How to Keep Your Home Clean as a Pet Owner

If you have pets, it can be hard to keep your home clean.  Here are a few tips to help you deal with some of the toughest cleaning issues pet owners face.


Since pet hair is probably enemy number one when it comes to cleaning, we’ll start there.  Your first line of defense is daily brushing.  Brushing can remove a great deal of hair before it gets shed.  Additionally, try keeping an old towel or sheet in your pet’s favorite sleeping spot(s).  This helps protect your furniture or the dog’s bed (in cases where the dog’s bed isn’t your furniture).  It also gives you a machine washable way to manage hair.  Depending on how much your pet sheds and how often you wash the old towel, you might want to take it outside and give it a good shake-out before tossing it in the washer.

When it comes to your floors, the best vacuum to have is one with superior airflow, since this controls suction even more than the motor does.  Some pet owners with bare floors prefer using an electrostatic mop over a vacuum cleaner, but a quality model of either will do the trick.


As far as furniture and clothing go, try keeping lint rollers handy (you can run a ribbon or twine through the handle of a lint roller and hang it from a doorknob to keep it super handy).  A canister vac or upright with appropriate attachments can help, too.  If you don’t like the idea of lint rollers that seem to go through too much tape, most pet stores sell washable rollers that are pretty effective, as long as you keep up with washing them.


If your pet gets to run around outside, try keeping a towel near the door back into the house.  Most dogs can even be easily taught to give their feet a quick rinse in a shallow bowl of room-temperature water.  This can be great when feet are extra muddy or if you live someplace where sidewalks and streets are treated with various deicers in the winter.  This one might not be so great for cats, but it’s worth a shot…right??

Keeping a place mat of some kind under your pet’s food and water bowls is a great and easy way to (help) contain food messes and water splashes.  Unless your dog has a tendency to grab a couple pieces of food and bring them elsewhere for consumption (what’s up with that, anyway?).  It also isn’t foolproof if your dog is like my sister’s boxer when he drinks water…I’m amazed he actually gets enough water to stay hydrated given how much ends up outside the bowl.


Even the best-trained animals will have accidents.  The key to keeping these messes from becoming stains is to deal with them as quickly as possible.  Treating your upholstery and carpet with a stain-repelling solution can be a tremendous help; just remember that such treatments don’t last forever and will have to be reapplied occasionally.  Having a handheld spot vacuum or steam cleaner can help, too.  Before purchasing a steamer for furniture, make sure the fabric and dye will be okay with steam by consulting the manufacturer’s’ care and cleaning recommendations.


While there’s no way to completely pet-hair-proof your entire home, these steps can help make the task a little less daunting and maybe even keep you from feeling like you’re the one chasing your tail!

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