Five home projects for pet owners

Pets make wonderful companions, but between damage, odors, accidents and fur, they aren’t the most considerate houseguests. Thankfully, there are steps you can take to keep your home damage-free —and make your life a little easier. Check out these five ways to tackle common pet issues and save yourself the hassle of battling fur balls and reupholstering furniture down the road.

Pet peeve No. 1: Odors

As diligently as you clean and care for them, after a few days, pets will start to stink. And when they lay around the house, that smell rubs off on soft surfaces like furniture and carpet. Reduce odors by nixing the carpet and switching to hard-surface floors. They don’t retain smell, and they’re easy to clean in the event of an accident. If a remodel isn’t in the budget, consider hiring a carpet-cleaning service to get deeply ingrained smells out of your fabric. And for an immediate solution, buy candles specifically formulated to eliminate pet odor and place them where needed.

Pet peeve No. 2: Scratching

Unfortunately, both dogs and cats are known to scratch up floors. With their long nails and innate instincts, they just can’t help it. Prevent damage by trimming or filing their nails regularly. And for a long-term solution, consider installing scratch-resistant vinyl flooring. If you have wood floors and the damage has already been done, take an afternoon to fix scratches with wood filler. Simply sand the damaged wood with the grain, fill it with wood filler, sand away excess filler and seal it for an all-new look.

Pet peeve No. 3: Chewing

If you have a puppy or another curious pet that likes to chew, you know how destructive the habit can be. Try using taste deterrent dog spray to prevent chewing. Spray the bitter-tasting product on everything from wooden chair legs to shoes and siding. The bad flavor should be enough to discourage your animal from chewing. Keep in mind that some of these sprays are known to stain, so always spot-test before applying to large areas.

Pet peeve No. 4: Fur

For most pet owners, fur comes with the territory. But if you find yourself constantly cleaning up after shedding animals, you may want to take extra measures to cut down on the cleanup. Wash and brush your pet regularly to reduce household fur. Clean your air filters and air purifier frequently to eliminate as much dander as possible. And if all else fails, try to match your home to your pet. For example, if you’re dealing with light-colored fur, get lighter flooring and furniture to disguise it.

Pet peeve No. 5: Puddling

Potty training is hard. And if your pet has a small bladder, they may have regular trouble getting outside to use the bathroom in time. If your pet tends to puddle, try some indoor grass patches or pee pads. These small bathroom areas shouldn’t leak through to your floor, and they give your pet a chance to go when they need to. If it’s too late and your home already has a lot of staining and damage from accidents, you may want to call a professional cleaning service for help.

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