For some of us, owning a pet is more than just having a furry friend. They're a member of the family. But just like any member, they need to have a clean living area. House cleaning is not complete if your pet's area hasn't been cleaned, and to be completely fair, it's an on-going process.
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Below are some helpful tips to keep your house clean when you own pets.
Brush Your Pet
"Brushing your dog or cat regularly will decrease the amount of hair in the air and on the floor," says Nancy Katz, DVM, a veterinarian in Montclair, N.J. "Ideally, you should brush your pet a few times a week, just a quick brushing to get the coat out. If you collect it on the brush, it's not on the floor."
Check Your Air Filters
Katz also says, "Check your filters every two to four weeks and determine how much stress you're putting on them; that should let you know how often they need to be changed. If you keep them clean, the less work your heating and cooling system has to do, so you can save money as well."
Keep Litter Boxes Clean
"Your litter box cannot be too clean," says Katz. "Don't clean with an ammonia product, because that mimics the smell of cat urine."
It is generally recommended to completely wash a cat's litter box every 10 days with bleach and dish wash detergent, giving it a thorough scrubbing.
Clean Your Counters
Cats love to walk around on all surfaces. This can include kitchen and bathroom counters. Since cats walk inside their litter box, everything their paws touch is contaminated with fecal matter. This is especially troubling if your cat walks around your food preparation area.
"Always wipe your counters down with a cleansing wipe, or paper towel and cleaning solution, before and after you put food on the counter," advises Donna Duberg, MS, an assistant professor of clinical laboratory science at St. Louis University in Missouri. "Keep things like cutting boards and cutting knives, and other food preparation tools, inside cupboards or drawers."
Keep Your Reptiles and other Caged Pets Living Areas Clean
Reptiles can carry viruses such as shigella and salmonella. It's advisable to wipe down pet habitats once a week with gloves. Wash the pet's bowl and other cage items in your tub or laundry sink. Avoid using your regular sink. Always disinfect the area with bleach afterwards.
Close the Food Containers to Keep Away Insects and Rodents
Keep your pet food supplies in sealed containers such as plastic tubs or bags. This will help keep things like rats and roaches out of your house.
Warning: Be sure to read all instructions on any cleaning supplies you use. Make sure that you're not harming yours or your pets health by using the chemicals.
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