We love our pets because they bring such joy and unconditional love to our households. What their furry affections and “joie de vivre” also bring us is added home maintenance. So, follow these 9 fun tips to keep home maintenance simple and less time consuming.
1. Keep the Fur Outside
The single best maintenance tip is to keep the pet fur and dander from entering your home in the first place. Your dog and cat shed hair like humans shed skin cells. Especially in spring and fall, your pets will shed a bit more of their coat to prepare for the coming season. That means, keep your pets brushed, groomed, and bathed as often as is recommended for the breed.
2. Keep Toys Clean
Pets love their toys and will carry them, chew them, lick them, and sleep with them. This is a great opportunity to introduce bacteria into the toys and in to your home. Keep your pet toys clean and fresh, for both the home and your pet’s health.
For plastic toys, wash them in gentle detergent or with vinegar, and rinse thoroughly. For cloth and stuffed toys, gentle laundering will assure that they are clean and healthy.
3. Keep Paws from Prancing
Pets, especially dogs, can wreak havoc on floors and carpets by tracking the outside to the inside of your home. A simple tip is to keep an attractive basket or container handy and within reach of the front door. Place essentials in the container such as a towel and spray bottle – with water and essential oils. When your pet comes indoors, it will be easy to clean paws and coats before the dirt gets tracked inside.
4. Keep Floors Fresh & Clean
Despite brushing your pet, hardwood, tile and carpets will catch animal hair and dander. It is recommended that you keep the carpets vacuumed often – daily if possible. Damp mop hardwood floors and tile, as opposed to sweeping with a broom. Depending on the number of animals you live with, monthly or bi-monthly carpet cleaning is recommended to keep the fabric clean, ply lofted, and leave your home smelling fresh.
5. Keep Air Fresh & Clean
Regardless of brushing your pet, animals shake launching fur into the air. One maintenance requirement is to clean and scrub the air. An air purifier or high-grade filter on your furnace will achieve this easily. Your furnace manufacturer can recommend Filterbuy Merv 11 for pets, or a similar high-grade furnace filter. Utilizing a high-grade air filtering system will not only keep the air free of pet hair and dander, but also remove and trap airborne bacteria, dust, and other allergens. It is best to check your furnace filter at least monthly for replacement*.
6. Clean Messes Right Up
We cannot keep our pets from having the occasional accident inside the home. So, when accidents do happen, the best tip is to clean them up immediately. Immediate response will keep an accident from becoming a timely, and potentially costly, disaster.
7. Wash Bedding, Rugs & Blankets
Animals love their personal space, too. Maintain these favorite spots by providing a bed, rug, or blanket for your pet. When the area becomes soiled, you can simply lift the item and toss it into the washer.
8. Freshen the Litter
Nothing begs for pet maintenance faster than a cat litter box. To maintain a clean and fresh smelling home, be sure to clean the box daily and change the litter according to the manufacturer’s recommendation. In addition, baking soda is a safe, inexpensive, and effective natural deodorizer to add to the litter box.
9. Essential Oils
All pets, including dogs, cats, birds, exotic pets, horses, and fish will benefit from the use of essential oils. Many essential oils have properties that make them anti-bacterial, anti-fungal, anti-viral, anti-parasitic, and disinfecting, which is great for your home and pet alike. In addition to their germ-killing capabilities essential oils freshen the air, pet bedding, toys, furniture, and floors, and are safe for and around your animals. Essential oils can provide aromatherapy for both you and your pet.
Essential oils such as tea tree and citrus are a natural flea repellent for dogs (not recommended for cats). Examples of beneficial essential oils that can be used safely on or around all animals are cedarwood, lavender, spearmint, patchouli, lemongrass, myrrh, frankincense, helichrysum, and clary sage.
Consider adding 1-3 drops of essential oil to 1 cup baking soda; mix a few teaspoons into your cat’s litter when you clean it. Add a few drops of essential oils to a pint of water and spritz on your pet’s coat and bedding to freshen and disinfect the area.
The biggest obstacle in pet home maintenance is simply getting into maintenance habits that work with your lifestyle. This will afford you the optimal enjoyment with minimal care that you should expect. Practice these tips you will be sure to realize more effortless enjoyment of pet and home.