With all of the traffic that goes in and out of the kitchen (cooking, eating, kids running in and out), it can be hard enough to keep it clean without the added addition of a pet. And, as much as you may try and train your beloved “Spot” or “Ms. Kitty” from staying out of that particular space, for many reasons, it can be a pretty close to impossible feat.
If this has been a source of stress for you, if you’ve been feeling like you’ll never truly see a sparkling kitchen again, chin up. A spotless kitchen, even with a pet, does not have to be a fantasy for you. Here are some tips to actually make it your daily reality.
Clean up every day. There are some rooms of the house that can get by with a simple “straightening up” for a few days before actually cleaning it, such as your bedroom. But rooms like the kitchen and the bathroom definitely need some form of daily attention. Due to the fact that there is so much food in the kitchen space, this means that there is a huge chance for spills and food debris. Pets find that to be the equivalent of little midday snacks, so make sure to clean up on a daily basis.
Mop frequently. If your child is running through the kitchen, there’s a huge chance that your pet will want to follow. This means that there will probably be little paw prints on the floor. It’s always a good idea to make it a practice to give your kitchen floor the old “mop once over” every evening while you’re washing your dishes. Or, at least keep some antibacterial wipes around for touching-up little sections where you see evidence that your pet was once present.
Put their food and water dishes elsewhere. Sometimes people put their pet’s food dishes in the kitchen because that seems like a logical place. After all, that’s where the family eats and the floors tend to be made of tile. The challenge here is that pets don’t always eat at the same time that humans do. So, when they wander in to get some water and then drip it all over the floor, that leaves the potential to have bacteria all over the kitchen floor too. Opt for the garage or if it’s a smaller pet, even one of the bathrooms instead.
Keep it clutter-free. When there are boxes on the floor or pots and pans all over the counter, pets find that to be intriguing. If you don’t want them in the kitchen, do your best to make it appear as boring of a place as possible, by removing any clutter.
Play with them elsewhere. If you’ve just done a kitchen renovation and you want it to totally be a pet-free zone, one part of training them to stay out is to play with them in other parts of the house. If you’re carrying him or her up in the kitchen or playing with them near the kitchen, they will associate that space with being a “fun place” rather than a restricted area. Pets want to be in places where they can enjoy themselves, so get them conditioned to associating “fun” with places like the living room or bonus room. The power of association is powerful. Before long, they’ll be trying to get you into those rooms and you won’t have to worry so much about keeping them out of your just cleaned kitchen.