In the UK, a staggering 44% of households have a pet of some kind – according to the RSPCA, we keep 51 domestic animals in Britain! Much as we love our pets, that’s an awful lot of slobber, mud, pet hair and pet hair spread around our homes. For most of us, that’s just part and parcel of keeping pets – but it does mean that every so often we have to arm ourselves with a bucket of soapy water and a sticky roller brush and get stuck into the cleaning! Here are our top tips for keeping your home looking smart.
Tidy your pet
Before you even get started on your house, you can tackle the problem at its source! This applies particularly to dogs, especially long haired breeds. Keep the hair around paws trimmed to prevent mud being carried into the house, brush your dog regularly, give him the occasional bath when the weather allows and keep a cloth handy to clean up slobber at meal times. Keep an old towel by the back door and give dirty paws a good rub before they reach any carpeted areas! A dirt trapper door mat can help, as well.
Clean soft furnishings
Even if your pet isn’t allowed on the actual sofa, there’s probably pet hair matted around the bottom of chairs or the hems of curtains. Cats in particular love a warm, sunny spot and they don’t much mind where they find it! Clean soft furnishings with the brush and hose of a vacuum cleaner on a low setting, or by using a sticky brush. This is a job that’s best tackled fairly regularly, especially if you have navy sofas and white-haired pets!
And so to bed
Someone who knows all about keeping your home looking stylish when you have pets is Christine Chau of dog bedding company Charley Chau. “A dog averages 12 to 14 hours sleep per day, so if your pet’s bed is looking shabby, it might be time for an upgrade. The dog’s comfort is essential when you’re deciding what to buy, and as the dog bed is often placed in main living areas what it looks like is important too. Washability is a factor in keeping your house looking proud, as a dog generally picks up a lot of muckiness, which goes back to their beds. From fully machine washable, outer covers and the mattress inners, “machine washable everything” is a mantra Charley Chau designs by. You should also consider quality and buy the best you can afford as a cheap bed is likely to go lumpy, bumpy and ugly after its first wash.
Tackle their toys
According to Christine, once you’ve sorted out the bed, you should also make time to spring clean your dog’s toy collection. “Repair or toss any toys that have been loved to death by your dog. Pass on or donate unused or barely used toys to a local animal charity. Wash whatever you are keeping thoroughly. You might also want to overhaul how toys are stored, with a stylish basket that matches your interiors.”
Get a wash bag
If you’re tired of getting your work shirts out of the machine covered in dog hair, then you need a pet hair wash bag. These special bags are made of sturdy material and close with a zip. Put your dog’s blankets, bedding, towels and washable toys inside, zip it up and put it in the washing machine. The bags keep the hair inside. When the cycle is finished, empty the bag, take it outside and shake the hair out. There are different sizes available, and it’s best to get a roomy one to allow the blankets to move around inside. you can even get a padded version, which is ideal for putting collars, leads and harnesses in so that they don’t clank around and damage the machine.
Keep it sweet
We do love our dogs, but there’s nothing worse than walking into a house and getting that distinctive aroma of ‘eau de dog’. Keep a Fabreze fabric spray handy for sofas and curtains, and keep a scented candle burning in hallways or use a reed diffuser.
Main image: (c) Charley Chau 2020. All other images (c) Pixabay except where otherwise marked.