How to Keep a Healthy Home with Pets

Reader Contribution by Bobbi Peterson
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Pets can add an immense amount of joy to the lives of their owners. No matter what animal you have, your pet quickly becomes your whole world. They love unconditionally and provide great companionship, which is why they deserve to live in a happy, healthy home, just like you do.

One of the biggest issues with bringing an animal into your home is that it becomes more difficult to keep your living space clean. Each kind of animal presents unique cleaning challenges, most of which can only be dealt with over time. You’ll eventually build a routine around your pet and come to know how dirty they can get and just how to clean up after them.

The concern comes in when you consider how the filth pets create can actually harm your health and that of your pet. Germs are germs, even if they come riding in on the furry back of your best friend. There are some easy ways to combat the dirt and grime left behind by pets, so you can continue loving and living your life together.

Photo by Adobe Stock/Ilurii Sokolov.

Shelve Those Pet Supplies

The only exception to this rule is possibly fish food. Pet supplies make a mess. Picture your dog’s brush that’s full of hair or the hay you feed your guinea pigs that always ends up on the carpet. The best way to keep pet messes minimized is by storing whatever you can out of the way. Keep small pet supplies in a closet or cupboard. They’ll be out of sight, and the mess they create will stay in a small space.

Clean Carpets Often

Owning small animals that live in cages may make you feel like you’re exempt from cleaning your carpets, but that isn’t true. Dirt brought in on pet paws or bacteria left by what’s tossed out of small animal cages will live and multiply in your carpet, especially microscopic bacteria too small for the eye to see. That’s why it’s important to thoroughly clean your carpets twice a year if you own pets.

Vacuum and Dust

Cleaning up after animals results in the need to vacuum and dust more regularly. As all pet owners know, pet hair and dander get everywhere, and that includes on top of ceiling fans and underneath rugs. A big part of keeping your home healthy is vacuuming and dusting.

If you have a dog, one time you may not think to vacuum is after washing your pet. Getting dog fur wet makes it much easier for loose hairs to come out. Groomers recommend drying your dog with a safe dryer in a small area that’s easy to vacuum. This will minimize what you have to clean while keeping your dog happy and healthy.

Photo by Adobe Stock/Monika Wisniewska.

Designate an Eating Area

When dogs and cats eat, food can get everywhere. Whether you feed them dry or wet food, it’ll always get outside the bowl. Water will, too. If you change up where your pet eats, the mess will travel, so keep your pet’s eating space to one spot — and maybe even raise the bowl — to make cleanup easier on yourself. For owners with small pets, try getting heavy bowls that can’t be tipped over or ones that can be hooked onto the side of the cage.

Keeping pet mess to a minimum will not only keep you happier, but healthier too. When living with pets, be aware of the germs and bacteria that can multiply from what your furry or feathered friends leave behind. No matter how cute they are or how much they love you, pets need to be taken care of and it’s better for everyone if owners know exactly what they need to do.