Lots of people I know don’t have pets because they’re afraid that a pet might destroy their belongings or otherwise cause destruction and mayhem. While this is definitely the case with some pets, there are steps you can take to mitigate the damage and take on a furry family member. The love that you receive from a cat or a dog in the house is unlike any other kind of love you’ll ever experience.  It is an experience to cherish and hold dear, though I heartily admit pet ownership isn’t right for everyone.

Without further ado, here are my top 5 picks for what pet parents sacrifice:

1. Clothes or furniture free of dog hair or cat hair

This one is tough to avoid at all costs, unless you decide on a hairless breed of cat or dog, but trust me; a house full of pets is a house full of loose fur! I have 3 dogs and 2 cats and I sweep and vacuum twice a week, which is probably less than half of what I should do. When you share your home with this many animals you learn to ignore the hair as much as possible. Some tips for tackling that hair problem?

  • Soft leather furniture. I’ve had 2 cloth sofas and I now have a soft leather couch. By far, there is much less hair on the leather couch than on the previous sofas. You’ll have to mindful of claws and get high quality leather, but leather is much easier to clean than a cloth sofa.
  • Regular grooming. The more hair you can remove with regular brushing and dog grooming means fewer hairs on your clothes! I groom weekly, but should do it more often.
  • Use the hair as a condiment or garnish. My mother in law always said “Nothing tastes quite right without a Husky hair in it, or two!” I’m sure from an outsider this sounds gross, but fellow pet lovers can probably attest, there is no way you’re going to be completely hair free in your house.

Did I do that?2. Nice belongings.

Especially the case with young dogs, they will love to chew and they will inevitably find your favorite pair of expensive heels to chew on! My opinion is that every dog is different, some dogs I’ve had went after personal belongings, others chewed on furniture. There are ways to keep your pet from taking everything you love:

  • Keep nice things (handbags, shoes, baskets, electronics) out of reach and behind closed doors.
  • Use bitter apple spray on your furniture
  • Adopt an older pet who is less likely to damage your belongings. Be sure to find out from the shelter staff if there are any known “chewing” incidents.
  • Create a pets-only room: A room where you pet can roam unsupervised with plenty of toys, beds andchews to occupy their minds while you’re away.