- Rhona-Rita M. Udtujan
Cleaning Tips: Having Pets at Your Condo
Owning pets is a big-time commitment that most people, absent-mindedly, are not ready for due to a lot of reasons and for someone who is living or renting a condominium unit, having an animal companion can sometimes get difficult and troublesome for everyone in the vicinity, especially when neglected.
You have to understand that having an animal companion means tending to their every need, whether it be food, hygiene, or shelter. It is costly and it involves a lot of hard work, but it is most definitely worth it. However, living in a condominium unit is a very entirely different situation compared to living in any type of residence, mainly because it’s a closed-space area, not much to move around for your pet and very limited areas to relieve themselves when they need to.
That being the case, having pets can be messy for everyone around said pet, especially for the owner. So here are cleaning tips that are sure to help you get through to the usual and difficult parts of having a pet in a condo unit.
What Floor Are You Residing At?
First things first, when choosing between condo units as a pet owner, you have to make sure that you are somewhere near the entrance. As a pet owner it is your job to make sure your pet gets their morning walk or have a nice time under the sun every once in a while. Being near the entrance (or exit) of the building helps make outdoor activities more accessible for your pet and more convenient for you instead of taking the elevator from a higher floor. Additionally, this also minimizes the poop accidents that your pets may bring inside the building while they are still adjusting to a new environment. If it can’t be helped that you must be on a higher level of the building, then it is recommended that you buy a portable potty or a litter box, gloves, sanitizers, and a lot of trash bags because you'll never know what changes your pet might be facing in a closed and new environment. Never make your balcony or your rooftop an alternative way to dispose of your pet's stool or you'll surely face heavy negative consequences against management.
React Quickly To Accidents
Feces in the hallway, smell of urine sticking on the walls, scratches on important furniture, destroyed property and fragile décor are only some of the unfortunate accidents that happen near pets most of the time. These pet-related accidents can happen out of nowhere which is why being a responsible pet owner means being ready when these accidents occur. Buy plenty of spare plastic bags for the feces that your pets left in undesired places. Always keep a sanitizer or a homemade solution, probably water with vinegar and a little bit of baking soda, to eliminate odors in your condo unit. Placing fragile items on higher levels and away from your pet's reach prevents dangerous accidents from taking place, you can also install fences or barriers to hold them off of reaching your property or your neighbor's property. Keeping your place clean doesn't just help other residents in the building have a peaceful life, it also helps your pet recognize what and how your place should smell and look like, free of unnecessary odors and dirt.
Pee And Odor On Floor, Carpets, And Floor Tiles
Having pets around the unit can have eventual and undesired consequences that can't be helped. One of which is having urine-smelling carpets, walls, and furniture. When your pet pees on carpets, walls, or furniture, it is vital that you clean them right away as the smell of urine can be hard to remove once it subsides on the material. Here are steps to properly clean urine on your property:
Soak up as much moisture from the pee puddle on the floor using paper towels (wear gloves or wash your hands after procedure).
Apply an enzyme-based cleaner over the area; saturate completely for recurring or strong pee odor. (Enzyme cleaners are cleaning products that break down stains are rather expensive but are worth the value as it does the job efficiently)
Soak up the area once using paper towels once more and allow it to dry.
Observe if odor is gone once the area dries and repeat if necessary.
If a mild smell persists, get a solution made up of equal parts of distilled white vinegar and cold water to saturate the area and let it sit for at least 20 minutes.
After 20 minutes, add more of the water-vinegar solution to the area and soak it up for the final time using paper towels.
Do the same procedure as the flooring.
Let the carpet dry after using the vinegar solution on it.
Use a carpet cleaning product on the area with urine. If you wish to use an alternative solution, try mixing 1 tablespoon of liquid laundry detergent in 2 cups of warm water.
Get a clean towel or a soft-bristled brush and apply the solution into the carpet for a deep clean. Keep in mind that you have to brush the carpet gently, brushing or rubbing the carpet roughly could cause damage to the carpet.
Using a dry towel (or paper towels), soak up some of the moisture in the carpet.
Get a sponge, dampen it with water, wipe the sponge over the area to finally remove the solution. Rinse and repeat until all traces of the cleaner are removed.
On floor tiles:
Use a floor cleaning product as per the instructions on the label of the bottle or if you wish to make your own solution, start mixing 1 part liquid dish soap and 5 parts water. Stir well until it bubbles.
Next, generously, sprinkle or spray the floor cleaner over the intended area.
Use a handheld brush to brush the tiles, letting the solution lather or foam a bit. This may take a bit of hard work and time.
Leave the solution on the floor tiles for about 5 minutes before wiping it up with paper towels. Skip this step if the floor has dried up already.
Use a wet mop or damp towel to rinse off the cleaning solution thoroughly. Check if the floor is slippery and repeat the rinse off if needed to avoid accidents.
Maintaining Your Pet's Essentials
Keeping your pet clean means everything around them needs to be dirt-free. We're talking about their beds, toys, litterbox, hygiene kits, food and water bowls, and everything that they usually touch and play with. Make sure to clean and wash their properties regularly, use a washing machine if their machine washable, or wash by hand in the sink and then let them dry under the sun. Regularly cleaning your pet's valuables eliminates strong odor and unwanted smell in your unit.
Probably one of the biggest and irritating problems that every pet owner face is their pet's fur getting on their furniture and clothes. While it is normal that animals shed from time to time, it is still an inconvenience and sometimes a frustrating event that we wish to, at the very least, minimize. It just gets on everything – cushions, couches, pillows, bed sheets, especially the carpets. Of course, there are always lint brushes to save us from all this shedding everywhere, but they're too expensive and too difficult to use with all the ripping off layers that sometimes take up half an hour. Worry not, we have provided alternative ways of how to deal with all the fur occupying your condo unit.
First method involves using scotch tape, sticking its ends together so that the sticky sides are facing outward and using this to collect the fur around your properties.
If you want something more efficient, then try wearing a pair of latex gloves and rub your hands along the couch, sofa, chair, bed sheets. You can even use it on car interiors to get rid of all that pet hair. Then, run your gloved hands in water afterwards and the fur will come right off.
The last method to get those pet hairs out of your way involves using slipcovers that can be bought in stores to protect your furniture. Replace and wash them once every 1-2 weeks and you're good to go.
Invest in Air Fresheners and Purifiers
Pets excrete different but stronger body odors compared to people, their smell travels throughout the whole place, especially if they are neglected. Which is why it is a rather difficult task to keep your condominium unit fresh and fragrant. To keep it this way, purchase different air purifiers or air fresheners to maintain your unit's fragrance in your stay.
Adding air purifiers to your cleaning arsenal not only keeps your home smell fresh and appealing, it also helps rid of air pollutants in your condo unit. Air purifiers are costly, so it is recommended that you buy one that is suitable for the size of your home and your preferred type. Experts believe that opting for an air purifier with a HEPA-type filter helps purify the air you breathe.
Ensure Your Pet's Daily Exercise
Pets are known to have destructive tendencies towards furniture and sometimes have sudden bursts of energy inside your condo unit. Though cats are usually low-maintenance and can settle with just food and toys to play with, maybe a scratching post, they require little to no attention at all. Dogs, however, need some of that outdoor sun. These canine companions are infamously known for leaving scratch marks and bites in furniture and your shoes which is why taking them outside on a leash for a walk, a run, or to play, is beneficial to you and the dog itself. Some condominiums have reserved areas for pets to play and hangout, again you can inquire for more information within the management. Doing this will help them familiarize with the vicinity, have time to expend their energy instead of destroying your stuff, and be more polite towards neighbors.
While taking them outside for an exercise, it is smart to also schedule their potty breaks so as to save resources of cleaning materials and energy from cleaning up their litter box, but it is also advised that you carry with you a pair of plastic bags and tissue to dispose of their stools properly without having to fear about people complaining about your pet.
Pet Routines Help A Lot
Pets are smart enough animals to train. They recognize behavioral patterns and are empathetic creatures. Creating a daily routine for them and training them to follow it is an easy task as long as you put in the time and effort required for them to recognize it. Taking your dog out for a walk every morning and evening can be a start, so he knows when to expect it. Feeding your cat at the same time each day creates discipline. Being smart, disciplined, and consistent enough is vital in training your pets. Creating a routine not only helps you be a responsible owner; it also helps in preventing unnecessary irresponsible actions from your pets.
Keep Your Pets Clean
When you have pets around, any initiative to keep your condo unit in a fresh and clean state will be worthless, unless you also keep your pet well-groomed. Everyone knows that a fresh long bath is helpful for your pets. Giving them regular baths helps keep them clean and keep them hydrated. Make sure they are completely dry right after letting them out of the water to avoid that “wet dog smell”. Regular grooming, including brushing their fur and clipping the nails (be careful not to clip too much of their claws, cut just about 2 millimeters), helps keep them organized as well.
Baking Sodas are Second Best Friends
Baking soda is your reliable friend when having problems with your pet's excretes. It is a versatile ingredient that can be used in the kitchen when cooking food or a cleaning alternative when you are having a lack of usable cleaning liquids. Keeping a spare open box of baking soda inside the cabinet where you keep your pet essentials is a good exercise to maximize the use of a baking soda in your household chores. When rugs and carpets start to smell like your pets, you can sprinkle a bit of that baking soda on that textile of yours, let it sit for a day, then vacuum the next day, it'll heal up the smell and you can enjoy a fresher environment.
There are many other uses for baking soda as an aid in pet cleaning, you can search for multiple ways of how to maximize the use of this brilliant powder and see how much you can save by just using it.
Pet ownership is, again, a huge responsibility. Almost as huge as having a newborn child. It is in your hands to keep them physically and mentally healthy whilst keeping your condominium safe and clean. Using the cleaning tips, tools, and steps mentioned above, you are now equipped enough to handle anything that involves having problems with owning a pet. Make sure to share this knowledge with other pet owners and use them responsibly.