It’s hard to get mad at your pet even when he makes a horrendous mess, the kind that requires serious sopping and scrubbing. As such, you need to be prepared for anything he may leave behind. Otherwise, keeping the carpet and furniture looking new and the house smelling clean will quickly become a losing battle. This is especially important if you like to entertain, as visitors can tell if there’s a pet on the premises just by taking a deep breath. Fortunately, there are plenty of budget-conscious ways to stay on top of the situation.
Cleaning up after a dog or cat can get costly if you don’t keep an eye on what you’re spending. Check out retailers for in-store sales, and make a regular habit of searching the internet for cashback opportunities and deals such as Walmart promo codes, which can be used for enzymatic cleaners and affordable tools like rubber gloves, which make it easy to keep dog and cat hair off your furniture.
Keep Him Groomed
Dog hair is a fact of life if you’re a dog owner. Even in shorthair breeds, it’s always with you, piling up in the corners, around air vents, and, of course, on chairs and couches. It’s also a major source of allergens and respiratory problems, such as dust, pollen, pet dander, and anything else that takes up residence in your pooch’s coat, not to mention its effect on clothing, rugs, and virtually anything that’s upholstered.
One of the most effective and inexpensive ways to manage the problem is to keep Fido or the family cat well-groomed. Invest in a couple of dog or cat brushes so you can give your pet a good going-over as often as possible to reduce the accumulation of hair. And you’ll get plenty of use out of a high-suction vacuum cleaner with attachments for getting under furniture, behind appliances, and in other hard-to-reach places.
Dog and cat saliva, urine and vomit can make a lasting impression throughout your house. One place that’s easy to overlook is the grout in your tile flooring. You don’t need to overspend on commercial cleaners when baking soda or a mixture of vinegar and warm water will keep your grout from being discolored by a build-up of mold and mildew. Keep a close eye on it: Grout is porous and soaks up dog-related stains quickly. If it really gets out of control you could end up needing a steam cleaner, so save yourself some money by doing regular grout maintenance.
Scratches and Scuffs
Dogs can be just as rough on hardwood floors as they can on your carpeting. Hardwood tends to show the effect of long, sharp toenails, so regular maintenance will serve you well. All it really takes is a wood-filler pen for filling in scratch marks; for smaller scratches use steel wool, a fine grade of sandpaper, mineral spirits, filler, and some polyurethane. Dealing with scratches as they occur will keep you from having to take more drastic and expensive action later on. Or, take a common-sense (and cost-conscious) approach by keeping your pet’s nails trimmed.
Cat urine has a special nose-crinkling quality all its own. Once it sets in, the cat urine odor can be very difficult to eliminate. Most brands of cat litter do a good job of masking the smell, but if your furry little feline finds a special corner in the family room and likes to mark his territory with urine, you need to take action before that peculiarly sour smell sets in for good. Enzymatic cleaners release bacteria that consume the urine, taking care of both stain and smell. For convenience and ease of use, opt for a spray bottle, which can generally be found for about $2.99 at Pet Smart — money that’s well-spent if it means an odor-free home.
Pets occupy a special place in our hearts, but they make it difficult to maintain a clean, fresh-smelling living environment. Hair, saliva, and urine combine to create a malodorous atmosphere that you may not even notice — but your visitors will. You can keep it under control affordably with cost-conscious supplies and a diligent maintenance routine.