Eternally loyal, always keen to please and often hilarious, dogs have brought untold comfort and joy to the lives of Australians during what will be remembered as one of the most challenging times in recent history.
It’s no surprise that the demand for pooches has soared during the pandemic, with breeders and animal shelters around the nation receiving an unprecedented number of enquiries.
However, while our lives are unquestionably better with our beloved canine residents, our homes may well not be. When this writer and her family welcomed into the house an eight-week-old golden retriever named Bosley, they were – let’s just say – somewhat unprepared for the havoc he would unleash on both the home and his digestive system.
Almost every household item – from a TV remote control to curtains, and even a stone coffee table – was viewed by baby Bosley as a potential snack. Edible or most-definitely-not was of no significance. Nor were the countless and eye-wateringly expensive trips to the animal hospital.
Thankfully for all, Bosley’s appetite for furnishings did wane. The house, on the other hand, was left somewhat the worse for wear.
But it doesn’t have to be this way. According to interior designer Wendy Davey, principal of Cranberry Design, it’s entirely possible to have a home that is both dog-friendly and chic. And it all begins, it seems, at paw level – with the floor.
“For our pet owners, we always recommend selecting hard-wearing floors that are easy to vacuum and keep clean, such as a solid Australian timber species or a coated engineered board,” says Davey. “We find dark flooring shows everything, so it’s always better to go slightly lighter. To hide even more, a patterned floor like herringbone or chevron is your go-to.
“Whilst on flooring,” she says, “indoor-outdoor rugs are a fabulous new addition to the homeware range. They’re affordable, soft, durable and, if an accident does happen, they are easily cleaned – you can even hose them down. If you want something a bit more comforting, Australian wool is another pet-friendly option. And a multi-coloured patterned rug is the perfect option for bringing some character into your house, and a great way to mask pet hair and unforeseen accidents.”