Owning a pet has many incredible benefits—improved emotional and physical wellbeing, to name just two. However, every so often, even the best-behaved pets can make your home feel like the set of a Stephen King movie. Pets can wreak havoc on a home, but these common pet problems don’t mean that your home is on an ancient Native American burial ground. Below are some tips on how to keep your home from resembling a Creature Feature.

The Nose Knows

The nose knows. It’s rarely a secret when a home has pets, and pet odors are usually the biggest giveaway; telltale smells can linger long after pets are not even present in the home. Accidents aside, animals have distinctive and sometimes unpleasant odors, and visitors with more discerning noses may find these odors difficult to deal with—which might explain why they always turn down your dinner invitations. Similarly, prospective buyers can’t be faulted for passing on a home saturated with eau de dog. To reduce the prevalence of pet odors in your home, regular cleaning is paramount; weekly bathing is highly recommended for dogs, and pet bedding should be washed frequently. Keeping enzymatic cleaner on hand is a must; accidents happen, and you’ll want to be able to tackle them immediately to prevent smells from having a chance to set in. If you let them linger, don’t be surprised if location scouts for the next Swamp Thing movie start calling.

Cleanup on aisle four. One of the constants of pet ownership is dealing with pet waste; even well-trained dogs and cats can have an accident in the home. If not treated promptly and properly, pet waste can cause serious damage to flooring, walls, or furniture. Animals often use the bathroom where they detect the smell of urine or feces, so a quick cleanup will help prevent a repeat performance, and enzymatic cleaners will break down compounds in pet waste and neutralize odors. Sometimes you may not be lucky enough to discover pet stains right away; urine can seep all the way into subflooring, meaning that full replacement may be necessary to get rid of lingering odors. Besides, who’s to say that if the mess is left to fester, it won’t coalesce into a sentient, omnivorous Blob? It’s best not to take chances.

Bites can be Bigger than Barks

Bites can be bigger than barks. Many pet owners know the horror of coming home to some pet remodeling—when dogs and cats engage in destructive behavior, furniture, flooring, and other parts of the home can be at risk. Many a renter has lost her security deposit because of a pet gnawing and chewing on anything within reach. People often think pets engage in destructive behavior out of spite, but in reality, these behaviors are often an expression of stress and anxiety. Like humans, distress can cause pets to act out; if your pets start acting like Cujo, they might be trying to tell you something.

Avoiding a hairy situation. Pet hair doesn’t cause damage per se, but its persistence and propensity to get everywhere make it a constant source of annoyance. There’s no silver bullet for dealing with it, but sweeping, vacuuming, changing air filters, and grooming your pet regularly will help keep pet hair under control—and you from pulling yours out.

Accepting that life with pets has challenges is essential to being a happy pet owner. However, that doesn’t mean that you have to give up on having a clean, presentable home. The best strategies for preventing your home life from resembling The Amityville Horror are making sure your pet is well trained and seeing to it that its physical and psychological needs are met. Maintenance is a must, but prevention is the best solution.

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Sources: Dog Time; The Humane Society; Institute of Inspection, Cleaning and Restoration Certification; Massachusetts Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals; Vet Street.