Living With (and Loving to Live With) Pets and Their Fur

We love our pets! And we’ve got a lot of them.

According to the American Veterinary Medical Association, 36.5% of American homes (43.3 million homes) have a dog living in them and 30.4% (36.1 million) have a cat. (And sometimes, it feels like all of those pets are living under your roof, doesn’t it?) It’s been proven that having a pet in your apartment home can improve your mental health.

Living with a pet takes attention to details, that’s for sure. There are certain things that we have to do to make sure our homes are tidy and healthy. To have a pet- and human-friendly home, experts advise frequent vacuuming, bathing your pet, using washable fabrics on the bed and — something that isn’t always considered — choice of treats. While your dog may go bonkers when you bring pig’s ears or rawhide bones home, your rugs and furniture might not appreciate it. Those products tend to leave greasy stains. Choose rubber toys instead.

And for cats who might sharpen their claws on your sofa, consider getting a cat tree that either hangs on a wall or can be set up in a corner.

You might also match your colors to your pet’s fur. That way, the hair left behind won’t be so noticeable.

Of course, it’s best to train your pet early on to respect your boundaries in the home. You can cover furniture with sheets or plastic covers to prevent accidents in the beginning and offer treats when your dog or cat settles into its designated bed. (Never, ever use shock collars or mats! They cause stress that will create anxiety-related problems.)

Try keeping a bed or sleeping surface in every room for your pet, which should encourage them to sleep there and not on the sofa or bed. Cats may prefer multiple scratching posts around your apartment home. Double-sided tape or aluminum foil can prevent furniture scratching, until your cat learns not to scratch there.

Keep your pets in mind when you’re choosing household fabric, too. Patterns are highly recommended, because they tend to hide hair better. Tweed is discouraged, though, because pet hair can get lodged in the weave, making it hard to clean (who knew?). Synthetic fibers such as ultrasuede or microfiber are great. Cats don’t like to scratch them and they’re easy to clean with soap and water. Outdoor fabrics are easy to clean, come in a wide range of colors and prints and although they might not be as soft as other fabrics, they’re sturdy and can hold up to a pet’s constant use.

In addition to tweed, fabrics to avoid with pets in the house include chenille, velvet (that must be awfully hard to clean with a pet around!), wool, linen and silk.

Of course, human pet companions need to pay attention to their beloved’s fur coat. Regular brushing and combing doesn’t just keep your pet healthy, but it helps keep your home cleaner. How many of us have a collection of deshedding brushes? Whether it’s a deshedding brush for dogs or a pet deshedding glove, there are plenty of products on the market to choose from. One of the most popular line of products on the market comes from Furminator, which has products that remove the loose, dead undercoat from a pet without cutting or damaging the topcoat. For cats, it’s a great way to prevent hairballs (that one gagging sound that will awaken a human in an instant, right?). The company even makes an attachment for your vacuum, to clean up pet hair.

Other products to remove pet hair include adhesive rollers (stash one in every room!), a sweeper with disposable cloths for hardwood and tiled floors, static spray to make it easier to vacuum and lift pet hair off fabrics, and rubber gloves to run over upholstery to ball up pet hair.

Good Reasons for Getting a Roommate and How to Find the Right One

Whether you are starting out on your career after college, contemplating moving in with friends or a significant other or considering financial benefits of splitting the bills with someone, many apartment dwellers at one time or another think about getting a roommate. There are pros and cons of having a roommate to share an apartment with. And then, once you decide to get a roommate – and you don’t already have someone in mind or you are new to Phoenix or Tucson – how do you go about finding a roommate?

How to Plan for an Epic Luxury Soak in a Bubble Bath

Are there any two more relaxing words than “bubble bath”? Children like bubble baths because they can play with the bubbles, but parents like it because it encourages them to take their bath. Let’s not let them know that adults like bubble baths for many other reasons. Did you know that bubbles insulate bathwater, which keeps it warmer for a longer period of time?

Welcome Romance Into Your Apartment Home – Any Day of the Year

Yes, Valentine’s Day is coming up. Depending upon your situation, you may greet this unsurprising piece of news with glee or dread. We’re of the opinion that romance shouldn’t be confined to just one day or just to those who happen to have a life partner. Whether you’re planning to celebrate the most romantic holiday of the year in a special way or you just want to get that romantic glow in your apartment home throughout the year, there are many things that you can do to achieve that.

Want to Save the Planet? Here Are Some Ways You Can Help

Concern for the environment, from making sure you’re recycling everything you can in your apartment home to participating in ecotourism to help another community with its environmental challenges, is a central focus in many people’s minds these days. For good reason.

Trendiest Ways to Deck Your Halls for the Holiday Season

Now that Thanksgiving is past, it’s perfectly acceptable to break out those holiday decorations (since we’re in the holiday spirit, we’re not going to cast aspersions upon those of you who jumped the gun) in your luxury apartment home. As much as we adore our family heirloom decorations, each year, prevailing trends bring us fascinating and, sometimes, unable-to-resist-buying holiday decorations.

Celebrate Labor Day Weekend

A three-day weekend doesn’t mean you have to spend it bored at home. Start planning your three-day weekend of fun with these creative ideas:

Do-it-Yourself All–Natural Cleaning Products

Cleaning can be a big job, no matter what size your apartment home may be. You want your living space to be spotless, and yet many cleaning products can leave a residue containing toxins and chemicals. Check-out these chemical-free, do-it-yourself natural cleaners.

Lack of Closet Space Solved

With spring-cleaning finished, are you still looking for ways to make room in your closet? Here are some ways to get you started on creating more space for all your shoes and clothes:

Surviving Hot Summer Nights

The heat that Arizona is known for is slowly but surely starting! And, as you know, there is nothing worse than trying to sleep in a hot, sticky room. That said, here are ways on how to cool down and sleep through hot summer nights: