Pet owners can keep their homes clean regardless of how much dirt their pets track into the house.

In 2011, the Canadian Veterinary Medical Association estimated that there were 7.9 million cats and 5.9 million dogs in Canada. An Ipsos Reid survey at the time also indicated that approximately 35 percent of Canadian households had a dog, while 38 percent had a cat. According to the Canadian Animal Health Institute, the dog population has continued to grow while the population of cats has stabilized. In 2018, there were 8.3 million cats considered household pets. Dog population figures for 2018 also increased to 8.2 million. The Canadian dog population is now nearly equal to the cat population for the first time since measures were established in 2004.

Dogs, cats and other companion animals can be wonderful to have around, breathing energy into a family. Despite all the advantages pets can bring, they tend to be a little messy. However, that doesn’t mean it’s impossible to have a pet and maintain a clean home. The following tips can help homeowners maintain a healthy and pet-friendly home.

Manage pet fur. One of the persistent issues pet parents face is fur. Grooming the pet regularly (preferably outdoors) will help tame some of its fur. Covering sofas and other places where pets like to lounge with a sheet or cover can contain some of the fur and it can be shaken off outdoors or laundered regularly.

Upgrade your vacuum. You’ll need a vacuum with strong suction to pick up fur, dirt, dander, feathers, birdseed, and any

other debris that can accumulate thanks to our pets. A vacuum with a good brush action also can dig deep into carpets and upholstery to clean thoroughly, say the experts at House Beautiful magazine.

Pause for paws at the door. Keep a small container of water and a hand towel by the front door. When returning from walks, dip the dog’s paws into the water and dry before entering the house. This keeps dirt (and salt in the winter) from being a nuisance.

Get the right cleanser. Pet owners must contend with accidents. Look for an enzymatic cleanser that will treat stains and odors so that pets do not return to the soiled area again and again, thinking this is an acceptable potty location, says Modern Dog magazine. Test an area of the carpet or floor being treated for colorfastness before applying. Address accidents promptly.

Choose the right upholstery. According to Martha Stewart Living, look for top-grain, semi-aniline leathers, as scratches are disguised on such pieces. In terms of fabric, microfiber or microsuede are better suited to pets because the fabric is tightly woven and may be more resistant to fur and soiling.

Launder pet items. Frequently wash bedding and other belongings that pets use. This will help tame indoor odors.

Keep nails neat. Clipping dog, cat and other small animals’ nails may help avoid scratches on furniture and floors. If you do not feel comfortable doing it, take the animal to a groomer.