The latest figures show that the total first-year cost of owning a cat is over £800 ($1,070 in the US) and during the first year, the cost of owning a dog is more than £1000 (roughly $1,270)! Beyond these initial costs, pet owners also need to add the expense of vet visits, food, litter (and more!) to their monthly expenditure. So, when you’re on a tight budget, these costs can be incredibly challenging to keep up with.
And that’s before we even consider the cost of pet-related cleaning! Accidents in the house, as well as messes brought in from outside, are just two common occurrences that can cause your cleaning costs to skyrocket. To keep your expenses as low as possible, here are several inexpensive and DIY ways you can keep your home clean when you have pets…
KEEP PETS AWAY FROM CARPETED AREAS
One of the worst spots for dogs and cats to make a mess is on is the carpet. And carpets are bloomin’ expensive to replace! Unlike easy-to-clean hard floors, carpets quickly soak in the odours and stains associated with each mess. To easily reduce your cleaning costs (and the time you spend cleaning), keep your pets away from carpeted areas as much as possible. Close doors to rooms with carpeting, use pet gates for blocking, and keep their bed or crate in an area with hard floors.
Even if your pet rarely makes messes, you will prevent them from padding hard-to-see dirt into the carpet over time. If it isn’t possible to keep your pets away from carpeted areas, no need to worry. Rather than always seeking out professional services, DIY carpet cleaning options can be used as an affordable solution. Whether you DIY it, or buy a carpet cleaning product in stores, finding an effective spray or foam that can help you clean up messes right away will save you money in the long run.
On the other hand, when you have hard flooring, you can often find tumbleweed-esque balls of fluff gathering in the corners of the room. The only way to minimise this is to help your pet shed their fur by grooming them regularly. This enables you to put the excess fluff straight into the bin rather than it floating around the house.
MAKE YOUR OWN PET-FRIENDLY CLEANING SUPPLIES
When you own one or more pets, there will always be additional cleaning on your to-do list. Between mopping floors and cleaning out pet food/water bowls, you will invest additional time and supplies. You’ll need to ensure that you are using cleaners that are safe for your pet, but that also eliminate the harmful bacteria they can bring in from the outdoors.
To reduce your costs, consider making your own pet-friendly cleaning supplies. Homemade cleaners are almost always less expensive than store bought, and can be safer than conventional products. For example, use vinegar, hot water, baking soda, and lemon juice as an all-natural household cleaning spray.
WIPE OFF THEIR PAWS
Another preventative measure that you can take to avoid a mess is to wipe your dog or cat off before they re-enter your home after being outside. Plus, if you’ve gone for a winter walk with your dog, they may have salt residue from the gritted roads on their paws, which can cause their pads to dry out and crack – poor pup! So wiping down their paws is helpful for them too. If it’s muddy outside, take a damp towel and clean their feet or, if they’ve been rolling around, there’s only one thing for it – bathtime!
Additionally, if it has been raining, dry your pet thoroughly before letting them back inside your home. Not only will you save on cleaning supplies to get tide-marks out of soft furnishings, but you will also save yourself the extra time you would normally spend cleaning up after your pet.
Let me know your own tips for keeping your home clean when you have pets in the comments below. It’s an on-going struggle for me to keep my windows clear of nose-prints when my cats sit on the windowsill, so I just steam clean the glass every so often. I’d love to hear your pet advice and cleaning hacks so please do get in touch.
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