When Judah and I got married, we knew our lives would be too busy to take care of an animal, so we made the decision to remain pet-less. But recently, I was in a Walmart and found myself unconsciously drifting over to the pet section. While looking at the Beta Fish, watching their beauty and grace as they swam around their tiny glass bowl, I started to feel a tug at my heart that I haven’t felt in a long time, and I almost bought my first pet in 26 years.
I think that for most people animals are an “impulse buy.” You visit a friend who has a litter of chocolate labs, and next thing you know you have a dog named Hershey. Or you and your son are heading to the supermarket to pick up dinner. He ducks into the pet store next door “just to look.” An hour later, you are going home with the family’s dinner, a happy son, and…an orange tabby.
But the reality is, animals are an investment—of time, money, and attention—if you’re going to care for them properly. But more importantly, when you take an animal into your care, it changes the ecology of your home and requires you to give more time and attention to your home’s cleanliness. Think about what your animal does and where it goes. It then brings whatever it did into your home. And the same goes for a finch or ferret, gecko or gerbil, peacock or pig, rabbit or rat.
For example, dogs love going outside. They will basically eat, drink, and unabashedly roll in whatever they want. Then they track all of that back into your lovely home, embedding their “adventures” into your carpet. And after they finish licking themselves, they happily come to you, give you kisses, and cuddle with you on your couch or armchair. They might even sleep with you on or in your bed.
Cats are well known for bathing themselves and keeping themselves clean, but their litter box is anything but germ free. When they go into their area to do their business, they are generally digging in semi-soiled litter, kicking up all manner of feces microbes into the air and getting it into their fur. Think about that the next time you kiss them, or let them jump onto the kitchen counter, dining room table, living room couch, or…your bed.
Birds spend a third of their waking hours preening and grooming themselves, but this does not mean they are low-maintenance pets. In fact, it’s the opposite. Their cage needs to be cleaned daily because their feces will not only make them sick, but it can pass on diseases to humans as well.
Because of all these things, it is important to keep the surfaces in your home sanitized—kitchen counters, floors, etc. But it’s even more important to wash your linens frequently and vacuum your carpets regularly. Why? Because if you don’t, dust mites will multiply exponentially causing huge problems for you, your family, and your pets.
Did you know the average human sloughs off 10 grams, or 2 ½ teaspoons of dead skin every week, which acts as food for dust mites? So just with you, your husband, and the kids, those mites get plenty to eat. But tack on a pet, or two, or three, or more, and you have pretty much taken those dust mites to the Bacchanal Buffet in Las Vegas.
And did you know that those allergic to dust, including dogs, are not reacting to dust so much as they are reacting to a protein found in the dead parts and feces of dust mites? Okay, I promise I won’t talk about feces anymore…in this blog.
The bottom line is this: more is involved with the care of a pet than just feeding and loving it. Animals bring so much joy to our lives, but they also bring with them the responsibility to control the ecology of your home. Choose to Nest Pretty and choose to keep the ecology of your home healthy by keeping the house clean. Sanitize your surfaces, dust your furniture, vacuum your carpets, and wash your linens regularly. In this way you can give your pets the loving, clean home you both deserve.
If you would like to know how Young Living can benefit you and your pets, join my Young Living for Pets class tonight at 7:00 on Facebook by clicking on this link.