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Just Clear has plenty of experience of cleaning out the houses of pet owners. After all, some 45 percent of households in the UK are home to an animal too, with dog ownership the most common at 26 percent and cats the next most popular at 18 percent.

With 90 percent of pet owners claiming ownership makes them happy and 88 percent saying it improves the quality of their lives, we at Just Clear believe an animal makes a home. No doubt about it, though, they present their own cleaning and hygiene issues.

We specialise in hoarder cleaning, and for some people this can extend to cats and dogs, which results in huge health and welfare problems for the owner and the animals. For those who only have one or two pets, attitudes vary. For every cat owner who doesn’t mind kitchen counter wandering, there’s another who follows their dog around the house armed with wet wipes.

Risks from pet ownership

Hygiene and pets is essential—for your sake and the animal’s. Cats and dogs can pass ringworm to human beings, and toxoplasmosis and toxocariasis can result from contact with animal faeces.

Worms, ticks and fleas are major health problems for cats and dogs. A heavy flea infestation, for example, will make a cat or dog seriously anaemic and damage their coat and skin.

Here’s our advice for the hygiene tips you should follow to keep your home happy and healthy:

  • Flea prevention
    • To prevent fleas and other parasites, wash pet bedding weekly at a temperature of at least 60 degrees.
    • Keep up to date with any flea treatment, marking in a calendar when you treat your dog or cat.
    • If your pet gets fleas, you must treat the house too. Carpets and rugs should be vacuumed thoroughly and then you’ll need to throw out the dust bag. Apply a powder or spray product to sofa cushions and along the perimeters of walls. Vacuum at least two or three times a week and consider professional carpet cleaning if the infestation is extensive.
  • Store your cat or dog’s dry food in airtight containers. Opened bags or tins of wet food should be kept in the fridge as at room temperature germs and bacteria multiply quickly. Always wash your hands after feeding your pet.
  • Don’t store opened pet food in your shed or garage as this encourages rodents.
  • Teach your kids to wash their hands before eating and after playing outside—and of course you should do this too. Good techniques for hand washing are here.
  • Cat litter boxes should be cleaned every day. Empty the dirty litter and wash with a mild solution of soap and warm water as anything too strong will put your pet off using it. If you have more than one cat, experts recommend one litter tray per animal so he or she can mark their individual territory.
  • Expectant mums mustn’t clear out cat litter trays as there’s a risk they could come in contact with toxoplasmosis, which can be dangerous during pregnancy.
  • Wash your dog and cat’s food and water bowls out every day and discard wet food that sits too long, especially in the summer months.
  • Clean any pet toys and collars regularly. Wash the toys in the machine if possible.
  • Invest in a vacuum cleaner that specialises in pet hair removal. Vacuuming should be done at least once a week and you might want to consider professional carpet cleaning every six months or once a year.