Making a few home improvements for your pets can help prolong the life of your furniture and flooring. (Photo: Shutterstock).

Creating a dedicated play space can help give pets a safe place to expend their energy. (Photo: Shutterstock).

Dogs and cats are treasured members of the family who demand more than just love and affection. Vet visits, shredded toys and carpet steaming are likely as much of a part of your life as your pet is. Don’t banish your best friend to the backyard or force your pet to release pent-up energy in unhealthy ways. These relatively simple renovations can improve life for Fido – and for you.

Change your flooring
Whether you’re planning on getting a kitten, or your dog is getting up there in years, the right pet-friendly flooring can make a world of difference for your pet at any age. Lingering smells, permanent stains and ruined hardwood don’t have to be inevitabile. Tile and stone flooring are water- and stain-resistant, as well as simple to clean. Strand woven bamboo flooring is also a scratch- and stain-resistant option, in addition to being sustainable. For something easier on your budget, luxury vinyl is also a durable option to fight against stains, scratches and dents. Homeowners report paying between $787 and $2,624 to install vinyl and linoleum, according to the Angie’s List Pricing Guide.

Craft a play place
Animals have a lot of energy, and sometimes we don’t have it in us to play with them as much as we should. This can lead to health issues and destructive behaviors that damage the home, furniture and flooring. Instead of paying to send your dog to daycare, or punishing your cat for scratching up the couch again, invest in a pet playpen designed specifically to keep them entertained. Build ramps for cats to get a birds-eye view of their domain; buy a portable playpen for your energetic puppy who wants to run rampant through every room in your house.

Disguise the litter box
No one likes to see (or smell) the litter box, especially if you have more than one cat in your home. Repurposing a bench, upcycling a cabinet and even using unused space under the stairs are all ways to mask unsavory sights and scents. Not sure where to start, or need help wrapping things up? A handyman can help. Homeowners report the price typically falls between $77 and $155 for a handyman to take on a small task, according to the Angie’s List Pricing Guide.

Heat the kennel
If it sounds over the top to install radiant heating in your dog’s kennel, it’s not. A heated space can ease aches in pains in older pups, dogs recovering from a surgery or sickness, or pets with short hair who live in colder environments and aren’t able to naturally protect themselves from the elements. If you have stone or tile floors, consider expanding radiant heat outside of the kennel and throughout the house so everyone in the house reaps the benefit, no matter where they are. The cost of radiant heating installation varies dramatically, but homeowners report paying about $300 on the lower end of the spectrum.

Create a clean-up station
When your dog or cat gets into something messy, a carved-out clean-up space in your laundry room, garage or mudroom is the perfect solution. There’s no limit to the possibilities here: From an alcove with an open drain to an elevated tub with built-in stairs, your pet (and your place) will stay sparkling clean. Nationally, homeowners report paying an average of $3,750 to install a human shower, according to the Angie’s List Pricing Guide. A remodeling pro can help you determine what precisely it will cost for your pet.

By Diana Crandall, Angie’s List (TNS). Diana Crandall is a reporter for Angie’s List, a trusted provider of local consumer reviews and an online marketplace of services from top-rated providers. Visit