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25 Tips for a Clean and Pet Friendly Home

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beagle resting on carpet as someone vacuums

Keeping your home clean can sometimes feel like a full-time job, especially if you have some pets in your house. Of course, everyone wants their house to look and smell its best, particularly for when company comes over.

Thankfully for pet parents, there are many ways to make the cleaning process a bit easier. These tips can help you prepare your home for visitors and make your house cleaner and safer for your furry friends already in residence.

Pets

One of the best things you can do to help keep your house clean is to keep your pet clean and well-groomed.

  • 1. Brush your pet frequently to reduce shedding and help prevent hairballs in cats. Try to do this outside, or in an area where the hair won’t float back onto a surface you’ll have to clean again.
  • 2. Trim fur between your pet’s paw pads, around the backend, and on the belly so that they won’t collect dirt. Before your pet comes back inside, you can also check these areas for any extra burs, leaves, or any other number of items that may accidentally be brought indoors.
  • 3. Clip your pet’s nails and file any rough edges that could tear upholstery or other fabric around the house.
  • 4. Wipe your pet’s face after mealtime, and don’t forget to clean floppy ears if they dip into water or food bowls.
  • 5. Be sure to wipe those paws every time your pet comes in from outside and towel your four-legged friend off completely on wet days. This can also be incredibly helpful if you live in an area with snowy winters.

Floors

Our floors take a lot of wear and tear every day. Following a few extra steps to keep them as clean as possible and protect them from unwanted scratches can make quite the difference.

  • 6. If you’re looking into new flooring, keep in mind that tile, sheet linoleum, and laminate flooring are easy to wipe clean.
  • 7. Consider replacing wall-to-wall carpeting or covering well-traveled sections with machine washable area rugs.
  • 8. Have a pet-friendly carpet-cleaning product handy to remove stains. Investing in a heavy-duty sweeper that can pick up pet hair from your carpet will be well worth the purchase.
  • 9. If you have unsealed hardwood floors, seal them with polyurethane to prevent them from absorbing odors.
  • 10. Put an absorbent placemat under your pet’s food and water bowls to make cleaning up easier.
  • 11. Place a small washable area rug near entryways, though make sure it’s non-slip.
  • 12. If you have a teething puppy, roll up and store rugs with fringe, which can tempt pups to bite and chew.
  • 13. Put away vegetable-dyed area rugs until your pet is fully house-trained. The dye can run and stain if it gets wet.

Walls

Though it might not be the first surface that comes to mind when cleaning your home, you may be surprised just how drool-spotted and dirty your walls can become with pets in the house.

  • 14. If you’re painting, choose washable semi-gloss paint because it’s easy to wipe down.
  • 15. Keep in mind that washable vinyl-backed wallpaper is easier to clean than traditional paper-backed wallpaper.
  • 16. Protect antique wallpapers or fabric wall treatments by having them only on the top half of the walls. You can paint or hang a washable wall covering below.

Windows

Our pets love to gaze out the windows all day long—whether they are watching traffic or birds. Keep your best pal safe with these pet-friendly window options.

  • 17. Use pet-friendly window treatments, like fabric shades, café curtains, and valances.
  • 18. Avoid vertical blinds, pooling drapery, and ornate tassels. Pets can get tangled up in them and cause everything around to come crashing down.
  • 19. Tie up long cords to avoid accidental strangulation.
  • 20. Think twice about mini-blinds, which can get bent beyond repair when they block a curious pet’s view.
  • 21. Make sure all of your window screens are installed securely. Cats especially can lean on loose screens and fall out.

Furniture

With pets in the house, furniture can easily get scratched, muddy, and covered in pet hair—we have some tips for that.

  • 22. Choose patterns, tweeds, and dark colors for your upholstery, if possible, because they won’t show stains or fur as much as light and solid colors.
  • 23. Keep your pet’s nails well-trimmed if you have leather or Vinyl furniture, which can get scratched and damaged.
  • 24. Encourage your furry friend to stay off forbidden furniture by setting up a cozy pet bed nearby.
  • 25. Cover the couches and chairs your pet likes to snooze on with a throw or removable slipcover you can put in the wash.

Also, don’t forget to check out our complete pet-proofing guide. Some of the biggest dangers to your pet are common, everyday things.

If your pet does have a mishap, such as falling through a window screen or ingesting cleaning products, are they covered? Get a personalized quote!

jack Russell terrier stretching next to a mop and bucket

Pet-Safe Cleaners

When cleaning various surfaces around your home, it’s essential to select cleaners that are safe for your pets and avoid products that can be toxic to cats and dogs.

  • Is Cleaning With Bleach Safe for Pets?

    As a general rule, bleach is not a safe product to be using around pets. Even your pet just breathing in too many bleach fumes can have some negative effects.

  • Is Cleaning With Ammonia Safe for Pets?

    Ammonia is not safe to use around pets—it’s highly toxic. Ammonia can often be found in floor, window, or oven cleaners.

  • Can I Use Tea Tree Cleaner With Pets?

    You should not use tea tree cleaner with pets, as it is toxic to them. This type of essential oil should not be ingested, used on your pet’s skin, or used in a diffuser.

  • Is Cleaning With Vinegar Safe for Pets?

    Whether white or apple cider, vinegar can be a great alternative cleaner to use around pets. Vinegar is not toxic to cats or dogs, though some may not be big fans of the strong odor.

Thankfully, there are many other pet-friendly cleaning options for pet parents. Everyday household items such as vinegar and baking soda can make for a safe alternative for a stain remover and general cleaner. There are even entire brands with lines of pet-safe cleaning products for floors, windows, and counters.

If you are unable to find some pet-safe cleaners at your store, try visiting your local pet store, which may sell more pet-friendly cleaners. You can also learn how to make your own products with common household items. For instance, a lemon juice and water mixture can make for a nice glass cleaner. You can even switch out your products for some eco-friendly options.

When pet-proofing your home and switching over your standard cleaning products, don’t forget to store other toxic materials in a secure location where your pet cannot access them. These can include anything from fabric softener and dishwasher detergent to windshield washer fluid and nail polish remover. There are also common household plants that are poisonous to cats and plants that are toxic to dogs—be sure to remove these as well.

No matter how many steps you take to keep your home clean, at the end of the day, accidents can still happen. Your pet may get a little excited and accidentally scratch the floor or bump over someone’s drink. Remember to remain patient with your four-legged friend and not to punish your pal for something that they truly didn’t mean to do. Instead, stay a step ahead by always having cleaning products on-hand. It can also be helpful to know some pet poison safety tips.

Depending on your pet’s age and behavior, you may also want to use your best judgment on when it will be a good time to bring your favorite fringed rug back out of the closet or buy that white chair you’ve been dreaming about.

The information presented in this article is for educational and informational purposes only and does not constitute or substitute for the advice of your veterinarian.

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