13 Must-Know Cleaning Tips for Pet Parents

Spend more time cuddling with your furry family members and less time cleaning up after them with these smart tips.

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Photo By: Flynnside Out Productions

Photo By: Flynnside Out Productions

Photo By: Flynnside Out Productions

Photo By: Flynnside Out Productions

Photo By: Flynnside Out Productions

Photo By: Flynnside Out Productions

Photo By: Flynnside Out Productions

Photo By: Flynnside Out Productions

Photo By: Flynnside Out Productions

Photo By: Flynnside Out Productions

Photo By: Flynnside Out Productions

Photo By: Flynnside Out Productions

Photo By: Flynnside Out Productions

Squash Marking

Do you have a pet that likes to mark her territory indoors? Try this. First, you'll want to blot the soiled area and treat it with an enzyme-based cleaner to get to the root of the smell. Then, lightly mist with an all-natural spritz to deter repeat performances. We love this homemade eucalyptus mix. Simply combine one cup of warm water with 20 drops of eucalyptus essential oil and shake before using.

Wash Those Toys

Let's face it — dog breath is gross. Now imagine all the germs those slobbery chew toys are carrying. OK, now that you're properly skeeved out — relax. Just toss soft toys into the washer with one tablespoon of baking soda, and toss the plastic or rubber toys into the dishwasher for a thorough cleaning. Just be sure to check for loose parts before returning them to the toy box. (If you have a sanitize setting on your washer and dishwasher, use it!)

Here's the Scoop

When it's feeding time, keep it neat and healthy with this DIY upcycled food scoop. Simply cut the scoop shape from the handle side of a clean milk jug. Wrap the handle with a colorful cord and secure with hot glue. You can even mark on the scoop the proper portion your kitty requires.

Squeegee for Shedding

A fluffy coat is adorable on your pet, but when it starts showing up all over your rugs and carpets? Well, not so much. Simply pull a rubber squeegee across hairy carpets and rugs for a fast fix.

Holy Hairballs!

Cleaning a few too many hairballs these days? Keep some cat grass or catmint on hand. The fiber will do kitty's digestive system good and, of course, she'll love the extra burst of energy catnip gives.

Natural Supplements

Adding a teaspoon of coconut oil to kitty's food can also reduce shedding and hairballs by helping her maintain a digestive tract, skin and coat. But it's always smart to check with your vet before supplementing your pet's diet.

No Loose Litter

An easy way to keep kitty from trailing litter throughout the house is to create a landing pad outside the box. Make it cute by spray-painting a baking pan and cooling grid a fun color, then lining the pan with a pretty contact paper that's easy to wipe clean.

DIY All-Natural Room Deodorizer

Create your own natural deodorizing spritz for use on rugs and soft furnishings. Use it where pets love to laze around (hello, sofa!) or have accidents frequently. To make a 16-ounce bottle, mix 1/2 cup of warm water, 2 tablespoons of baking soda and 1/2 cup of vinegar into a bowl (it will get fizzy). Pour the mixture into a spray bottle, then add 12 drops of peppermint essential oil. Once the vinegar dissipates, you will only smell the fresh peppermint. Lightly spray the offending areas, then let it sit for a few hours before vacuuming.

Paws Off!

If you have a pet that lives to shred toilet paper, this tip is for you. For cats, add a few drops of lavender or rosemary essential oil inside the cardboard tube. For dogs, cinnamon or citrus-based essential oils (lemon, orange or lemongrass) will help ward off playful paws.

Nooks + Crannies

Whether it's in the car or in the house, stubborn pet hair in tight spaces doesn't have a chance against a damp, textured rubber glove. Create a small pile, then vacuum up the hair in a snap.

Easy-to-Wash Pet Beds

When you're picking out that perfect bed for your fur baby, keep in mind that you really want one that can be tossed in the washing machine. For larger beds, make sure you can remove the cover for a quick and easy refresh. Your house will smell better, and the bed will likely last longer, too.

Clutter Control

Not unlike kids' toys, if left unchecked your pet’s toys can quickly take over the entire house. Avoid the chaos with lidded storage. It's easier to wrangle all those plush hedgehogs and squeaky bones when YOU are in control. Leave two toys out at a time, and rotate through the stash to keep your furry friend from getting bored with too many choices.

Get Outdoors

Another easy way to keep pet hair off your furniture and rugs is to brush your pets weekly and do it outdoors. They'll love the bonding time and you'll love less shedding indoors. Go with a grooming mitt or a fine-toothed comb for heavy shedders.

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