Us Brits are well known for our love of our pets with more than 30 million of us now sharing our homes with a domestic animal.
But, while we love and think of our animals as valued members of the family, it can’t be denied that they can often add more to our homes than we’d like!
From smelly sofas to scratched woodwork a recent survey by Ceva Animal Health found that almost half of the country’s pet owners have paid over £650 to replace or repair parts of their home that had been damaged by their pet.
And while we grin and bear it and accept that a bit of mess or damage is part and parcel of pet ownership when a pet is making your home an unpleasant place to look at or smell day in, day out, we need to act! Here are our housekeepers’ top tips to keep your home looking and smelling great, no matter what animals you might be sharing it with!
Regular brushing for cats and dogs can make a big difference to how much they shed and to how much hair you will find on the floor and in the air. And did you know that brushing a cat also helps with health problems like hairballs? We always brush our dogs outside too so that the hair stays out of the house.
While we may get used to the smell of pet food, no-one can claim it’s the nicest smell on earth! Invest in a purpose made storage box that will lock and seal out the smell of dry food and try to keep it as far from your own food preparation areas as possible.
Dogs in particular love to roll when they’re out for a walk and all that dirt then makes its way into your home. Regular baths for your dog will really help to keep the worst excesses at bay and to regulate the amount of oil in their coats. Check with your vet first as to how often you should be bathing your pet and if there are any shampoos that can help with particular skin or odour problems. Make sure that their beds and blankets are also washed frequently to avoid a build-up of fur.
Cats are notoriously nosy and will often have a good snoop round kitchen cupboards and counter tops. Even if you don’t see them doing so, they may be up there while you’re out so always wipe counters over with a cleaning solution and paper towel. And keep things like cutlery and chopping boards tucked away in cupboards to avoid the feline attentions!
Stop the dirt at the door!
Be prepared when you go out for a walk by leaving a towel and a small bowl of water by the front door, ready to mop off any excess mud and wipe dirty paws before they can run inside and start drying themselves off on your sofas and beds!
But of course, while any animal can be messy, the love and joy they bring to your family will hopefully outweigh any work you have to put in to clean up after them, with plenty of time left over for a good walk and a cuddle!