Creating a Pet Friendly Sunroom

Creating a Pet Friendly Sunroom

Modern day living can be busy and sometimes stressful. Having a pet as a companion is one of the nicest things we can do for ourselves and for them, helping us to decompress and providing our furry friends with a good and loving home. 

For many people, pets are a part of the family and have access to one of the most relaxing areas of our home, the sunroom.

A little preparation may be in order but it doesn’t take a huge budget or days of work to transform a sunroom into a mutually relaxing zone for you and your furry companion.

Your Pet’s Health and Happiness

Have you ever noticed how cats and dogs will find the sunny spot in your home and stretch out there? Sunshine does wonders for humans and animals alike. Here are a few reasons you may want to let your pets use the sunniest room in your home. Vets recommend that your cat or dog receive between 20 to 40 minutes per day of direct sunshine.

Pet Safety

Most cats love the outdoors and if given half a chance will bolt out the door to chase birds and mice. Cats, particularly in their younger years, have energy to burn. Many people keep their cats indoors to keep them from risk of injury from cars, other animals, and other hazards. A sunroom, equipped with cat friendly items can help keep a cat’s interest so that he or she will be satisfied with an indoor lifestyle.

Add a Pet Door For Your Dog or Cat

If your sunroom opens out into a fenced in backyard, adding a pet door to your sunroom is an option to allow your pet controllable access to both the indoors and the outdoors.

There are many options. 

  1. Adding a pet door to an existing sliding door is the easiest installation. 
  2. Pet door units that fit into an open window often require no installation.
  3. Exterior wall pet doors.
  4. Lightweight inexpensive pet doors that install in screen doors – aluminum screen doors are best for this option. The screen door in this case is closed but the house door is open.
  5. Security friendly pet doors that will respond to your pet’s microchip or RFD collar tag to unlock the pet door, allowing your pet access while denying it to “unauthorized” animals.

Windows, Windows Everywhere. But Screens? 

Floor to ceiling windows enable even the smallest pet the ability to have a full view of the outside world. However, if you plan to have your pets, particularly cats, in the sunroom, inside screens may not be the best option. 

  • Aluminum mesh screens or stainless steel screens are best to resist scratches and tears. 
  • Make sure to have scratching posts in the room for your cat. 

Cat and Dog Approved Flooring

There are a couple of flooring types that are superior when it comes to pets. You’ll want a floor that resists stains and marks, and is easy to clean.

  • Ceramic tile is a popular choice as it cleans easily, resists stains, and is not damaged by nails or claws.
  • LVP or luxury vinyl plank is another great flooring material. This man made flooring looks like real hardwood but is more durable. It is waterproof, and dent resistant and cleans up like a charm.
  • If your existing flooring isn’t easy to take care of, another option is to utilize inexpensive durable area rugs that resist stains and are easy to clean.

Pet-Compatible Furniture

Choose a fabric that resists stains, repels fur and is tightly woven. Some closely woven fabrics are denim, canvas, microfiber, tweed, and outdoor fabrics.

Loose weave fabrics will trap pet hair and debris, and are easily torn by claws.

If you have furniture that is prone to tearing such as leather, slipcovers or throw covers are ideal for minimizing damage and wear and tear. They are generally easy to care for and can be set aside when friends come to visit.

Don’t Forget That Pets Need Their Own “Furniture” Too!

Not everyone likes having their pets on the sofa or bed. Whether or not Rover and Fluffy get to cuddle up with you on the sunroom furniture, make sure they have their own beds to snooze on. This is especially important in the cooler weather. 

Dog and Cat Beds

There is a wide variety of pet beds to choose from. Some claim to calm an anxious pet. The “calming” beds are generally made of plush materials and memory foam, and are shaped to encircle the pet’s sleeping body for full comfort. These super soft beds are especially good for your older or ailing pet. Just like their human counterparts, they can suffer from arthritis and stiffness as they get older.

Kitties like to observe the world from on high at times so a cat hammock might be just the thing. Some cat hammocks attach to a wall or window with strong suction cups. Some claim to hold up to 60 pounds. Attach them to your window so your cat can sleep there or gaze out the window. Just make sure there is a table or cat tree nearby so Fluffy can easily get to the hammock. Other cat hammocks are suspended in a frame for placement on the floor.

Add Toys

The best way to make sure your pets don’t get bored and chew the furniture or cause other mayhem is to keep them entertained with some enriching toys. As most pet owners know, a bored dog will destroy items by chewing them, while a cat will scratch items till they are unrecognizable.

Scratching posts, puzzle toys, motorized mice, and chewy toys (make sure they are made of safe materials) are a few options that keep your pet companions happy and entertained.

Pet Friendly Plants

There’s no better place for sun friendly plants than a sunroom. However, some pets like to nibble on plants. So, before your pets make themselves at home in the sunroom, make sure to decorate only with non-toxic plants so that they don’t pose a danger. 

Some common houseplants that are safe for most pets are:

  • Palm plants
  • African Violets
  • Spider plants
  • Boston Ferns
  • Orchids

The ASPCA has an extensive list of toxic and non-toxic plants for dogs and for cats.

Your plants and knick knacks should be placed securely so that your pets cannot easily knock them over. Keep any more breakable items away from windows and doors.

For more than 25 years, the pros at Sunshine Sunrooms have helped homeowners with sunroom design, installation, renovation, and repairs, all with top-tier customer service and technical know-how.

For the very best in sunroom design, installation, and repairs, call Sunshine Sunrooms at (972) 243-5390 or request a quote online.

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