The fact is, no matter how pet friendly and easy to clean your home is, it will still require planning and consistent daily and weekly effort, especially if you share your life with several furry critters. ­
Make sure your dog is thoroughly house trained, and your cat has plenty of appropriate scratching surfaces. ­

Keeping your pets wellgroomed is a must.  Brush or comb them daily or several times a week, and bathe them regularly.  The less dirt and loose hair on your cat or dog, the less mess on your floors and furniture.  Regular nail trims are also a must to prevent damage to flooring and furnishings. ­

Train your dog to immediately sit on a floor mat each time he comes in from outdoors. This will allow you or another family member to wipe him down, especially his paws. There are dog paw cleaning gloves you can buy specifically for this purpose, or make your own, or set up a foot soak instead. ­

Cover all the furniture your pets snooze on with sheets when you’re not expecting company. Just move the sheet out of the way when you want to sit or lie down in that spot, and put it back in place when you get up. ­

If your pets get up on your bed, cover your comforter or bedspread with a sheet as well. Throwing sheets in the washer and dryer is a lot easier than cleaning your furniture or king size bed furnishings. ­

Vacuum.   A lot. Daily, if possible. Even if you have hard floors and little or no carpeting, the best way to pick up pet hair, dander and dirt is with a vacuum. If you’re in the market for a new vacuum cleaner, do some research to find the brands most popular with pet owners. ­

If you have a large home, buy more than one vacuum. When the equipment you need is handy and doesn’t require lugging up and down stairs, it provides incentive to vacuum more often. ­

Close off rooms you don’t use regularly, like guest bedrooms. As much as you love your furry companions, why make extra work for yourself by allowing them to lounge around in rooms you don’t even use? ­ Make sure to thoroughly clean up pet accidents as soon as you find them. Always use a product designed specifically for pet messes—it should contain enzymes that break down organic waste and remove odors.  Avoid ammonia based products when cleaning pet messes or sanitizing litter boxes.

Having a clean home that happens to house several pets isn’t mission impossible. Preventing as much mess and destruction as you can and staying on top of routine clean-ups will insure your home is always a warm, welcoming place for you, your family (including pets) and guests. n


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