Your pet is considered a valued member of your family. You love him, care for him, and treat him as part of the family. But your pet may also bring unwanted challenges — odors, extra hair, and allergens. In fact, studies have shown that some pet owners prefer to suffer from allergies caused by their pet rather than lose his or her companionship.
Fortunately, there are ways to help you meet these pet-related challenges. Consider the following tips to maintain a clean and healthy pet-friendly home — and potentially even soothe your sneezing:
- Vacuum your carpet as often as possible. Some people use an automatic vacuum to pick up pet hair while they’re away. Invest in a vacuum with a strong filter so you can greatly reduce the allergens in your carpet. You can sprinkle baking soda on your carpets prior to vacuuming to help control pet allergens and eliminate odors. It may also be a good idea to steam or dry clean your carpets at least once or twice a year to remove any lingering odors or stains.
- Mop floors. You may need to sweep your floors daily, but try to mop your floors with a disinfectant cleaner at least once a week.
- Clean up messes quickly. If your dog or cat spills his water or makes a mess with his food, clean it up immediately. The longer a mess sits, it most likely will cause stains or odors in your home. You may even consider having an area specifically designated for your pet so all eating and sleeping is done in one place.
- Mask claw scratches on doors and wood furniture. Sometimes pets will leave scratches or claw marks on doors, doorways, or wood furniture. You can cover these quickly and easily using stain and varnish.
- Air out your home. Open the windows or doors (if you have screen doors) every once in a while to help remove lingering odors.
- Clean pet bedding often. Keep any place where your pets sleep or rest clean and tidy. You can hand wash these spaces or simply run your pet’s bedding through the washing machine.
- Groom your pet regularly. Some pets like taking a bath, while others don’t. It’s recommended that you bathe your pets weekly or every other week; however, check with your vet because different breeds or types of animals may need different care more or less frequently. You may choose to take your pet to a professional groomer for a haircut or bath. If your pet has longer hair, you’ll want to brush it regularly to keep shedding to a minimum. Between baths, be sure to wash your pet’s paws regularly to limit dirt and other things from entering your home.
- Clean pet toys, accessories, litter boxes, and cages as often as possible. Any type of fabric pet toy will tend to hold allergens, which may build up over time. Be sure to run it through the washing machine often, along with collars and leashes. If you have a litter box, scoop regularly, and keep it covered when not in use. Also, any type of cage you use for a pet (including dog kennels) should be washed out and cleaned with specialized pet cleaners or warm water and baking soda.
- Take your pet to the vet at least annually. Your pet needs an annual checkup to ensure he or she is healthy and strong. Remember, a healthy pet is a cleaner pet as well. Plus, you’ll want to ensure that your pet is getting the appropriate medications to avoid fleas and ticks.
You don’t need to spend all your free time picking up after your pet — just follow these simple tips to help keep your home clean, your pet happy, and your family healthy.