Sixty-eight percent of American households, or about 85 million families, own a pet, according to the 2017-2018 National Pet Owners Survey conducted by the American Pet Products Association. Canada’s Pet Wellness report indicates that approximately 35 percent of Canadian households have a dog, while 38 percent have a cat. Dogs, cats and other companion animals can be wonderful to have around, breathing energy into a family. Despite all of the advantages pets can bring, they tend to be a little messy. However, that doesn’t mean it’s impossible to have a pet and maintain a clean home. Homeowners just need to take a few extra steps to help things along.
• Manage pet fur. One of the persistent issues pet parents face is fur. Grooming the pet regularly (preferably outdoors) will help tame some of its fur. Covering sofas and other places where pets like to lounge with an old sheet can contain some of the fur where it can be shaken off outdoors and laundered frequently.
• Upgrade your vacuum. You’ll need a vacuum with strong suction to pick up fur, dirt, dander, feathers, birdseed, and any of the other debris that can accumulate thanks to pets. A vacuum with a good brush action also can dig in deep to carpets and upholstery to really clean thoroughly, say the experts at House Beautiful.
• Pause for paws at the door. Keep a small container of water by the front door. When returning from walks, dip the dog’s paws into the water and dry before entering the house. This keeps dirt (and salt in the winter) from being a nuisance.
• Get the right cleanser. Pet owners must contend with accidents. Look for an enzymatic cleanser that will treat stains and odors so that pets do not return to the soiled area again and again thinking this is an acceptable potty location, says Modern Dog magazine. Test an area of the carpet or floor being treated for colorfastness before applying. Address accidents promptly.
• Choose the right upholstery. According to Martha Stewart Living, look for top-grain, semi-aniline leathers, as scratches are disguised on such pieces. In terms of fabric, microfiber or microsuede are better suited to pets because the fabric is tightly woven and may be more resistant to fur and soiling.