Living with our cuddly, joyful fur-balls brings extra cleaning due to shedding, dander, wet paws, water bowl spills, and drinking dribbles. Is your pet often so excited that he forgets to swallow that last gulp of water and then lets it trickle out of his mouth as he darts away from the water bowl? Or do you have tumbleweeds of pet fur that hover just above the floor? My friend Janice, who owns Akitas, described her home like a snow globe full of floating fur instead of fake snow! Read below for some ideas to make the messier aspects of pet ownership even easier with tools that make cleaning less dreadful or that reduce shedding.
Vacuums. Are you still heaving around a giant, heavy, not-easy-to-steer, old-school vacuum that uses a bag? The vacuum industry has made some great strides in recent years – newer models have better suction, are smaller, are easier to maneuver, and are lighter weight. Some powerful vacuums are less than10 lbs. now! Having a lightweight vacuum may also mean that you won’t dread lugging it around and will vacuum more often. Some people even desire the convenience of not having to worry about dragging a cord around and the convenience of having a bag-less vacuum. Who wants to worry about finding the right size bag and having replacement bags on-hand? Treat yourself to a vacuum that you don’t mind using – it will be worth it! Some popular lightweight, bag-less options include the corded Shark Rocket TruePet, the corded Shark Rocket Ultra-Light and the cordless Dyson V6. If you have a lot of fur to pick up, you may want to ensure that your new device has extra capacity in the dust cup - the portion of the bag-less vacuum that houses the dirt until you empty it. The Shark Rocket TruePet advertises that its dust cup has the twice the capacity of other similar models so you can vacuum with fewer interruptions – and we all want to be done vacuuming sooner than later!
Mops. Did you know that you could sanitize your hard floors without using chemicals? Cleaning without chemicals reduces potential irritants to your pets’ paws, which pets may also ingest by licking their feet. In addition, you won’t be walking around on chemicals, either, if you go barefoot in the comforts of your home. You can clean with water using a steam mop or with a vinegar and water mixture in a spray mop. Steam mops boast that they provide 99.9 percent sanitization by just using steam - no harsh chemicals! Two popular steam mops include the Bissell brand and the Shark brand. The Libman Freedom spray mop allows you to add your own mixture into its reusable spray canister; you can research the perfect mixture for your home or try 90 percent water and 10 percent vinegar. Both types of mops utilize re-usable mop pads that can be washed in the washing machine multiple times.
Boot trays – but not for your boots! Place water bowls on a boot tray. If any water is spilled, the rim on the boot tray will stop the water from overflowing onto your floor. This not only protects your floor from water damage if you can’t wipe up the water immediately (i.e. if you’re not home during the spill or splash), but also makes clean up easier. Try the Stalwart brand or the Muddy Mat. You may also be able to find a boot tray at your local big box hardware store, department store, Target, or Walmart.
Brushes. Some pet brushes are designed to reduce shedding. Less indoor shedding means less fur to vacuum up! Two popular brands are the FURminator deShedding Tool and the FURblaster. These types of de-shedding brushes often offer different widths and different lengths of the brush’s teeth – be sure to read up on what is right for your size of dog and your dog’s coat type. In warmer months, you can brush your pet outside to avoid some of the brushing debris - floating fur - clean up indoors. In addition to using these tools, consider using a de-shedding shampoo, too.
Enjoy convenient cleanup with the recommendations above. Happy cleaning and happy shopping!