One major advantage of becoming a homeowner is that you don't have to deal with pesky rules, fees and prohibitions associated with owning a pet like a cat or dog in an apartment.

Once you're free to get a furry friend for your family, you have to make sure your new home is ready for a new pet. Just as you ordered a property inspection to ensure that the house was safe for your family, you want to protect your house while making certain your pet can live comfortably.

Here are some tips for optimizing your home for a pet:

  • Invest in Scotchguard. Whether you're considering a young animal or an adult, keep in mind that accidents happen, even among housebroken pets. To protect your fabrics such as carpet and furniture, purchase some Scotchguard. This product makes fabrics waterproof and stain resistant, allowing you to avoid messes if Fido or Fluffy has an accident.
  • Get a bed for your pet. If you're not fond of sharing your bed or other furniture with a four-legged friend, purchase a pet bed. Animals tend to sleep on these cozy alternatives if they are available, which means you can have fewer paw prints and less hair on your furniture. As you come to understand your pet's habits, considering place a bed in each room where it spends most of its time.
  • Give your pet its own space. Set aside an area in your home that will be for the pet and its belongings. This includes toys, a bed and other items.
  • Examine your window treatments. You may be fond of draperies and mini-blinds, but you have to think about how a pet will interact with these features. If you get a dog, for instance, it can become tangled in hanging drapery tassels and pull everything down while attempting to escape. Mini-blinds are easily bent beyond repair if a pet is continually pushing its head through them to get a look at outside. Keep this in mind while decorating.
  • Store valuable items and attend to safety hazards. Upscale rugs are a great way to bring a room together, but they may not be best when a pet is being housebroken, as they can hold odors and appear as chew toys if they have decorative fringes. While storing rugs and other belongings, take some time to tape down electrical cords and put other dangerous items, such as cleaners, out of a pet's reach.