By Lawrence Brady
“Happiness is a warm puppy,” wrote Charles Schulz, the creator of the Peanuts comic strip. Anyone who has ever had the joy of adopting a puppy can probably relate to the truth of these words. Owning a puppy, adult dog, kitten or cat can be one of the most rewarding things in life.
As pet owners also know quite well, having a pet not only adds unconditional love to a home, but also some less-than-desirable things like loose fur and muddy paw prints. As savvy pet owners have found, it is possible to keep pets from overtaking their homes, while still allowing them to overtake their hearts. The following tips can help keep your dog-friendly homes as clean as possible:
Brush them regularly
The biggest challenge for most pet owners, notes WebMD, is pet hair. Brushing your dog or cat regularly will help to reduce the amount of loose fur that ends up all over the floors and furniture. In a perfect world, pets should be brushed a few times a week; even a few minutes each time will make a huge difference. As a major bonus for cat owners, any fur that ends up on the brush or comb will not end up in the pet’s stomach, which in turn will reduce the chance of the cat throwing up hairballs.
Make friends with the vacuum
Martha Stewart suggests that people should vacuum their homes several times a week, paying extra attention to the places where pets like to hang out. In order to make cleaning up pet hair as quick and easy as possible, pet owners should consider buying a vacuum with a high-efficiency particulate air, or HEPA, filter. Most major retailers like Macy’s, Target and the online company QVC sell this type of vacuum, and the Dyson brand even features a model called “The Animal.” For wood and hard floors, pet owners can use an electrostatic mop which, unlike vacuum cleaners, will not just blow the fur around the floor.
Give them easy access to the great outdoors
While cats do their business in litter boxes, dogs need to be let outdoors on a regular basis. To prevent unwanted accidents in the home, pet owners may wish to consider installing a pet door. The Petsafe company features the Passport Pet Access Smart SystemTM, which uses innovative radio-frequency identification technology to only let pets with programmed IDs go in and out the doggie door. This will prevent wild animals and stray pets from entering the home, while also letting the dogs of the house get outside to go to the bathroom as needed.
Keep paws as clean as possible
Pets and muddy paws are as common a duo as peanut butter and jelly. To keep the floors and furniture as clean as possible, keep a stack of small towels near the door. Pet owners who do not also have small children may want to place a shallow container partly filled with water by the door; that way, once Fido has finished his business and is coming back inside, his human can dip his paws into the water and dry them with a towel.
Using these simple tips will help you keep your dog-friendly home clean and happy.
Lawrence Brady is a freelance writer and father of three. He loves writing on a wide range of subjects. His favorite topic is how to get kids involved in the outdoors.