In cat and dog-friendly homes, pets are important members of the family who bring love – and messes – into our lives. Dogs and cats have hairy coats that bring everything from the outside in, and homes with dogs have more bacteria and dander on upholstery, pillow coverings, and other locations.

Decide What Parts of the Home Is Your Pet Allowed to Share

The parts of the house your dog or cat shares will need additional cleanup. Decide where your pet is allowed and remain consistent about enforcing the rules. If your dog or cat is allowed on the couch or upholstered furniture, it is wise to choose a microfiber or leather couch that will be easier to clean. Try to teach your pet to sleep in its own bed if you can. If your pet sleeps on your bed, ensure you wash coverlets, quilts or other bed coverings more often.

Bathe or Groom Your Pet Often

Regular grooming helps keep pet hair off the carpet and furniture. Groom your pet out-of-doors to minimize airborne particles that can cause allergies. Bathe a dog every week or two and use grooming wipes in between.

Feed Your Pet Cleanly

Consider feeding your pets in a utility area or outer room, preferably one with a sink for washing pet dishes and serving spoons. Clean pet food and water dishes with hot water and dishwashing soap and dry with a paper towel.

Avoid feeding your pets on carpeted areas, as it is more difficult to clean. Set food and water bowls inside a large plastic tray to help protect your floor from spills. Cats can be fed on a worktop rather than on the floor.

Clean Pet Bedding

Choose a bed for your dog or cat that is easy to clean and disinfect regularly. Otherwise, your pet’s bed can become a home to fleas and mites. Wash in hot water and detergent. Many dog and cat beds can be dried in a home dryer, but if not, place outside to thoroughly dry in the sun after washing.