Top tips for pet own­ers to keep their homes spick and span

Hull Daily Mail - - MAILBOX -

PET own­er­ship in the UK is at an all-time high, with 26 per cent of house­holds own­ing a dog and 18 per cent shar­ing their homes with a cat.

Love them as we do – in fact, over 90 per cent of pet own­ers say their pet makes them feel happy – there’s no doubt that they can cause havoc around the home.

From stray hairs to scratches and end­less mud to un­pleas­ant odours, there’s plenty of po­ten­tial for dam­aged so­fas, floors, walls and gar­dens. But don’t de­spair – our top tips will keep your home look­ing spick and span …

Pro­tect your floors: Car­pets can soon take on a doggy odour, as well as be­com­ing a mag­net for shed­ding hairs. Wear­ing rub­ber gloves pro­duces static that helps to pick up the dog hairs that vac­u­um­ing misses. Hard floors are the eas­i­est to keep clean. Go for tiles or vinyls that can be washed down eas­ily. Durable floor paint will with­stand claws and is easy to keep clean. Nat­u­ral woods can soon be marred by scratches and scuff marks, so ap­ply a pro­tec­tive var­nish.

Wash­able walls: No mat­ter how well you clean your dog’s paws af­ter a long walk, mud has a ten­dency to get ev­ery­where. Make sure you use wash­able paints so you can quickly clean mud-spat­tered walls. Try us­ing sugar soap and a dec­o­rat­ing sponge to clean stains off paint. Al­ways leave mud to dry first, then clean with a brush.

The great out­doors: If you’re bring­ing home a new puppy, you’ll need to make sure your gar­den is safe. Make sure fences are se­cure, re­plac­ing any bro­ken pan­els. Your fence will need to be tall enough that your dog doesn’t jump over it, and flush to the ground in case it tries to dig its way out. Dam­aged lawns can be spruced up with a few rolls of rea­son­ably-priced turf. Con­sider in­stalling an out­door tap and at­tach a spray-head hosepipe to shower your dog af­ter a walk.

Ban­ish odours: To elim­i­nate smell, try us­ing bi­car­bon­ate of soda, which has ab­sorbent prop­er­ties that draw out odours. Sprin­kle over car­pets, leave overnight then vac­uum in the morn­ing. Cat urine can leave an un­pleas­ant odour that lingers for days. Vine­gar will neu­tralise the smell. Add a dash to soiled fab­rics be­fore plac­ing in the wash­ing ma­chine. Noth­ing will stop your dog from smelling like a dog, so pre­vent a build-up of doggy odours by vac­cum­ing of­ten and opt­ing for hard floors rather than car­pets.

Al­lergy ad­vice: There’s noth­ing nicer than snug­gling up with a cat or dog, but pet dan­der (dead skin cells and fur) can pro­duce al­ler­gens in vul­ner­a­ble peo­ple, caus­ing sneez­ing, wheez­ing and even asthma. Bathing dogs re­duces al­ler­gen lev­els by up to 85 per cent ac­cord­ing to re­search, but lev­els rise again af­ter three days so you’ll need to re­peat fre­quently. Wash pet bed­ding at least weekly. If pos­si­ble, re­strict pets to rooms with wooden floors as wood traps less dan­der than car­pet.

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