Cats and dogs, although they bring a lot of happiness to a home, can also wreak havoc, especially in rooms that have carpeting or wooden floors. Sharp claws, loose hairs and mud brought in from outside can all rapidly damage your flooring, often irreparably, and they can also transfer more germs and bacteria than you really want around the home, especially in the kitchen.
So, how to minimise the damage? There are several measures you can take.
Firstly, if there is any room where you particularly don’t want them tracking through, either train them from an early age to stay out, or use a gate to keep them out (admittedly less effective with a cat). Get into the habit of closing doors after you.
Buy a decent doormat and give the dog’s paws a wipe whenever it enters the house, especially after a walk, and even more especially during wet weather. It’s not a bad idea to keep a bottle of water by the door to rinse the worst of the mud out of the hair as well. Placing a small towel under the catflap can also help, but your cat won’t thank you for washing it down every time it comes home!
Vacuum carpets, and sweep floors, on a regular basis, perhaps weekly, to scoop up any hairs or dried mud. Your carpets ought to get a thorough clean at least twice a year to remove stains and odours.
Trim claws once every couple of months, and keep a spray bottle at hand to discourage your cat from sharpening its claws on the carpet, curtains or furniture.
Lastly, bathe your pet every so often too. Your dog probably won’t mind so much a soaking from the hose in the garden, or even a dunk in the bathtub, but with cats you’ll probably need someone else to keep it in the kitchen sink.