Ever feel like your pets are taking over your apartment or home?  Liberal doses of pet hair, squeaky toys under foot, stinky litter boxes, scratched furniture, and messy food bowls are just a few signs of pet dominion at home.  But owning pets doesn’t automatically equate a house dominated by your four-legged friends and their stuff.

Undeniably, pets are valuable members of your family that you simply couldn’t live without, but owning a pet also means dealing with lots of pet supplies, some of which are not just unsightly but a serious damper to your decorista aspirations.

Thankfully, pet-friendly interior design and more sophisticated pet accessories  are becoming prevalent, making for a better home environment for you and your pet. You can have a stylish home and make your pets comfortable and happy too.  Learn how with these pet design solutions  to five of the most annoying pet problems.

Problem: A Stinky Litter Box

Litter boxes are probably the bane of most cat owners, but they don’t have to be stinky, ugly looking messes.

Solutions

There are several creative pet design solutions  to keep the litter box concealed and make it easily accessible for your cats.  You want to look for a design that helps eliminate the odor and prevents litter from escaping too. Consider moving it to a bathroom – even under a sink – where a smell would be the least disruptful.

Check out ModernCatDesigns.com for unique litter boxes that look like wooden cabinets and blend in seamlessly with home decor.  If your style is more mod they also have the Mox Litter Tower, which is built in a cylinder and the cat enters from the top.  If you are a DIYer, peruse Pinterest for ideas on retrofitting furniture to house a litter box or cover it up with a unique solution.

Problem: Messy Feeding Area

Dogs are often the culprit of a messy feeding area with slouched water and dog food scattered.

Solutions

There are several pet design solutions  to this issue.  First try elevating your dog’s food and water bowls on a stand, which will help them eat easier.  You can find several styles in pet stores from metal to wood.  You can also get creative and use planters that your dog’s food and water dishes will just slot down inside.  Next put a rubber mat underneath the stand and bowls to catch escaping food and water.

For multiple pets, try a feeding station cabinet that houses the food with a pull out drawer for the dishes at your dog’s level and an area on top for your cat.  If you find yourself constantly refilling the water bowl try a self-filling water dish or a watering fountain of which cats are especially fond.

Problem: Where to Put Leashes and Outdoor Dog Toys

Leashes and outdoor dog toys (like Frisbees or balls) need to be easy to find, but can easily look like dirty clutter if not in “their place.”

Solutions

Give these items a dedicated (if not celebrated) place! Choose a spot near the door you exit with your dog, and install some hooks for your leashes (and a jacket for yourself). Add a small shelf, cabinet or storage bench. To embrace your doggy lifestyle, recover the bench with appealing canine-themed fabric, paint paws on the cabinet, or hang an elegant dog portrait as part of the overall design. Hooks shaped like the back end of a dog are a humorous eye-catcher.

Problem: Scattered Toys and Unattractive Cat Jungles

Most cats and dogs love toys whether its those tug-o-war ropes or fuzzy mice or squeaky rubber critters.  Toys are important to keeping our four-legged friends happy and busy, but they don’t really make nice home décor.

Solutions

Store your pets toys away in cute storage baskets or bins.  You can find toy baskets in the pet aisle, but try the organization section where you may find something that more closely matches your decor style.  You could also DIY your own basket by putting your pet’s name on the front.  Keep the basket in a low spot and train your cat or dog to go to it for a toy.

Cats have notoriously ugly accessories – just think about those carpet covered climbing trees and unsightly scratch posts.  But these aren’t the only options for cat entertainment anymore.  For more stylish options visit hauspanther.com where you can find a variety of design conscious scratch posts and climbers in modern, attractive styles.

Related: Top pet hacks for your apartment

Problem: Obtrusive Pet Beds that Look Out of Place

Pet beds often get added to a room as an afterthought, and then they look out of place or perhaps in the way.

Solutions

Instead consider your pet’s bed as part of the furniture and incorporate it into the room just as you would a chair or coffee table.  Try to match the style and fabric to your current design.

Choose a pet bed that looks like furniture. One example might be a cabinet or bookshelf with a dog crate built in or a wooden bed with legs that looks like a mini sofa.  If your dog needs to be crated at night, check out Felix Chien for matching crate covers and beds.  For cats look into lounging wall shelves, pet pods, or hammocks.

Related: How to get rid of fleas

Problem: Heavy Wear and Tear on Interior Decor and Furnishings

Your interior décor can really suffer from the havoc of pets, with scratches, worn or stained fabrics, hair on the floor and dirty walls.

Solutions

With some strategic selections that will withstand your furry friends.  Start from the floor up: choose easy to clean linoleum or tile and rugs that can be washed or spot treated.  On walls, if painting is an option, use a semi-gloss paint, so you can wipe it down without leaving stain spots.  Pick durable, washable, and stain resistant fabrics for upholstery, curtains, and bedding.

The entryway often gets the worst of the wear and tear with dogs coming in muddy and wet.  Prep the entry for paws and use a water resistant door mat that will help trap dirt and debris.  Place an organizer for leashes, toys, and potty bags near the door to drop all of these pet accessories  as you come inside.

These five pet problems can be solved with creative pet design solutions.  You can love your furry, four legged friends, keep them comfortable and happy, and maintain your beautiful home!

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