As a mother to four children, and a pet owner – I will be the first to admit that balancing a family and the pets has been difficult beam to balance. The truth is that it sometimes seems impossible to maintain my house in a suitable manner for both the family and the animals. And family vacations WITH the pets would be a heck of a lot easier if we had a pet/family friendly vehicle parked in the garage.

For instance, I want Gator and Bam-Bam (the family dogs) to be able to run through the living room and kitchen without scratching the hardwood floors, or pulling up the fibers in the carpet. My kids shouldn’’t be jumping over baby gates because I am using them to keep the dogs off my new carpet and hardwood floors. One of the first things I would need for a pet friendly house, are floors that could withstand the animals, and be comfortable and attractive for the family.

Another problem I have with dogs and cats inside the home is the fact that they are constantly on the furniture. In my perfect world, I would have doggie beds in every room and cat sitters on every sill in the house. And of course for those times when our animals just have to snuggle ‘– furniture that could live up to its claim to hold up under use from PETS and kids. Plus, aside from a Dyson vacuum (which I haven’’t tried because of cost), I haven’’t found an effective way to get rid of all the pet hair and dander that the pets leave behind. This makes no mention of how much dust the animals seem to rile up, which would make a lifetime supply of En-dust come in handy. Even better, if I had air conditioned and heated dog houses, my furry buddies could spend more times outdoors without me worrying that they will over heat or freeze to death.

A mudroom at every entrance/exit to the house would also be perfect. And in this mudroom, besides storage for all the kids stuff ‘– would be a ‘‘back friendly’’ place for me to wash and dry the animals off ‘– (even large enough to give them a hot water bath rather than use my own bathroom) before they come traipsing through the house after being let out on a rainy day. It would also be equipped with a manageable and easy to clean area for feeding the pets complete with dog watering and feeding devices that don’’t need to be refilled every few hours. This would certainly take the chore out of feeding and watering the animals, and give them a place to eat and drink that is easy to clean and that is NOT in my kitchen!

And storage! A complete storage system that remains behind closed doors so I wouldn’’t have to look at all the accessories that come with being a pet owner. I’’m talking lots of storage for Milk-Bones, dog leashes, and dog and cat food that could be sealed in airtight containers. This would also be the optimum place for the litter box as well, which would be odor free ‘– easy to clean and out of sight! (Oh, in a perfect world!)

Although my yard is fenced, there are still certain areas of the fencing that the dogs can get out of, which is why a complete exterior electric fence would be a dream come true for my inside AND outside dogs. I would probably use it to protect my flowers as well, because the Great Pyrenees in particular loves to dig under the bushes and foliage in the garden. If there was a safe and easy way to keep rabbits and deer out of the garden’– that would be great as well!

While we had a fish tank in the living room at one time, cleaning it and maintaining it was anything but easy, so we chose to get rid of it. I would love a fish tank that adds to the décor, and is equipped with the greatest filtering system, is easy to clean and doesn’’t make a lot of noise.

Article by Stef Daniel – Author, parent and owner of Mom-Spirational, a blog covering “Wisdom, Wisecracks & Wellbeing… For Women” ( Who Happen to be Mothers)



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