The Key to a Stylish, Pet-Friendly Home

Don’t let a good dog result in a bad home

Dog at home

One upside to sheltering-in-place is that across America, animal shelters are reporting upticks in foster applications as people seek out a friend to ride out the COVID-19 crisis with. Many who couldn't have a pet before are using this time at home to take care of animals in need of some love and care. Not to mention, more Millennials are buying homes these days not because of kids, but because they want more room and backyards for their dogs. And those of us with pets are getting a whole lot more quality time with these funny, furry creatures. But just because there are animals in the house, that doesn't mean you can't have a nice place that's clean, organized and smelling fresh. Whether you're taking care of your first puppy or the proud parents of several dogs or cats, here are six tried-and-true tips to make cohabitating with your pet more manageable.


Clean House Tips
for Pet Owners

Their Paws

This one might be a drag at first, but it's nonnegotiable. You've got to wipe your pet's paws when they come in from the outside if you want to keep your interiors in good condition. It keeps them from tracking grime around your floor and staining your furniture. Plus, it provides a daily opportunity to wipe down their fur and keep them soft, clean and smelling fresh. These hypo-allergenic, non-sticky wipes are infused with aloe and Vitamin E to hydrate their skin and coat while wiping away dirt.

Earthbath Hypo-Allergenic Grooming Wipes

Hypo-allergenic grooming wipes,
$13.49 for 100 by Earthbath

React Quickly
to Accidents

The sooner you get it up, the better your chances are of removing any potential stain. And while there are plenty of targeted products out there (Nature's Miracle is handy to prevent dogs from territorial marking), simple shaving cream typically out performs them all. The white foam is particularly good at getting out bodily stains like blood, vomit, feces and urine. Cover the area with the foam, let it sit and work its way into the offending stain for a few minutes. Work it in with a sponge or brush and then allow it to sit a few more minutes. Finish by wiping up the remaining cream with warm water.

Nature's Miracle No More Marking Stain/Odor Remover

No More Marking stain/odor remover,
$7.59 by Nature's Miracle

Barbasol Thick & Rich Original Shaving Cream

Thick & Rich original shaving cream,
$2.29 by Barbasol

Burrow Cabana Rug

Cabana rug,
from $395 by Burrow

Consider Different Rugs

Rugs tie a room together. Besides, hardwood floors and animals paws don't exactly get along. Thankfully, there are all sorts of pet-friendly options out there. There are stylish/indoor outdoor rugs (which are often more affordable than all-wool versions), machine-washable styles and modern options like Burrow's Cabana rug, made from stain-resistant faux jute. These rugs won't let any accidents soak in, and any mess will wipe clean with a damp rag.

Stay On Top
of the Hair

Look, when you've got animals in the house, the fur is going to fly. And then it's going to land—on your floor, on your furniture and probably all over you too. You can go for the heavy duty lint rollers (Evercare's have proven to be particularly sticky), but there's a simpler, less wasteful way to rid yourself of pet hair. Standard latex gloves, the kind you might have under the sink right now, literally pulls the hair from the fabric and gathers it up into a tidy little ball.

Evercare Pet Plus Giant Extreme Stick Lint Roller

Pet Plus Giant extreme stick lint roller,
$5.99 by Evercare

Made By Design Heavy Duty Latex Gloves

Heavy duty latex gloves,
$3.99 by Made By Design

West Elm Cotton Knit Throw

Cotton knit throw,
$79 / $63.20 by West Elm

Get a Washable Throw

A throw blanket laid on the end of a bed or over the side of a sofa always looks good. Toss one wherever your pet prefers to lay. It will let both of you relax while prolonging the life of your furniture. Opt for a 100% cotton style, that way it'll wear well and be able to be thrown in the washing machine now and then to refresh it.

Fight Odors

Outdoor Fellow No.6 Forest Rain Candle

No.6 Forest Rain candle, $36 by Outdoor Fellow

Some pet smells can be persistent. If you're regularly bathing them (and wiping those paws), you shouldn't encounter these too much. But occasionally, especially during warmer weather, you might need to open the windows to air things out. Just ten minutes of fresh air breezing through will make all the difference. It's also a nice excuse to have a clean-smelling, but not overpowering candle burning in the living room—out of reach for wagging tails or curious cats, of course.

Outdoor Fellow No.6 Forest Rain Candle

No.6 Forest Rain candle,
$36 by Outdoor Fellow

Fostering a new pet?

The Seattle Animal Shelter has a downloadable manual (PDF) for new foster dog parents. Interested in fostering a cat? Hill's Pet Nutrition has prepared a similar guide for you.

NOTE: Items featured in this story are independently selected by the editorial team. Purchasing via our links may earn Valet. a portion of the sale, which helps fund our editorial mission.

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