By: Travis Triplett
7 Home Cleaning Tips for Pet Owners
Approximately 70 million American households own a pet, according to the American Veterinary Medical Association. That’s roughly 56% of all American households that are pet owners, typically owning a dog or cat (or multiple).
Pet ownership presents many challenges, one of which is keeping a clean home. These 7 home cleaning tips for pet owners can help you mitigate the messiest of pets while also protecting your home and health.
Vacuum sofas and chairs. If your cat or dog is a shedder, you need to be doing this every month. Otherwise, every 2-3 months should work. Not only will it help clean the air in your home, but vacuuming your sofas, chairs, and cushions for pet dander will also reduce allergy and asthma symptoms. While you’re at it, vacuum your mattress – equally important if your pets get in bed with you or your kids let them on their beds.
Change the air filter. As a pet owner, you need to be changing this more frequently than your non-pet owning friends. From my experience in filtration and as a pet owner, I recommend replacing it every 1-2 months. Thankfully, FilterSnap helps me remember this easy-to-forget task. I go with the MERV 11 Standard Filter because it catches more pet dander, faster. If I own multiple pets, I’m not necessarily stepping up to a MERV 13 (though I might), but I’m definitely changing it more often. Removing the pet dander cleans the air, reducing allergy/asthma symptoms, protects the furnace, and reduces the amount of cleaning that you need to do in other areas of the home.
Clean Your Pet’s Stuff. Sound ambiguous enough? I’m talking specifically about pet toys, beds, and litter boxes. If your pets have a certain stuffed animal or blanket they like to play or sleep with, please wash them regularly by hand or in the washing machine. Have you ever looked at a pet bed and wondered where the shedding ended and bed begins? It’s gross. Don’t be that pet owner. As for litter boxes, that one should need no explanation. Nobody wants fecal matter just hanging out in the litter box in the corner. Still, you’ve got to deep clean that litter box every 7-10 days, no exceptions.
Brush and Bathe. Just like people, your pets need regular brushing and bathing as well. This will reduce the amount of pet dander floating through the air, in turn reducing the amount of time spent on cleaning the rest of the house. A little give and take, I suppose. Spend time cleaning the dog, or spend time cleaning your house. I choose dog every time, but that’s me.
Clean Your Floors. While I mentioned vacuuming furniture above, you cannot forget to clean your floors either. While a vacuum suffices for the carpets, try using an electrostatic mop on the hardwood floors. A vacuum can disrupt the pet hair on hardwood floors while an electrostatic mop ensures that you capture all the dander without stirring it up in the air. Do this 2-4 times per week, depending on your pet and the season.
Wipe Down Food Surfaces. This should probably not be reserved for house cleaning tips for pet owners. Still, this is more important when you think of a cat, five minutes removed from the litter box, prancing around on a countertop or a dog resting its slobbery chin on the edge of a table. The bacteria alone are disgusting, but I’m also partial to a hair-free meal myself (though mistakes have been made).
Lint Rollers. Don’t have time to vacuum your furniture before a guest is coming by? Forget to change your air filter and now there’s pet dander all over the place, including your suits for work? All is well – lint rollers are here to rescue you. Now I don’t rely on these to be my go-to for cleaning the house or my clothes, but when I’m in a bind, lint rollers work wonders. I recommend picking a couple up the next time you’re at the store.
So there you have it. Those are just 7 home cleaning tips for pet owners, and I know there are many more. These, however, seem to make the biggest difference in my home, and they’re also very easy to execute.
If you think of any other tips, please comment below or email me at firstname.lastname@example.org. I’m always looking for ways to improve my home.