Our pets are our best friends. They turn our houses into homes and they are proven to have hugely positive effects on our physical and mental well-being. However, this all goes out the window when you discover your beloved furry friend has covered your couch in dirt and fur.
As cute and cuddly as your cat or dog may be, your pet is also naturally inclined to dig, chew, and shed, which all makes it hard to keep your home clean and odor-free. To make things a little easier, we've rounded up some of our favorite cleaning hacks for pet owners, so you can live harmoniously with your four-legged friend and still have nice things.
1. Remove stray hairs.
Are you constantly trying to remove pet hair from your couch, pillows, and clothes? Protecting your couch with a blanket is the easiest way to prevent this, but it won't be totally effective in stopping sticky fur from taking over. Lint brushes, tape rollers, and rubber gloves are great for removing hair when your vacuum can't quite get it all.
2. Prevent chewing.
Like all babies, puppies will go through a teething stage and will be happy chewing on whatever they can get their teeth into — literally! The upside is that they will eventually grow out of this. But in order to protect your furniture in the meantime, there are a few tricks you can try.
Essentials oils such as citrus or clove rubbed onto chewing 'hot spots' such as table legs and skirting boards should put a bad taste in your pup's mouth. Also, make sure you have plenty of exciting chew toys on hand to prevent your puppy from seeking out things he or she shouldn't.
3. Remove urine stains.
Even if your pet is toilet-trained, accidents happen. If your cat or dog has mistaken your favorite rug for a patch of grass or a litter box, don't despair: A natural cleaning method will banish stains and odors in a jiffy! First, soak up as much of the mess as you can with an absorbent paper towel. Next, create a 50-50 solution of white vinegar and water and pour or spray onto the stain. Then, scrub with a soft brush. Finish by sprinkling over some baking soda and let it absorb before wiping over with a damp cloth and vacuuming up any residue. Baking soda and vinegar are effective at removing stains and neutralizing ammonia.
4. Keep the kitty litter smell at bay.
Changing your kitty litter every day is the best way to combat bad smells, but adding a layer of baking soda underneath your kitty litter will also help to neutralize odors.
5. Eliminate the "wet dog" smell.
Get rid of that wet dog smell in between washes by spraying or dotting diluted lavender oil on the middle of your dog's back, where he or she won't be able to lick it off. Not only will this naturally eliminate odors, but it will also help to keep fleas and ticks away.
6. Avoid muddy paws.
Stop muddy paws in their tracks by always keeping an old towel at your door or in your car and wipe your dog dry after a particularly messy outing. This will save you from trying to get mud out of the carpet or off the couch later.
7. Wash their toys.
When was the last time you washed your pet's toys? Not only do dirty toys smell, they also carry bacteria that's no good for you or your pet. Throw your pet's toys through the wash when they start to look particularly grimy!
8. Keep pet bowls clean.
Cleaning your pet's food and water bowls regularly is important for their health. To prevent food from building up into a stubborn and sticky mess, brush the bowl with olive oil or coconut oil after cleaning to make future cleaning a breeze.
9. Invest in pet-friendly plants.
Does your cat or dog have a penchant for nibbling on your indoor greenery? This could be more harmful than you realize, considering many plants can be toxic to cats and dogs. Do your research and if you know there are plants in your home that are potentially harmful, keep well out of paws' reach.
This article was originally written by Homes to Love editors. For more, check out our sister site, Homes to Love.