Getting Rid of Pet Odors

Just in time for the holidays here are some great tips for freshening up your home! Brought to you by Tyler Evans of

The 6 Most Effective Pet Cleanup Tips You Need to Know

Pets offer their owners plenty of love, but there’s usually a bit of mess involved, as well. From dogs who are overeager to greet you at the door to cats who can’t help but bat everything off the counter, cleaning becomes a way of life when you have furry friends. The good news is that there are effective ways to clean just about everything — including pet messes.

Keep Fur from Taking Over with Fabric Softener

You already love fabric softener for keeping your clothing soft and static-free. But the same tech that reduces static can help prevent hair from clinging to every area of your house. Run clothing and bedding through the dryer with a fabric softener sheet to remove hair before washing. Dryer sheets can also wipe hair and dander from dusty surfaces. The magic lies in the electron exchange of the molecules — the stuff on the fabric softener sheets neutralizes negative charges. In short, the important thing is that dryer sheets hold onto stray pet fluff.

Minimize Pet Dander by Filtering Your Air

If you struggle with allergies, your pet’s dander might be to blame — around 20 percent of people worldwide are allergic to cats and dogs. Fortunately, there are ways to cut down on excess dander and help ease those allergic reactions.

You can choose specialized air filters for your home heating and AC system or place air purifiers in specific rooms. Doing so helps remove pollutants in your home environment, though the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) also suggests circulating outdoor air, too.

Use Vinegar to Get Rid of Slimy Drool Spots

Vinegar is safe for use around pets and is useful for cleaning many surfaces. Whether your dog tends to leave nose prints on your windows or your cat makes a mess eating, a vinegar solution helps achieve a streak-free clean. Just remember not to let your pets sample the cleaner if you add rubbing alcohol to the formula per the Spruce’s recommendation.

You can also use vinegar to remove mildew, grease, and wax. It kills bacteria, though at lower rates than bleach, but the tradeoff is that it’s not harmful if your pets take a sip.

Hide Odors by Hiding Your Cat’s Litter Box

You already feel grossed out when your kitty tracks its litter across the house. But did you know that cats can carry harmful germs — particularly in their feces — that can make you and your family sick? The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention highlights the importance of washing your hands after cleaning the cat box — plus keeping kitty litter contained.

And your cat’s litter box is offending your noise (or your guests’ noses), a hidden litter box might be the solution. There are tons of cat litter box furniture on the market that keep your kitty’s business out of sight and help cover up odors. Read reviews, recommendations, and product guides to pick the best litter box plus furniture piece for your home (and pet).

Remove Potty Messes Quickly with Simple Steps

All urine contains ammonia, bacteria, and uric acid, but it’s the uric acid that causes smells to hang around. Therefore, the key to avoiding lasting odor is proper cleaning.

First, soak up as much of the mess as you can with rags or paper towels. Then, blot with towels wetted with water only. After you get most of the urine out, apply a pet-friendly product to lift what you can’t see. Healthy Pets recommends household mixtures like one part hydrogen peroxide and two parts water, undiluted white vinegar, or baking soda. Afterward, you can blot dry (or vacuum up) the solution.

Approach Stains with the Right Products

While set-in stains can wreak havoc on your carpet, using a traditional carpet cleaner probably won’t help. That’s because specialized pet products contain enzymes to break down urine — standard carpet cleaning blends don’t. Enzyme cleaners cause chemical reactions that break down stains on a molecular level, getting rid of stains with little effort.

Cleaning a pet-friendly home doesn’t have to cost a fortune. And with these six methods, you’ll be enjoying a cleaner, fresher-smelling house in no time.

What’s the Best Pet For My Child?

The Creature TeacherI would love to tell you that I often get the question, “What is the best pet to buy my child?”  I rarely get asked.  I do get many calls telling me that they purchased a pet that wasn’t a good fit for their child and ask me to help them find a home better suited.  While I do appreciate being considered when searching for a good pet home, I could have saved the parents time and money had they just called me first.  I’ve had plenty of animals in my care and let me tell you, some are not as glamorous as they look.

So here is my best advice, if your child is under 5, the best pet you can get them is a cactus.  Wait, what?  Yes, a cactus.  I know, I’m the Creature Teacher, so I should be really in favor of all children having animals, but not ALL children are ready for a live animal.

If you want to give your young child a pet to build responsibility, then purchase a pet they can and will care for themselves.  It’s tempting for you to take over the feeding and cleaning duties, but it doesn’t teach the child the traits you are hoping to instill.  A child needs to prove that they can be responsible enough to feed and care for something before you buy them an actual animal.  For that reason, I suggest that first pet be a cactus!  If the cactus lives, they are ready for a living, breathing pet.

Maybe your child is a little older and has proven that they can do this pet thing.  Wonderful!  Let’s look at our options.  Many people think a gerbil, hamster, or guinea pig might be the way to go.  Unless you like cleaning cages often, and I mean REAL often, stay away from those guys.  The chinchilla is a bit more pricey, but they don’t smell.  They are nocturnal and will keep your child awake at night unless you can put them in another room.  They are not recommended for small children because they are flighty and very fragile, but can be great for 7 and up.  Hedgehogs are good for a hot minute, but because they are prickly and nocturnal, the new wears off real quick.  The obvious dog and cat choices are good for this age.

My personal favorite pet for children are the reptiles.  No, I don’t suggest going out and getting your child a Burmese python, but you just can’t beat a bearded dragon for a beginner pet.  They are fun to watch when chasing crickets, not expensive to house or purchase, easy to care for, and they don’t smell as long as you scoop their substrate from time to time.  Thinking about one of those adorable tiny red eared slider turtles? Well stop it.  Turtles can be really stinky, will bite, and can be difficult to keep alive.  The better choice is a tortoise.  Some live over 100 years and can grow to be over 150 lbs, but other than that, they are awesome!

How about an exotic animal like a monkey or lemur? For that, I have three words: no, no, no!!!  I will address this more in my next blog, but for now, trust me, visit those guys in the zoo and save yourself a lot of time, money and frustration.  Again, buy your child a cactus and your life will be a whole lot simpler.

Live and learn!

My Pet Kangaroo

As the Creature Teacher, I get asked some interesting questions.  Probably my most popular questions is “why do you have a pet kangaroo?”  I think the better question is “why doesn’t everyone?”  Kangaroos are awesome!  They are lazy and are mostly all about eating and sleeping.  Those facebook posts you see where a kangaroo is beating up something or someone, well, kinda give those gentle giants a bad name.  While the ones in the wild can be much larger and much more aggressive, in captivity these creatures can be super sweet.  Jaxx loves attention and minds fairly well.  You really cannot housebreak a roo, but he will wear a diaper and loves to stay outside.  They don’t jump on the furniture and never bark at the neighbors.  What’s required to own a kangaroo?  Well, more about that in my next blog.  Stay tuned!