Yes, for those of us that own a pet (or more), having it in our lives is a true blessing. We get so much unconditional love from them that it is unbelievable. But, when it comes to having a clean house and pets, the question still remains: Can those two co-exist? Can we actually keep pets and have our home clean, at the same time? I mean, it is too much to put up with: dander, fur, “accidents”, litter boxes, you name it. Can we pull things through?
But, OF COURSE, WE CAN! And, here is how!
DEALING WITH PET HAIR, “ACCIDENTS”, & MORE!
One of the biggest, if not THE biggest, challenge for the majority of pet owners is hair. There are breeds that shed little, such as Bichon Frises, Labradoodles, and Schnauzers, there are also breeds that shed A LOT, especially the double-coated breeds, such as Siberian Huskies and Akitas. Given that most breeds of dog shed twice a year, leaving furballs scattered all over the house, moving like tumbleweeds on the floor, we need to adopt an effective hair scooping up method. Luckily, there are many tools available to get the job done today, from hand-held vacuums and dustpans to Swiffers.
However, to tick all the boxes you need to mind:
Brushing your cat or dog every day (or at least a few times a week) will reduce the amount of hair on the floor and in the air. It doesn’t require much effort. Just a quick brushing that should get the coat out is more than enough to help keep your house cleaner. That aside, brushing your cat frequently also helps your cat experience less hair-related health issues (i.e. hairballs and constipation).
If you can, brush your pet outside, so you don’t have to sweep up any hair from the floor after you are done grooming. Also using the right tools per breeds is essential. Check with your vet or groomer to find out what best suits your pet.
Tip: Make sure you check your air filters regularly, especially if you have pets that shed often (i.e. Persian cats). Depending on how much they shed and the number of pets you have at home, you will have to check your air filters more or less often. Ideally, you should check the filters every 2-4 weeks and try to determine how much stress you are putting on them.
Bathing & Bathing Habits
Cats don’t need a bath as they clean themselves, The only reason you should be bathing a cat is when they are elderly or ill. Dogs, on the other hand, need a bath about once a month, unless, of course, they have been rolling outside in the dirt. Remember that too frequent baths could dry out their skin’s natural oils and we don’t want that.
Having to clean up your pooch’s messes inside the house is tedious and at times, so frustrating. After all, you shouldn’t have to be constantly doing that. So, train your pet well and they will do their business outside just fine. The only inconvenient part of it all is that you have to carry disposal bags when taking your walks. Now, if you don’t see light ahead, you need to consult with a vet (maybe there is a medical condition responsible for indoor accidents) or a dog trainer to work on Rex’s housebreaking.
Cats is a different story. Their bathrooms, meaning their litter box, are indoors. The only way to prevent your home from turning into a toxic waste site is never to forget to clean the litter box. Vets advise cleaning the litter box once a day if you have one cat or twice a day if two cats are sharing the same litter box. Also, it is important to change the litter box completely every 10 days or so. This means that you fill the litter box with water after you dump the litter, add a dishwasher detergent (sudsy) and bleach solution and scrub passionately before you refill it.
Note: DO NOT use any product that contains ammonia, because you will get a smell very close to cat urine. Here are some Eco-friendly cleaning products you can use!
Finally, it is a good idea to get a new litter box every one or two years because when a cat scratches a litter box, they create divots on the plastic. This allows the material, which is extremely porous, to absorb the stool on top.
Useful Tips to Keep your House Clean
- With pets under the same roof, you can expect some strolls on various surfaces you may have food on, such as your countertops. Whether such walks are acceptable or not, you must know that paws (that have walked on or touched litter) will come in close contact with your food prep surfaces. So, make sure you wipe your counters down with a paper towel and cleaning solution or cleansing wipe (before AND after you have placed food on your counters), even if you don’t see tiny sand tracks on them. You never know when your cat will contaminate your food with toxoplasmosis, among other organisms. Also, it is wise to keep food preparation tools like cutting knives and cutting boards inside a drawer or cupboard.
- Pets (dogs and cats) can spread intestinal parasites to people, particularly those with a vulnerable immune system, such as children and ill people. Therefore, your quest to keep your house clean should also mean to keep it free of these parasites. Giving your pet the proper medication that prevents parasites, such as roundworm, hookworm, and heartworm, and also fights fleas is one of the best things you can do to protect both your family and your pet.
- Amphibians and reptiles are also popular pets and although they don’t shed fur or walk on your counters, they are carriers of dangerous viruses, such as shigella and salmonella. To prevent their spread, wipe down all habitats and cages every single day and clean them once a week (ALWAYS wearing gloves). Do NOT wash these habitats in your kitchen or bathroom sink. Better to use the bathtub or even better the laundry sink, if you have one.
- Always keep your pet’s food supplies in sealed containers. If you leave them open, you will most likely end up with new guests, such as rodents!
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