How To Keep A Pet-Friendly Home Clean

We all know people who own a couple dogs or a few cats whose house reflects that. Either their house is covered in pet hair, or there is a strong pet odor right when you enter their home.

So, is it possible to share a house with your pet(s) and still be able to maintain a clean and tidy home? Fortunately, if you lay down a few ground rules, it shouldn’t take too much extra work. Although it would be nice to get your pet to follow along with house rules, these rules aren’t for your pet, these rules are for you:

  • Decide what parts of the house you’re willing to share with your pet and be consistent about it.

  • While most of us consider our pets apart of the family, don’t allow your pet to sleep in your bed.

  • Groom your pet regularly to avoid dog or cat hair all over your furniture.

  • Give your pet the attention it needs. Take it out for a walk or to the park. A bored pet is likely to tear into things or chew things up. 

Feeding Your Pets

Try to find a place in your home where you won’t mind if your dog knocks over the water dish or if catnip is spilt on the floor. Consider an outer room like your garage or a utility area. Most utility areas have sinks where you can clean out dishes, you can also store your animal’s food in this room.

Keep food and water dishes in a plastic container or tray to protect your floor from spills. Wash the tray or container every week with hot water and bleach. Avoid feeding your animals on carpet floors.

It’s important to get in the habit of cleaning out your animal’s dishes right after they are done eating. Teach your animal to eat right when you put their food out so you can clean the dish immediately after. If you have to work all day, leave a water bowl out for your pet.

Battling Animal Fur

A shedding dog or cat can be one of the biggest hassles about owning a pet. A good vacuum is a necessity when you have an indoor pet. Use the upholstery tool on your vacuum to get hair off furniture. For chairs, beds, and blankets, use a wet rubber glove to gather pet hair. If anyone in your home has bad allergies, groom your pet outdoors to keep dust particles and hair out of the house. If you have a pet that tends to shed a lot, make sure you change your vents regularly to keep pet hair and particles out of the air. 

Bedding For Your Pet

While flannel bedding may look nice, it accumulates pet hair and can be a pain to clean. A wicker bed is a better choice because you can easily wash down the basket. Whatever bedding you choose for your pet, make sure you clean it once a week. If you don’t clean your pet’s bedding, it can become a home for fleas and mites.

No matter how easy to clean your home is, when you own a pet, it will take a daily and weekly effort to keep your home clean. The key is to prevent as much mess as possible and your home will be both clean and pet-friendly.

Trisha Banks is a blogger for Steamer's Carpet Care in San Antonio, Texas. Trisha just bought a cat and wanted to learn ways to keep her home fresh and clean while still keeping it pet-friendly. 

Hand Taming Small Animals


The technique of training or taming small animals is different from that of a cat or dog. To begin with a dog or cat will share your living space. A hamster, rat or gerbil will have a cage of their own and the only way to get them out is to put your hand into their environment and pick them up. From your point of view you are showing love and affection, from theirs, they are being attacked in the land of the giants and need to protect themselves.

Gently does it

Understanding a situation from the perspective of the animal will greatly improve your ability to tame and train him. Being bought home from the pet shop will have been quite traumatic, so to being taken away from others of his kind and left in a cage of his own. Allow your new tiny pet to get used to its environment first. Put the cage in an area that isn’t too noisy but one where people can be seen and heard. A day or two after you have brought your little one home you can start to hand tame him.

First Steps

As always, when dealing with any pet, you need patience. Your first interaction with your pet should be a positive one, so start by talking to your pet before you make any attempt to open the cage. If the animal is particularly nervous he may hide when he hears your voice, or he may be ok with you talking but run when open the cage. Make sure when you open the cage that windows or doors are closed, just in case he makes a break for it. Hamsters and gerbils can move very fast and if you are in fear of being bitten it is easy for the escape bid to be successful.

Progress Slowly

Once you have opened the cage just rest your hand inside and see if he comes out to investigate. Before you do this however, make sure you have washed your hands with an unscented soap. If you smell of food you may be inadvertently bitten, and if you smell of perfume you may accidentally repel your pet.

If after a few days your pet is still reluctant to come over to your hand, you will need to be more proactive in developing a relationship. Try moving your hand closer to him, try not to corner him in such a way as to make him fearful but at the same time limit the places he can escape from you. Don’t go too close too quickly; remember patience, as always is the key.

Once he is happy with your hand in his cage you can now try to pick him up. Remember at the beginning I suggested you look at a situation from the pets perspective? Well if someone picked you up and you thought you were going to fall what would you do? I’m sure the answer to this would be anything you could to save yourself. So with that in mind, when you pick up your small pet, make sure he feels safe. Always put one hand underneath so he is completely cocooned in your hands. This will not only make him feel safe, but will reduce the risk of him making an escape.

And finally..

It is upsetting, not to say painful if you get bitten or scratched, but do not let this put you off. Small pets that are not handled often revert quickly back to their wild state and cannot be hand tamed once they have reached adulthood.

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This guest post was written by Jason Balchand who has spent most of his life caring for alternative pets. He likes to share his knowledge through his blog and via his Facebook and Twitter pages.