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Pets and a Clean House: Can They Coexist?

Of course you love Fido and Fifi, but is it possible to keep pets, and keep a house clean too?
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General Cleanliness to Keep Your House Clean With Pets continued...

“Always wipe your counters down with a cleansing wipe, or paper towel and cleaning solution, before and after you put food on the counter,” advises Donna Duberg, MS, an assistant professor of clinical laboratory science at St. Louis University in Missouri. “Keep things like cutting boards and cutting knives, and other food preparation tools, inside cupboards or drawers.”

Cats and dogs can also develop intestinal parasites that can spread to people -- especially children, with more vulnerable immune systems -- so keeping your house clean with pets also means keeping them free of these critters. Regular use of medications like Interceptor, which prevents parasites like heartworm, hookworm and roundworm, and Frontline, which combats fleas, protects not only your pets but your human family as well.

Of course, cats and dogs aren’t the only pets people keep. Reptiles and amphibians are also popular pets. While they don’t expel fur or climb on the counter unless you put them there, these animals can be carriers of viruses like salmonella and shigella. To avoid spreading them, wipe down cages and habitats daily and clean once a week, wearing gloves.  Don’t wash habitats in the kitchen sink, says Duberg. If you have a laundry sink, use that; if not, try the bathtub.

Finally, keep pet food supplies in covered containers -- left open, they can attract rodents and other pests.

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Reviewed on September 08, 2009

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