Do you refer to your pet as one of your children, without irony? Me, too. This unconditional love is not a sentiment all who visit my home share, particularly if they stand up from my couch and discover their once-black pants are now covered in beautiful (and trendy!) tan-and-brown ombre doggie fur.
If you’re putting your WNY home on the market, owning a dog or cat could deter buyers or reduce offer amounts. There’s no amount of money that could persuade me to banish my mutt while I entertain guests this holiday season — or put my home on the market and show it — so I’m happy to use these easy tricks and tips to help take care of pet odors, messes and damage.
“I know you weren’t just planning on vacuuming during my nap.” (Image via Sabrina Rojas Weiss)
It’s Not Called Furrrrniture
1. Rubber Glove Treatment: Rub a damp rubber glove over furniture, and static electricity will help remove fur quite easily. (Tip via Real Simple)
2. Duct Tape Solves Everything: I could use about 15 lint rollers to pick up fur from my couch or car seats, or I could go heavy duty and wrap duct tape, sticky side up, on a paint roller for a stronger version of the same concept. (Tip via Family Handyman)
3. Squeegee Power: Sometimes vacuuming is no match for the fur buried deep down in the living room rug. Amazingly, a window squeegee can do the trick instead. (Tip via Lifehacker)
Prevention Is the Best Medicine … Or Something Like That
4. Better Bitter: To stop dogs and cats from chewing on furniture or — zzzzt! — power cords, you can purchase Bitter Apple spray, or make your own by mixing white wine vinegar and apple cider vinegar.
5. Stick ‘Em Up: This special double-stick tape will annoy cats enough to make them avoid using your furniture as a scratch pad. (We imagine regular double stick tape would do the trick, too.)
6. Leave the Mud Outside: I’ve always kept Wet Wipes in my entryway, to wipe the dog’s paws when we come in from a muddy day. This Paw Plunger looks even more effective (and kinda fun to use).
7. Smell Check: Before you sell your home or have special guests over, you might want to invite over a close, exceptionally honest friend who can tell you if your home smells like wet dog or a very well-decorated litter box. You need the friend, because it won’t smell bad to you at all anymore.
8. Clean Those Rugs, And Clean Them Again: Like your mom always told you, baking soda does wonders for odors. Sprinkle it on any urine stains on rugs. You can also use a black light to find old stains you never knew about or thought you’d taken care of. (Tip via Care2 and Petslady)
9. Litter on the Bar-B: Add a sprinkle of activated charcoal to the litter box to absorb smells. (Tip via ehow)
10. Clean Ears = Happy Noses: If your dog is prone to stinky ears, clean them regularly with a solution of vinegar and alcohol. This will do wonders for the smell of the whole house, too. (Tip via ehow)
Pets? What Pets?
11. Trunk No-Show: The internet is flooded with instructions on how to customize old trunks, new Ikea storage units, and built-in cabinets into excellent litter box and dog crate camouflage.
12. Play Date: When in doubt of your pets’ behavior or your visitors/buyers preferences, consider asking a friend or neighbor to have them over to play for a little while. If you’re selling your home, make sure you also put away pet toys and pet photos. You shouldn’t lie to potential buyers about furry creatures living there, but you don’t want any unnecessary reminders around either. (Tip via About.com)