’t show the dirt or hair. Go with stain-protected fabrics and/or sturdy stuff like denim, canvas or microsuede. Semi-gloss paint is easier to wipe down than matte, especially if she’s a drooler. Avoid buying any tables or chairs with sharp edges and keep knickknacks to a minimum. Keep window treatments simple to keep fur transfer to a minimum. Ditto chair skirts and tablecloths. Buy unfussy bed linens if you let her cuddle with you at night.

Plan for home-alone time.

Use simple coverings for any furniture that he is likely to commandeer when you’re not watching. Consider installing a bench at the window to let him watch the world go by outside, particularly if you’re gone all day.

Corral all the doggie stuff.

Keep toys to a minimum to make the nightly cleanup easier. Only buy toys that you can machine wash. Designating play areas that are out of the way makes rough-housing safer. Tug of war is only so fun until someone gets hurt. Create an entry area to keep toys, leash, food and other accoutrements in one spot. Use cabinets that shut so you don’t have to look at it all. Strategically placed dog beds can allow her to hang out with you in different rooms.

Keep the dog clean.

A lot of dog dirt can be prevented with regular grooming. Bath time isn’t fun but it is so very essential. If morning runs are muddy, keep a foot bucket handy and get him used to it. Regular brushing keeps shedding down considerably. And never underestimate the power of a quick microfibre-cloth wipedown, wet or dry.

Outfitting your house in the most pet-friendly way possible will make everyone’s life easier in the long run. Hey, it’s the dog’s home, too.

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