Pets are incredible companions, but they also make an incredibly large mess sometimes. Both dogs and cats will learn the rules of the house after you've had them for a while and given them the proper training, however you still need to be prepared to deal with hair, with general mess, and with the occasional accident. Here are a few things that you can do to make things easier on yourself:
Pick the Right Furniture
This is the biggest adjustment you might need to make in your home to keep it as tidy as possible. If you have a cat or a dog that sheds, some couches and chairs are just out of the question since they’re natural hair magnets, and you’ll never be able to keep them clean.
You can teach your pets not to climb on the couch, but just the loose hair in the air can still stick to materials like acrylic or velvet, and they’ll be tough to remove, if not impossible.
Instead of constantly trying to pick up the hair from these materials, the better choice would be to get leather furniture that’s much easier to clean.
Cover Your Furniture
Getting basic couch or chair coverings can save your furniture. Cats scratch, and dogs bite. Moreover, at an early age, they might just shred everything they can get their claws on. Some sort of simple covering will likely distract them until you see them and manage to shoo them away, protecting your cushions in the process.
They also serve as hair and dirt collectors, so if your pets get on the furniture, instead of having to clean the cushions themselves, you can simply remove the cover, take it outside, and give it a good beating to get rid of the hair.
Coverings are also much easier to clean than the furniture itself since you just have to throw them in the wash every once in a while.
Put Away Small and Fragile Items
Dogs and cats will play with just about anything. Unfortunately, “play” for them sometimes means unintentionally “destroy.” Having a pet will cause you to make certain necessary modifications to your behaviour too, and key among them is putting away any items that might be too important.
Get used to picking up your clothes from the basket and putting them in the closet as well as putting away your shoes on a rack as soon as you come home. Also, try to keep your phone and remote on the table while you’re not using them or anywhere that’s not on an empty and easy-to-reach couch.
The biggest pain here will be training your pets to stay away from your TV or PC since they’re usually placed pretty low to the ground. Put up some sort of barrier, place them on high desks or tables, and definitely teach the animals not to knock them over or scratch them.
Aside from the shedding, pets also run around a lot, and regardless of how clean you keep your home, this constant movement will kick up a lot of dust that will settle all over the place. That’s not even mentioning all of the dirt and mud that they’ll be bringing from outside as well.
You’ll naturally need a decently powerful vacuum cleaner to pick up all of this hair, dirt and dust. Some extra power can also allow you to clean up the room faster, plus pick up all that excess hair.
We’d also recommend getting a robot vacuum. They’re not as thorough as standard vacuum cleaners, but they’re constantly on, and that’s exactly what you need when you have a four-legged dust machine in your home that doesn’t seem to stay in one place often.
Keep the robot vacuum on and always picking up after your pet, and use a standard vacuum for bigger spills or for more detailed cleaning jobs.
While we may sound a bit dramatic, the truth is that a lint roller is the single most important item that any pet owner can have, since the floating hairs that we mentioned earlier will stick to everything from furniture to clothes.
Clean Their Paws
It doesn’t matter if they go out on their own or if you take them out for a walk; your pets are always going to come back with dirt, sand, and who knows what else on their paws. They’ll also do their best to unintentionally spread this dirt all over your floor and everywhere in your home.
A pack of wet wipes is the best way to minimise visible paw prints all over the house. Simply keep the wipes at the door, and when they come into the house, lift up their feet and give them a scrub one by one.
It won’t completely get rid of the dirt, but it’s better than just letting them come in as they are. If you do have the time and will to go the extra mile for the sake of hygiene, washing their legs after every walk will definitely make things much easier.
Trimming Dogs' Nails
This is a particularly important tip if you have hardwood floors in your home and not that many carpeted areas. Maintaining your dog’s nails is a good way to prevent any noticeable scratches on the ground, as well as prevent them from accidentally scratching you as well.
Additionally, while they may not be as damaging as cats when it comes to using their nails, dogs can still accidentally and intentionally do some damage to your furniture using them. A pair of clippers and a little patience can save you quite a lot of scratch marks all over your home.
Scratching Posts for Cats
A great way for a cat to get out its frustration when it feels like trying out its claws, and regardless of what you might have heard, they’re actually quite fond of them and use them all the time.
Stick one of these posts in the corner of your room and make sure that your cat knows where it is so that it goes to it and spares your upholstery.
Get Non-Toxic Cleaning Products
You’re going to have a lot of stains that you need to clean as soon as you find them, or else they’ll stay there permanently. This means that you’re going to need to use a lot of different detergents and sprays that can tackle different tasks and different types of surfaces that you need to clean.
The problem is that a lot of these chemicals aren’t safe for your pets, and as soon as you spray an area, it’s more than likely that they’ll come over to sniff and maybe even lick it. Because this can lead to them getting sick or worse, it’s a good idea to only buy animal-safe products from now on.
You can find a full list of chemicals that you should avoid online, but the big ones that you should steer clear of are chlorine, bleach, ammonia, and formaldehyde.
Clean Their Beds
Have you ever seen how much hair has stuck to your pillow after you wake up? Well, multiply that by around ten, and you get close to how much hair you’ll find in your pet’s bed. All of this loose hair will get stuck on their coat, and they’ll spread it all over the house in the blink of an eye.
The best option is to use a blanket to cover the bed since that way you can simply take it outside and shake it free of hair, and you can also throw it in the washing machine and clean it with some detergent every once in a while as well.
Put Some Plastic Around the Bowls
Pets aren’t known for having the best table manners, so the area around the food and the water bowl is going to be a constant splash zone. It’s relatively easy to mop up any spilled water and collect all of the dropped food in a dust tray, but it’s much easier to just put something around the bowls as well.
We say plastic, but you can honestly use anything from cardboard to a small tray. All that you really need is something that can hold in what was spilled so that you can easily dispose of the mess.
Aside from the tips that we just covered, the easiest advice we can give on keeping your house clean with pets is to keep the pets themselves clean and invest in good quality cleaning products that can help you get the job done fast and effectively.