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How to keep a pet-friendly home clean and healthy Home.

Sixty-eight percent of American households, or about 85 million families, own a pet, according to the 2017-2018 National Pet Owners Survey conducted by the American Pet Products Association.

Dogs, cats and other companion animals are wonderful members of a family, but they can be messy.

* Manage pet fur. One of the persistent issues pet parents face is fur. Grooming the pet regularly (preferably outdoors) will help tame it. Covering sofas and other places where pets like to lounge with an old sheet can contain some of the fur where it can be shaken off outdoors and laundered frequently.

* Upgrade your vacuum. You'll need a vacuum with strong suction to pick up fur, dirt, dander, feathers, birdseed and any of the other debris that can accumulate. A vacuum with a good brush action also can dig in deep to carpets and upholstery to really clean thoroughly, say the experts at House Beautiful.

* Pause for paws at the door. Keep a small container of water by the front door. When returning from walks, dip the dog's paws into the water and dry before entering the house. This keeps dirt (and salt in the winter) from being a nuisance.

* Get the right cleanser. Pet owners must contend with accidents. Look for an enzymatic cleanser that will treat stains and odors so that pets do not return to the soiled area again and again thinking this is an acceptable potty location, says Modern Dog magazine. Test an area of the carpet or floor being treated for colorfastness before applying. Address accidents promptly.

* Choose the right upholstery. According to Martha Stewart Living, look for top-

grain, semi-aniline leathers, as scratches are disguised on such pieces. In terms of fabric, microfiber or microsuede are better suited to pets because the fabric is tightly woven and may be more resistant to fur and soiling.

* Launder pet items. Regularly wash bedding and other belongings that pets use. This will help tame indoor odors.

* Keep nails neat. Clipping dog and cat and other small animals' nails may help avoid scratches on furniture and floors. If you do not feel comfortable doing it, take the animal to a groomer.

Pet owners can keep their homes clean regardless of how much dirt their pets track into the house.

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Publication:Daily Herald (Arlington Heights, IL)
Date:Aug 21, 2019
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