If you have a cat, dog, or other pet, you know firsthand how much joy and fun a pet can bring to your life. Pets add a lot of comfort, companionship, and love to our lives, and during the last couple years of the pandemic, pet ownership in Toronto has increased even more. It seems like everyone has a pet these days, and that’s a great thing!
However rewarding it can be to have a pet, though, they can do a number on our homes. From having to sweep and vacuum daily to keep up with a shedding dog to replacing furniture that a cat has clawed, taking care of your home or condo can be a lot more work when you have a pet. Another potential downside of having a pet is on the aesthetic front – a lot of the items that pets need, from food and water dishes to crates and toys, typically aren’t the most stylish. It doesn’t have to be this way, though! Today, we’ve rounded up our top picks for stylish, chic, pet-friendly décor and accessories for your home or condo, along with some tips on how to keep your home both pet-friendly and beautiful. Because you can have a pet and a gorgeous home, too!
Consider Beauty at Every Turn
Many items for pets are designed exclusively for functionality and practicality, with little attention to design and aesthetics. But if you consider your home’s design and how well an item will complement it before adding new items to your home, you’d be surprised at how many high-quality, aesthetically-pleasing items are available.
For example, your dog’s food and water bowls can be chic and stylish – since they live on the floor of your home day in and day out, and you’ll be looking at them daily, this is an easy place to start. Wild One and Best Cat have great options, or you can choose stylish bowls of your choice – after all, a dog or cat’s dishes aren’t inherently different from human dishes! You can also find crates that are minimalist and stylish, such as this one from Revol, and attractive pet beds, including from Brooklyn and Hound (available in three stunning colours to suit any home décor style, these plush, meticulously handcrafted leather dog beds are the statement piece your house had been waiting for!).
Sometimes, pets need specialty items that simply aren’t attractive – for example, pet stairs for an aging pet that wants to make its way up onto the couch or bed. If you allow your pets onto the furniture but don’t want the eyesore of pet stairs, consider adding an ottoman next to your couch or bed instead.
Pick Beautiful Toys
Pig’s ears and rawhide bones may be universally adored by dogs, but they’re unattractive and smelly items to have kicking around your home. Better-looking (and more healthy for your pet) options include rubber toys like the Kong or these chic toys from Wild One.
For cats, opt for a stylish scratching post/climbing tree combo that’s chic and well-designed, like this one from Archie & Oscar, or the Zen Style Rattan Cat Tree from Happy & Polly. Beauty and functionality CAN coexist!
Protect Your Furniture
Pet-friendly fabrics include leather, pleather, and Ultrasuede, a machine-washable microfiber that feels as smooth and seductive as real suede. If you have furniture in other fabrics (such as silk or velvet, for example) and want to keep it protected, invest in a few machine-washable throw blankets that you can toss onto your couch or bed before your dog jumps onto it. The PupProtector Waterproof Throw Blanket in Brown Faux Cowhide, for example, is a chic option. This will make keeping your home clean and fresh-smelling a breeze.
Another way to protect your furniture is to opt for furniture with metal framing and legs, rather than wooden legs, to minimize puppies chewing on it.
Create Smart Storage Options
Having dedicated storage space for your pet’s items is a great way to keep your home looking tidy. Much like children’s toys, pet toys and accessories can sometimes seem to explode, taking over a room or even your whole home – so it’s best to keep them organized and contained.
Choose storage options that mesh well with your home’s existing interior design. You might want to consider baskets or clear plastic storage containers. Including one by the front door is a great idea, so that your dog’s leash, harness, waste bags, and any Frisbees or balls you might want to bring to the dog park are all readily accessible.
Make Vacuuming Fun
There’s no way around it – if you have a pet, regular vacuuming is a must. Keep your home free of pet hair and dust bunnies by investing in a high-quality vacuum machine that makes the job quick and easy. Some amazing options are the Dyson Ball Animal 2 Pro (an upright vacuum named for its miraculous ability to suck up animal hair) or a Roomba (which is an investment but a powerful way to help keep on top of vacuuming without any effort). Having a smaller, handheld vacuum easily accessible for quick vacuuming and spot-cleaning furniture is also a great way to make everyday vacuuming less of a hassle.
If you can, choose rugs that are durable, low-pile, and stain-resistant (wool and carpet tiles are great options), and opt for hard flooring surfaces instead of carpeting wherever possible.
Keeping your pet clean and well-groomed will also help to keep your house or condo cleaner for longer. Keep their nails trimmed to minimize scratches on floors and upholstery, and brush and bathe them regularly to remove loose hair before it ends up all over your home. Invest in a regular schedule of doggy spa visits or some high-quality pet shampoo to make the job easier and more enjoyable.
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