By: Jim Pemberton
The relationship that cleaners have with our customers’ pets can be defined as “Its complicated”.
On one hand, your pets sometimes create stain, damage to both textiles and even hard surfaces, and of course odors that cause cleaners to have to have some level of conversation with their customers about any permanent damage that already exists before they clean. On the other hand, odors and overall soiling of the homes interior and contents caused by pets do provide cleaners with an opportunity to offer valuable cleaning and deodorizing services to their customers.
No matter how the cleaner sees it, the fact is that pet ownership has not just sky rocketed, it has also changed to pets becoming family members, in every sense of the word.
A report from the American Kennel Club dated 7/31/17 made this startling revelation:
“A recent survey conducted by Harris Poll found that 33 percent of millennials say having better space or a yard for their dog motivated the purchase of their first home. Marriage was the driving force behind 25 percent of homebuyers that age, and having a child was named by only 19 percent.” (Source: American Kennel Club)
This report falls on the heels of 2016 report that 44% of Americans own dogs, and 35% own cats. The number of total dogs in homes was 78 million at that time, and 85.8 million cats were owned.
How has this affected the cleaning industry?
- Hard Surface Flooring in Homes: While changes style have driven the move to hard surfaces in the home, make no mistake: People’s frustrations with pet odor in carpet have also driven many pet lovers to removing carpet and installing a variety of tile, wood, and vinyl flooring materials in their homes.
- Area Rugs in Homes: People quickly tire of the discomfort of hard floors beneath their feet and try to create a more comfortable experience with rugs. Once they do, guess where the pet prefers to rest, and urinate?
- Carpet Odor Problems: Where carpet has not been replaced, odors from both urine and dog hair/danders continues to be a needed service.
- Upholstery Soiling and Odors: Pets are now permitted and encouraged to join their owners on the furniture. Oily pet fur, saliva, vomit, urine, and feces are all reasons for upholstered fabrics to be cleaned on a regular basis, both for the sake of the family and the pets.
- Cleaning Product Safety Concerns: Consumers often say they want cleaners to use “green” cleaning products, but what they are really asking is that cleaners use products that are safe for both their two legged and their “four legged” children, their pets.
What You Should Expect:
Whether or not you agree with this changing relationship between people and pets, all of these changes mean that consumers should expect a cleaning company to be willing to meet their needs with tact, sensitivity, and the needed skills to restore their flooring and fabric belongings in a way that keeps them happy and feeling that their loving pets are safe as well.