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kids, pets and the HOUSE!

post #1 of 14
Thread Starter 
I love my animals. And I'm not a neat freak. But between kids and the pets- my house is turning into a mess beyond what I can tolerate.

I have two house rabbits (beloved pets of many years) and an old cat. As they age, they seem to create so many more messes- I could deal with this except I'm stretched to the limit. Th rabbit hair is giving m constant allergis and its in everything. I can't get rid of the pets. They are too old to go outside- need the warmth. My daughter loves them, so do I. Help!
post #2 of 14
I sympathize! I have two Samoyeds (big white fluffy dogs). They shed like crazy--actually they would shed less if I ever had time to brush them properly, but of course I don't. I vacuum as often as I can, but as soon as I put the vacuum away more clumps of fur appear on the carpet. Plus they like to "wrestle" with each other which causes the fur to fly even more.

Now that it's spring, they're bringing in tons of grass clippings and twigs and leaves and blossoms from the trees in with them every time they come in from the yard.

Plus, one of my dogs will pee on the downstairs rug if she's ever left unsupervised. And she's chewed up more of Mallory's board books than I can count.

It's awful to admit, but there are days I wish we'd never gotten the dogs. I love them but they just make life more difficult. But then Finn will give me toe-kisses, or Zack will do something silly, and I'll appreciate them anew. And, Mallory simply adores them, so that makes it worthwhile too.
post #3 of 14
I do so know what you mean. Our decisions revolve as much around our dog as they do anything else--i.e.-he dictates what color sofas & chairs, carpets and bed linens we get because he sheds little white hairs everywhere! But we love him and I couldn't imagine not having him.

Just a thought--I don't know how old your children are? How about delegating some of the simpler tasks of caring for the animals to them-like feeding and watering? Or find a responsible neighborhood child who would be into that? Maybe just taking a little off your hands will make you feel better about the messes they inevitably create. I know I feel better about the dog when I delegate things to dh--like the morning & evening walks.
post #4 of 14
I know exactly where you're coming from, Monica! My dogs are shedders too and I can barely keep up with the mess they create. Maybe you could designate a couple of rooms as pet-free. We do this with dd's playroom. It's gated so the dogs can't go in. It at least keeps the fur off of her toys and the floor in there! They have free-reign over the rest of the house, furniture included! Lee's idea of delegating pet-related tasks is good. Maybe that would help.

Lee, we also try to pick furniture and linens that won't show the fur as much! It's a bit difficult because we have a yellow and a black dog!
post #5 of 14
Thread Starter 
my kids are 3 1/2 and 14 months. I am at the keyboard a lot here because I am nursing almost 24 hours a day and I can do this while I nurse...
post #6 of 14
Although he doesn't shed, my poodle drives me crazy a lot with the tracking stuff in and the hyperactivity. He isn't allowed on the furniture or the bed. Meg adores him. And I do too when he's not driving me crazy. And, DH always reminds me, I have a lot to be thankful for regarding Davy (Dear Doggy) b/c we got him when I was clinically depressed and he was an important part of my recovery.
post #7 of 14
it's hectic, but i do love them and understand. (altho' rabbits really do like cold weather, it's hot weather they can't deal with. ours stayed very cozy with the straw we put in his cage, and has shelter under a roof, and has made it happily thru several winters like a trooper.) whoops, i'll enlarge later, baby's up.

post #8 of 14
OMG, I soooo hear you on this one. We just moved from a huge house to a small house while we look for another one to buy. Along came DH, DD (13 mo.) DS (5) me, the dog, 2 cats, a bird and the aquarium!!!!!!!! I am up to my ears in pet hair, allergies are crazy, DD dumps over the cat water and eats the food EVERY day! The dog gets in the trash and the cats hate the dog! I am in he$$ over here but don't have the heart to get rid of any of them. I just made friends with the vaccuum and pray daily for some sanity. Hang in there mama.
post #9 of 14
Ah, Lindsey, I lived with DH, DD, and Ddog in a 400 sq. ft. hotel room for six weeks several months ago while we were house hunting. We didn't HAVE a vacuum! It was awful awful awful after the first three weeks, which were barely tolerable. Hang in there! Sure makes you appreciate the space when you get it!
post #10 of 14
you'll all think/know i'm crazy but we actually have 5 dogs and 5 cats! in addition to my dh, myself, and two dds ages 2 yrs and 4 yrs.
i've done a bit of foster/rescue work from animal shelter so all our dear pets are rescues (remember to support your local shelter or rescue group when you add a furry member to your family ).
our dds love to play with our pets and everyone gets along very well.
living on three acres makes our furry 'herd' possible.
but yes, they do add to the housework. part of our house has hardwood floors so that helps. none of our dogs shed so that of course helps too.
my biggest help on maintaining things around the house is to constantly declutter. i'm always giving things away. decluttering makes general clean up SO much easier and quicker.
post #11 of 14
we have a local house rabbit society that helps place rabbits for adoption.
post #12 of 14
Thread Starter 
I got my rabbits through the House Rabbit Society or a local shelter- I've been a volunteer and foster home at various times in the past 11 years, as well as being an animal shelter volunteer. My youngest rabbit (age 8) was an orphan turned in- his eyes still shut- I raised him on KMR and goat milk in a nest of another rabbit's shedded-out fur and he's like my baby- has lived free-roaming in the house much of his life.

My second rabbit is almost 14 and has been a house rabbit all his life- his old bones like the warmth now- he sleeps most of the time but has lost his litter box training so I need to clean pee and poop up all the time and wash the towels.

I can never give these guys up. I just can hardly keep ahead of all the poop, pee and shedding and I see other people's houses so tidy... I used to be able to do it- clean the pen every day, keep everything scooped and swept... now my 14 month old gets into the cleaning stuff and makes more of a mess- when he's napping I'm doing the breakfast dishes and working in the kitchen and getting the pets fed...
post #13 of 14
Originally posted by sparklemom
my biggest help on maintaining things around the house is to constantly declutter. i'm always giving things away. decluttering makes general clean up SO much easier and quicker.

Yes, me too. I'm really working on this, with FLYLADY's help.
post #14 of 14
yes, flylady rocks! reading her book/website is so inspiring! seems beforehand like commonsence, but something about actually reading her advice was really inspiring to me.

it's weird how much decluttering improves the "vibes" of a house!

another pet note, we pet lovers are serving our children's health....it's been proven that houses with indoor pets (at least two dogs or two cats) help drastically lower allergies in children. and i think there is a tremendous psychological benefit to having pet as well. i feel so sad whenever i come across a child who is terrified of animals. my dds adore our pets, and all animals.
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