While pets are a source of immense joy, they can also sometimes be a source of mess. So if you have a pet, or if you are thinking of a four-legged addition to your family, pet-proofing your home is strongly recommended. And while you’re at it, some home maintenance tips will do the trick in keeping your home in tip-top shape even with the bundle of energy running around.
Take Care of Dog’s Hair
Having hair and fur on just about everything in your home may be painful, but that’s something you have to learn to accept as part of having a furry friend. Fortunately, there are lots of things you can do to mitigate this. You can start by regularly grooming your pet. Aside from keeping your pet looking like a million bucks, regular bathing and brushing can remove dead hair so your furry friend won’t shed as much. However, make sure you do not bathe and/or brush your pet more than is recommended.
Also, you can put washable slipcovers on your couch or other furniture and rug or old towels on the floor where your pet likes to lie down. You can easily shake the rugs and slipcovers outside to remove the furs before tossing them in the washing machine. Aside from vacuum, you can also use a paint roller wrapped with duct tape with its sticky side out to remove pet hair from the couch, other furniture, and carpet.
Clean Up Stains
Dog or cat urine can leave odor and stains on carpet or furniture so it’s best to clean it up right away to prevent any damage. You can use a homemade solution of 1 cup tepid water mixed with 1 teaspoon of dishwashing liquid or commercial pet stain and odor remover.
To remove fresh stains, blot the affected area with a clean cloth to absorb as much fluid as possible. Then, spray the homemade solution or commercial stain remover into the stained area. If you’re using the homemade solution, rinse it off by blotting it with a dampened clean cloth. Most commercial solutions are enzyme products, which means that those are loaded with dormant bacteria that can break down organic matter that’s causing the stain and odor. Some products are known to remove even old stains.
Protect Fixture and Furniture
Train your dog or cat to stay off your couch. One way to do this is by covering couches with something your pets may not be too fond of. For instance, cats can’t stand the sound of rustling aluminum foil so covering your furniture with aluminum foil during the training period should deter your feline friend from lounging around. You can also use plastic carpet protectors. The small plastic spines should make your pet think twice before hanging around the furniture.
Soon enough, your pet will associate those repellent-covered furnishings with feelings of discomfort and they’ll find someplace else where they can cozy up.
If your pet has the annoying habit of scratching the door when they want to go out, consider installing plexiglass on the door. Custom-fit the plexiglass before mounting it on the door using wood screws to prevent your pets’ claws from making those hideous marks.
Store Food Properly
Ants have an affinity for pet food so if you don’t want an army of these pests marching around your house to scavenge for food, ant-proof your pet’s food bowl. The easiest way to do this is to set the food bowl in a pan of water. Additionally, store the pet food in a container with a tight lid. This is to keep the food fresh and the feeding area tidy.
Wash Beddings and Blankets Regularly
Pets love cleanliness in their resting place just like how we want our homes to be tidy and clean. So when your pet's bedding, rug, blanket, and toys become soiled, it’s best to put it in the washer right away. This way, the dirt doesn’t pile up so it’s easier to keep everything spic and span.
If there are lots of hair and other debris in the bed or blanket, you can take it outside first and shake it off. If you see some fleas, you’ll have to treat your pet with anti-flea spray or shampoo before it gets worse. Clean the bedding thoroughly as well by soaking it in boiling water for at least 5 minutes. This should kill the fleas and larvae that burrowed into the material.
Set Up an Easy to Clean Cat Litter
While an uncovered cat litter works just fine, it’s better to go for an enclosed cat litter. Not only does your cat have its moment of privacy inside the litter, but this type also doesn’t make much of a mess. If you’re using a pan, line it up with a plastic garbage bag before putting in the litter. This makes it easier to clean up.
Scoop up the waste in the litter box twice a day and clean it up at least once a week if you have one cat. To wash the litter box, use water and unscented soap. An enzyme spray cleaner can also get the job done.
Mind Those Electrical Cords
What may look like an ordinary wire to you may look like a toy for your pet. So better get those electric wires out of the way or your pet may play and chew on them, posing a great hazard to you and your furry friend. And of course, it may cause problems with your appliance as well.
If it’s not possible to hide all the electrical wires in your house, another alternative is to wrap it with a flexible plastic conduit. You can buy this in your local automotive store or home center. Gnawing on those durable plastic conduits is not as fun so your pet should soon lose interest in it.
Maintain HVAC System
Fur and dander could also take a toll on your HVAC system. To make sure you don’t compromise air quality and your family’s comfort, your HVAC system has to perform optimally too. To do this, you may want to consider upgrading your air filter. If you have a pet inside the house, an air filter with a minimum efficiency reporting value (MERV) of at least 8 is the way to go. These types of air filters can catch allergens and small particles like danders, ensuring excellent indoor air quality. Also, clean your air filter regularly to maintain your HVAC system’s performance.
Another thing you need to check regularly is the air duct. Furs and hair can find its way into the air ducts if there’s a leak. And since air is circulated inside your home through the duct, having a clean air duct is tantamount to enjoying clean air.
Lastly, your condenser may be situated outside your house but if you have an overly curious pet, it may just find itself inside the condenser or urinate in it. Regardless, future trouble can be prevented easily by covering or putting a barrier to the condenser.
Pets are amazing to have around the house. They fill our days with joy and laughter. But owning a pet means taking care of things you may not have considered otherwise. Fortunately, if you have the maintenance habits down pat, you’ll soon find that these chores are a small price to pay for all the adoration and love you’ll be getting in return.