How to deal with pet smell and hair at home

What do pet owners have to frequently deal with? Pet odours and the shedding hair you find in the most random places.

Although it’s a small price to pay, it can sometimes become quite overwhelming trying to keep on top of all the maintenance and care.

But some of the easiest ways to keep the home as fur and odour-free as possible are sometimes overcomplicated.

How should pet owners deal with pet smell and hair at home? Experts share everything you need to know and some of their top tips. 

Regular grooming

Nick Horniman, veterinary surgeon and founder of online pet pharmacy MyPetsVet, said regular grooming is essential to controlling pet hair.

J0MRFD pet grooming with scissors made hairstyle

“Brush your pet daily to reduce shedding, especially during peak seasons. Not only does this minimise the amount of fur in your home, but it also promotes a healthier coat and skin for your pet,” he said.

“Invest in high-quality grooming tools such as de-shedding brushes and combs suited to your pet’s coat type. These tools are more effective at removing loose hair and can make grooming sessions more efficient and enjoyable for both you and your pet.”

Vacuum frequently

It’s important to keep your home clean by vacuuming frequently, particularly in areas where your pet spends the most time.

“Consider using a vacuum cleaner with a pet fur attachment designed to pick it up more effectively,” said Mr Horniman.

Catrin Davies, a senior product manager for Haier UK, whose brands include Hoover, agreed and recommended using a cordless vacuum.

“They are more slimline, portable, light, and convenient for easing around every room in the house or getting into tight corners, crevices or moving easily up and down the stars. You can also use them in handheld mode to clean inside your car,” she said.

“Look for clever technology such as a motorised mini power nozzle. This is the ideal tool for pet owners as it effectively cleans dog and cat fur from cushions and other fabric surfaces.”

Bathe your pet regularly

In order to combat pet odour, be sure to bathe your pet regularly using a pet-friendly shampoo.

“The frequency of bathing will depend on your pet’s breed and lifestyle. Generally once a month is a good starting point. Always ensure your pet is thoroughly dried to prevent damp fur from causing a musty smell,” said Mr Horniman.

Wash bedding, blankets and toys

According to Mr Horniman, it’s also important to wash your pet’s bedding, blankets and toys frequently.

“These items can harbour odours and bacteria if not cleaned regularly. Use pet-safe detergents and ensure items are completely dry before allowing your pet to use them again,” he said.

It is also important to clean your pet’s toys regularly to prevent the build-up of smelly bacteria.

“Plastic and rubber toys can typically be washed with warm, soapy water, while fabric toys can go into the washing machine,” said Axel Lagercrantz, CEO of Pets4Homes.

“If your pet has an accident, act fast to prevent odours from setting in, and be quick to blot up any pet accidents with paper towels or a cloth. Remember to soak up the pee – don’t rub it in, as it makes fabrics retain more.

“You can also sprinkle baking soda on carpets or furniture to absorb unpleasant smells. Let sit for a few hours and then hoover up for a fresh finish. A hot tip is also to use enzymatic cleaners. These cleaners have a biological effect and react with the chemicals in the urine, effectively neutralising the odour rather than just masking it.

“Enzymatic cleaners can often be found at your local pet store. You can also invest in cheap UV lights and play detective to find those sneaky pee spots.

Ensure easy access for your pet’s toilet needs

It’s important to make sure that your furry friend has plenty of opportunities to do their business comfortably, especially for older and younger cats and dogs. “Whether it’s providing more outdoor time or strategically placing litter boxes, make sure they have easy access. Finding the root cause behind your pet’s behaviour, may it be stress, territorial concerns, or health issues, is also vital. By understanding what’s driving your pet to act out, you can effectively address the problem at its source and prevent any mishaps,” said Mr Lagercrantz.

Use air purifiers

Mr Horniman also added that pet owners should consider using air purifiers to help filter out pet odours from the air.

“Pet-specific deodorisers can be used on carpets and furniture to neutralise odours rather than just masking them. When deciding which deodoriser to get, a natural and non-toxic deodoriser is best to make sure your pet does not come in contact with any harsh chemicals,” he said.

Invest in lint rollers

Lint rollers are really useful for tackling pet hair around the house.

“They can be used to quickly remove hair from clothes and furnishings – you can also keep a smaller one in the car to remove hair from seats,” said Mr Lagercrantz.

“Electrostatic cloths are ideal for removing pet hair from hardwood floors. Pet hair tends to collect in corners and under furniture, so pay extra attention to those spots.

“Many owners with high-shedding pets find a quick vacuum clean once a day is enough to keep pet hair manageable; ideally use a vacuum cleaner with a HEPA filter to effectively trap pet hair and dander. There are also vacuum cleaners available that are specifically designed for pet owners, so if you find that your current vacuum cleaner isn’t quite doing the job, this may be a worthwhile investment.”

Check for health issues

According to Mr Lagercrantz, an unhealthy pet often sheds more hair.

“If your pet seems to shed excessively, it’s worth making a trip to the vet to rule out any health issues that may be causing this, such as environmental allergies or Cushing’s disease,” he added.

“A good-quality diet supports overall health and helps reduce shedding. Aim to feed your pet a balanced diet that is rich in proteins, vitamins, and minerals. It’s important to feed your pet the right diet for its species, breed and age; you may want to consult your vet for dietary recommendations tailored to your pet’s specific needs.

“It’s also important to ensure that your pet is well hydrated, as this not only prevents shedding but is crucial for their overall health. Dehydration leads to dry, flaky skin and increased shedding.

“It’s worth considering buying supplements such as omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids, found in fish oil and specially formulated pet food, as they improve coat health and keep it looking nice and shiny.”

Do you have any tips to keep your home smelling fresh with pets? We’d love to hear your tips in the comments section below?

Also read: Virgin has plans for carry on pets

– With Yolanthe Fawehinmi

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