Having pets is rewarding, but it can also be messy. Here are four things that all dog (and cat) owners need to keep their homes comfortable, clean, and pet-friendly.
Tools for Fur Cleanup
Removing pet hair from furniture and clothing is often the most significant challenge pet parents face. But some DIY methods can help you eliminate hair from your belongings, per HGTV. You can use a nail file to get the hair off felt chair pads. Rubber gloves help attract and grab hair from many surfaces.
A paint roller covered with tape—sticky side out—is faster than lint rollers for grabbing hair off furniture. And for many upholstered surfaces and even rugs, a squeegee (with a spritz of water) can do wonders.
Filters for Pet Dander
As much as you love your pet, cat, dog, and other animal dander can be harmful to your health. According to the American Lung Association, dander consists of microscopic skin flecks that create allergic reactions in humans. Even saliva and animal waste can emit these allergens, causing sufferers to have extreme allergic responses.
Pet dander, along with other in-home allergens, can make you sneeze and cause discomfort. The longer the dander accumulates, the worse the allergic response.
The Humane Society notes that HEPA air cleaners can help filter allergens from your home’s air and make it healthier, too. Dense, high-efficiency particulate air (HEPA) filters catch what other filters leave behind.
Vacuuming and dusting often can help keep dander at bay, and if you’re constantly on the go with your pup, you may need to purchase a car vacuum as well. Bathing your dog once a month also helps. Of course, regular baths aren’t always possible with cats.
Cleaning Solutions for Smells and Messes
Pet accidents are not only offensive to your nose, but also to your immune system. According to Live Science, pets can harbor and spread disease via their waste. For example, animal urine can transmit leptospirosis—a harmful bacteria—to humans. Cat waste can introduce the parasite toxoplasma gondii.
To avoid exposure to harmful diseases, make sure to wash your hands thoroughly after cleaning up after your pet. Wearing gloves is also a helpful preventative measure when emptying litter boxes or picking up waste.
When it comes to indoor cleanup, the AKC recommends using paper towels to absorb dog urine from the carpet. You can also add layers of newspaper to soak up as much as possible. Then, use wet paper towels to blot the area further. Afterward, apply a layer of baking soda to the spot. Let the area dry overnight and vacuum the powder after it dries.
For dried-in stains or urine from cats, you may need an enzymatic cleaner to get the job done. Enzyme-based cleaners attach to and destroy the bacteria that cause lingering odors. Once the bacteria—and smell—are gone, your pet won’t recognize the spot as a bathroom area anymore.
If the DIY route isn’t working, it may be time to call in a professional cleaning service who can help clean up after your pets—and kids—and get your home looking pristine again. The best part is that hiring a professional is more affordable than you might think.
Though it’s challenging to clean up after pets, it’s also one of the only drawbacks to pet ownership. Fortunately, these tips make keeping a clean home easier—even with your furry friends underfoot.
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