Keeping your home clean and fresh and your furry friends happy with these clever ideas.
With a little forethought, you can come up with decorating and cleaning solutions to counter sharp claws, muddy paws, moulting hair and the occasional accident.
1. Upholster sofas and seating with stain-resistant fabric that can be spot cleaned. Leather may be durable and wipe-clean, but it is still subject to pet wear and tear and sharp nails. So, protect your sofa arms from scratches and pulled fabric threads with arm covers to match your sofa. And consider shop-bought slip covers. They suit most standard sofas and are available in durable, easy-wash cottons.
2. Cover the bristles of a broom with a stocking, and use it to sweep up clumps of pet hair from both soft and hard flooring surfaces.
3. If your preference is for carpet, choose heavy-duty, twist-pile, stain-guard treated carpet in a colour similar to your pet’s fur. Patterned carpet camouflages accidents still evident despite cleaning. Pick up pet hairs using a vacuum cleaner with attachments for furnishings, window treatments and pet bedding.
4. Warm up a hard-surface floor with low-pile rugs kept firmly in place with tape or an anti-slip rug underlay. This will prove helpful if your pet runs through the house.
5. Equip yourself with a pet kit containing products which remove stains, neutralise unpleasant odours and rid your home – and pet – of fleas. Vacuum regularly, changing the dust bags or canisters often to prevent them from becoming a flea-breeding haven.
6. Lay hard flooring such as wood, tiles or sealed natural stone to make it easy to mop up spills and the occasional accident. Clipping your pet’s nails may not prevent timber floors from being scratched. If you’re concerned about marking your floors, go for hardwood timbers. Choose matt over slippery shiny tiles and seal the grout to prevent it discolouring over time.
7. Do your pet a favour and allow it to feed from a non-slip bowl, and there will be no need for it to chase its bowl around the room as it eats.
8. Remove hair and fur balls from your sofa prior to vacuuming. To do this, wear a pair of textured rubber washing-up or gardening gloves and vigorously rub the fabric of your sofa to collect the hair or fur. Alternatively, pat the sofa down with wide packing tape looped, sticky side out, around your hand.
9. Contain your pets to certain areas of your home with an extendable security gate for babies.
10. Wipe a dry, pet-hair sponge over clothing, upholstery, carpet and computer screens. After removing the hair, dust and lint from the sponge, wash it with soap and water. Allow the sponge to dry before re-using it.
11. Remove pet hair from clothes, upholstery and most surfaces quickly and easily with an adhesive roller.
12. Paint your walls with a low-sheen washable acrylic paint that is scuff and stain resistant. Avoid matt, suede or stone-effect paints as these mark easily and seem to attract pet hair. Treat your doors, skirting and architraves with a durable semi-gloss or gloss enamel.
Top tips for a pet-fresh home
- Treat cats and dogs regularly with suitable flea products which act on all stages of the flea life cycle.
- Never leave spills or pet accidents to dry in carpet or soak through to the underlay.
- Air your home frequently.
- Brush pet fur daily and wash active dogs regularly.
- Entertain and exercise your pet daily to avoid boredom which may lead to it wreaking havoc in your home and garden.
- Purchase a pet deodoriser to help keep your dog smelling fresh
- For more information on sanitisers and deodorisers, visit