Pets are part of the family for many people nowadays, and more and more pets are spending an increasing amount of time indoors. However, having our furry friends indoors can add to the general hair, dust and dander that our homes can accumulate. So how can we keep our homes tidy and clean when we live with pets? Today Dr. Eloise from Love That Pets talks cleaning when you own a pet.
The thing we probably all think about most when it comes to additional cleaning caused by our pets is the hair. For pets that spend lots of time indoors, year-round shedding is the norm and certainly some do shed more than others. There isn’t much we can do to stop them shedding but we can ensure the hair is removed before its left all over your home. Keeping your pet’s flea control up to date year-round (yes, even in winter) and a regular brush will reduce hair that sheds onto furniture. For dogs with fur rather than hair, this will grow to a certain length then drop out, so the only real solution is brushing daily. There are also some vacuum cleaners out now that come with an attachment that actually allows you to vacuum your pet? Some pets love it, since it’s just like a gentle massage!
Dusting and Dander
If you find your family or your pets are being affected by allergies in the home, this is probably caused by dander or the saliva that sticks to it. Dander is essentially dead skin cells that are shed by every living mammal. If your pet has flaky, dry skin or scratches due to allergies, there will be more dander around your home and your pet will probably have a pretty strong odour. If your pet does suffer from allergies, chat to your vet about options for keeping on top of them. You can also add some fish oils to your pet’s food to reduce dry skin.
Reducing the dust and dander around your home can help alleviate allergies. Ensure you use something to remove the dust such use a wet rag on all surfaces. This avoids just moving it around the room.
Nobody wants and infestation of parasites in their home and there are a few parasites such as worms, fleas, mites and ticks that your pets will unknowingly carry in. Keeping your pets and your home parasite free is important for both the health of your pets and family. Using a 3 monthly tick preventative such as the new Bravecto for dogs or a monthly flea treatment such as Comfortis for cats will help control ticks and fleas, while regular worming will help with other parasites. Bathing your pet no more than weekly with a gentle pet shampoo can reduce bacterial and fungal conditions on the skin too.
If you do find your home has been invaded by fleas get onto it promptly by using insect bombs or call in the professionals.
General pet odours in the home can usually be tackled using natural cleaners such as vinegar and bicarb soda. For example sprinkling bicarb on your carpets before vacuuming can help neutralise any smells coming from the carpet. If you allow your pets on the furniture train you’re pet to sit on a blanket or towel that can easily be removed and washed every few days to avoid couches getting smelly. The same goes for pet bedding, it is advisable to wash this weekly to keep clean and this can also help to combat fleas. It can be helpful to keep a bowl of water and supply of old towels near the back door which you can use to wipe down your pet when they come inside from outdoors especially their feet after walks in the mud.
If you look after them right cat litter trays shouldn’t be stinky! The cleaner you keep the tray the happier you and your cat will be. The recommendation is to always have 1 litter tray per cat, plus one extra (so 3 if you have 2 cats). The recycled paper litter is the most environmentally friendly litter and least offensive to cats. Simply use a couple of cups of litter in the tray, then tip the whole lot into the bin whenever your cat uses it. You should be cleaning litter trays at least morning and night, but the process is much simpler and less disgusting if you clean them more frequently. Your cat is also much less likely to urinate on the bed!
Food bowls tend to attract ants and flies, so avoid leaving wet food or meat out if it won’t be eaten within 4 hours. Dry food is fine, and if the ants are still interested, the bowl can be placed on a shallow tray or plate with water so there is a little moat around the food. Flies can particularly be a problem in the warmer months, so avoid leaving food outside that will attract flies, other pets including birds and wildlife and creepy crawlies.
Living with pets doesn’t mean your home can’t be sparkling clean. Let’s face it, pets don’t make half as much mess as kids and they give us endless love in return, so what’s a bit of fur here and there?! For more ideas on how to keep your pets happy and healthy, please visit www.lovethatpet.com