By Suzie Wilson
Our wonderful, joyous, heaven-sent dogs don’t worry about housekeeping. Shedding hair and coming in the house with dirty paws are the least of your pup’s concerns. And while we love our dogs anyway, keeping up with those pet-related chores can sometimes seem impossible. Here are some housekeeping tips to ensure you have a breathtakingly gorgeous home, regardless of how “helpful” your canine companion is.
Most dogs shed, and keeping up with the hair can be troublesome at best. If you’re finding doggy tumbleweeds throughout your home, Martha Stewart suggests regular grooming to keep shedding at a minimum. With as little as five minutes per day, you can see improvement. For heavy shedders, one idea is to vacuum your dog. You can buy special grooming tools that attach to your vacuum, allowing you to remove loose hairs before they ever become airborne. Another recommendation for reducing shedding is to take a closer look at your dog’s diet. Provide your dog with a well-balanced diet to keep him fit and healthy, and with optimal nutrition, you can reduce how much your dog sheds. And look through this list of dog hair removal tools that you probably didn’t know existed.
If your dog is spending time snoozing on your furniture, consider giving your pup a more comfortable place to sleep so he isn’t tempted to lounge on upholstery. Research different options to choose the right dog bed for your pet. Then take steps to keep his bed clean by washing in accordance with the manufacturer’s instructions. Between washings, you can shake the dog bed outside to remove loose hairs, or hit it with a lint roller.
Your dog’s toys can quickly become a source of bacteria and dirt. Toss soft toys in the washing machine, and hard chews can either be hand washed or run through the dishwasher. Make sure you use dog-friendly soaps, and some experts recommend adding baking soda to thoroughly eliminate odors.
Regular vacuuming can help you keep up with the hair, dander, and dirt your pup may bring in from his daily explorations. When you vacuum rugs, be sure to go in multiple directions and then use a squeegee device to pull out remaining hairs. If you find hairs are accumulating on clothing and furniture in spite of your best efforts, invest in several lint rollers and keep them throughout your home. You can tie loops in the handles and hang them inside closets on hangers or door knobs so you don’t need to go far to make quick tidy-ups.
Cleaning up after accidents
All dogs have an occasional accident, be it from tummy troubles or other issues. When those events occur, Family Handyman recommends having a pet-oriented enzymatic cleanser on hand to make a speedy clean-up before stains set into fabrics. The enzymes help eliminate odors deep down, so even your pooch doesn’t notice them!
Some dogs are naturally prissy and will avoid getting their paws muddy at all costs, while others love to roll around in it—the muckier, the better! If your dog is a bit on the unkempt side, one idea is to set up his own dog-cleaning station. A spot in your laundry or mud room is ideal, or you might opt for a place by the door where he travels to potty. Add a heavy-duty doormat, wipes for his paws, a spray bottle, and a few towels all his own.
Protect door frames
Many dogs will paw at door frames to be let out or back in. To prevent damage to woodwork, you can install plexiglass covers and teach your pooch to ring a bell instead. Simply hang a bell from your knob and jingle it before going outside. It shouldn’t take long for your dog to take the hint, and if it does you can trouble-shoot with this guide.
Your dog may not be a neat freak, but with some smart strategies, you can have a beautiful home. Keep up with hair and accidents, create a doggy-cleaning station, and protect your woodwork. You can surround yourself with the finer things in life, even if your pup is nonchalant about housekeeping!
About the Author
Suzie Wilson is an interior designer with more than 20 years experience. What started as a hobby (and often, a favor to friends) turned into a passion for creating soothing spaces in homes of every size and style. While her goal always includes making homes look beautiful, her true focus is on fashioning them into serene, stress-free environments that inspire tranquility in all who enter. The Ultimate Guide to Prepping Your Home for an Open House is filled with tips, tricks and other advice based on Suzie’s years of experience in interior home design that will set you up for success.