Hairs all over the carpet or the sofa, chewtoys or balls lying around where you least expect them, scratchmarks on the doorframe and stains on rugs or carpets marking the scene of ‘little accidents’ in the past – living with a pet is a challenge for even those who aren’t particularly houseproud, and can drive you nuts if you are. However, many of us understandably feel that a house is not a home without a four-legged friend.
In the bad old days there were no such problems. Dogs were outdoors animals who stayed in the yard whatever the weather, with the lucky owners enjoying the shelter of a kennel. However, modern pet-owners have slowly accepted their animals into their homes, their living rooms and even their beds. If you share your home with a mutt or a moggy, here are some useful things to remember:
Pet hair has an odour, and contains an oil that will attract dirt to the fabric on which it sits. That’s why it makes sense to invest in a powerful and efficient vacuum cleaner. The Dyson DC14 Animal, for example, is an upright vacuum cleaner that is named for its miraculous ability to suck up animal hair, showing that the market for this sort of appliance is large. Cheaper vacuums will also do the job, but you need to make vacuuming a regular part of your routine.
Bathe and Groom Your Pet Often
Keeping your dog or cat clean will help your house stay cleaner for longer. Trimmed nails won’t scratch floors or upholstery. Regular brushing and bathing removes loose hair before it ends up on your floor, your bed, your throw pillows, your curtains. Furniture and rugs will last longer if they don’t need to be washed as often. Think of it this way: It’s easier to clean your dog than your upholstery, and it’s usually more fun, (for one of you, at least.)
Use Stain-Resistant Fabrics
If you don’t want to keep your pet off the furniture, then you’ll have to compromise. Forget chintz, silk, or God forbid, velvet, and think about stain-resistant, durable and easily cleanable fabrics instead.
Leather is a good choice, easy to clean and durable. Most grades of leather will suffer only scratches from pets’ claws, and you can always pass this off as ‘patina’.
Then there’s Ultrasuede, a machine-washable microfibre that feels as smooth and seductive as real suede. Make sure fabrics are removable and washable, and ensure that there are plenty of throws and covers on furniture used by animals.
Use Washable Fabrics On Your Bed
If your dog or cat sleeps with you there will be accidents. Protect your mattress from the inevitable by covering it with a thick pad. Use cotton bedsheets, preferably in a medium color or a pattern that can hide the pet hair and stains between washings. For bedspreads, duvet covers work well because you can take them off and wash them regularly.
Cut the Carpets
Carpets absorb smells, trap pet hairs and soak up pet-related stains like a sponge. If you must have carpet, choose a low pile which is easier to clean if there’s an accident. And avoid continuous loop carpet because a pet toenail can unravel it by catching a single woven loop.
Choose Bare Floors
The good news for Lanzarote pet owners is that the best floor is ceramic tile because it’s easy to clean and resistant to any stain an animal can dish out. Tile is toenail-proof, it makes a room look sleek and elegant, and it gives furry animals a cool
place to nap during hot weather.
However, there are many other durable floors worth looking into if you want something a little different.
Organise Your Animal Areas
It’s important to consider your pet’s lifestyle when you establish the layout of your house. Dogs and cats love to be outdoors, and will be endlessly passing in and out of the home, so it makes sense to position their default areas close to an entrance. Put baskets in the space, with their food and water bowls and make sure this area is cleaned regularly.
Neat Treats and Toys
Avoid rawhide bones and chews, which are messy, smelly and not even good for your dog, and focus instead on tough rubber toys For cats, a scratching post is essential to avoid damage to your curtains and doors.
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