You may well have been fortunate enough to welcome a new pet into your home over the holidays. You've probably also heard that people who have pets generally live longer, have lower blood pressure and are less stressed. However, MOLLY MAID, the professional residential house cleaners, know that pet owners also generally have more housecleaning chores! Cleanliness is critical, not just because of unpleasant pet odours, but also for good health. The good news is that there are lots of ways to keep a pet owner's home as clean as can be!

The task of keeping your house clean when you have pets can be divided into daily maintenance to keep hair and pet dander levels down, and then occasional clean-ups after an accident (it happens!). Since most dogs and cats shed their hair, proper grooming is the first and most effective step in keeping down dander and hair in your home.

Here are some effective ways offered by MOLLY MAID, the cleaning experts, to keep a pet-friendly home clean:

Choose a designated sleeping area for your pets – a bed they can call their own. Hair will be more contained to just one area.

Place carpet underlay beneath the pet's food and water dishes to keep them from sliding around and spilling.

Try to shake out your pet's bedding on a daily basis, clean around its bed twice a week, and launder its bed once a week.

To keep cats from using your furniture as a scratching post, spray the arms and legs of the sofa with perfume – they don't like the strong smell.

Keep a scratching post for cats and try to teach them to use it.

If pets lie on furniture, use washable covers if possible (like a blanket or towel) to protect against animal hair and soiling.

Microfibre mops are effective at picking up hair and dustballs from the floor.

To remove pet hair from furniture, try Scotch or masking tape rolled backwards around your fingers, so the sticky side is facing out. A pair of rubber gloves or a damp cloth will also do the trick.

Vacuum cleaners have feature tools that remove animal hair. Also since hair seems to gather around the edges of furniture, use an edging tool or the straight hose to get those spots first, then vacuum the rest of the furniture.

Pet hair brushes or combs, available at most local pet shops, will remove much of the hair before vacuuming to keep things gentle on carpets.

Gauze or cheesecloth placed over air vents keeps hair from circulating through the ductwork (if you have air conditioning for example), making it easier to keep dust down.