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Natural Awakenings Philadelphia

Healthy Habits for a Clean Pet Household

Sep 08, 2016 06:49PM ● By Madison Todd

Households can be a challenge to keep clean and fresh, especially when pets are involved. With the right tips and tools, keeping a clean house can be rewarding for both owners and four-legged companions.

One of the biggest challenges for pet parents is hair. Regular grooming with a brush or comb can help reduce the amount of hair that settles on the furniture, carpet and floors, curtains and bedding—especially when it is done outside. Regular brushing can also reduce some health problems in pets that are related to hair, such as hairballs and constipation.

Discourage excessive grooming by introducing a new toy or activity. Pets need a lot of mental and physical stimulation in their environments, which in turn help them to live happier, healthier and more balanced lives. Scratching posts and perches for climbing are great options for cats, while dogs enjoy daily walks and off-leash play times with toys and other four-legged friends. Remember that pets are extremely treat-motivated, so be sure to include some of their favorite snacks when introducing new activities.

Designate a specific area of the house for each pet; this does not mean keeping the pet caged or locked behind a gate or in a room. What this means is to simply give one area of the house for the pet to eat and drink, play, relax or use the litter box. A pet can still have the freedom to roam around the house for stimulation and exercise; however, when it comes time to clean, that way most of their excess smells and hair will be contained to those specific areas.

Figure out a pet’s cleanliness level. If there is a pet that enjoys spending time inside and outside home, chances are he or she is bringing back a little bit of nature with each return; this could be in the form of dirt, plants, body odors or pesky parasites. Pets with an indoor/outdoor lifestyle should be monitored closely and bathed regularly. On the other hand, pets that prefer an indoor-only lifestyle may not require as much attention to their personal hygiene.

However, there are other things to take into consideration. Pets that are messy eaters or love to spill their water bowls, dump their litter boxes and soil the carpets also require some close monitoring, and a quick spot cleaning. Developing a cleaning schedule can help keep the home stay organized and tidy. Cleaning up smaller messes as soon as they occur will help leave bigger projects such as dusting and vacuuming for the weekly schedule.

Another great tip is to reward ourselves for sticking to our schedule. After a big clean, play some soothing music, burn a favorite candle and curl up with a cuddly pet. Having this to look forward to can make home a more welcoming environment for everyone.

Madison Todd is the owner of Chestnut Hill Cat Clinic, located at 8220 Germantown Ave., in Philadelphia. For more information, call 215-247-9560 or visit

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