10 Ways To Have A Dog AND A Clean Home

My home is a dog-loving household.

It’s also one that I like to keep clean. Dog owners totally understand my struggle for a clean house. With four or more furry feet challenging that task daily, I’m very familiar with doggie footprints across my comforter, hair and fur everywhere and kibble that must be carried into another room before being consumed (although I’ve yet to figure out why).

It is possible to apply a variety of techniques to help you catch the dirt and debris that comes along with pets and clean effectively when you do. Here’s a list of my top ten favorites.

1. Use an automatic vacuum

With a pet, even a “non-shedding” pet, you need to vacuum constantly. Besides dog hair, dirt, leaves and other debris comes into the house on their paws and their fur, as they love to roll around in the yard. By the time you are done vacuuming the house, it’s time to do it again. My favorite keep-it-clean tip is a robot vacuum. It’s really made a huge difference at my house. It can run when I am gone or asleep at night. Some models can even be programmed to run on a set schedule.

2. Clean with a lint roller

Every pet owner has a lint roller collection. Take one of those and add it to your cleaning caddy. It is the perfect tool for tackling lamp shades, throw pillows, overstuffed furniture and pretty much anywhere Fido has been.

3. Give pedicures

Keeping your canine’s nails trimmed is a preventative measure for limiting unsightly nail damage. Scampering about with too-long nails results in marred hardwood floors, scratched leather and punctured upholstery. Modern Dog loves the Zen nail clippers! 

4. Keep stain remover close by

Even the most perfectly housebroken dog can have an issue when they have a stomach bug or ate something they should not have eaten. Keep a cleaner on hand that is designed to tackle pet odors and stains. Use it on stains as soon as you see one, following package directions, so your chance for removal is higher. Try the powerful cleaners from Skout’s Honor for both indoor and outdoor messes.

5. Wipe your paws

Door mats really help with doggie paws even if you can’t train them to wipe their feet. Place a good quality doormat outside the door and a washable throw rug inside the door. These two items will catch a lot of dirt and debris simply from your dog walking across them.

6. Cover up

If your best friend has chosen a few frequent nap spots, throw a cover over those. Keep a couple spare sheets on hand so you can swap out as you clean the house. Not only will you protect furniture from dog hair and potential stains, but it will help keep doggie odors down. The sheets can easily be thrown in the wash whenever need.

7. Contain the mess

One spot that is nearly always a mess in a pet lover’s home is around the food bowls. Between bits of kibble and dribbled water, it can really get dirty. Placing a rimmed tray under the food dishes is a good way to catch some of the mess and allows for easy clean-up.

8. Stay on track

Getting a flea infestation in your house is one of the worst messes. Sprayings, combings, bombings, flea baths and more vacuuming are necessary chores. Stay on top of flea control by making it a priority. Grab your calendar or your phone and set up regular reminders to use flea preventions, or change flea collars.

9. Wash feet

Being prepared to wash paws on days with inclement weather is one way to cut down on dirt and mud tracked in your home. Add a hook by the door to hold a towel for wiping paws. You can use a rimmed baking sheet to hold a half-inch of water outside the door. Then, place your dog’s feet in the water and dry them off. Alternatively, you can use a dog paw washer. You add water and dunk your dog’s paws up and down in the washer, which contains soft brushes to get between the pads.

10. Invest in durable materials

To avoid clawed-up carpet and a dirty couch, opt for decor made of durable, sturdy materials. Indoor/outdoor rugs have a low pile that’s not easily torn and can be hosed down outside should any messes occur. Whenever possible, use stain-resistant fabrics in high traffic areas like the living room. They’ll be easier to clean and keep your home looking fresh.

Loving on your dog is a lot more important than being stressed over muddy paws and shedding, but you can use these steps to make things a bit easier.

In addition to being a dog lover, Lea Schneider is a professional organizational consultant who applies her organizing expertise to her own home. Lea writes her tips on keeping her home clean for The Home Depot. If you are researching vacuums for your house, you can view a wide assortment here.



10 Best Parrot Toys for Your Feathered Friend!

Many consider toy pets to be just accessories. However, toys are crucial for a pet’s physical and mental well-being.

So it would be a good idea to get some for your pets, even or especially if you own a parrot. It will help keep them entertained.

bored bird pet will not back away from screaming, biting, and even feather picking. Parrot toys can reduce the behavioral issues caused by boredom.


10. JW Pet Company Activitoys Birdie Bowling Bird Toy

Ideal for: Cockatiels, parakeets, and other birds of this size


This bird bowling toy is stimulating both mentally and physically, which is what a bird toy should ideally be.

It can entertain your parrot for hours, and it also contributes to its well-being.

As you can imagine, it works just like a miniature bowling arena, with a ball that the bird can wiggle and rock towards the pins.




  • The mirrored surface makes it even more entertaining
  • Stimulating
  • Keeps the birds busy for a long time
  • Many features




  • The ball may come off easily
  • Some customers report receiving the toy broken


9. Caitec Corp Paradise Popsicle Sticks Bird Toy

Ideal for: Smaller birds


If you’re looking for cheaper parrot toys, then this may be the toy for you.

The Caitec stick toy offers stimulation for your parrots and with a combination of sticks and beads, your bird will have multiple options to chew on.

This toy is extremely affordable, and fun as well.

Parrots can grasp it easily due to the cotton rope placed at the bottom of the toy.




  • Easy for birds to grasp
  • Fun and stress relieving
  • Combination of beads and sticks for your bird to chew on
  • Relieves boredom




  • Small life expectancy
  • The bird’s claw might get caught in the rope
  • The color of the sticks fades easily


8. Bonka Bird Toys Paci-Pull Toy

Ideal for: Aggressive birds


The Bonka Bird Paci-Pull Toy is a great toy for birds that are destructive.

This toy is durable, easy to clean, and offers a variety of shapes for your parrot to play with.

Your parrot will enjoy the diverse shapes and the bright colors, all while playing rough!

You can buy it for small to medium birds as the toy is 9 inches high and 3 inches wide.




  • Great size for small birds, such as parrots
  • Durable
  • Vibrant acrylic rings that will draw your bird’s attention
  • Easy to clean




  • May be destroyed quickly by particularly aggressive birds
  • The toy is smaller than it appears
  • Colors may vary


7. Aigou Wooden Bird Swing Perch

Ideal for: Small parrots


The Aigou bird swing with bells has multiple uses for your bird.

Your parrot can either swing, chew, ring the bells, or use it as a perch!

Basically, you get a multifunctional parrot toy that your bird will definitely enjoy playing with.

The materials used to make this toy are cotton, wood, and metal.




  • Durable
  • Perfect size for small birds, such as parrots
  • Easy installation
  • Great for climbing, roosting, and chewing on




  • The bells are too noisy
  • The toy is not extremely resistant


6. MEWTOGO Wooden Bird Toy

Ideal for: Big parrots


The MEWTOGO Wooden Bird Toy has a unique design and bright colors that your parrot will enjoy.

This toy is both durable and stimulating.

Your parrot will never get bored with this toy, as there are many textures and shapes for your bird to explore.

It is handmade of a combination of wood, plastic, and metal.




  • Natural and safe for pet birds
  • Easy installment to the cage
  • Can be installed horizontally or vertically
  • A variety of shapes and textures for your bird to investigate
  • Aids both mental and physical stimulation




  • Suited only for big birds
  • The dye tends to come off
  • Aggressive birds might destroy it quickly
  • The plastic is a bit flimsy


5. JW Pet Company Activitoys Hol-ee Roller Bird Toy

Ideal for: Parrots that like to chew


This JW Pet toy is made of tough rubber which is 100 percent natural.

This makes it both safe for your parrot and resistant to their pecking.

Due to the holes surrounding the toy, you can fill it with different treats for your parrot and make it more entertaining.




  • Suitable for all kinds of parrots
  • Challenges the parrot both physically and intellectually
  • Great foraging toy




  • May have an unpleasant, plastic smell
  • If you don’t put treats in, the toy may be too boring for your parrot


4. JW Pet Activitoys Nut Case

Ideal for: Parrots of all sizes


This Activitoys Nut Case toy is made of natural rubber that is tough and resistant.

Its purpose is to be filled with treats for your pet birds, so they can put some effort into getting them out.

This will challenge your parrot both physically and mentally, which is exactly what a parrot toy should do.




  • Great for your parrot’s body, mind, and soul
  • Resistant
  • Made of 100% natural materials




  • Some customers report their bird ignoring the toy entirely
  • Strong birds may destroy it quickly


3. Wesco Pet Kabob Shreddable Bird Toy

Ideal for: All hookbill birds


The Wesco Pet Shreddable Bird Toy will satisfy your parrot’s need to chew.

It will give your bird something to do, so they don’t shred items in their cage.

This toy will save you from having to replace items that your bird has chewed on.

It is made from pithy wood that is fibrous and soft.




  • Satisfies parrot’s need to chew
  • Perfect for birds with feather picking problems
  • Biodegradable
  • Functions as bird catnip




  • Can make a big mess
  • Can be destroyed quickly by aggressive chewers


2. Caitec Paradise Large Cotton Snuggle Ring Bird Toy

Ideal for: African Greys, Amazons, Cockatoos


The Caitec Paradise Snuggle Ring offers comfort and entertainment for your pet parrot.

It’s cozy and perfect for your parrot to snuggle with.

This parrot toy will cure your bird’s boredom, and keep them relaxed in their cage.

The toy is made of materials that are safe for your bird.




  • Bright colors that will draw your bird’s attention
  • Nice and soft for the bird that likes to snuggle
  • Safe for pet birds
  • Easy installation in the cage




  • Will tear apart easily
  • You might need to trim frayed edges
  • The measurements can be deceiving


1. Paradise Knots Block Chewing Toy

Ideal for: Clever birds, Macaws, and Cockatoos


The Paradise Knots and Block Toy is full of shapes and blocks for your parrot to enjoy.

This toy is perfect for the parrot that likes to chew or perch.

The toy itself is durable and inexpensive, so your parrot can have fun without breaking the bank!

It is a great toy for preening and chewing.




  • Various shapes and colors
  • Natural wood and cotton rope
  • Offers parrots the opportunity to preen
  • Easy installation in the cage




  • The rope is not durable
  • The wood might splinter, which might turn into a choking hazard
  • The dye comes off quickly




Parrot toys come in all shapes and sizes, but all are very important to your pet’s mental and physical health.

In this article, we reviewed some of our favorite parrot toys, based on their popularity and user ratings.



What should I feed my cat?

There is a lot of information online about what you should and shouldn’t feed your cat. So much information, in fact, that it can get confusing. This guide provides information about what you should know when feeding your cat.

What cats eat

Cats are carnivores, so they need a source of animal protein to be in optimal health. You’ll need to find a high-quality commercial cat food appropriate for your cat’s age and health. If necessary, speak to your veterinarian before you choose what to feed your cat as they can assess their health status as well as ensure you’re feeding them the right kind of food.

Cats will never survive or thrive on a vegan diet. They must have meat to get the nutrients they require.

While it’s perfectly acceptable to feed your cat a commercial dry or wet food, you can offer variety in your feline’s diet by feeding it cooked or raw, fresh meat.

Many cat’s love fish; however, it is not an acceptable food for daily feeding. Fish contains high levels of fatty acids, which can lead to a vitamin E deficiency in cats and painful conditions.1

How much food your cat needs

The amount of food your cat needs will depend on its weight, size and age, so don’t always go by what your neighbour is feeding their cat! Obesity is quite common in cats and can contribute to a shorter life span, so always make sure you’re feeding your pet the correct amount of food.2

If in doubt, always ask for advice from your veterinarian. Regardless of your cat’s age, always ensure it has access to clean drinking water.

Food in relation to your cat’s age


It’s crucial to feed your kitten the correct diet at this time, because it’s still growing its bones and joints.2

The basis of your kitten’s diet should be a high-quality, balanced, premium commercial kitten food; however, you can offer cooked or raw meats for variety.3

Avoid feeding raw meat until the kitten is at least 20 weeks of age, as their immune system isn’t robust enough for potential pathogens. Strips of raw beef can help remove plaque from your kitten or older cat’s mouth.

Importantly, never feed your kitten cooked bones. These may splinter and cause internal damage or obstruct the intestinal tract.

It’s also a good idea to include some moist foods in your kitten’s diet. Wet canned food or cooked meat is a good starting point. Moist food has been found to help promote urinary tract health.4

In terms of the best amount of food for your kitten, it comes down to size, weight, breed and overall health status, so always check with your veterinarian. Kittens should generally be offered food at least four times per day.3 Of course, they may not wish to eat all of this, but the offer should always be there.

Adult cats

Similar to kittens, the basis of your adult or senior cat’s diet should be a high-quality, premium commercial cat food. when shopping, check the package label to see what age the food is suited to. If you’re ever in doubt or need some help, your veterinarian will be able to assist.

As with kittens, feel free to offer your cat a variety of food such as fresh or cooked meat or fish. Meaty bones or fresh meat is a great source of protein, just make sure it’s human-grade as some pet meat and bone products may contain preservatives that can be harmful for your cat.4

Senior cats

Always recognise older cats may have health issues the wrong diet can adversely affect. Many benefit from a wet diet that’s canned, fresh or cooked to help increase the amount of fluid they consume. Always consult your vet about an appropriate diet if your cat has health issues.

In terms of how many servings, it will depend on your cat’s size and age, but always take care when finding the balance between overfeeding and underfeeding. Adult cats generally prefer to eat smaller meals throughout the day, so offer it food at least three or four times. Eating smaller, more frequent meals has been associated with better urinary tract health.4

When in doubt, speak to the experts. Your veterinarian will be able to help you answer any questions you may have relating to the type of food and how much to feed your cat.

Foods to avoid feeding your cat

This list is by no means the full extent of what your cat shouldn’t eat. But keep these common foods in mind whenever you’re putting food in its bowl or dropping scraps from the table, as there are some that are highly poisonous for your feline friend.

Foods to avoid include:

  • Raisins/sultanas
  • Grapes
  • Chocolate
  • Onions
  • Coffee or caffeinated products – caffeine isn’t just found in tea and coffee, it’s also in cocoa, chocolate, cola and stimulant drinks. It can also be found in some cold medicines and painkillers, so never ever leave these lying around.
  • Bread dough
  • Avocado
  • Nuts
  • Fruit stones – for example, mango seeds or apricot pips
  • Fruit seeds
  • Corncobs
  • Tomatoes
  • Mushrooms
  • Milk and other dairy products – this one seems strange, because you so often see kittens snacking on a bowl of milk. But don’t be fooled, most cats are actually lactose intolerant.

Cooked bones are a most definite no-no, as is fish every day of the week. While cats do love a healthy serving of their swimming buddies, it’s best fed as a treat every now and then. And when it is fed, tinned sardines, tuna or salmon are your best bet. Just make sure they’re tinned in spring water, and always watch for bones.4

Being careful with your cat’s diet is essential to their health, so it should be an area of care for all cat owners. If in doubt about what to feed your feline friend, speak with your veterinarian for more information.

If your cat snacks on something it shouldn’t, pet insurance is one way you can ensure they get the professional help they need along with a financial helping hand for vet bills. RSPCA Pet Insurance for cats is affordable and flexible, with first year of premiums helping support the RSPCA.