When you have a pet or two in the family, cleaning the house requires a completely different routine. From pet hair to toys scattered around the house, your family will have to adopt some new cleaning practices to keep your house looking picture perfect. Here are some suggestions from the staff at Homestead Gardens:

1. Vacuum/Sweep Often

That once-a-week job might cut it for some breeds of dogs and cats, but for the majority, you're probably going to want to be cleaning your floors more frequently. Vacuuming and sweeping helps to remove pet hair and dander. This is especially important if you are inviting guests over to your home who may have pet allergies. If you allow your pets on furniture, this tip applies to those areas as well.

2. Have Towels by the Doors

For dog families, consider keeping a towel by the door so you can quickly clean and dry the dog's feet when he goes in and out. This will keep him from tracking muck inside, and it also gives you the opportunity to check your dog's feet for any cuts or matting of snow between the toes.

3. Purchase Dog and Cat Deshedding Brushes

Help your pet shed his hair in one location, making for easier cleanup. In warmer months, you can take your brushing outside, and the birds will love using the loose fur for making nests in your backyard. In the winter, try and confine your brushing to one spot so you can quickly sweep or vacuum when you're finished.

4. Set Out a Toy Basket 

Just like children, pets tend to accumulate a lot of toys. Set up a toy basket in one room to store these toys when they're not being used. If you have guests coming over, you can do a quick cleanup before they arrive and get all the toys into the basket to make the house look tidy.

5. Window-Cleaning Supplies

Most dogs and some cats like to watch what's happening in the backyard, which often results in noses and paws on the windows. Because pets are smaller than humans, just put washing the lower windows of the house on a weekly cleaning list to help reduce the number of prints left behind by the furry members of the family.

With these five tips, you'll be able to keep your house looking good, even with a pet living inside.

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