Roommates.com's Guide to Minimizing Damage from Pets
There's no denying that pets are a very meaningful part of our lives. For most of us, they are members of our family, not just animals. However, they can also be a huge responsibility that requires some extra precautions. When left unattended, even the most well-behaved pets can damage your home—resulting in costly repairs.
Fortunately, there are numerous ways you can minimize this damage caused by pets in your home. Many of the methods in this article are a lot easier to implement than you would expect. We will be tackling some of the most significant issues like a scratched wood floor, stained carpet, or damaged furniture.
So, to keep your apartment or house looking good as new, read further to learn the tips in this article!
What Do Pet Policies Cover?
Before we get into ways to minimize the damage your pets do to your living space, we must talk about pet policies. If you are renting an apartment or home, they most likely will include a pet agreement in the lease. This agreement will come with added fees or a safety deposit used as a security blanket for any damages your pet may cause.
This policy will help repair typical wear-and-tear caused by pets, such as stains on the floor, scratches in the paint, or other damage caused by our furry friends. Having no damage to your space is hard to achieve with a pet, so it's always good to know that you are covered on those expenses. Now, let's go over some ways to protect your home and prevent any excess damage!
Protecting the Floors
One of the main spots that your pets will wreak havoc on are the floors. Whether it is hardwood flooring or carpet, you need to be proactive in minimizing damage. For starters, for protecting flooring like hardwood, begin by making sure that your pet's nails are properly trimmed. Overgrown nails can easily scratch hardwood or vinyl flooring leaving permanent marks.
Now onto the toughest challenge as a pet owner: protecting the carpet from stains. A stained carpet from urine is one of the most common and noticeable problems you will face with your pet. Accidents happen, and there will most likely be at least one, so you need to be quick to clean the area before it stains.
For dogs, be sure to take them outside as frequently as possible. Keep carpet cleaner handy in your home and quickly use it if you notice a spot on the carpet. There will be times you notice it too late, but carpet cleaner will minimize the damage. If you own a cat, having accidents is a sign you might need to adjust your litter box setup.
Guarding Your Paint
Whether it's scratching or getting dirt on the walls, pets will find a way to damage the paint in your home. First, to prevent damage to your walls, train your pets to not jump onto the walls or put their paws on the paint. Properly training your pet will reduce the number of times you need to touch-up the paint after it's been damaged.
Another place you need to guard is the doors and doorframes in your home. Doors tend to be a hotspot that pets love to scratch when you are not home. Invest in a scratch screen that protects the lower portion of the door from scratches. You will no longer have to worry about your dog scratching up the door when you leave for work.
Preventing Scratching or Chewing
On the furniture or your favorite pair of shoes—pets love to damage things when left home alone. Many times, a dog will chew on things when you are not home to calm their nerves. This problem can be easily fixed by putting your dog in a crate while you are gone, but many see this as cruel. If this is you, lock away your valuables and give your dog rubber toys.
While cats usually don't have a problem with chewing, they seem to have problems scratching anything they can get their claws on. Purchasing a scratching post and putting protective strips on vulnerable areas like doorframes or table legs can minimize damage. If your animal is particularly fond of tearing up your home, you may need to speak with a professional trainer.
Reducing Odor Caused by Pets
While this may not be considered physical damage, your roommates will thank you immensely if you reduce the odor. If you don't actively fight off these odors from your pets, they can start to become unbearable. While it is challenging to eliminate these odors from dogs and cats, it's possible with some planning.
First, make it a chore to wash your pets and their supplies, such as leashes or collars often. Many experts recommend washing your pets at least once a month to reduce odors and bacteria buildup. However, be careful not to overwash your pets, as this will cause them to have dry skin.
Along with cleaning your pets regularly, you should also set some house rules to stop the spread of odors. Try to keep your pets off your furniture and instead give them a pet bed that you can easily clean. Fabrics tend to hold onto bad smells for a long time, so you should keep pets off cloth furniture or put covers on them.
If all else fails, use odor-neutralizing sprays and air fresheners. These help combat odors and keep your home smelling fresh. However, be sure to use natural deodorizing sprays that are safe for spraying around pets. Many household products use harsh chemicals that can be harmful to animals.
We are lucky to have pets, but they can also be a source of stress when you aren't prepared to protect your home. By following the tips in this article, you will minimize the damage to the major locations in your home, like the floor, walls, and furniture. Are you looking to find a roommate that loves pets as much as you? Let us help you find the perfect roommate match in your area!