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How to Keep a House Clean when You Have a Dog

Whether it’s a housetraining accident, shedding, or muddy paws, dogs can definitely bring their share of mess and clutter to your household. To keep your home in tip-top shape, try creating a weekly schedule that helps you tackle your dog-related messes on a regular basis. Additionally, work on developing a consistent schedule that keeps your pet clean, comfortable, and less likely to track mud around the home. With a bit of perseverance and persistence, you might notice a positive change in your household!

Maintaining a Weekly Schedule

1. Vacuum your home several times each week. Pinpoint your pet’s favorite hangout spots and focus your vacuuming efforts there. Go over any area rugs, carpet, or other flooring that’s collected a lot of dog hair. For smaller, hard-to-reach areas, use a handheld vacuum or tube attachment to get the job done.

  • While upright vacuums are the most effective for large-scale cleaning jobs, canister and stick vacuums can also suck up a lot of dog hair.
  • If you’re on the market for a new vacuum cleaner, check for devices with a “pet friendly” label.

2. Spot treat any messes on your floor with stain remover. Try to blot and clean up any visible bathroom accidents as soon as they occur. To prevent your dog from defecating in the same place, use a specialized stain remover that removes any foul scents from your carpet. Even if your dog is housetrained, you might want to keep this item on hand.

  • You can find pet stain removers at most pet stores, or any place that sells dog supplies.

3. Wipe off your furniture with a lint roller on a weekly basis. Take a lint roller and run it over the backing, seating, and arm rests of your furniture. Focus on the areas where people sit the most, so extra hair doesn’t stick to anyone’s clothing later on. Try to do this once a week, or whenever you notice obvious strands of dog hair on your furniture.

  • If your dog isn’t allowed on the furniture, you might not need to use a lint roller as often.

4. Wash your dog’s bedding once a week. Use a handheld vacuum or tube attachment to clean off any excess dog hair that’s sticking to your pet’s bedding. Next, check the care label on the bedding to find out if it’s machine washable. If you notice any obvious stains, rub a special stain detergent into the spot. While following the care label’s instructions, machine or hand wash the bedding with regular detergent, then let it air-dry for several hours.

  • Some dog bedding can be machine washed and tumble dried at a low heat setting.
  • You might only need to wash the bed cover, depending on the type of dog bed that you have.

5. Clean dog toys and leashes in the washing machine. Keep an eye on your dog’s well-loved plastic toys, as well as their most-used leashes and collars. While these items don’t need to be washed on a weekly basis, use your washer to keep your pet supplies from collecting dirt and other germs. When cleaning plastic dog toys, leashes, and collars, place the items in a mesh bag, then wash them with your usual detergent.

  • Note that plastic dog toys need to be cleaned in a delicate cycle, while leashes and collars can be washed in a regular cycle with other clothes. Before using any of them items again, wait several hours so they can air-dry completely.
  • Only wash nylon or cloth collars and leashes.

6. Arrange a bin or basket in your dog’s play area to keep their toys organized. Repurpose a small plastic bin into a storage container for your pet’s toys and goodies. To make the bin more personalized, add a label with your dog’s name. If you’re using a larger bin, store your treats, waste bags, and pet wipes in this area as well!

  • If your dog likes to get into mischief, you might not want to keep any treats at ground-level.

7. Place a mat under your dog’s food and water bowls to prevent a mess. Search your local home supply store for a thick, sturdy bathroom mat. Before getting your pet’s food and water ready for the upcoming day, arrange this mat beneath both of the bowls. If your pet ever makes a mess, you can easily wipe up the mat to get rid of any spills!

  • If you have a smaller dog, consider arranging the bowls and mat on a sturdy plastic tray.

8. Use an air purifier to get rid of bad smells. If your dog tends to bring bad smells into the home, use a plug-in air purifier to freshen the air. When investing in this kind of device, check for purifiers that contain ammonasorb, which helps to hide the scent of urine in your home. Once you have the device, set it up in a room where your dog likes to frequent.

  • An open window is also a great way to air out bad smells!

Grooming and Monitoring Your Dog

1. Brush your dog’s coat on a daily or weekly basis. Choose a brush that matches your pet’s fur coat, like an all-purpose or pinhead brush. Work the tool through your dog’s fur in long, even strokes, removing any loose hair and dander as you go. If your pet has trouble adjusting to the grooming routine, try keeping the brushing sessions 30 seconds or less.

  • As you brush your dog more often, you can increase the length of your grooming sessions.
  • If your pet has longer fur, consider using a universal slicker brush or a shedding blade.

2. Bathe your dog once every 2-4 months. Arrange a sturdy, non-slip mat or towel along the bottom of the bathing area. With a gentle, pet-friendly shampoo, use your hands to lather the soap into your dog’s fur. To finish up, use a slow, warm stream of water to rinse all of suds from your pet’s coat.

  • Try not to get any shampoo or water around your dog’s eyes, ears, and mouth.

3. Wipe down your pet in between baths to get rid of any extra grime. Keep an eye on your dog’s coat, and look for obvious signs of dirt build-up in their fur. Using a pet-safe wipe, brush down your dog’s back to get rid of any loose dirt. To keep your home as sanitary as possible, try to do this outside.

  • Pet-safe wipes can be found at pet supply stores.

4. Trim your dog’s nails every 2 weeks to prevent any hardwood floor scratches. Check on your dog’s nails periodically to see how long they’re getting. When your dog walks around your home, listen for an audible clicking sound. If you can hear this sound, then your dog’s nails need to be trimmed.

  • If your home has a lot of hard surfaces, your dog’s nails could create some undesirable scratches.

5. Clean off your pet’s paws after going for a walk. Use a pet-safe wet wipe to clean any dirt, silt, sand, salt, or other particles from your pet’s paws. While taking your dog out in inclement weather, pack some wipes for the trip. Before you step inside your home, wipe down your dog’s paws.

  • Dog booties can also help prevent your dog’s paws from getting dirty!

6. Schedule regular vet appointments to check for fleas. During your dog’s checkup, ask your vet to examine your pet for any signs of flea activity. If your pet is infested, use a flea comb to get rid of any fleas, eggs, and feces. Additionally, talk to your vet about oral flea treatments, which can get rid of fleas more efficiently

  • Some flea medications only work for 1 day. If you’re considering medical treatment, ask your vet for a recommendation!

7. Adjust your dog’s diet to eliminate some foul odors. Keep track of your pet’s allergies, as well as any excessive flatulence after their regularly scheduled mealtime. If your pet continues to pass wind, talk to your vet about changing your dog’s diet. Depending on the allergy or pre-existing condition, a grain-free or fish-based diet might help reduce your dog’s flatulence.

  • Impacted anal glands can also be a source of bad odors. This issue can be fixed by expressing your dog’s anal glands.