19 Cleaning Tips Every Dog or Cat Owner Should Know
These tips for pet owners offer practical solutions for everything from cleaning up fur to keeping pets off the furniture.
Remove Pet Hair with Duct Tape
Pet Food Scoop
I've read many hints that advise the reader to cut off the tops of gallon-size plastic jugs and use them for funnels. I've found that if you replace the cap after cutting the top off, you can use the top for a scoop for handling potting soil, fertilizer or pet food. The no-scratch plastic also makes the jug/scoop ideal for bailing water out of your boat. —reader Ray Dean
For this scoop, we used an empty half-gallon milk jug and angled the cut so that the side opposite the handle is slightly longer, more like a scoop than a funnel. However, as Ray notes above, this scoop can also be used as a funnel by simply removing the milk jug cap. It helps to draw the cut line with a marker first, and then clean up any sharp or rough edges with the scissors after the initial cut.
Enzymes Eliminate Pet Stains and Odors
Quick Cleanup Cat Litter
Cut your litter cleanup time in half with this nifty trick. Line your litter pan with a plastic kitchen garbage bag before adding the litter. Get the best household cleaning supplies and products here.
Chew-Free Electrical Cords
Some dogs love to gnaw on electrical cords around the house. This is not only dangerous but also really irritating when they destroy your computer cables. Solve the problem by wrapping the cords with a split flexible plastic conduit that you get at home centers and automotive stores. Just cut the length you need and push the cords into the pre-split slot. Your dog will soon lose interest in the cords (so you have time to fix them). Now if you could just get him to stop chewing up your slippers!
Pet Repellent for Furniture
To train your pets to stay off furniture, place plastic carpet protectors—prickly side up—on their favorite perch. Available in office supply stores and the carpet/flooring department of home centers, the protectors can be cut to the size you need with a scissors or a utility knife. The plastic teeth will train your pet to associate the couch with 'uncomfortable.' Soon they will seek cozier spots to relax on and leave the easy chair to you. Just remember to remove the protector before you sit down.
A Fast Way to Remove Pet Hair
Easier Bath Time
For a calmer and easier bath time, make a dog washing station in your shower. Cover the drain with a hair catcher to prevent fur from clogging it. Cut a hole in a bath mat so it fits over the drain and lay it in the shower to prevent your dog from slipping around. Using a handheld sprayer gives you more control and lets you avoid spraying water into your pet's ears. Everyone involved will find bath day a whole lot more pleasant. Here's how to make your own dog washing station. Plus, these are the things you've always wanted to ask your dog to find out why they do certain things.
Clean Upholstery with Baking Soda
Use this handy hint if there's a funky pet smell lurking in your couch or upholstered chair: Sprinkle a generous amount of regular baking soda onto the fabric and let it sit for at least 20 minutes. The baking soda will help to release odors and break up some light stains in the fabric.
After about 20 minutes, remove the baking soda—and the funky smell—with a handheld vacuum or a hose attachment for your large vacuum.
Don't Brush the Dog — Use a Vacuum Instead!
No-Mess Litter Box
It's not fancy, but it's a cheap way to keep litter in the litter box where it belongs. Trace an opening on one end of a plastic storage container, then push a sharp razor knife into the plastic and cut out the opening. Pour in the litter and your cat will figure out the rest.
Neat and Tidy Pet Food Dispenser
Protect Your Doors from Scratches
Aluminum Foil Couch Saver
Keep your cats off the couch with aluminum foil. Tear off a piece of foil long enough to cover the top of your couch, and set it on the cushions. The feel and sound of the foil drives cats nuts and they'll immediately jump off.
Fur Filter for Dog Bathing
If you wash your dog in the bathtub or shower, you're begging for a clogged drain. Keep fur out of the drain with a mesh-type scrubbing pad. In a shower, clip the pad to the drain plate with a bobby pin. In a bathtub, wedge two pads under the stopper from two sides. The pads catch fur but let water flow through.
Tip-Proof Watering Dish
Ant-Proof Pet Food Dishes
In the summertime, a favorite destination for ants is often a pet's food bowl. Here's a simple way to keep them out of your dog or cat's food: Set the dish in a pan of water.
Not only does it keep the ants out of the pet food, but your pet can take a gulp of water from the pan whenever he or she needs a drink. Keep the rest of your home clear of ants, too.