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6 House cleaning tips for cat and dog owners

Being a proud pet owner brings everyday snuggles and many happy moments. But let’s face it, pets—especially dogs and cats—can sometimes leave a mess behind. Between hair, dirt, and “accidents,” cleaning up after them can feel endless. But keeping your home clean doesn’t have to be complicated. Trust these pet-friendly house cleaning tips to help you maintain a clean and healthy environment for you and your furry companion.

Battling fur and dander

Close up hands of woman vacuuming dust and fur on sofa from little cat. Attractive beautiful female using vacuum cleaning, doing housework and chores in living room and enjoy her pet animal at home.
Kiwis | iStock

Your animal is cute, but the shedding isn’t. One of the most common issues for pet owners is dealing with fur and dander. While regular grooming can help reduce shedding, you’ll still need to deal with fur that makes its way onto furniture, carpets, and clothing.   

Lint rollers, microfiber cloths, or even rubber gloves are great at removing fur from surfaces. A rubber squeegee can help remove even the most stubborn pet hair from carpets, rugs and furniture. It is best to vacuum floors and upholstery at least once a week to manage pet hair buildup that can settle around your home. For particularly stubborn pet hair, consider a vacuum cleaner specifically designed for pet owners. Investing in a HEPA air purifier can help keep dander and pet hair at bay within your home. The filters trap airborne pet hair and dander, limiting the allergens in your home.

Get rid of odors

Air purifier in living room, dust protection
simpson33 | iStock

There is no need to put up with unpleasant pet odours. To keep your home smelling fresh and inviting, use an enzymatic cleaner to break down organic matter like urine or vomit. Then sprinkle a bit of baking soda on carpets and furniture before vacuuming it up.   

Try using natural air fresheners like creating a pet-friendly simmer pot. To make one fill a pot with water, herbs, spices, and even fruit, then let the pot simmer on your stove gently for a few hours. Simmer pots are endlessly customizable, meaning you can be sure with a little research to find a recipe that matches your taste, is seasonal and is even safe for your pets. Plus, you probably have most of the ingredients for a simmer pot in your fridge and pantry. If you prefer a woodsy scent, add some sprigs of pine or cedar, some bay leaves and nutmeg to your simmer pot. Generally, simmer pots are safer for your pets, but be sure to do your research.  

Give the toys a clean

dog watching toy in mashing machine
SolStock | iStock

Your dog probably has a favourite toy, but have they ever been washed? Well-loved toys can become gross, so give them a regular deep clean.  

For soft toys, run them through the wash on warm water or the sanitize cycle. For rubber and plastic toys, you can run them through your dishwasher on a hot cycle or let them soak in some hot water and vinegar before scrubbing away any built-up dirt.

Invest in a washable pet bed

Pet beds come in all shapes and sizes, but if you’re looking for an easy way to keep your pet’s resting spot clean, invest in a washable one. Choose a quality bed made with a removable cover made from machine-washable fabrics like microfiber, canvas or fleece, and remember to check the care label for instructions. Wash your pet’s bed at least once a month in warm water with a mild detergent, and air dry or tumble dry on low heat. 

Use pet-safe products

Happy dog plays with owner who does cleaning home.
mgstudyo | iStock

Accidents can happen, especially with puppies or older pets. When they occur, cleaning the stain as soon as possible is essential to avoid lingering smells. When cleaning your floors and other surfaces, always use pet-safe products. Look for natural cleaners free from harsh chemicals, as these can be toxic to pets if ingested or inhaled. Some common ingredients to avoid are bleach, ammonia, and certain essential oils.   

Use a gentle floor cleaner or vinegar and water solution to clean hardwood or tile floors. For carpets, try a pet-safe enzyme cleaner. Investing in a carpet or steam cleaner for more severe stains may also be wise. 

Prevent cat litter from going all over your home

Mila Naumova | iStock

Cats are notorious for causing litter messes all over your house. Invest in a high-sided litter box or a litter mat to trap the litter debris to solve this. Moreover, consider using natural, low-dust litter for reduced mess and better health for your cat. You can also add a litter mat to your cat’s set up to help trap the debris they track out of their litter box. 

Is your pet being messier than usual?

If you notice your pet is suddenly excessively drooling, having accidents or has had a change in their behaviour this might be caused by an illness, and you should bring them to see a vet. 

Help keep your pet in good shape with Pet Insurance. CAA Members save 13.5%, and non-Members save 7%*. 

*CAA Members receive a preferred rate of 13.5% off effective April 15, 2024. Non-members receive a preferred rate of 9% off effective April 15, 2024.

The information herein is summarized. All Pet Insurance plans have limitations and exclusions. Specific products, features, rates, and discounts may vary by province, eligibility, and are subject to change. For all terms and conditions visit: 

© 2023 All rights reserved. Pets Plus Us Pet Insurance policies are underwritten by Northbridge Insurance, distributed by PTZ Insurance Services Ltd. & Société d’Assurances Collectives (Sodaco) Inc. in Quebec. Pets Plus Us Pet Insurance is available in all provinces and territories. 

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