We love our pets! If you have pets at home, and are thinking about selling, or if you simply need to know more about ridding your home of unpleasant pet smells, stains, or damage on an ongoing basis, you may find this article helpful.
Do you have a cat or dog that uses a litter box or potty pad? If you do, here are 6 things you can do to make sure your pet’s private areas remain clean:
- Keep your animals’ washroom areas impeccably clean and frequently changed.
- Try to keep potty pads and litter boxes out of sight.
- As soon as the next ‘accident’ happens, deal with it. Stains most often occur right beside your pet’s potty areas.
- If a stain is a little too permanent, or beyond your care, hire a professional to remove it. If it can’t be treated at all, replace floor coverings in the area.
- Things like air fresheners, incense or candles can’t fully mask bad smells. In addition, they may cause grief for allergy sufferers.
- Take the test: bring in a friend or two to let them do an informal sniff test for you.
As home owners we’re responsible and we don’t ‘let things go’. But we can get used to some of the usual pet smells; without even knowing. Pre-selling preparation can make us more aware of such things.
Did you know that in addition to all the good things The Humane Society of the United States do, they have great tips about removing pet stains and odors? True. You should “use your nose” … it’s the best way to discover exactly where an ‘accident’ took place. Once you discover the stain, you’ll still have two jobs. One of those jobs is the clean-up. The other is pet training.
Say an accident just took place and the soiled areas include urine on carpet or upholstery: trying using paper towels, or even newspapers, to soak up as much as you can. After that, rinse and re-rinse the area with cold water. If the stain is old and has already dried up, use a wet-vac or good carpet stain remover. Using steam cleaners may complicate things: the extreme heat can set the stain in place.
A more thorough job is needed for baseboards, walls, or flooring. The acid in pet urine (especially from cats) reacts with varnish and paint. Sanding or removing a layer of varnish or paint may be in order.
Cleaning up odors and stains doesn’t mean your cleanup job is done. The shedding that takes the form of dog hair or cat fur gets over, on, and in almost everything! Chairs and other furniture, clothing, bed spreads, and other household items are pet hair magnets. In some cases, it’s cat and dog dander that hits a person’s sinuses or allergies the worst. Ever tried to simply vacuum away hair or fur on the arm of your cat’s favorite chair? If so, you’ll understand how much work is involved here. Vacuum often, and use lint rollers. Cover things up if you have to. Spend extra time on your pet or pets’ favorite play or sleep areas.
Animals love and live by their smells: think about using an old towel or something for your pooch or kitty to sleep on. Animals get very accustomed to that old towel. Of course, it’s easier to put a towel in the wash than de-lint or clean everything by hand.
Pet specialty companies suggest a different approach to fur or hair: they may recommend treating the root cause of shedding. Routine pet grooming may lessen the amount of shedding or fur or hair. And a specialized de-shedding shampoo or treatment may be the ticket. As animals age, their dietary requirements can change. And diet often has a lot to do with excessive shedding. Some kinds of foods may be better than others for promoting healthy skin and fur/hair.
In addition to clean-up, you’ll want to re-train your pet. Work toward a goal of making the spots where your pet urinated or defecated off-limits, and unattractive. Cover them up (literally). Here are some other steps you can take:
- Make your dog’s potty area or your cat’s litter box area attractive and comfortable.
- Take your time training your pet … it took them time to get their bad habits.
- Consider visiting your vet. Perhaps your animal has a condition the vet may discover and know how to treat.
Most of the clean-up done? Pay extra attention to high-traffic areas. If rover often tromps in wet and muddy, work that area. Guest, or potential home buyers will see that area right away. Consider a plastic mat or throw rug for rainy days. It can be quickly removed before a showing.
Having pets means your and their life styles are modified. Make your home as attractive and alluring—and unscathed by pets.