Prior to having a furry, scaly, or feathery pet in your home, it smelled different. That is the stinking truth. There may have been occupants such as your brother in your home that were disinclined to clean up after themselves and had their own aurora, but there was always hope that might change. Pets do not clean up their own messes. Be prepared. Using safe non-toxic cleaning methods is important to the health and safety of your pet. Fortunately you probably are prepared if you have basic stain and odor remedy supplies on hand such as vinegar and baking soda.
Remember the toddler pictures with spaghetti from ear to ear? And then there is your brother who still wears almost as much as he eats. Your pet is likely to resemble this family trait. Your puppy and your brother are both inclined to eat what’s on the floor and they also tend to drip a lot and leave crumbs. Place your pet’s food and water dishes in an out-of-the-way-place that is easy access for the animal. Stay away from high traffic areas. Place a mat or towel under the dishes to keep them from sliding and to catch crumbs and slobbers. A plastic boot tray works great to contain spills. Line it with a towel or newspaper that can be disposed of or washed to keep things neat. Use metal dishes that are easy to clean and do not absorb odors. Keep pet food in sealed containers to discourage pets from stealing snacks and so that your home doesn’t smell like kibbles or tuna pate. About your brother, only invite him over the second Wednesday of each week.
Puppies are adorable. Puppy puddles are not. We recommend using every available source to housetrain your puppy. Like kids, one method may work well on one child, but the next is a different story. Having your puppy ring a bell to go out is safe, effective and cute. My dog was afraid of the bell and inclined to piddle when she heard it ring. Frequent trips outside are a good practice to begin with. Your pet doesn’t want to live in unfit conditions and neither do you. Ultimately, you are responsible to make sure your pet’s needs are being met. Regardless of how you do it, prevention is the key to eliminating elimination problems. If your pet has warped your Pergo flooring or you have had to replace wall-to-wall carpeting because of urine saturation, the problem is a people problem. If your animal is elderly or ill, confine them to an area where floors are protected and bedding can be washed or disposed of. You and your pet will both be happier living in a clean environment.
Clean up methods are important. Prompt clean up is imperative. No waiting for dad to get home and deal with unruly little ones. Blot up any liquids. Do not rub them in to the floor creating an invisible source of odor. Remember liquids flow down and out. Start on outer edges to stop the progress. Blot; rinse with water; blot some more. Mix one part vinegar to two parts water in a spray bottle. Spray the area and dab some more. The vinegar will help neutralize odor. Sprinkle the area with baking soda to absorb moisture and odor. Let it dry and then vacuum. You may want to remove the offender from the area before you begin so that (one) you don’t take your frustration out on them, and (two) they don’t think this is all part of a new game that begins with them peeing on your floor. Puppy piles also need prompt attention. Make sure to clean the area even if it appears clean. Odors are invisible but they will make their presence known if they are not dealt with. Messes that are not attended to quickly may require more cleaning power. Commercial stain and odor removers can be purchased and used with caution. Keep your pet away from the products and the area where they are used.
Pet hair is another problem. It seems our furry friends tend to shed more hair than they have. Brushing your pet often and regularly will help reduce pet hair on furniture and carpets. Make sure your vacuum has a hepa filter and change sweeper bags when needed to get the most benefit from vacuuming. A ball of duct tape rolled sticky side out can efficiently pick up pet hair as you roll it across the furniture and your clothes. Place a blanket or sheet over the area where your pet often lays to protect it. If you are purchasing furnishings consider that natural fibers are less inclined to hold pet hair.
Start good habits even before your pet comes through the door. You will both be glad you did. Learn what breed of dog or other pet best fits your situation. Look around your home and address changes that need to be made. Place plants and other chewables where there will be no temptation. Pets like to know where the boundaries are and will learn what is permitted and what isn’t. If you do not allow your dog on the couch, be consistent. There are many mental and physical benefits to having a pet and they far outweigh the challenges. You will soon consider your pet an essential member of the family.