Last in the renting with pets series today. So you’re all settled in with your pet, but as a tenant what do you need to think about long term?
- Toilet habits – Obvious really but keep the litter tray clean, change the litter regularly and use a mat underneath to protect floors. For dogs or larger animals if they go outside make sure to clean up after them regularly to keep any grass in good condition. You might need to reseed the lawn sometimes if any yellow patches come up from animal pee.
- Carpets – Pets like dogs and cats will put a bit more strain on carpets. There will be inevitable accidents, muddy paw prints and puke so make sure you always have a good spot cleaner to hand, I also shampoo our carpets once or twice a year (depending on how dirty they get). You can rent carpet cleaning machines from DIY stores for a pretty reasonable cost to give them a really deep clean, I’d definitely recommend doing this before you move out. Rugs are also great for protecting problem areas.
- Our cats are pretty good at using the scratching post and not clawing the carpet or furniture, make sure you provide them somewhere to scratch though as they will scratch something to sharpen their claws and you don’t want it to be the door frames or carpet! Sometimes they won’t use a post and would prefer to use a tree or fence post – you might need to discourage this dependent on your property. There are lots of different scratching posts or mats available, if they won’t use a post try a mat and vice versa. If they really won’t use the pet store ones and prefer wood then you could DIY something or set up a piece of wood they are allowed to scratch. They will often go back to the same place so for example if they seem to like a certain fence post just rig a plank to it and they can scratch that rather than the fence.
- Smells – litter trays, wet dogs, water in tanks, pet food left out in hot weather etc can all make some unpleasant smells. You will probably need to vacuum more often now you have pets (I used to hoover just once a week now try to at least twice a week) or bath/groom your dog more regularly. We change the litter as often as we need to, to try and avoid the cat wee smell. Also due to not having our own bin and sharing with the landlords we use litter tray liners, we just pick up the liner and its contents and put it into a small bin liner, then tie the top and take it out to the bin – this keeps the smell at bay until the bins are collected. We use a freshening powder in with the cat litter, and also have a plug in and air freshening sprays in the bathroom for if it does get a bit whiffy. We try to air the place as often as we can, although being a basement flat it’s nice to get some fresh air anyway. We change the water often and clean the filter weekly on the turtle tank. You may also need to use febreeze on carpets and curtains, I use ‘shake n vac’ type carpet deodorising powders every now and then to freshen carpets and rugs.
- Heavy tanks or vivariums can mark floors, a rug or floor protective mat underneath will help catch any water and protect the floor. We need to get a new tank and when we do I’m thinking of this, as our current one seems to be ok but a larger heavier new tank might leave dents in the floor.
Pets are the best way I’ve found to make a house a home, enjoy them!
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