Create a Sanctuary at Home With Your Pets

Create a Sanctuary at Home With Your Pets

Setting up your home as an oasis of calm can include proper prep for your pets.

Whether your furry friend is a dog named Luna or a cat named Lucy, you’re probably among the 84% of American pet owners who say their pets have a positive impact on their mental health, according to the American Psychiatric Association’s (APA) Healthy Minds Monthly Poll released in March 2024 jointly with the American Veterinary Medical Association. When you want to make your home a sanctuary from the stresses of the world, a pet can help. 

Create a Sanctuary at Home With Your Pets

In the APA survey, 65% of pet owners said that their animals offer companionship, are a true friend (65%), and provide unconditional love and support (64%).

Reducing loneliness, lowering stress, giving you a sense of purpose and encouraging you to get outdoors are the top ways pets reduce anxiety cited by respondents to a Green Builder Media COGNITION Smart Data survey.

How Do Pets Reduce Anxiety


Climate Anxiety Coping Strategies

While there are countless issues that cause anxiety and stress from workplace drama to relationship angst and financial struggles, 75% of people told Green Builder Media they experience stress related to the climate crisis. 

Stressed out over the climate crisis

Taking steps to minimize your own carbon footprint can help, but so can a pet. Nearly half (45%) of respondents to a Green Builder Media COGNITION Smart Data survey said that having a pet helped them cope somewhat with climate concerns and 41% said it helped them very much. 

How Do Pets Reduce Anxiety

Managing Pet Hair

Despite all the mental health benefits associated with pets, pet owners do sometimes feel anxious about their pets getting older, traveling with or without their pets, and keeping their home clean, especially because of pet hair.

According to a study from Maytag, nearly 60% of pet owners agree that shedding pet hair is a problem. The majority of pet owners (57%) in that study also said they spend more time and energy cleaning up pet hair than they want to - averaging about four hours a week.

All that cleaning can take away from the Zen moments a pet is supposed to provide. Pet hair clean-up can be managed with a strategic approach and a few tools. Pet supplier Chewy suggests the following options to handle pet hair:

  • Groom your pet with a brush, towel or gloves to eliminate fur before it sheds.
  • Try a robot vacuum to automatically pick up pet hair.
  • Use an air purifier to eliminate particles in the air that come from your pet.
  • Dust with a dryer sheet or lint roller to pick up more pet hair.
  • Cover your furniture with washable slipcovers.
  • Use a microfiber dust mop on your floors.
  • Buy a duvet cover to toss in the laundry when it gets covered in cat hair.

Pet owners, especially those with dogs or cats that shed excessively, get frustrated by the extra laundry involved in eliminating pet hair. Maytag’s study found that 53% of pet parents' current laundry routine requires multiple steps, with nearly 50% even going to a laundromat to avoid using their machines at home. 

If you’re in the market for a new washer and dryer, the Maytag® Pet Pro System can reduce some of that frustration and tackle the burden of pet hair. In the washer, the Pet Pro option uses additional water and a deep rinse to activate the Pet Pro Filter, the industry's first pet hair filter in the washer. It removes up to five times more pet hair from clothes compared to a normal cycle a traditional agitator without the Pet Pro Filter, depending on the fabric and type of pet hair. The Pet Pro dryer lifts and traps pet hair with an extra-large lint trap. 

Pet-Friendly Flooring Options

In addition to dealing with pet hair, stains and scratches on carpets and floors can be a concern. Training and grooming your pets can help a little, but accidents still happen. 

If you’re buying or remodeling a home, you can look for flooring choices that stand up to pets. Some companies offer a warranty for pet stains, such as Mohawk’s All Pet lifetime stain warranty

Mohawk recently developed PETPremier carpet with stain-resistant fibers made from post-consumer recycled bottles. Their PureTech flooring, which looks like wood, provides three times the scratch protection compared to standard luxury vinyl tile flooring, is waterproof and 100% pet-friendly. 

The flooring is made without any PVC plastics and has 70% total recycled content with an organic core that consists of 80% recycled content.

Despite some of these responsibilities of caring for a pet and for your home, living with a pet can be a big comfort in stressful times.

A Sanctuary Space for Your Pet

Given the benefits pet owners receive from their dogs and cats, it’s natural that they want to create a comfortable home for them. Instead of tossing an old flannel plaid dog bed on the floor or buying a synthetic cat scratching post, some homeowners take the step of building in specialized places for their pet’s food bowls, a kitty litter and a place to hide when the stress of taking care of their humans gets to be too much.

For example, Marnie Oursler, president and owner of Marnie Custom Homes in Bethany Beach, Delaware, designs pet feeding stations into kitchens complete with plumbing for filling a water bowl. She also uses empty space under a staircase to create pet-friendly spaces that include bedding and a place for food. In one home, she added a tiny barn door over the space for kitty litter under the stairs.

While you may not have the space or budget to create a private pet room, organizing your home with storage for pet items, removing pet hair and choosing pet-friendly products can make living with your dog or cat a more serene experience. 

Photo credit DesignBuild by Marnie Custom Homes, photos by Keyanna Bowen

Photo credit: Design/Build by Marnie Custom Homes, photos by Keyanna Bowen


Publisher’s Note: This content is made possible by our Today’s Homeowner Campaign Sponsors: Whirlpool Corporation. Whirlpool Corporation takes sustainability seriously, in both their products and their operations. Learn more about building and buying homes that are more affordable and less resource intensive.