Indoor Pets and Housecleaning

Discussion in 'Homesteading Questions' started by Tango, May 19, 2004.

  1. Tango

    Tango Well-Known Member

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    I grew up in a household that left the dog and cat ouside. the house was humble, not immaculate but it was always clean. My entire adult life I've had indoor pets though and usually it has had its up and downs. Since we moved to the country it has been one big downer. I've had one pup for each of the almost three years we've been out here. It wasn't plan that way but that is how its happened. The last one is potty trained finally. What little furniture I had is ruined or has been thrown away. We have lawn chairs in the living room right now. The carpet is stained after varying degrees of pet accidents and pet destructions (ink pens, etc.). Stanley Steemer has valiently found my house every six months for a clean up but the carpet is trashed. Can't afford to put down anything else right now. I sweep once a day but it doesn't show. I dust once a week but one would think I don't. I'm constantly looking around and sighing. I love my pets and I've tried to move them outside but they cry and I cave. Plus I feel that,with dogs especially, they really need to feel like we are all a pack. The cats are big woosies and get beaten up by all the feral toms outdoors at night. Sometimes I go to a neighboring house to pick up my son and I am so envious of the sterility and furnishings but the houses seem empty to me. (I've also seen homes that look more like dumpsters without pets) My dogs are now finally house-broken and they have crates for when I am not here so I think once I have the money I can buy new furniture but my family says I am crazy that the animals will mess it up all over again. Does anybody else have these internal struggles or is it simply me because I want a clean house and my pets? If I think back to living in the suburbs, I had both but in the country there is so much dirt and dust (plus we have a pond the dogs loive to swim in). Maybe I'm just venting...
     
  2. Teresa

    Teresa Well-Known Member

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    Tango,
    don't feel bad. My house is always a mess too, the carpet is trashed, etc. I do have my pets in the house, but it's not only them. It's also the kids, and hubby and woodstove and ....... I try real hard not to let it stress me out, sometimes it does anyway. This time of year there's so much to do outside that the inside is the last thing that gets addressed. I don't really have any advice to share, but wanted to let you know you aren't alone.
     

  3. big rockpile

    big rockpile If I need a Shelter

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    We are taking our four legged Kids into consideration on our New House.Carpet is only going to be in the Bedrooms.Hair is the main thing,just a matter of everyday brushing.

    The only one we have problems with is 14 years old and Blind,she has an accident on the floor every so often,but I don't have the heart to get on to her,she tries.

    big rockpile
     
  4. Snowdancer

    Snowdancer Well-Known Member

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    Gosh, maybe it's a dirty little secret more of us share. :eek: I've never mentioned it since I thought I must be the worst housekeeper in history. :eek:

    We have indoor dogs & cats; most are quite old-over 7 and up to 25!! Plus I do senior dog rehabilitation for the animal shelter. :rolleyes:
    This house has carpet everywhere except the kitchen & baths. My front door opens into the dining room so every bit of straw, birdseed, mystery clods and clay mud ends up on the carpet. :( Not to mention the 'accidents' & dog & cat fur. :no: I also have a wood stove and a door leading in from the garage-so there's no way to keep dirt out. I gave up on commercial carpet cleaners and broke down and bought my own steam cleaner. It does a good job but that carpet will never be the same.

    Tango, if you hate your carpet as much as I hate mine maybe you'll want to do what I'm doing. I can't afford new carpet or my preference-Pergo so this is my temporary solution: Tear that old carpet out and get a few gallons of porch & deck paint. I'm painting all of the floors with two possibly three coats then I'm going to stencil around the perimiter. I will have to fill in then sand any cracks between the sheets of plywood before I start but I figure even with the most expensive paint my costs should be less than $75!!
    For an extra $15 I can put a coat of polyerthane(sp?) over the paint/stencilling to preserve it for a longer time period.

    Since I will never give up or put my pets outside I think this is the best solution to a nasty problem.

    Best of Luck,
    Kathy
     
  5. Q_Links

    Q_Links Well-Known Member

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    Tango, I don't know the answer, but just want you to know you're not alone. I've gotten rid of most of my carpeting. Wanted to anyway. The biggest problem I have is attitude, the " why bother it will happen again?". I have no screen on my front window because it got holes from the cats. Instead of fixing it, the attitude is why bother, they'll tear it again. The other thing I have a problem with is blaming everything on the pets. And I mean everything! So they don't pick up, clean up or do anything constructive. In the opinion of my family members, the cats dirty the dishes, dirty the clothes, leave dirty dishes all over the livingroom, etc. DH says if we ever get another house, there will be NO inside pets. If we ever get to that point I'll be curious to see who they blame the messes on. ;) Susan
     
  6. Sarah J

    Sarah J Well-Known Member

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    My attitude remains the same from childhood and into adulthood. The animals are more important than the lack of dog hair on my clothes and furniture. The pet stains compete with the children's spills. The furniture is used and abused, but functional. Dusting? What for? It'll just be back again in a few hours. I vacuum once a week, if I'm lucky, refuse to use a *bag* vacuum because we'd go through four of them each week! We sweep daily and mop weekly and it seems no different 20 minutes later. It's more of the "I know I tried" syndrome, which I'm only somewhat intent on.

    I am a lousy housekeeper. I am not ashamed of it. I live on a gravel road, surrounded by farmland so the dust is incredible. I have a VERY large dog who blows his coat every spring (busy collecting it for spinning...shhhh - don't tell Uncle Sam) and lives wherever the living shaggy carpet can find a good spot. the guinea pig offers his squeals and hair and wood chips kicked around. and the children offer their muddy shoes and wet rain coats to the carpet regularly.

    We don't have a dirty house. We have a LOVED and LIVED IN house.

    Sarah (my own two cents' worth)
     
  7. Tango,

    We have two indoor dogs. A little Jack Russel and a new stray I took in, a huge golden retriever. The Jack was 2 years old when we got her and supposedly house trained. She will ask to go out but I swear I can take her out and watch her "do" everything and 10 minutes later if she can get down the hall or in a bedroom she'll sneak off and "GO" again down there! It's hard for my little son to remember to always close the bedroom and bathroom doors. So In the end I just started keeping her on her leash hooked to the Kitchen table leg. She has her little bed under the table and she sleeps there. She's next to me while I'm here on the computer and enjoys the pats and scratches and stroking she gets.

    We finally put ceramic tile in the kitchen and dining area and it's SO much easier to keep up with. -It's awful when you clean all day and nothing look any different!-

    The retriever is good about staying on the tile as long as I'm here. When I need to go out to the store I put both dogs in their crates and they settle down to sleep. In fact the retriever goes and gets in her crate of her own accord whenever she pleases. And it's nice to be able to contain them if company comes, especially small kids that may be a bit afraid of dogs.

    Just start by feeding the dog in the crate and generally make going in there a pleasant experience, it doesn't take long for them to catch on and see it as their own special place.

    I hate having to keep the little one tied but you have to keep your sanity! There are enough chores to attend to without having to scrub carpets everyday.
     
  8. RAC

    RAC Guest

    Our cats (they came with the house) stay outside.

    Our dog stays outside, except during thunderstorms, 4th of July, very cold or wet weather, etc., and then is in a wire cage-type crate where she can see everything (as opposed to those very dark plastic crates) in the house. Some shedding of hair right around the crate, and the rug she sleeps on, but no problems otherwise. She was never "crate-trained" either, she just lets us know when she needs to go out, and we do let her out regularly when it is storming all day. I don't care how clean you keep a dog, they always smell like a dog.... ;-)

    Works for us, and she likes the crate, goes right to sleep in it.
     
  9. Tango

    Tango Well-Known Member

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    Thank you, thank you, thank you! I feel normal again :haha: or at least like you guys do :) Yes KY Guest this is my dirty little secret and I find myself embarassed at certain times even though I am an expert on enzyme treatment and have a scum buster at the ready like a third arm. Thanks for the idea on the floor. If I find a job I think I'll be doing a very nice linoleum w/ a wood look to it. Pergo is my preferred also but just a dream. Susan, my son still blames his sister for everything and she is only here a few times a year :haha: Big Rockpile that is the way to go believe me. I chose carpeting because had all linoleum in my last house and I was always mopping. Big kick in the behind on my carpet decision. :( I didn't think I would have animals in this house but I tried and it didn't feel like home. Teresa and Susan thank you for your encouraging words. Wow! Things look much better already... well... at least we have our health :)
     
  10. Mel-

    Mel- Well-Known Member

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    well, I'm single and live alone so first of all my pets are my family and I am the only one who has to live with the mess BUT ;)

    I have yorkies (2) and that is the only kind of dogs I've ever had for 20 years now.

    Yorkies and poodles are the only dogs that don't shed. By don't shed I mean their hair is like humans, some does die and fall out but it's not like other dogs that may only grow an inch or so, die, and fall out. My girl yorkie I never find hairs of her around (she gets brushed everyday so it all comes out in the brush). My little boy yorkie doesn't have the right kind of hair though, he is a throw back (according to the breeder) to the original dogs they used to produce the yorkie. His hair only grows to about 4 inches and then breaks off because it is so fragile so I do have dog hair around like I have never had before.

    So, with yorkies I don't have to worry about the huge shedding problem. I did go out and buy two steam cleaners, one that is upright and the other is the little green machine from bissel. It has a handheld wand and I use that to scrub spots with. I have white carpet throughout my house, all of it is about 3 years old and you'd never know it. I did get lowpile berber though and I think that really helps.

    I use oxyclean in the steam cleaner when necessary (spring and fall are really bad times because of mud) and back when they were not housetrained yet I would put vinegar in to help with the smell but oxyclean is a godsend.

    I have white slipcovers on my furniture. The slipcovers get thrown in the wash and bleached to death (if necessary). I wash them at least once a month and usually more like every two weeks but it's simple to wash them as often as I need. If I didn't have slipcovers, I'd get vinyl or leather couches because of my dogs, easy to keep clean.

    I sometimes vaccum everyday but I have a small house and with only me to clean up after it frankly stays neat as a pin (and I'm not a neat freak either). During the fall when the leaves fall or now when the mulberry is flowering they track the flowers in all the time but it doesn't take but a few minutes a day to vacuum. I use the hand attachment to vacuum the furniture for my little boy dogs hair.

    I don't let my guys free roam though, they'd be dead in a minute since they are tiny (one is 6 lbs and the other 8 lbs) and they have no clue what cars or other dangers are. Plus my house sits very close to the road (only about 30 ft or so, it was built 150 years ago back when there probably wasn't one horse that went by a day). I have a fenced in backyard for them.

    One of the things on my shopping list now that spring is here is galoshes. I bring in more dirt and trash than my dogs from mowing or gardening.

    My biggest problem is my little boy. He is house trained to pee pads but he just doesn't get it that marking his territory is a no no also and I haven't figured out a way to break him of it since I rarely catch him at it ! I've found though that as long as I don't move the furniture around or set something new on the floor, once he marks something he rarely will mark it again. This little guy is the most wonderful dog (honestly) that I've ever been around and I wouldn't give him up for the world so have just decided to live with that. boys will be boys.

    However, I kept my brothers 100+ pound german shepherd while they went to florida and wow, having a big dog that sheds is a much bigger problem than my guys. She stank (yorkies don't have a dog smell again because they have hair that is almost human like) and when her paws got muddy the floor got dirty QUICK because they were so huge! Plus when mine were in the puppy stage, well just how much damage can a 5 pounder do? whereas when this german shepherd was a puppy she chewed up alot of their baseboard trim!

    but, just look at these faces, I'd throw every piece of furniture I had out for them if I had to :)

    [​IMG]

    Mel-
     
  11. Mel-

    Mel- Well-Known Member

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    oops, also meant to add.

    menards had some pergola type (i.e. cheap) flooring during the winter on sale for 99 cents a square foot. Normally it is 1.29 a sq foot. I bought enough for my kitchen (though still don't have it put down since I plan on tearing the ceiling out!).

    I bought all of my carpet at menards and the most expensive was 1.05 a sq ft. I put it in myself so that was my only cost. I decided I'd rather put in cheap carpet and replace it every few years if I have to because of the dogs than pay $500 or more a room for nice stuff installed by a professional (my mother just spent $1200 to have two rooms and a hallway done in new CHEAP carpet!).

    Mel-
     
  12. Queen Bee

    Queen Bee Well-Known Member Supporter

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    When I lived at home (with my parents), our house was spottless! Nothing out of place, my mother cleaned daily, top to bottom, washed windows monthly,scrubed floors on her hands and knees weekly. We (children) were not allowed to sit on the furniture, walk in the house with shoes, eat any where but the kitchen table...etc, etc, etc. No animals in the house... BUT they both smoked like freight trains!! One right after another.. The ashtrays were always full and the smell was terrible... (Smokers--Please don't trash me--it stinks--period!) It was in our hair,clothes, bedding,carpet etc.

    Now that we are all grown and gone from them, our houses all have animals, and they are 'lived' in messes. I will never be without dogs in my house and bed..

    I did the -from one extreme to the other-thing-when we moved into this house it was covered with dark brown carpet...I couldn't stand it so I pulled it up and put down white (yes-white)tiles. It only took two weeks to realize it was a big mistake.. Now 12 years later, I have only one dog in the hosue, children are grown and I have just put down pine wood floors (with lots of knots-not the clear smooth floors) It's beautiful, looks clean all the time and I love it!!! Just enjoy your family ,animals and surrounds!!
     
  13. havellostmywings

    havellostmywings Well-Known Member

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    my dogs are outside... period.. they are too big for the house.. and they have always been outside dogs.. they have a covered run.. and it is cleaned daily..

    we have 3 inside cats.. one is old and my daughters best friend... the second is a poor neurotic thing.. prolly because she has 23 toes .. and the last is a stray we took in.. but we live in such a busy area right now, they cant go out.. when the septic is finished... the stray will be come an out door cat, the other two have been indoor cats for 5+yrs.

    my house and carpet looks like the 1st infantry has marched thru, several times... I have put down throw rugs, etc, to catch the dirt .. but my husband kicks them aside, says i put them there just to trip him....

    for the new place.. i am covering all the high traffic areas with plastic runners, tacked down.. the first time hubby tries to kick one aside, he will have to start taking his shoes off OUTside.

    Lynn in Texas
     
  14. OUVickie

    OUVickie Well-Known Member Supporter

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    Absolutely!
    I always had indoor cats and even a few small dogs. I love animals and it's nice to have them to cuddle with. However, in 1995 when we moved to a rented acreage the landlord had a hard fast rule against inside pets. I was so torn. We wanted this place and I had a cat that had never lived outside since I'd found her at 8 weeks old. I loved her with all my heart too, but I decided we had to do it so she would just have to learn to live outside. I got her a little house and put it on the front deck, fixed it all up nice for her and such. Our dog had been an outside dog anyway but we had to chain him for a few months to keep him from running off. The cat moved under the house and apparently stayed nice and warm during the winter. She never strayed or went more than 10 ft from the house - she still doesn't and she's now nearly 13 yrs old now! The dog learned where home was and other than swimming in a pond every morning he stayed put. And then my allergies cleared up!!!! Apparently I was allergic to cat dander all those years! My furniture stayed cleaner and no stains on the carpet or horrible smells.
    Then we moved to our own place 6 years ago. I was worried about the cat in new surroundings and the fact that the new place came with a beautiful calico kitty that had been abandoned - they're both female and territorial.
    Well, suffice it to say, my allergies came back in full swing and the cat hair drove me nuts. Out she went and she did fine. Don't get me wrong, even after 6 yrs. she still stands in front of the stormdoor sometimes and meows pitifully. When it starts to get to me, I close the front door! :rolleyes:
    I still have problems with dust and dirt, but that's just what happens when you live in our area. Plus, I don't vacuum and dust more than once a week.

    I look at it this way, I love them all (5 cats and 2 dogs), but they get fed, vacinnated, loved, petted, etc. on regular basis. And they have a home they probably never would have, if it hadn't been for me.

    I'm proof you can overcome! :p
     
  15. mightybooboo

    mightybooboo Well-Known Member

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    Get a vacuum with no bags and HEPA filter.It traps EVERYTHING.First we vacuumed with the old one,then went over with the Bagless,cant believe the fine white powder and super fine dirt it trapped,I think the white stuff was from a few years ago when I used the spray carpet cleaner stuff!Also thought the filters seemed dang expensive.NOPE.Just bang em on the post outside and the stuff just poofs out.My BIL says his has lasted 2 years now, so I gave it a try.Folks,these vacuums are Fantastic!
    BooBoo
     
  16. countrygirl26

    countrygirl26 Active Member

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    ohio soon to be missouri
    I completely understand what you are saying about pets in the house. My husband and I believe a home without a dog is just a house. We have a very small apartment and we have 2 HUGE St. Bernards in our house. Our male is 165 lbs and our female is around 100 lbs. We got them after they were over 2 years old. We have gotten lucky. They were both outside dogs but they became inside dogs when we got them. Our Male had an accident for the first time in the house yesterday. He is terrified of thunder and lightening. They both just lie around the house. We had a puppy but had to find her a new home because she was too aggressive for my 4 year old son. She messed all over the house. She went nuts in a crate and she tore up everything. We just ripped up all the carpet, sanded the old floors and painted them. It is so much easier to keep clean. My house always looks messy, but it is not filthy. There's a lot of dust but we like our coziness.

    If you wanted your animals inside but not in your house to keep things clean build a small addition on the house like a small sunroom where they can come in and out. That wayif you want to spend time with them you can just go outside and sit in the addition.

    I am glad I am not the only one who has animal problems out there...LOL :haha:
     
  17. Mel-

    Mel- Well-Known Member

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    queen bee,

    what kind of pine floors did you put down, I mean is it true tongue and groove flooring or did you buy some other type of pine?

    TIA,

    Mel-
     
  18. Mrs_stuart

    Mrs_stuart Well-Known Member

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    Tango, My hubby owns and operates his own carpet and upholstery cleaning co. and has for 12 years now. We started with a franchise but after 3 years of that, we went to working for ourselves. We also do house cleaning. but for the most part, we are always stretched so thin that our house seems to "need cleaning" most of the time. I can give you a few tips that might help you out.

    first of all, Vacuum, vacuum and vacuum your carpet, furniture and anything else that will handel it. We personally have gotten rid of all the carpet in our house. If you have lots of drapes, get rid of them and go to shades or miniblinds...they dont trap so much dust and are easy to clean without taking down. If you cant get rid of your carpet, then professional carpet cleaning is the next best thing. Most manufactor of carpet recommend prof. carpet cleaning at least once a year and most warrienty are void if you dont clean your carpet at least once a year with a semi-dry or dry professional carpet cleaning. This is where a lot of problems happen...You said that you steam clean and that is not a great way to clean your carpet if they are putting in soaps and sticky residue shampoo... They cannot rince all the soap out and the soap attracts dust and dirt just like if you didn't rince all the soap out of your hair, it looks yucky in a very short time. We use a semi-dry process of carpet cleaning similar to Chem-Dry (this was the franchise we owned but now work for ourself) It dries in about an hour and leaves no sticky residues and has no soaps. It helps to cut down on the carpet getting dirty again so fast. Our process is non-toxic and safe to pets, kids and stuff too. If you are getting your carpet professionally cleaned, look for a chem-dry type of cleaning and you will see a big difference. We usually leave a bottle of our cleaner with our customer who have pet issues to use between cleaning so that they are not using the over the counter products that my hubby says "are death to your carpet". Ask you cleaner for some when they clean your carpet next time.

    If you have to clean with something for a pet accident, you should use water to dilute urine spots and then absorb it with towels or papertowels and stepping on it. do this over and over till it is gone. The urine has ammoina in it and the ammonia turns to a crystal form when it dries, you need to prevent it and rincing over and over is the best way.

    For solid stains like poop, after picking it up, if there is discoloraction, use water again and working the stain with a white cloth inward and not outward to remove the stain...if the stain doesn't come up with that, use a small amount of soapy water (dish soap is ok) remove the stain the same inward motions and then using clean water to rince and get the soapy part out.
    You can get over the counter products for carpet cleaning but they are usually so soapy and harsh that they are not good for your carpet.

    We also recommend to all our customers, to take off their shoes before entering the carpet area and allow no shoes inside (this does wonders for the carpet and helps stains not to spread by shoes)
    I hope this helps a bit and good luck with you carpet and cleaning.

    Belinda
     
  19. Tango

    Tango Well-Known Member

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    mel, I have a Chinese Crested who was neutered this year due to his territorial marking. The problem has improved slightly but hasn't gone away entirely. I've purchased doggie underwear for him but the sizes are either too big and chafe him (he's hairless) or too small and rub him. If we could get the size right (have purchased four of them and had my daughter sew him three) that would be on constantly. My other two dogs are short-haired but the hair is the least of my worries...
    Belinda thank you for the recommendations. Stanley Steemer doesn't use detergents. They use hot water and 2000 pounds of sunctioning power to clean. The process gets the carpet to look very good but like I said, things like red ink (from a pen one of the dogs detroyed) are there to stay. I used to rent a steam cleaner and do the job myself but learned about the magnetic qualities of the detergents and pay the company $50 more and save my back :) I'd love your recommendation on a vacuum. I have had several over the years both canister and upright and they are weaker than what I need to clean thoroughly. Would you recommend those Orek vacuums? We have no drapes only mini blinds and verticals and all the throw rugs are machine washable but none of that matters. When I clean the floors on my hands and knees all it takes is one dog to come in from the pond's edge toruin the job. And true to Murphy's law, it always happens within 20 minutes of cleaning. :(
     
  20. Amy Jo

    Amy Jo Well-Known Member

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    Oooo... Tango, good question. Does anyone have an Orek? What do you think of them?

    We used to have a Rainbow - which did a phenomenal job at cleaning... It was the best I've ever had... but it needed some servicing and I wanted something quick to use without the mess of the water... so I bought a Eureka whirlwind. I don't know that it's as good as a rainbow, but I like the filtering system better than a bag.