Preparing Your Home for Guests When You Have Pets


Pet owners know their dog or cat is more than a domesticated animal. It's family. Which is why pet owners don't mind if their couch and rug get covered in their pet's hair. They don't mind that paw prints find their way onto the kitchen floor every time Fido comes inside, and they don't mind a little litter getting tossed outside the box every time Morris needs to relieve himself. They really don't mind, until they are informed they're going to have out of town guests over for the holidays.

Knowing you're going to have guests for a few days is stressful in any situation, but when you have pets it can especially be stressful because you don't want them to think you like an animal, though you live with them.

Relax. Nobody's going to judge you or your fur babies. Everyone understands what it's like to have pets. However, there are some things you can do to get the house back to presentable, and they require minimal effort.

1. The Rugs

Your rugs have probably been hit hardest. The dog and the cat love to wiggle on the warmth of the rug and it's one of their favorite places to nap. The rug gets some love. As much love as it's received, even the vacuum cleaner can't pull all the pet hair from them. It's not time to throw them out, because rugs are a huge investment. You can hire a professional rug cleaning service who can get those rugs scrubbed in a jiffy.

2. Your Furniture

Has your favorite armchair been used as a scratching post? While it may actually be time to toss the furniture out, you know if you get new furniture Morris is just going to have at it again. There are many products on the market that claim to stop the cat from scratching the furniture and claim to repair those scratches on the furniture.

You can try both, or you can simply go for the shabby chic look. This requires strategic placement of draping fabrics, throws, and pillows, after you've vacuumed away the dog hair. You may be surprised at how good it all looks when you're finished.

3. The Floors

The floors are the easy part. Those paw prints have been there a while, but they're nothing a bucket of vinegar and warm water can't erase. Vinegar is a natural disinfectant, but it doesn't leave behind chemical residue like store bought cleaners will.

If you come across any difficult areas, try sprinkling it with a bit of baking soda and scrub it with a scrubber. Until the visit is over, you might want to cover Fido's feet in booties every time he comes in, or at least have a tub of wipes by the door to clean his feet, because those floors are going to look great.

4. The Litter Box

The litter box may just be your greatest challenge. If you move the litter box, there's a chance Morris may decide to use the floor where the litter box was previously located. That would be very bad if an accident were to happen in the presence of your visitors. They'd think your pets have no manners.

You probably don't need to move the litter box. There's a wonderful new litter box on the market that allows the cat to enter from the top. Morris can toss litter all he wants, but it's not going anywhere outside the box. As a bonus, it includes a textured lid that captures the litter off his feet when he jumps out.

The next time you hear family's coming into town, don't fret. You've got this. There's nothing you can't do to make your home look as good as the Holiday Inn across town. Speaking of which, for future visits that may not be a bad option. You know Fido and Morris love their hairy rugs.