7 Simple Tips for Keeping a Clean Home With Dogs

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Yes, it’s true, dogs are messy creatures! And whilst we love them dearly, they do make it a damn lot harder to keep a clean home. We have 3 (and a cat), who love nothing more than rolling around in the dirt, getting wet and dropping fur all over the place and while it’s not impossible to keep a clean home with them about (we would never be without them), it’s definitely not easy! Today I’m sharing my top 7 tips for keeping a clean home with dogs.

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1. Keep your dogs clean incl. preventative treatments

I’m not just talking about washing your dogs regularly (that’s a given), I’m talking about giving their paws a wipe before coming inside and giving them a quick brush to remove debris from their coats on the way in. The less dirt that gets through the door the better in my opinion. You could also consider setting up a cleaning station at the back door, or, if you’re lucky enough to have a mudroom, why not invest in a dog washing station like one of these. Don’t forget preventative treatments for fleas/ticks too. After all, it’s a lot easier to prevent a flea infestation in your home than trying to get rid of one!

2. Invest in the right types of grooming tools for your dogs’ coat-type

To help minimise the ‘fur tumble weeds’, I’ve found that using the correct brush for your dog’s coat type can go a long way to reducing the fall-out. For example, for our spaniel who is short coated on top (and our cat), a rubber brush like a Zoom Groom or Curry Comb is awesome. They both remove dead/loose fur super easily, ultimately preventing it from ending up on the floor (side note, rubber brushes are great for removing fur from upholstery and carpet too!).

For longer fur (and for use on my other spaniel who seems to have a totally different coat type) the Coat King gets my vote (it works similarly to the Furminator, stripping large areas of thick coat fast to remove loose hair). I also find that keeping our longer coated dogs clipped short means they bring in less debris from outside. It also helps to keep them smelling better for longer too.

3. Stick to a regular floor cleaning schedule

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Let’s be honest, I hate cleaning floors but for the sake of my sanity I make sure I thoroughly clean them at least once per week. This includes vacuuming, mopping and baseboards (usually), with occasional spot cleans in between. And yes, our house could probably do with 2 thorough cleans a week, but frankly, I’m not about that life. I find that when I leave it any longer than a week, it becomes a mammoth job and the house really starts looking like a tip! Maintenance is key.

My face after I’ve just finished cleaning the floors and the dogs run in from outside bearing gifts.

4. Invest in a good quality pet vacuum

We have 2 ‘pet’ vacuums at our house and I only really reach for one of them (the other was a complete disappointment). The vac I use and love is the Miele S8 Cat & Dog. It’s great, we’ve had it for years and it’s still going strong. It came with multiple head attachments including 2x turbo heads and is great on hard floors, carpets and upholstery.

The only drawback (and it’s not a huge one), is that the Miele uses bags which need changing every 1-2 months. When we eventually upgrade, I’ll probably opt for a bagless version if I can find one or most probably a newer model Miele Cat & Dog (like the one pictured below).

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The second ‘pet’ vac we own is a Dyson V6 Fluffy. My partner got this on sale at the recommendation of a friend. I’ve never owned a Dyson before and quite frankly I had high expectations. Maybe too high. I’d seen people raving about the V6 and whilst I know it’s not really intended to be a full-time vac in anything other than a small apartment with hard floors, I really thought it would be a great little vac for the in-between cleans. I was wrong.

Maybe it was just me but I found myself having to go over the same spots multiple times and while the cordless element was nice, the charge doesn’t last long, maybe max. 30 mins if you don’t use it on max. power mode (max. power mode only last 6 lousy minutes), and let’s face it, who doesn’t want max. power all the time?!

5. Opt for pet-friendly upholstery fabrics and rugs

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When choosing furniture and furnishings, be mindful of the color and types of fabrics you choose. Lighter colors show up the muck a hell or a lot more and dark colored furnishings show up light colored fur something ridiculous! If you can, try to opt for a happy medium and also something that is easy to clean.

Get fabrics Scotch-guarded or go for something like leather that can be easily wiped down (even then though, you need to be mindful of scratch marks!). If your dogs are allowed on the sofa, sofa covers and throw blankets are great for protecting the fabric and are easy to chuck in the washing machine when they start to get dirty and smelly.

Similar rules apply for rug selection, be mindful of the color you choose and also how easy it is to clean, and please, for the love of dog, DON’T make the same mistake I did and opt for shag or high-pile rug! It’s a magnet for debris. Once it gets in, it’s very hard to get out.

6. Have designated off-limit areas and be mindful of floor types

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When we’re out, the dogs are only allowed downstairs which has tiles and floorboards – these types of surfaces are much easier to clean should an accident occur. Be sure to keep dog nails trimmed if you have wooden floor boards though, they get scratched very easily (especially if your dogs are anything like mine and stampede through the house like a herd of angry elephants).

Being strict about no-dog-zones and off-limit areas is also a good idea for rooms like guest rooms and bedrooms as it ensures they stay cleaner and lets face it, nicer, for much longer.

7. Keep cleaners, cleaning tools, stain-remover and deodorizers on hand

Finally, let’s face it, accidents happen and when they do, it pays to be prepared. Act quickly when these occur and invest in cleaning products and deodorizers that are fit for the surface (and purpose) you intend to use them on/for.

For our hard floors I tend to use a combination of spray disinfectant (for small spot cleans), regular old dish detergent and water and diluted bleach. Cleaning the carpets is a completely different ball game though. For those I’ll usually reach for a carpet brush and dish soap (with water) as it seems to be the gentlest on the carpet fibers and does a great job of getting rid of smells.

For stains, I use Britex Spot’n’Stain, it is by far the best stain remover I’ve ever used (even gets out blood stains) – I’m not entirely sure how, but according to their website, it contains ‘active enzymes’ that plug vacant dye strands in carpet fibers leaving no room for dyes from spills to penetrate. After using this product on some pretty nasty stains, I can safely say it does what it claims to and is basically a miracle in a bottle!

Well those are my top 7 tips for keeping a clean home with dogs, what are some of yours?

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