We all love our four-legged companions, but sometimes they can wreak havoc on our floors. Whether you have carpet or hardwoods, you know the struggle of dealing with stains, pet hair, and other problems and floor care can be overwhelming. Fortunately, your pets and your floors can have a good relationship. Here’s how to care for and maintain your floors in an animal-loving household.
For carpet owners, your vacuum is your front line defense against most pet-related issues. You should vacuum at least once per week (twice weekly is ideal for high-traffic areas). This will remove pet hair and dander. Unfortunately, homes with carpet are most likely to develop flea problems because fleas can nest in the fibers. Combined with a good flea product for your animals, your vacuum can help to keep the issue at bay. Sprinkle baking soda on your carpet before vacuuming, as this helps to kill flea eggs and larvae before they turn into biting adults.
Carpet is also vulnerable to stains. Keep a high-quality stain fighting product on hand. When a mess occurs, dab the area with a damp paper towel, then spray the cleaner and let it set for a few moments before scrubbing. Just be sure to test the product on an out-of-the-way piece of carpet first to make sure it doesn’t bleach the color. Deep messes may require a carpet shampoo machine, which can be rented from many home supply stores for an affordable price.
Hardwood floors are much easier to clean than carpet. To deal with pet hair, all you’ll need is a broom and a dustpan. Occasionally, you should also mop the floors with either a cleaning solution or a mixture of water and vinegar. This will help to sanitize the area in a way that a broom alone cannot. If your hardwood is made of slats and there are crevices in between, you might risk dust and dander finding a way in there that a broom can’t reach. You might need a vacuum attachment or a smaller broom to get in those spaces.
The main problem with pets and hardwoods is the chance that the floors will get scratched. You can help to prevent this by applying wax to the floors. This should be done when your pet is not in the area, of course! The wax will create a protective barrier so that your pet’s nails don’t reach the wood itself. If your floor is already scratched, wax may also be able to fill in the gaps and restore some of the floor’s shine. Dog owners should also keep their pets’ nails trimmed regularly. This can be done at your groomer or vet’s office, or you can purchase nail clippers and do it yourself.
You don’t have to worry about your flooring choice if you have pets. Take into account their needs as well: how often they shed, their nail growth, and they’re activity levels to be sure you get the right flooring for everyone and floor care will be easy as pie.