When we are first looking for a new companion animal, we envision days filled with play, companionship, and rewarding training sessions. New pet parents are sometimes surprised by some of the effects of pet ownership in their home environment; however, effects that can include an abundance of fur, slobber, mud, and, of course, lingering odor. While these effects can be distressing to some, they can easily be mitigated with just a little bit of forethought and a few /good cleaning products. Natural cleaning products, like Young Living’s essential oil cleaning products, are often safer for both our pets and ourselves and are just as effective as the harsher chemical cleaning components. Here are a few tips on how to share your home with your precious pet and still keep your home looking and smelling fresh and clean.
1. Bathing and Brushing
Regular grooming is a crucial step in keeping both your pet and your home looking and smelling their best. Brushing your companion regularly helps to remove loose hairs before they can be deposited on your furniture and floors, and it improves the overall health of their coat. Dogs that don’t receive bathing on a regular basis often develop a distinct odor. It is essential to use a shampoo that is formulated for animals, like Animal Scents Shampoo from Young’s Living, and to avoid over-bathing. Most breeds of dog only need to be bathed every month or two, and overly frequent bathing can strip the coat of natural oils may even lead to skin problems. If you, like many of us, are busy and don’t have time for bathing your pet regularly, we at Space Coast Pet Services can wash your companion in your own home as an add on to the other services we provide.
2. Doorway Mudbuster Basket
Many people remove their shoes at the door to prevent tracking dirt and mud into the house, but the majority of the time, our pets are not wearing shoes or booties outside. To keep leaves, mud, and dirt all over the house, it’s a good idea to set up a cleaning station near the door your companion typically uses to come inside. The cleaning station could include items like a spray bottle of water to spray on feet, towels to wipe the dog’s feet off, and a comb if your dog is prone to dragging leaves or grass in on the fur of his feet or tail. Training your dog to sit on a mat when they first enter the house will make getting neat and tidy a much more relaxed and organized process.
3. Fabulous Furniture
Our pets enjoy lounging on our furniture after a long day as much as we do. Unfortunately, furniture often has a tendency to soak up odors, and most pets naturally leave behind fur and dander after vacating their favorite resting places. In most cases, furniture with leather or leather-like fabrics can be wiped down with a cloth that is lightly dampened with equal parts vinegar and water. A common method for cleaning upholstered furniture is to mix water and a few drops of mild liquid dish soap, like Thieves Dish Soap, and mix them until suds are floating on the surface.
Gently dip the ends of a soft-bristled brush in just the suds and gently brush the fabric of the furniture, then wipe it down with a barely damp cloth. While these methods work for most types of furniture, there are a few types of fabric even these mild methods can damage, so before using either of these methods, you should check the cleaning instructions on your furniture. Laying a furniture cover, towel, or sheet over your pet’s favorite lounging spots can also help to significantly reduce the frequency of cleanings that are needed and protect the furniture from wear and tear.
4. Suppertime Suggestions
Your pet’s feeding station is another area that can get rather messy. Water gets splashed everywhere, and bits of kibble or other food can end up on the floor all around the food bowl. To avoid not only unsightly messes but also invading insects and rodents, it is best to keep this area as clean as possible after feeding your pet. Using an easy-rinse placemat of some sort under the food and water bowls will help to make clean up a breeze, especially if you pick up a pet placemat with a lip on it to prevent the food litter from being brushed off the placemat and onto the floor.
If food does get on the floor, vacuum or wipe it up as quickly as possible. It is also wise to regularly wash the dishes that your pet uses, as well as any filters that might be present in their water dish. This will prevent bad smells from lingering and help to keep your canine companion or feline friend healthy.
5. Suck it up, Buttercup
Even the cleanest pet deposits hair, dander, and odor in the carpets. Consistently keeping up with the vacuuming will go a long way towards helping to keep your home neat and tidy, and choosing a vacuum that is designed with pet hair in mind makes this chore quite a bit easier. If vacuuming alone is not getting all of the hair and odor off of the carpet, there are a couple of things you can do to help. One simple trick is to get a clean sponge-type mop and spray it with a small amount of water then move the mop gently across the carpet. This causes the pet hair to clump together and even lift out of the rug somewhat, making it easier to vacuum up.
A formula of one part liquid fabric softener to three parts water can be lightly sprayed on the carpet as well before vacuuming to help loosen pet hair and make it easier to remove. Just mist the carpet with this solution, let it dry, then vacuum it up. Occasionally sprinkling the carpet with baking soda before vacuuming often helps to remove odors as well.
While sharing our home with furry family members does create a little more work for us, the benefits that they provide far outweigh the challenges. They provide joy, unconditional love, and companionship, and can help us to become more compassionate for those around us by doing so. A few minutes of preparation and the right products or pet services can go a long way toward ensuring that we and our pets reap the benefits of the relationship without a lot of added stress.
Melanie is the owner and founder of Brevard’s premier trusted in-home pet care company. In 2016 she took her corporate security background and combined it with her lifelong passion for animals – that’s how Space Coast Pet Services was born! She is certified in Pet First Aid & CPR and committed to ongoing training and education. She leads a team with diverse backgrounds who are all animal-loving pet care professionals. Melanie is the mother of two amazing humans, two small pups and a witty African Grey parrot and enjoys volunteering, reading, swimming, hiking, traveling, grilled cheese sandwiches, and naps.
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