By Becky Harris, Houzz.
It’s almost Love Your Pet Day, everyone! February 20 is one special day we cannot blame the greeting card industry for, as (most) pets don’t know how to open the mail. Here at Houzz, we know how much a pet’s unconditional love can enhance our lives. Make some extra time today to give your cat a massaging brushing, take your dog for a romp at the park or give your turtle a treat. If you have unofficial pets, fill your bird feeder or plan a butterfly garden. Here’s a roundup of some of the best pet-love-related ideabooks on Houzz, with a useful tip from each one.
If you are thinking about getting a cat, there are a few things you need to know. For starters be prepared to live with a few scratches and choose pet-friendly fabrics that are durable and easy to clean.
Full story: So You Want to Get a Cat
One way to make your pet’s life more enjoyable at home is to provide a comfy perch for watching what’s going on outside. This story is full of tips for making your pet’s life more enjoyable at home.
Full story: 6 Design Ideas for Happy Pets
Give your dog a window in a solid fence — providing a view can prevent barking (just make sure your next-door neighbors don’t mind). Houzz readers pitched in and shared their outdoor pet projects from doghouses to climbing poles.
Full story: 15 Outdoor Projects You’ll Lap Up
Tulips and other plants make your yard look beautiful, but they can make your dog very sick; be sure to keep them separate. Make sure your surroundings are safe for your animals by learning about the dangers of mixing certain plants with pets.
Full story: 22 Plants to Keep Away From Pets
If you want carpeting but fear how much dander and hair will get caught in a thick weave, try carpet tiles instead. Pet safety and health, as well as your sanity, depend on smart choices like this.
Related: Locate a Carpet Store Near You
Full story: A Romp Through Pet-Friendly Materials
Just as you would for all of your own things, have a spot for all of Spot’s things: hooks for leashes by the door; a bin for toys and brushes near the spot where you usually play. You’ll wonder no more where the heck you left the leash or the treats if you designate a special spot for all of your pet accoutrements.
Full story: Get Organized: A Place for Your Pet’s Stuff
Use design to create attractive spots for pet beds; investing in a built-in will keep the dog bed off the floor and will provide a cozy spot. Banish ugly dog beds and hideous cat condos, hide the litter box and dry food in convenient areas, and learn to live in design harmony with your favorite animals.
Full story: 5 Pet Problems Solved by Design
Surrender. The love you get from your pets is worth choosing dark sofa fabric and patterned rugs, keeping towels by the door and investing in the best vacuum money can buy. This is a touching guide of how one animal lover returns her pets’ unconditional love.
Full story: Dealing With Pet Messes: An Animal Lover’s Story
There are pet doors that open via an E-ZPass-esque chip you can put in a collar. Learn about them and more of the latest in innovative pet technology.
Full story: Home Tech: Pets Need Gadgets Too
When dealing with neighbor complaints about your pets, stay calm, don’t get defensive, listen, be receptive and seek solutions. Avoid conflict with these great tips; your dog will be able to spend much more time enjoying the outdoors if the neighbors aren’t complaining.
Full story: How to Help Your Dog Be a Good Neighbor
Create a designated pet station for bath time; you can add one just outside the house, in the garage or in the mudroom. It will be easier on your pet than having to get into the tub, and the mess will be contained to the washing station.
Full story: 15 Doggone Good Tips for a Pet Washing Station
If you leave your dogs outside for any length of time, make sure to provide shade, shelter and water. Buster will have less to bark about with these great ideas.
Full story: 8 Backyard Ideas to Delight Your Dog
You can integrate a dog den into furniture like side tables or even build one into cabinetry. Give your pets that Queen of Sheba feeling all around the house.
Full story: Ways to Keep Pets Comfy-Cozy at Home
A litter box that is enclosed and has a carbon filter does a great job of eliminating odors. Make sure your cat has a clean and private place to do private business.
Full story: Get the Scoop on High-Design Litter Boxes
If you have indoor cats who are dying to get outside, build them a catio. See how one amazing couple has given their backyard to their many rescued cats.
Full story: See a Deluxe Catio Built for Feline Fun
This article is part of a collaboration between Pets Best pet health insurance and Houzz. We’ve teamed up to provide you this series of articles focused on pets and homes. Learn more about pet insurance at petsbest.com.