Though we love the friendly creatures that roam our houses as members of the family, potential home buyers or guests may not see them that way. With pets come dirt, fur, fleas, odors and a disarray of belongings. In order to keep your house as eco-friendly as possible, while keeping your pets as healthy as possible too, green cleaning and care options are your best bet.

• How often you bathe you pet depends on how much of an odor it submits. Too much bathing will cause its skin to become irritated. When you do bathe it, get it wet, turn the water off while you suds it up with basic soap or pet shampoo, then rinse after five to eight minutes.

• To keep skin or fur healthy and clean, feed your pet fresh, whole foods without preservatives or artificial coloring. The fresher the food is, the healthier the pet’s coat will be.

• To kill fleas and other annoying pests that are attracted to your animal, vacuum and dust at least twice a week, especially during humid, rainy seasons. Change your vacuum bag often, because fleas can still hatch their eggs there.

• If your pet has a bed or a favorite pillow or blanket, wash it often. Choose a bed with a removable cover. Cedar-filled beds repel fleas best, according to National Geographic’s Green Guide.

Fill your home with scents of lavender, mint, rosemary and cedar, all which repel fleas and other pests. Cedar oils are available as insect repellents for pets.

• Before throwing away an old pair of shoes or a worn-out piece of Tupperware, offer the safe, unwanted item to your pet as a toy. That’s one less item to buy, and one less item to lead to a landfill.

• Instead of spraying your yard with insect killers rich in chemicals, introduce natural predators to eliminate the unwanted pests. Plant flowers rich in nectar, create shaded areas full of moist and shade, or purchase harmless bugs meant to kill the unwanted bugs.

• Whenever cleaning your house, use chemical-free, eco-friendly cleaners. For a list, read our blog here.

• Instead of using your average kitty litter, which is hazardous to the environment, use substitute litter like ground corn cobs, recycled newspaper, pine sawdust or straw pellets.

• If you want to go all out, consider installing a “doggy loo” to your yard, which is basically a toilet for your dog’s waste. A bucket with a hole in the bottom is placed into the ground, and an enzyme is added that breaks down the matter. After you fill it, you pour water down it, and it is all flushed deep into the ground.

For more information, visit and