A Guide to Making Your Home More Pet-Friendly on a Budget

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Article by Cindy Aldridge, Photo via Pexels

Pet-Friendly Homes on a Budget

Owning a pet is a huge source of joy, but it can be expensive.  With costs ranging from food to vet bills to toys, it’s easy to feel like there’s no room in the budget for pet-friendly home improvements.  However, there are many ways to transform your house into a puppy’s paradise without hogging the household budget. Here’s a guide to making your home more pet-friendly on a budget.

Savvy Shopping

The easiest way to upgrade your home for the family pets is to invest in a few accessories.  You may want to install a “doggie” door, so your animal pals can have access to the yard during the day, or get them a dog house and a comfortable bed. These things can make a big difference for your pet, but the costs can easily add up.  First, look for coupons and discounts at major online retailers. Also look out for cashback opportunities, such as Walmart promo codes. These allow you to make money back on your purchases, which you can apply toward other expenses.

Another way to save money in the long run is to buy durable, high-quality items.  Do your research and use review guides from trusted sources like Wirecutter, The better the quality of your purchase, the less chance you’ll need to replace it in a few months.

Easy DIY Projects

DIY allows you to save lots of money on home improvements, especially if you use upcycled or second-hand materials.  There are plenty of simple projects that even DIY novices can do to make their pets more comfortable in the home.  For example, this lovely dog nook involves building your own dog bed and dog organizer from cheap wood and with minimal DIY skills.

If you prefer a hot glue gun to a nail gun, you can also get crafty to save money on pet supplies.  Toys are a pointless expense — your pet can’t tell what they’re playing with and will eventually destroy it — so, toys are a great place to start your DIY endeavors.  DIY dog toys can be made from almost anything; old T-shirts, towels, rope, plastic bottles, and even a wet frozen sock.

Yard Upgrades

If any area of your house should be optimized for your pet, it’s the yard.  Dogs love running around and spending time outdoors, so you should make extra effort to be sure this part of your house is both safe and fun.  Cats like to explore their environment and climb things.  Be sure to add trees, shrubs and soft grasses to your yard that are pet safe.  Here’s a guide to the best and worst plants for a pet-friendly garden.

Fencing

First, safety.  You need to make sure your yard is properly fenced so your pet cannot run off. Ideally, you would have a fence tall enough to provide a visual barrier and ensure your pet can’t jump over it. Unfortunately, a full privacy fence can be very expensive.  If you want to go all out for your feline friend, check out a “catio,” which is a clever way to say patios for cats (or other pets).

A more cost-friendly option is a DIY fence using garden netting, posts, and cable ties.  The total cost of this is about $350, but it’s not considered as aesthetically pleasing as a proper privacy fence.  It’s up to you to decide whether a fence is worth the extra money.

Electric dog fences are a popular choice and are generally cheaper than privacy fencing.  This will help you sidestep the “eyesore” issue, but you should think very carefully before buying one.  There’s a lot of debate on whether electric fences are humane or even effective since they don’t protect your dog from anything coming into your yard.  Do your research and get your vet’s opinion.

Backyard Inspiration

Once you’ve safeguarded your yard, you can work to make it fun.  Cheap dog-friendly yard additions include making a digging area with sand or mulch (and some toys), setting up dedicated marking posts for them to do their business and creating a watering hole.  You should also ensure there is plenty of shade and that pathways and steppingstones are comfortable and don’t absorb heat.

You don’t have to spend a fortune to make your pet feel at home.  A combination of smart shopping and creative DIY can go a long way.  If your pets are already safe and content, small projects are all you need to take your house from simply being pet-friendly to a pampered puppy’s paradise.