How to pet-proof your home

London - Dogs are rather more than a man’s best friend.

Even more astonishingly, dog owners in Britain spent more than 1 billion last year on their furry friends. Credit: AP

According to a survey, 27 percent of British dog owners admit to dancing with their dogs and 23 percent allow their pooches to eat from their plates.

Even more astonishingly, dog owners in Britain spent more than £1-billion last year on their furry friends.

But much as we adore our pets, they don’t always make for stylish living. So, in the name of happy co-habiting, here are our top tips on how to pet-proof your home.


Super plush, thick-pile carpet is a no go for pets.

“Most pets seem to favour fluffy high-pile rugs for digging their claws and paws into, so sticking to a flatter weave is a good idea,” says American interiors stylist, author and blogger, Grace Bonney.


If, like a third of us, you allow your dog to snooze on the sofa, then you probably know that certain fabrics are more pet-friendly than others.

Julia Szabo recommends leather, as it’s easy to clean and durable.

Matt Deighton, managing director of handcrafted furniture company Timeless Chesterfields, says that his customers are increasingly asking for pet-friendly sofas and chairs.

“One clients ordered a black leather Chesterfield sofa and a dog bed for her five dachshunds in exactly the same style and material. She wanted her pets’ accessories to complement the look of her room,” he says.

Another wanted a leather Chesterfield specifically large enough for her dogs to sit on comfortably. “Lots of our customers are pet lovers and many of them are taking their pets into consideration when they furnish their homes,” he says.

Velvet is another surprisingly petfriendly fabric.

“Unlike regular upholstery fabrics, it’s not a looped thread. It is cut at the end like hair. That gives cats very little to hook their claws into,” says Grace Bonney. Matt Deighton agrees that velvet is hard-wearing. But warns: “Be cautious of 100 percent cotton velvet as it will mark easily. Try polyester velvet instead.’

And for a top wood tip — lighter shade woods are better at hiding moggy scratch marks than dark ones such as mahogany or ebony.


Children will eventually grow out of scribbling all over the walls, but your dog will never tire of being a mucky pup. So invest in some easy-clean paint and banish white, advises Julia Szabo.

“It’s not a good shade for a house with a pet. White walls are a bad idea because they won’t stay that way. Instead, be more creative with colour,” she urges.


We might not all be as potty about our pets as author Jilly Cooper. Her greyhound, Bluebell, lunches on chicken, liver and beef mixed with melted butter and pate. But your pet could prove to be a source of inspiration.

“Paint a concrete floor the same shade of grey as your cat. Or cover your sofa in a honey tone that matches your golden retriever,” she says. That way, stray hairs pass unnoticed and you won’t be constantly using a vacuum cleaner.


Pets — like children — mean clutter, so invest in good storage.

Pack pet toys away in brightly coloured storage trunks (metal storage trunks from £30, and make sure leads are safely hung on hooks, preferably with coats near the door.


Pets are spoilt for choice. You can invest in a replica cardboard Kremlin for your cat, (£34.99, or a tent for your pooch to experiment with a bit of glamping (dog tent £250, There are even dog teepees (Tiny Paws Pet Teepee £40,