My love for my pets is no secret. My Instagram feed is full of pictures of them and whenever I get the chance, I’ll talk to people about them. They’re my favourite things in the world and I love them more than I can put into words.
But, with summer coming and the temperatures rising, the past week or so I’ve really noticed an increase in the amount of fur they’re shedding as they lose their winter coats, and I’m now fighting my annual battle to keep my house as un-fluffy as possible!
Having 3 animals, people often ask me how I keep on top of cleanliness, and having had pets of my own for over 10-years now, I thought I’d share some of my top tips for keeping a clean house with pets.
Spray. Spray Everything.
As cute as animals are, there’s no denying that they can be a little bit stinky sometimes. I’ve always been mega paranoid about my house smelling ‘dog-ish’ when people come in so I’m forever attacking everything with various sprays. My most used go-to products are Febreeze Air Freshener and their Fabric Freshener, the latter of which I spray onto soft furnishings like the sofa, curtains and carpet. A quick spritz around and the house smells beautiful and fresh! I also have a Ambi-Pur 3volution plug-in which I have on whenever I’m in the house. Because it’s got three different fragrances in it, it’s forever changing the scent of the room so you don’t become so used to it so you can’t smell it anymore. Also, investing in some Dettol is definitely recommended, especially with cats, as they have a habit of walking across kitchen surfaces and dining tables – a quick spritz of this and a wipe with a clean cloth, and you have a bacteria-free area again.
Scooping That Poop
For Poppy, maintaining her toilet habits is a lot less involved than the cats because she uses the back garden when nature calls. A black bin (with a strong liner – it’s worth paying more for good ones!) and a poop scoop are all you need to keep on top of things. I bought one with a long handle because I’m not as young as I used to be and bending down takes it’s toll on my dodgy knees. If you have any paved areas I also recommend buying a stiff bristled brush so that periodically you can wash the paving stones with soapy water and give them a good cleaning.
For cats that use a litter tray indoors, I would recommend getting a litter tray with a lid. Not only does it remove any chances of awkward mid-poop eye contact (always disconcerting) but it will also help keep the litter inside the tray and contain some of the inevitable smells. Over the years I think I’ve tried every possible kind of litter, but nowadays I stick to using wooden pellets as I find it to be much better in terms of soaking up any deposits and any odours too. A mat underneath the litter tray is also highly recommended, as when they step out of it, quite often they will have some of the litter itself stuck to their paws and the mat will help to clean some of this off before they wander around the house.
Blankets Are Your New Best Friend
Cats and dogs both love sleeping – in fact, scientists say they should be getting over 17 hours kip a day! If, like my three, your pets like to sleep on the sofa or the bed, blankets are going to be your new best friend. Leaving a blanket on the furniture will mean the animals can snuggle down for a snooze, or rough and tumble with each other, without causing any damage to those expensive items. We remove the blankets whenever someone (human!) sits down but whenever we leave the house or the animals are settling down for the night, we pop them back on and can rest easily knowing no damage is going to be caused.
Invest In A Good Vacuum
We currently have a vacuum that gives me constant rage. The dust collector is teeny and the battery life is shocking, so it spends the entire time on charge then runs out midway through using it *screams*. So, take me as a perfect example and do the opposite – invest in a vacuum that is designed especially for those of us with pets. There’s a few good ones out there so do your research, but Bissell have a few different options that all look brilliant. You’re looking at over £200 for one but, honestly, I think it’s a worthwhile investment if it’s going to keep your house clean and make your life easier. Some recent research by Bissell actually revealed that 1-in-10 pet owning Brits never wash their sofa covers, whilst one-fifth never wash their carpets. Dr Pixie Mckenna highlights the importance of this and as an area looking clean isn’t enough, effort needs to be made to make sure that they actually are clean! There’s lots of nasties that can be caught from our furry friends, whether bacterial, fungal or parasitic – cat litter in particular can be very dangerous for humans, so it’s important to stay on top of these things!
Lather, Rinse, Repeat
Cats, generally, are very clean animals and spend an inordinate amount of time cleaning themselves, but dogs are less hygiene-conscious and can be pretty disgusting sometimes, so need regular baths. I was gifted some bits and pieces last year from Furminator and they really were game-changers for me. Brushing animals regularly is not only good in terms of removing the loose fur and stopping them shedding willy-nilly all over your house, but it also encourages natural oils to be released with makes their fur much shinier and healthier.
Despite leading a constant battle against fur on the floor, nose prints on the windows and dog toys down the back of the sofa, I wouldn’t change a thing and life without my three would be very empty indeed.
Do you have any good homecare tips for those of us with pets? I’m always looking for new hacks!
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