This may surprise you, but certain colors and even flooring can seriously stress out your pet. 

There have been plenty of studies that show the impact design can have on humans, but did you know that certain home design choices can affect how dogs and cats feel? “So many behavioral problems result from pets not being comfortable in their homes,” says Kurt Venator, DVM, PhD, Purina’s Chief Veterinary Officer. Read on for the major design mistakes pet owners tend to make, and how to create a more welcoming environment instead. 

Mistake #1: Bright Colors 

Despite popular belief, dogs and cats are not colorblind, says Dr. Venator. In fact, they see some colors and dim light better than humans. They also see the Ultraviolet UVB Spectrum, which means that anything fluorescent (think bright lights or objects) can be visually jarring. Solution: Stick to softer hues like yellow or violet when it comes to choosing colors in your home.

Mistake #2: Wood Floors

While wood floors may be the perfect option for your puppy because he can easily maneuver around thanks to his agility and speed, older dogs might slip. Solution: Place a rug over hardwood floors to give your pet some traction.

Mistake #3: Dangerous Fixtures

Having a pet is like having a baby—you need to baby-proof everything to prevent unfortunate accidents. For example, Dr. Annie Valuska, Purina’s Senior Scientist, recommends switching out flat door handles for rounded ones, so your mischievous kitty can’t open the door.

Mistake #4: Stressful Spots

Your kitty marks her territory with her pheromones, which can result in an unwanted accident on your couch. Prevent this by using a calming spray in places she frequents (try Comfort Zone Spray & Scratch Control Spray, $20; chewy.com), so your home feels like hers, too.

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