Handling Households When it Rains Cats and Dogs....and Kids
Ideas to help accomodate both kids and pets
Safer Kitchens Together
Does your home have a pet? According to the Australian Companion Animal Council, more than 63 per cent of our households do. That includes 3.7 million dogs, 2.2 million cats and 7.8 million birds - and you thought just having kids was enough!
According to the same body, 91 per cent of owners report feeling 'very close' to their pet. But co-habitation of kids and pets can pose some struggles in the home - both on your furniture and your sanity. So how do you create a great environment for your children that also caters to the needs of of our furry friends? Read on to find out!
Sometimes, it can seem like kids and pets are working together to make your life difficult. Case in point: The kitchen. Who hasn't caught their cat in a cupboard with a torn open bag of cat food, or a child with chocolate smeared on their face pretending everything was in its place?
Keeping kitchens under lock and key can be a great way to maintain order and cleanliness. A collapsible gate to prevent entry while you're cooking, childproof locks on cupboards or even installing shelves out of reach of the young ones can get the job done. The same can apply to laundries and areas where you have chemicals that could be harmful.
A little preventative action reduces mess and restores a bit of order to an often chaotic area of the home.
Paw to the Floor
If you're still searching for a property that suits both your children and your pet, spare a moment (or several) for the flooring. While carpeted homes are fantastic for warmth and comfort, they may not be ideal for indoor pets.
With dogs that love outdoor rough and tumble, it is possible that they will traipse mud, grass and who knows what else through your carpet, resulting in some expensive and time consuming cleaning. Vinyl or hardwood floors can be much easier for this, and with the right bed or rugs for your pet they can still stay snug and warm at night.
Keep an eye out for the right combination of flooring when you are browsing properties, so there are areas of comfort for everyone that won't be a hassle to maintain.
Practicality Before Perfection
When you own your own home, it's tempting to deck it out with some of the most lavish items you can find, and finally spend large on that beautiful four-seater couch you've always wanted. However, to keep a home friendly and practical for both children and pets, it pays to be more realistic with your furnishings.
Leather-covered furniture is a good idea to repel spills and hair, which minimises the cleaning you will have to do. You don't have to compromise your comfort, but you should think practically first!
Don't Forget the Outer Space
If you have a large dog, it's going to be quite crucial that you have outdoor space. While new apartment and unit popularity is growing, with the Housing Industry Association noting an 11.3 per cent rise in multi-unit sales for March, it might not be best for your pet.
Consider looking in outer suburbs where green space is more prevalent, and check with the body corporate about pets if you are looking at strata living. It's not just good for pets either - nearby parks or a good backyard gives kids the freedom to run and play to their hearts' content.
Creating a space that works for both pets and kids is a delicate balancing act, but it's far from impossible. Do your homework, talk to your agent, and work out exactly what you and your extended family need before you buy.