Whether you have a dog or a cat (or several), you know how important it is to clean up after them, and how difficult. Dogs, especially, are messy animals, often traipsing through mud, slobbering, or shedding over everything you own.
To help combat the mess (and smells) that comes with pet ownership, there are several things you need to know and that you need to be doing, not only to keep your home and pet clean but to keep your beloved animals happy and healthy too. We’ve gathered over a dozen essential things you should be doing in your home to keep your pet and home clean and healthy. Check them out.
Dogs get stinky, some more than others, but washing them every time they start to stink isn’t an option. Washing your dog even once a week can lead to dry skin, which is bad for your dog.
Instead of suffering through stinky dog odors or drying out your pet’s skin with too frequent baths, you can use a homemade dry shampoo solution: Baking soda. Just sprinkle it on your dog’s coat and brush it out, and voila. The odor is gone. For extra nice smelling pups, add a few drops of essential oil into the mix.
Another way to combat dog smells is lavender essential oil. Just a few drops on your dog’s coat (aim for the shoulder blades), and you can be smelling the soothing scent of lavender instead of the overpowering scent of sweaty dog.
There is also some evidence that lavender will help calm your pets. Though the best cure for excitable pets is lots of exercises.
Dog (and cat) toys need to be cleaned just as much as children’s toys. To keep your pet’s toys germ and dirt free, and ultimately extend the toy’s life, wash cloth toys in the washing machine and plastic ones in the dishwasher.
Don’t use human soaps on them though, just pet-friendly ones. Human ones can contain things that may hurt your dog or cat.
If you let your pets on your furniture (or even if you don’t, but they still end up there anyway), buying some inexpensive and easy-to-care-for throws will not only be comfy for your pet, the blankets will help protect the furniture from mud and grime, shedding, and scratching. Throws go from a good idea to essential if you have hard-to-clean, easily damaged, or just plain expensive furniture.
If you have massive amounts of pet hair on your furniture, rubber gloves are an easy way to pick it all up.
Your fingers are great at getting in all those hard to reach places most other clean up methods can’t get to, and as long as the gloves are damp (not sopping wet or you’ll just ruin your furniture), the hair will stick right to the gloves!
Use a vacuum on your pet instead of a brush. There are special attachments for certain vacuum cleaners that you can get just to brush your pets.
These are great to cut down on shedding and are also better than brushes at removing dirt and dead skin, and they are more comfortable for your dog. Unless that is, your poor pet is deathly afraid of the vacuum cleaner.
Lint rollers are amazing for picking up pet hair quickly and easily from furniture, counters, clothes, the floor, yourself, and pretty much anywhere you can think of. They are inexpensive and easier to use on things like pet beds than a vacuum cleaner. Finally, with just this simple tool you can keep your pet hair under control! At least for the 5 minutes before your dog manages to shed all over everything again.
Stain remover is a must for any house with pets since accidents happen no matter how well trained your dog or cat. Commercial stain removers are not only expensive; they can be dangerous for you or your pets.
All you need for an effective stain remover is a mix of white vinegar and baking soda diluted with water. Get a spray bottle for easy application, and your set.
Green leafy plants naturally help filter the air in your home. Not only will they add some nice decoration, but they also help combat that ever-present pet smell in rooms where your dog or cat spends the most time.
Just make sure you get pet-safe plants. Some plants are toxic to dogs and cats, so do your research before you buy and keep your pet happy and healthy.
Dog Bed Smells
To help keep your pet’s bed smelling fresh between cleanings, you can simply put a dryer sheet under the bed or cushion. Put the dryer sheet in an envelope to keep it out of the way. Don’t worry. The envelope won’t stop the dryer sheet from doing its work.
Your pet’s bed will be less smelly (or stay non-smelly if it’s in good shape right now) in no time. Same goes if you find your dog bed invested by bed bugs. Use food grade diatomaceous earth DE to kill any bed bugs naturally.
Keeping your yard well-maintained is imperative if you have pets that spend a lot of time there. Make sure your dog has toys and a grassy area to play in. Any area you don’t want your dog to get into, put orange or lemon peels down.
Most dogs don’t like they smell and will stay away. If you have gardens, know which plants are toxic to pets before you plant and keep any fertilizers, traps, and insecticides well out of your pet’s reach.
Baking Soda Wash
To get pet smells out of linens, wash beds, bed sheets or covers, and blankets with baking soda. The baking soda is great for soaking up smells and leaving your pet’s bedding smelling fresh. Best of all, it’s safe for your pet and doesn’t leave any questionable chemicals behind. Make sure you wash on hot to kill any germs that might be taking up residence.
You can also use baking soda to deodorize your kitty litter box. After you remove the old litter, sprinkle a layer of baking soda at the bottom of the box before adding the new litter.
The baking soda will absorb all the odors much better than even the odor absorbing kitty litter, leaving the area around the little tray free of that offensive litter smell.
Bandanas aren’t just to make your pup look cute. If you have a dog that slobbers a lot or is a particularly messy eater or drinker, a bandana can keep that slobber or food from getting in your dog’s fur. When the bandana is dirty, it can just get tossed in the wash. This inexpensive investment will save you time cleaning up your dog, and your pet will look ultra cute too.
Collars are often overlooked in pet hygiene, but it’s important to clean these regularly. You’ll want to soak them in a mixture of pet shampoo and water for at least 15 minutes, scrubbing the collar well before you remove it. Then, rinse well and let air dry. This method will deep clean your collar and help you keep your pet’s collar grime and germ-free.
Pet Bowl Area
The area around your pet’s food and water bowls should be kept clean. The best way to do this is to put a place mat under the dishes.
Make sure to get one that you just wipe clean, that way clean-up around your pet’s dishes (which should be done every day) can be quick and easy. Just a matter of wiping down the placements and replacing them.
And while we’re on the subject of food dishes, your pet’s bowls themselves should be washed every day. Keeping pet food bowls clean is a great way to keep ants away from cat food. The good news is, you don’t need to hand wash these; you can pop them in the dishwasher. In fact, the dishwasher (because it uses such hot water) will do a better job cleaning those bowls than you would by hand.
Muddy paws should never be allowed in the house. To combat them, keep a bowl of water next to the door and dip your pup’s paws in water, washing off any of the mud, before the pet is allowed in the house. This simple step may seem a bit tedious (and getting your dog to cooperate may be a bit difficult), but it will save you loads of clean up and headaches later.
Face it. No matter how clean you keep your pet or your home, if you have pets, your house always has that “we-have-pets” smell. You probably don’t notice it, but anyone who doesn’t have pets in their home does.
It may be faint or strong, depending on how much time you spend cleaning, but it’s there. Setting up diffusers in rooms your pet is often it will help eliminate that smell and leave your home smelling as if you didn’t have pets at all.
… Carpet Stain Cleaning
Of course not talking about cleaning the pet, but rather cleaning the surroundings. One important habit for you as a dog or cat owner is certainly to check carpets and floors regularly. Especially with little ones you want to be prepared to remove pet urine smell and stains. Get ready for some carpet cleaning with baking soda, vinegar, borax, and soapy water.
Know anyone else with pets? Be sure to share this page with them, and pass along the advice!