As I’ve written about before, I’m a *huge* fan of home improvement shows. Just as we are with our websites, John and I are very much DIYers when it comes to our home, too. (John actually built the original portion of our home and, through the years, we’ve done many expansion and renovation projects on it.) I’m hopelessly hooked on TV shows featuring home improvement and decorating.
Because of that, I was very familiar with Eric Stromer’s work when DogTipper was contacted about an interview with him. The star of over 300 episodes of such hit shows as OVER YOUR HEAD (HGTV) and CLEAN SWEEP (TLC) as well as the author of Do-It-Yourself Family, Eric has recently also been seen on the A&E series HIDEOUS HOUSES and is heard every week on the nationally syndicated radio show HOME WIZARDS with Cindy Dole, now in over 30 markets.
This celebrity and, soon, Nashville star with the release of his first full-length country music album later this year (and one of People magazine’s “Sexiest Men Alive”), is also a huge animal lover. He taped this video for DogTipper and speaks about his own pets as well as how you can use decor to keep your own pets safe and secure. Check out his tips in the video for information on minimizing stress as well as separation anxiety (which can be a big problem this time of year).
Along with the tips in the video, Stromer offers these tips on pets and home decor–using items that you can easily find at Petco–to keep your dogs and cats safe and sound:
- Give Pets a Safe Space: “Start off by giving pets a special area that’s just for them,” says Stromer. Kids have their own room so there’s no reason the family fur-child shouldn’t have a clean and tidy space to call their own. “Making space for pets doesn’t mean giving up on the design of your house,” says Stromer. “Products like the Petco Premium Wood Dog Crate are a great choice to integrate a safe place for your pet to lounge while still creating style in your home.” A comfortable bed is also important for a pet while the family is away for the day. For cat parents, Stromer recommends Petco’s Sage Leaf Lounger. “This comfy green leaf pattern is a stylish addition to any home and can work well with many types of décor.” For those wanting to add a pop of color to their home, Stromer opts for the Petco Quilted Couch Dog Bed in orange. He says, “the fashion forward color will not only brighten your dog’s day, but orange is said to evoke feelings of vitality and happiness.”
- Consider Placement: Placement is equally important when it comes to creating a safe space for pets. This can contribute to the pet’s well-being by using design elements to naturally calm and relax a pet. Stromer suggests designing the animal’s safe space near the left corner or center of a wall, while also placing it far away from the main entrance of the house. For the pet’s safety, beds should be kept away from any doors that could swing open or under any heavy objects that could fall. “Some experts also say a pet bed should not face a long corridor or open door because the pet’s chi could flow away from the bed too quickly,” warns Stromer. “Others caution placing a pet bed in a corner or near a window since energy could stagnate in such spots.” Be sure there are not any water elements near where a pet sleeps since this could disturb their rest. Eric also recommends putting the cat litter box in the corner of a room. This will help the cat feel safe and protected by the surrounding walls, while not taking away from the decoration of the house. “I love the Petco Premium Privacy Please Den because not only is it a beautiful piece of furniture, but you can easily store the litter box here meaning this vital feline necessity doesn’t ruin the beauty of your house.”
- Store Food Properly: Keeping a pet’s food stored properly not only helps a pet parent stay organized, but also ensures the design of the house is not disrupted by the bags or cans of pet food. Stromer recommends getting a secure container that the entire bag can be transferred into. “I like the Buddeez Pet Food Dispenser because it stores up to 22 pounds of dog food, and the easy-to-pour design means the food ends up in the bowl and not on your floor,” says Stromer. Plus, storing food securely means Fido or Fluffy won’t get into it while the pet parent is away. Raw pet food is also a growing trend in pet health. For those following the raw food movement with their pet, Eric mentions choosing a stainless steel or glass storage container because they keep raw food fresh and are easy to clean and sanitize after use.
- Find a Balance: Having enough toys to keep pets mentally stimulated while they are home alone and still maintaining a beautiful décor can be a hard balance. “Luckily, there are some great products that can actually do both so the house doesn’t feel cluttered,” says Eric. The Petco Convertible Cat Ottoman not only provides a great place for cats to lounge and play, but by flipping the cat toy top over, it doubles as an extra seat for houseguests.
- Pets Help People Too: It’s important to keep in mind that pets can actually be good for their pet parents’ health and can create positive energy in the house. Their lively vitality works as an energizer in the home and they serve as wonderful protectors. Just petting a dog or cat can often reduce stress and calm a person down. Eric says, “Consider this food for thought the next time you’re experiencing any negative energy as you change Fluffy’s litter box!”