Maintaining a Home with a Pet
Pets will fill your home with love—and lots of fur to go with it!
Keeping a home clean is already difficult enough, but when you add dogs and cats into the mix,
it’s a different story.
That’s not to say it’s impossible though. As long as you’re willing to incorporate a couple of
changes into your routine and invest in the right tools, you’ll find that your house will be as much
of a home to you as it is to your beloved four-legged pal.
DETERMINE WHICH PARTS OF THE HOUSE PETS HAVE ACCESS TO
Every pet owner will vary in his or her preference in this matter: Some people would prefer keeping their pets strictly outdoors, and some opt to give their pets full access to their house, while others choose to limit which rooms their pets can enter.
Consider keeping pets away from a home office where there’s a lot of electrical wiring from a computer, or lots of paper that a teething pet might chew into pieces; or your bedroom if you don’t want to be disturbed when you’re sleeping. Any way you have it, this is best decided upon when house-breaking a puppy or a kitten for the first time while they are getting used to their new surroundings.
SAME GOES FOR THE FURNITURE
Should you decide to allow your pets indoors, it’s also a good idea to set limits which furnishings they can be on. A double-coated dog on your fabric couches and carpets would require a lot of cleaning up after, and you wouldn’t want your cat cleaning herself on the table where the entire family eats. Check for open shelves and surfaces that hold breakable objects or anything that will fall over, and keep these away from each or discourage your pets from playing with them. Again, this is best determined when first housebreaking a pet—it’s harder to break a habit than forming one.
HAVE THE RIGHT FABRIC FOR YOUR COUCH
That said, if your pets will have full reign over the couch (and maybe your bed), invest in the right fabrics for them. Leather is very easy to clean, although it’s prone to being scratched by sharp nails. A tightly-woven fabric, preferably in the same color as your pet’s fur, is a good alternative.
If you have an existing couch and reupholstering is too much cost, get throws instead. It’s also a great way to change around the look of your furnishings. For beds, put on a bed cover that pets can lie down on, but keep the sheets and pillows underneath just for you.
GET A GREAT VACUUM
Any pet with fur will be shedding every now and then, some more than others. You’ll want to vacuum as often as you can, so get one that best suits your needs and cleaning habits.
If you can afford it, a robot vacuum such as a Roomba can pick up after your pet automatically. The new Dyson V11 provides a deep clean that removes allergens and other germs from the air and is cord-free too, while the Bosch Readyy’y 2-in-1 Handstick Vacuum Cleaner has the advantage of being a full-sized vacuum with a detachable portion for those hard-to-reach corners.
There are also dedicated pet hair vacuums such as the Bissell Pet Hair Eraser Handheld Vacuum, which provide a stronger suction with a rubberized nozzle to get all those stubborn pet hairs off your furniture.
CHANGE THE LITTER BOX OFTEN
While dogs may be trained to go potty outside, cats and other small animals are better off with a litter box indoors. That said, it’s important to keep the litter box clean, for your sake and your cat’s as well—cats will not use a dirty litter box. Change it daily (more often if you have more than one cat), or as soon as you detect an odor.
You may also want to consider investing in a self-cleaning litter box if budget permits and if you want less upkeep on your part. At the very least, check out a hooded litter box, which will minimize
Litter tracked all over the floor once your cat is done with his or her business
GROOM YOUR PETS REGULARLY
These tips will be all for naught if you don’t take the time to groom your pets regularly, especially when they go outdoors frequently. Think of their fur as a magnet—they bring everything from the outside in.
Give them a bath at least once every two weeks, and for long-haired dogs, brush them frequently to lessen the fur on your furnishings and inside your house. Ask a vet how to clip your pet’s nails and do it regularly. Dogs that go outside often will likely have dull nails so you don’t have to break out the clippers too often and worry about them scratching furniture, but you’ll need to wipe down their paws to clean them up.
Ticks and fleas are unavoidable, so treat them as they pop up, but enforce preventative measures for them. Both a clean dog and a clean house go hand-in-hand to keep them from resurfacing.