Making Your Pets Comfortable
For those of us who have pets, they are considered part of the family. Some people refer to their pets as their furbabies or four-legged children.
Pets are a big deal in the United States. According to the 2021-2022 APPA National Pet Owners Survey, 70% of U.S. households own a pet, which equates to 90.5 million homes, with dogs leading at 69.0%, cats at 45.3% followed by fish, reptiles, horses, and other small animals. Most of the Rosie on the House staff fall into that statistic.
Like us, our pets want to feel loved, secure, safe, and comfortable.
Here are some ideas to help you create a space that makes your pet feel like a member of the family.
Sometimes our pets need to be alone. A thunderstorm, fireworks, new people, or simply not feeling well may cause them to seek space far from the madding crowd. If you have a spare bedroom, create a "catopia" or "dogtopia." Provide them with space in a quiet part of your house that isn’t too far from where you can keep an eye on them.
Be Chewy offers suggestions for crates, corners, forts, and rooms. Some look so cozy, you may want to move in!
Regardless of the space provided, be sure to include bedding, food, water, and a litterbox (for cats), pee pads (for dogs) in the safe space. If she’s new to your home, items from her previous space, like a blanket, scratcher, or toys that will add to her sense of security.
You've seen Fluffy longing to go outside for fresh air and an up-close view of the birds. Go ahead and let her out . . . into a catio.
A catio is an outdoor pet enclosure or “cat patio” similar to a sunroom that allows cats to enjoy the outdoors while being protected from wildlife or running away. It can also be used for small dogs.
Cats can weasel their way out of many situations. notes that it is important that the catio is escape-proof. There should be no openings large enough to squeeze through, even on the top. Avoid anything that could catch on a collar, or things that she herself could get stuck on or in.
At the same time, you need to keep other animals out. Ensure that your catio frame is strong and all components are firmly attached. If there are large predators in your area, the catio must be extremely sturdy. Be sure the screen’s grids are small so a snake can’t slither through.
Need inspiration? Check out these catios from Cats Safe at Home.
May I Take Your Order?
Just as you probably don’t want to dine in your bathroom, your pet doesn’t want to eat near her litterbox or dog run. Pinterest is loaded with ideas to create feeding and food storage areas the complement the decor of your home.
Working at the Dog Wash
When washing your dog, who gets the better bath, you or the dog? And what does your bathroom look like when you’re done?
TheBark.com suggests the following:
First, determine where your dog washing station should go. Indoors in the laundry room or outside? Pet washing stations can double as a utility sink in the utility room or gardening areas.
- Make clean-up easy: Be sure that the washing area is waterproof. Tile is ideal.
- Go elevated: An elevated dog washing station is easier on your back and knees than bending over on the ground level.
- Walk-in shower: For larger or senior dogs, consider an accessible walk-in pet shower.
- Handheld sprayer: A sprayer is more comfortable for your back, plus it’s an excellent tool for cleaning paws.
- Get a bigger drain: A 3” drain works better with dog hair, though you still need a hair filter to protect the plumbing pipes.
- Towel racks: Add drying racks and hooks for easy access to the many towels you’ll go through.
- Think storage: When designing your dog washing station, go big or go home when it comes to storage—it is a must-have in any washing area. Add storage for soaps, shampoos, brushes, and towels.
You may be water-conscious and prefer not to have a lawn. However, Fido has other ideas.
We have found that pet owners tend to favor naturally grassy areas so their beloved dogs and cats have a cool, natural place to romp (and do their business). Artificial turf can get hot. But don’t rule it out. Most manufacturers say it’s okay to set Fido loose on the synthetic product; just clean up the mess he leaves and hose off the turf to remove the evidence.
Dave Clark, writer, The Wag, noted in his Spring/Summer 2020 article, "The biggest concerns most homeowners have when it comes to turf is one, will it develop an odor over times and two, is it safe for my pets? The answer to both questions depends on what type you decide to purchase."
He notes that turf made with U-shaped grass blades that are placed through a checkerboard-style grid over thick polyurethane backing can be problematic. Dogs love to dig and scratch. The blades can easily be torn off.
As for odor build-up, it is probably due to the manufacturer not having the proper drainage for animal waste.
Rosie on the House Certified Partner, Easyturf By Sunburst Landscaping’s Maxxflow artificial turf utilizes backing and top dressing infills that include acrylic sand and Envirofill that creates a surface that’s play-friendly and is specially designed for animal waste drainage.
We suggest investing $250 in a WysiWash Pro sprayer that comes with nine tabs. Spray the affected areas with non-toxic and pet-friendly tablets that deliver calcium hypochlorite mix that will neutralize the odor. The nine tablets should last about a year. The replacement package runs about $50.
Other Point(ers) of Interest
Last week we talked about keeping our pets from harm’s way. We mentioned Valley fever and heat-related distress. The Wag Magazine’s September 2021 issue offers more helpful information starting on page 12.
Your pets are part of your family; they want to feel loved and comfortable too. We can't always avoid bouts of severe weather, encounters with wildlife or any of the other anxiety filled moments our pets may go through, however, that doesn't stop us from trying! Tune-In as we share some ideas to help keep them feeling safe and secure. Plus, University Of Arizona Assistant Professor Katie Prudic explains the huge increase of moths and butterflies; why do moths get a bad rap?
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