Pets are great. Our furry friends keep us company, lower our stress levels, and are often important members of the family. They can however make a real mess. Keeping the house clean is not the easiest or most pleasant task on the best of days, but when you have a four legged friend running around, it can get a whole lot worse.
So, how do you clean your house when it’s occupied by a four-legged mess monster? The advice below goes for any fur shedding, sometimes stinky creature, but it’s dogs and cats we really have in mind. Here are a few home cleaning tips for the pet owner.
The challenge of hair
Hair is often the big challenge when it comes to pets. If you’ve got long hair, you’ll know that it tends to get everywhere. Now just imagine if you grew hair all over your body. Luckily we don’t, but our furry friends do, and although some breeds of dog or cat are worse than others, most of them shed hair to some extent.
So, beyond buying a hairless cat, what can you do? For a start there are many pet hair remover tools to choose from, and it’s probably best to buy a range and test out what works for you. The best way to remove dog hair or cat fur will depend upon the set up of your home and the amount of hair being shed.
Sticky lint rollers and specialized fur removal brooms are available and some combination of these tools is often a good way to keep your house clean when you have pets.
Other than that, your best bet is to vacuum, vacuum, vacuum. Get yourself a powerful vacuum cleaner that can suck hair up from carpets, and also invest in a smaller hand-held vacuum that can deal with fur covered sofas.
Keep your pets clean
Of course, prevention is the best cure. If your cat or dog is running around stinking and covered in mud, your house is going to become stinking and covered in mud. This is less of a problem for cats, but some breeds do need the occasional bath, even if they’re not big fans of water.
If you have a dog, make sure you keep him or her clean, especially after muddy walks. Keeping your pet clean is also the best way to avoid needing to use a pet hair remover in the first place. Brush, brush, brush your dog and get rid of any ready to malt hair before it lands on your sofa. Brushing your dog daily is much more fun than picking up hair from your house, so make sure you don’t skip bath or grooming time with your pet.
This problem varies according to the stinkiness of your animal. Some pets, especially cats, won’t present this problem unless they’ve left something nasty somewhere in your house. Other animals stink to high heaven and are likely to make your house smell the same.
Again, regular bathtimes can help combat odors, but sometimes a stinky pet is a stinky pet. If you want to eliminate existing odors, then you should regularly wash the fabrics that your pet hangs out around. Use an odor eliminator on offending sofas or rugs. You should also make sure that your house gets a regular airing – even in the winter. Open up your windows and let the breeze in.
You can also hang offending carpets or towels outside to air out offending odors. Otherwise, there are plenty of odor eliminating products available in the stores. These can be effective ways to remove dog stink, but make sure you are buying products that eliminate odors, rather than just mask them.
Stopping mud at the door
Although cats can have a tendency to vomit on carpets and bring in bleeding mice, we all know that dogs can represent a particular challenge to the homemaker’s ambitions. Unlike cats, dogs can be tricky customers when it comes to post-walk mess. When you take your dog for a walk, make sure that your wipe his or her paws before they come into the house. It can be easy to forget, but your dog isn’t going to remember to wipe their paws at the door, so make sure you incorporate paw wiping into your daily routine.
Have a system for dealing with nasty surprises
Both dogs and cats can have a tendency to leave nasty surprises around your house. If you have a cat, you should make sure that you have a litter tray. Even if your cats do their business outside, they can sometimes get caught short, so it pays to have a (relatively) mess free option when they decide to go to the toilet inside. With dogs, it’s obviously important to be attentive to your pets needs and take them for regular walks.
But the occasional nasty mess is pretty much an inevitable part of pet owning life. Make sure that you have a strategy for dealing with cat vomit on carpets or dying prey under the sofa. Figure out what works best for you and have the relevant products on hand and keep them stocked up.