How to Keep a Clean House with Pets
Don't let your house go to the dogs or cats! Maintain a clean and tidy house, while still creating the ultimate haven for your furry best friends.
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Photo By: Marian Parsons, Mustard Seed Interiors
Photo By: Nature's Miracle
Photo By: Madeline Tolle
Photo By: Tessa Neudstadt
Photo By: Paige Rumore Photography
Photo By: Aaron Wessling Photography
Find the Right Vacuum
If your pet leaves more hair around your house than they seem to have on their entire body, we feel you. Invest in a vacuum designed specifically to handle pet hair. Look for one that has extra attachments for removing fur from upholstery and for making it easier to get to hard-to-reach areas.
READ MORE: Best Vacuums for Pet Owners
Baking Soda to the Rescue
When you need to eliminate pet odors from your carpets and rugs, turn to our trusty cleaning pal: baking soda. It is an all-natural (and inexpensive!) odor absorber. Sprinkle the baking soda liberally on your carpet and rugs. Wait a few hours or even overnight so it has a chance to absorb the odors. Then, simply vacuum it up.
Tend to Where They Sleep
Opt for beds that are machine washable to cut back on odors. Throw the covers or entire bed in the wash once a week or every other week so that your fur babies have a sweet-smelling bed to curl up on for naps and bedtime.
Get the How-To: Pet Projects: Make a DIY Dog Bed
Your best bet for handling accidents is to tackle them as soon as they happen. Blot as much as possible with paper towels or a cloth and then apply a cleaning solution. For a homemade concoction, try one part vinegar to one part warm water. For store-bought, we're partial to Nature's Miracle, which uses an enzymatic formula to break down the tough stains and odors.
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Anyone that's picked up a drool-laden ball knows cleaning toys is a must. Check your toys' tags to see if they have specific cleaning instructions, but in general:
Hard Toys: Throw them in the dishwasher or hand wash with warm water and antibacterial soap. If they're particularly grimy, pre-soak them in an equal parts vinegar/water solution.
Soft Toys: Toss whatever you can in the washing machine with baking soda. If they can't go in the washing machine, use your same vinegar/water mixture to handwash the toys. A lot of toys are tough enough to handle the dryer, but those with squeakers or other plastic pieces are better hung to dry or set out in the sun.
Set Up Your Entry for Success
Stop messes before they even enter your house. Bringing pets in from the outdoors can be a messy business — muddy paws, wet fur, oh my! This mudroom is a pet owner's dream with a complete shower for giving your pup a thorough cleaning when needed. However, most of us don't have room for a dedicated pet space. Have grooming wipes and a basket of towels by the door to wipe your furry friends down before they track anything on your floors.
An Extra Layer
Lay blankets on your sofas and chairs to help protect your upholstery and keep most of the fur under control. When guests stop by, set the blanket aside for a quick de-furring. Of course, your pup might give them the evil eye for sitting in her spot, but at least your guest walks away with fur-less pants.
We all find a fairly out-of-the-way space to store litter boxes. This clever solution adds an extra level of concealment when you really need to keep it out of sight. Make sure to empty the litter box every day or two to eliminate odors.
In Their Own Little Corner
Give your pets a place of their own, complete with all their essentials: bed, food and water bowls, and playthings. Not only does it provide them with a sense of comfort and security (which is really the most important aspect!), but it also helps you contain most of the mess to one area, making it easier for you to maintain a clean home.
Access Granted (or Denied)
Keep pups at bay with gates. Whether you need specific rooms to be dog-free all the time, such as the kids' playroom full of very yummy and chewable toys, or you need to be able to block certain spaces from time to time, gates keep your furry friends from making messes in every room of your home. With so many options available now, you don't have to settle for the cheap plastic versions. Find one that matches the style of your home or, as pictured, one that's installed as a pocket door to be pulled out when needed.
All the Things
Create a pet catchall where you can keep all their essentials organized. We love this cabinet that is outfitted to house food, toys, treats and even cleaning supplies. You don't have to have an entire cabinet though — clear off a shelf or designate a spot in a closet or pantry to handle all your kitty's and pup's necessities.
Get the How-To: DIY Posh Pet Cabinet
Tidy Up for Mealtime
An integrated feeding station allows you to hide away your pet's food and water bowls when not in use. Designed to blend into this kitchen, the cabinet also provides storage for food and treats.