Having a pet, whether it's a cat, dog, fish or something else, ensures you're never alone in your apartment. Not only do you have a furry friend to spend time with and play with, but the constant companionship has proven benefits. According to the Veterinary Medical Center at The Ohio State University, pet ownership can lower heart rates and blood pressure, decrease stress and help you stay active and healthy.
Along with all the good of having a pet in your apartment, there are some disadvantages, as well. Damage to your apartment, stains on the carpet and the extra upkeep necessary with a furry friend can all lead to a little more work on your part to keep your home in optimal condition.
When you're ready to move out, it's important to have a strategy to de-pet your place. The fewer pet remnants that linger, the more likely you'll be to get your deposit back.
There are several things you'll need to de-pet your apartment to return it to an animal-free state. While you need to address stains, smells and fur left behind, you may also have to handle more significant damage. Here are some tips for handling everything in a way that will make move out that much easier.
You most likely paid a pet deposit when you signed your lease and notified your property manager of your pet. Some of this pays for an apartment cleaning to freshen up the place. The rest may cover other damage such as scratches on the walls, or destroyed patches of carpet.
If you paid a pet fee rather than a deposit, you'll end up on the hook for actual property damage. A fee doesn't typically cover repairs. Rather, it's what you pay to keep a pet in your apartment. If you've only paid a pet fee, you may lose some of your security deposit to make any necessary repairs.
Luckily, depending on how you look at it, most damage a pet causes is often to your own property, so no deposit is at risk to fix the destruction.
To stay in front of the pet hair that's going to go everywhere, vacuum at least every other week. Especially if you have carpets and rugs, pet hair can build up, going deep into the fibers. If you've got flooring other than carpet, a good dust mop, with a thicker-weave pad should grab most of the hair, but you can also invest in a vacuum with a setting that works on floors.
According to Prime Reviews, “when you want to find the best vacuum for pet hair, you may be confused about which machine will give the best performance." They recommend a few varieties, including:
There are other options out there and what you buy really depends on your particular pet fur needs, as well as the price tag.
When you do vacuum, it's important to pay careful attention to corners since the goal is to collect all the loose pet hair. You also want to glance under furniture and around spots where your pet spends most of its time.
All these areas tend to become fur traps where it will ball up and collect. Known as Tumblefurs, these unsightly collections of fur accumulate wherever they can. Luckily, they're easy to pick up and toss because they do get rather big.
To help keep the fur at a minimum, don't forget to brush your pets regularly. Spending a few minutes once a week with your pet and a special brush helps lessen the amount of hair they have to leave behind. That's less you have to worry about cleaning up.
It's hard to stay on top of pet stains. Sometimes you're in too much of a hurry to fully clean up a urine stain, fur ball or pet vomit. You'll get most of it and then notice a lingering mark on your carpet a few days later.
Once it already sets, it's harder to get out, but your property manager will expect relatively clean carpets when you move. You can rent a carpet cleaner from a hardware store or hire a company to come and treat your carpet. There are also smaller stain cleaning machines you can buy. A quick carpet cleaning treatment is the kind you apply yourself, let sit and then vacuum up. Any of these options address the pet odor that gets left behind and seeps into the carpet along with the lingering stain.
For the pet stains you're able to take care of immediately, keep a good carpet cleaner on hand. Pet Life Today, recommends looking for products that use natural ingredients with proven effectiveness when it comes to removing stains and treating pet odor. You'll also want something that's priced right.
For anyone concerned about the quality of the ingredients in store-bought cleaners, you can make your own remedy with a common household item. “White vinegar is a miraculous substance that will get rid of even the old accident stain that might have been missed," says Claire Goodall from Everyday Roots.
Combine the vinegar with baking soda, nature's odor remover. With two cups of distilled white vinegar, two cups of lukewarm water and four tablespoons of baking soda, you're good to go.
For a little extra help getting that pet smell out of your apartment, run an air purifier as you're packing up your home. According to Beacon Harbor Movers, “air purifiers help to remove pet dander and freshen the air in your home." You can even speed up their helpful process by running one with the windows open.
A good deep clean shortly before you move out will help return your apartment to its pre-pet state. Use products that specifically focus on pet smells and common stains. However, you can make this feel less labor-intensive if you stay on top of pet mess.
Get everything looking ship shape and then invite a friend over who doesn't have a pet. You've not only gone nose blind to the smell of your pet, but you have also gotten used to their mess. You most likely missed something that your friend will see. This ensures you leave your apartment as clean and odor-free as it was on your move-in day.
The easiest way to de-pet your apartment is to limit the number of accidents and bad behavior they have. With proper training, exercise and a few key products, this is possible.
Give them places to scratch other than furniture, walls, windows or door frames. A scratching post or two from your local pet store will distract them from scratching in inappropriate places.
Use a special urine enzyme cleaner if cats have an accident to completely eliminate the odor. They'll return to an accident spot, and do it again if they can still smell their previous oops.
Properly exercising your dog is the best way to keep them out of trouble. Go for a quick daily walk or make a regular visit to a dog park. If you have a particularly energetic dog, consider obedience training. Not only can it help them stop challenging behaviors it will also keep you and your pet on good terms with your property manager.
Provide your pet with plenty of appropriate toys. Dogs love chew toys, balls and squeaky toys. Spend a little time playing with your cat using a laser pointer or toss them a toy mouse to chase.
By taking a proactive role in stopping your pet from damaging behaviors, it should be a breeze to de-pet the place when it comes time to move out.