4 Tips to Pet-Proof Your Living Room

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4 Tips to Pet-Proof Your Living Room

Staff Writer · Jan 7, 2010

The living room is most likely the spot in your home that your furry friend will be in the most, making it extra essential to pet proof the place. It’s easy to lock bedroom or bathroom doors when you’re not home, in order to keep pets out, but the living room doesn’t afford that luxury of seclusion. As the hub of the home, it holds everything from food, to electronics, to fabrics to important papers, all of which could quickly turn into rubbish at the jaws or claws of your pet, so take the proper precautions to protect these items (and your animal).

1. Stow Away Valuables

In a casual home, the typical living room is a place where you do everything from put down your keys, leave the mail, take off jewelry and do work. When leaving your pet at home alone, you have to make sure all of these items are out of the way, leaving no temptation for destruction. Place mail in a basket or box with a closing lid, to prevent pets from chewing through important bills or paperwork and obstructing you from reading the important information you’ve received via the mailman. Keys can also be a tempting toy for cats and dogs alike, so be sure to hang those high. And don’t get into the habit of taking off your earrings or watch and leaving them on the coffee table, lest you want them in your pet’s stomach.

2. Trim Down the Frills

Having pets will most likely cause you to simplify and modernize your design taste, cutting out overly rich fabrics and textures. Fine, dark wood can easily fall victim to cats’ claws and dogs’ paws, so metal legs and more simple materials might prove to be better options. Opt for couches in dark fabrics to mask the possible pet accident, and add the colors you prefer with pillows and throws instead. Avoid pillows with lots of tassels, as they can become magnets for the scratch-happy cat or chewing-obsessed dog.

3. Be Careful with Electronics

Pets often don’t understand that electrical cords and wires aren’t chew toys. Do your best to tuck stray wires under furniture, or keep them up high if at all possible. Tape cords down to prevent pets from getting caught in them and pulling down the valuable, heavy electronics they attach to. Don’t leave your computer out on the coffee table, or else you’ll risk it getting covered in dog slobber. Pet hair can also get trapped in the computer, creating unnecessary damage. And don’t you dare leave any full beverage cups out in the living room, as pets’ clumsiness can quickly knock them over and make a mess.

4. Provide Distractions for the Pets

One of the best ways to avoid the conundrums detailed so far is to give pets a space of their own in the living room. It might not get you in an interior decorating magazine, but leaving a basket of dogs’ toys out will keep them away from your belongings. Look for a scratching post for cats to keep them from shredding your furniture.

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