There are many great reasons to own pets. Science has shown that owning a pet can dramatically reduce stress levels. Dogs in particular also provide security, and they help to motivate us to stay active and healthy. Moreover many animals are simply adorable. Kids often want pets and it can be hard for parents to say no – after all, owning a pet is a great way to develop a sense of responsibility. The one big downside that makes many people anxious about bringing a pet into their home is the seeming impossibility of keeping their house clean with an animal around. Here are some great tips to help relieve your worries on that front.
Hair is the number one enemy of pet owners. It gets everywhere. It can even affect your choice of house guest; you may end up inviting people to dinner parties or social gatherings based on their ability to deal with feral strands of fur in the pudding, rather than the desirability of their company in terms of charm and wit. While hair cannot be completely eliminated, there are ways to reduce its volume. If you have not yet committed to buying a pet – think about choosing a short-haired variety with a single coat that is not prone to malting. In terms of dogs, the best breeds for this are Airedales, Yorkshire terriers and schnautzers. Choosing these breeds over dogs like huskies can significantly reduce the amount of fur you have to deal with from the get go. Huskies and other breeds that have both a summer and winter coat shed bucket loads of fur twice a year.
If you have an animal already and it is too late to apply the above advice – place a blanket or towel wherever your pet sleeps. This will collect a lot of the fur, and you can simply shake and clean this regularly. Also, brush your pet once a week (preferably outside) to remove loose hair. Use tape rollers to remove fur from clothing and vacuum upholstery. It can also help to choose upholstery with a covering made from tightly woven microfibers, as hair is less likely to stick to this. A throw can also help manage the situation since it is easily cleaned.
The second issue faced by most pet owners is minimising bad smells. You should bathe animals no more than once a month – so long as they have not been rolling in cowpats. Bathing an animal too often can cause health problems, as it prevents the proper secretion of oils. In between monthly baths, using a waterless bathing product can give great results. Another fab tip for dog owners is to leave a tray of warm water and a towel by the door when you take your pooch out for a walk. On your return, dip each paw in the tray, then towel dry before entering the house. This will reduce muddy footprints and the water can also be used to quickly wash mucky hair on the legs and belly to reduce ‘wet dog smell’.
Scratches to furniture and doors can be minimised by keeping your pets caws cut short. Many pets scratch as a way to shorten claws that have grown to be uncomfortable. Dogs and cats also scratch doors to signal they wish to go out. Train them to ring a bell instead using a plexiglass sheet to cover their normal scratching spot and hanging a bell from the door handle. Swiftly let them out whenever they ring the bell, but refuse to respond to scratching.
At feeding time – mess can be reduced by putting a place mat under the food bowl. This is not to teach your pet proper etiquette – but it means spills can be dealt with quickly and effortlessly.
Finally, when accidents happen – react quickly to clean them up. Blot up fluids with a cloth or paper towel, taking care not to rub as this will work the stain deeper into the carpet fibre. A solution of warm water and washing up liquid or laundry detergent will be sufficient to deal with most incidents, whereas white vinegar will give an extra powerful clean for more stubborn stains.