Living With Pets
Living With Pets
My pets have done some serious damage to my home. And my car. Oh, and my clothes, too. Everything is typically covered in a thick layer of tan and black hairs…thank goodness I don’t have any allergies! We normally vacuum two or three times a week (whoever thought black carpeting paired with a tan dog was a good idea was CRAZY). The sight of all that hair and litter everywhere drives me absolutely insane, so I’ve done my best to find some shortcuts to keep on top of it all.
The most important tip I can give you guys is to actually follow these tips coming up! I’ve developed so many pet hair-combating strategies, but if I don’t utilize them frequently, they are completely useless. Following these tips once a month isn’t going to be enough. If you want to be fur-free, you are gonna have to commit to cleaning at least once a week. For some reason, I’m well aware of that fact, yet still don’t commit to that once a week cleaning!
Stock up on the essentials.
Investing in a mini-vacuum (or a vacuum with pet-hair attachments) is a must. Such an easy way to reach all of the nooks and crannies of your home! For those stubborn hairs that can get caught in the fabric fibers of clothes, rugs, and furniture, try a squeegee. You’d never guess it, but they pick up hair even better than lint-rollers.
Enzyme cleaner is essential…pet (and kid!) stains are organic, so the enzymes in those cleaners combat odors really well. They’re particularly great for dogs that mark their territory; by eliminating the smell of urine, dogs won’t be able to sniff out their favorite pee spots. I’ve used Nature’s Miracle since Sawyer was a puppy…it does a great job of keeping my rugs clean, and isn’t full of a ton of nasty chemicals.
Litter box etiquette.
For those of you with cats, I’ve got a whole other list of essentials, mostly related to litter boxes. First things first, they’re nasty. Cats love to wipe their paws on the side, spreading litter everywhere, not to mention, they’re just plain smelly!
Trust me. I understand.
Two simple solutions. That’s all I’ve got for ya.
1: Use some sort of rubber garage/outdoor/pet mat under the litter box. The ones with little grooves are great for trapping litter, and keeping it contained to one small area. Your cats will love cleaning their paws off on the rubber as well.
2: If you have more than one cat, buy multi-cat litter! Trust me, its worth shelling out the extra couple bucks. In all honestly, you might wanna buy it even if you just have one cat…the biggest difference is the quality of odor-control. I know you won’t like hearing this (I certainly didn’t!), but if you have multiple cats, you really should have multiple litter boxes. Cats need their own space, and sharing one litter box will only make the smell worse.
Out of sight, out of mind.
Sawyer LOVES his toys, and unfortunately, he’s a power-chewer. That means tiny chunks of toys under every piece of furniture in my house. He really goes to town when he’s home alone and bored. I bought him the cutest antique-looking pallet box to store all of his toys. He can only grab one or two toys from it without help, keeping the toy mess to a minimum. Thank goodness he hasn’t figured out how to knock the bucket over yet!
Invest in an air purifier or some plants.
While enzyme cleaners are great for keeping odors under control, I try to keep the chemicals to a minimum around Bella and Sawyer. Air purifiers will keep your home smelling fresh (or if you’re cheap like me, try some air purifying plants or candles).
Bathe pets and wash toys frequently.
This is just a no-brainer, guys. Give your dog a bath. He’ll smell better and shed less. DON’T, however, give your cat a bath unless she’s super stinky. Cats are pretty good about keeping themselves clean; they don’t need to be bathed more than once a year (if that). Remember to brush both cats and dogs after bathing to keep shedding to a minimum. I prefer to brush Sawyer in the tub, so I can just rinse all his hair down the drain.
One thing I never thought of was to wash my pets toys as well. Can you imagine the dirt and bacteria crawling all over those things?! As that bacteria ages and dies, it begins to smell. Throw those toys in the sink, dishwasher, or clothes washer, and eliminate even more odors in your home.
Be prepared for paw prints.
When I see a rainy forecast, I make sure to be prepared for paw prints. Leave a towel and a bowl/bottle of water next to the door, so you can clean muddy paws before they track all over your house.
Try out some avoidance training.
The easiest way to have a clean house is to keep your pets off of the furniture! Now, I totally don’t believe in this rule. It works for some people, but in my opinion, my home belongs to Sawyer and Jax, too. That means that they have every right to hop up beside me on the couch. I’d rather deal with the mess. For those of you with some really messy pets (or maybe nice white couches!), try some avoidance training. Dogs typically don’t like the smell of ammonia, citrus, and vinegar. To avoid spraying chemicals like ammonia all over your house, try some citrus juice diluted with water. Spraying that mixture on your couch will keep your pets off!
If that scent doesn’t work, you could try ammonia or vinegar. Neither smell nearly as nice, and ammonia is much more dangerous if accidentally mixed with other chemicals. I would only use it as a last resort. The last thing you need is a poisoned pup! Vinegar is safe, but can stink up your home. If you do choose to use it, soak some cotton balls in vinegar or ammonia, and place them in areas your dog should avoid.
Now, like I mentioned above, these tricks only work if you stick to them! The litter box still needs to be cleaned at least once a week, the rugs will still need vacuuming. When it comes to your home, you’ll get out what you put in.
What kind of shenanigans do you have to deal with when it comes to your pets?
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