Keeping a home clean when you have pets is a constant battle. Unfortunately, my dogs and cats can’t clean up after themselves. As a result, I perform my duties to combat waste, shedding hair and dirty pet possessions. Here are some of my tips on keeping a neat and tidy home:
Think before you feed
I prepare fresh meals for my pets each day in clean, stainless steel bowls. I prefer stainless dishes because they are unbreakable, dishwater safe and match the modern décor of my kitchen and utility room. These bowls come in a variety of sizes and depths so it is easy to choose one that your cat or dog will like. If you feed your pet wet food, spray a small amount of non-stick cooking oil in the bottom of the bowl to prevent a sticky mess and make for an easier clean-up.
Because we spend a lot of time walking in and out the kitchen and want to avoid unnecessary spills from kicked food bowls, we prefer to feed our pets in the utility room which has an easy to clean floor. If an out-of-the-way dinning location is not an option, and if your pets are foodies that eats with such enthusiasm that their meals invariably ends up all around the bowl, try using a plastic placement. A plastic placement can be shaken over the garbage can and can easily be rinsed off before serving your pet his next meal.
Grooming is the best defense for a clean home
Daily grooming keeps our dogs and cats looking their best and is a great tactic for keeping your home tidy. Brushing and combing your pet on a regular basis not only removes the dander and debris from their coat, but it also keeps fur off the furniture and other surfaces.
Prior to grooming, cut up an old pair of nylon stocking sized to cover the head of your pet’s brush. Carefully place the nylon strip over the bristles so that they poke through. Brush your pet and when the grooming job is done, just pull off the strip of nylon and all the hair will come off with it. This ensures no more digging out bunches of pet hair from the bottom of the brush. After, deposit the hair in a plastic bag because this ensures that the hair will not become airborne.
Tackle Pet Hair
My cats have a variety of sleeping places (windowsill, bookcases, etc.) that all eventually become covered with cat hair. To protect their favorite spots from paw prints, oils from their coats and shedding fur, I cover these areas with dining placemats in colors that match my home décor.
To take care of the pet hair on the furniture, I cover the couch with a blanket. Pet hair can also be removed with a static guard type product. The spray prevents the hair from clinging to the fabric. Another tip is to wipe over furniture and/or carpets with a damp sponge. Both methods remove unwanted hair and, followed by a good vacuuming, should keep your home looking presentable.
Wash and Dry Chores
Cleaning pet beds and toys will contribute to a healthier pet and a cleaner home. Buy pet products that are easy to wash and dry. At least once a month, machine-wash and thoroughly dry all dog and cat beds. Fabric toys can be washed in lingerie or garment bags and air-dried. Tape the ends of leashes and collars to avoid nicking the inside of the washer. Hang dry. Rubber toys can be washed in the dishwasher.
Litter Box and Wee Area Maintenance:
The easiest way to keep you home odor-free is to clean up elimination daily. If you have a dog that eliminates indoors, change the wee-paper once a day. For dogs, it is important to define the elimination area by using a wee-wee tray or a catering tray. To make your own, cut to size a heavy duty shower curtain as a base on the floor. Next, cover the base with a few layers of wee-paper or newspaper and change it daily.
For cats, scoop the cat box daily. I have learned that good litter box maintenance requires finding the best litter to reduce odors. Along with using a litter that soaks up the waste and makes it difficult for bacteria to grow, consider an odor absorber like baking soda to eliminate unpleasant smells. But whatever type of litter you purchase, realize that your cat is the ultimate consumer.
Besides scooping the box and changing the paper, you need clean the cat box and canine waste tray or waste floor covering on a regular basis. I still wash my box weekly. And if you have a dog who eliminates inside, you should wash the base weekly. Although cleanliness is the goal, it is also important to consider safety. Clean with pet-friendly products and follow the label directions to avoid mishaps.