Dogs are wonderful companions – but they can be a bit messy! If you’re sick of hair and dirt around the house, here are six cleaning hacks for dog owners.
1. Baking Soda is Brilliant for Neutralising Odors
If you have patches of carpet that smell of urine or other unpleasant odors, baking soda may be a quick solution.
Simply sprinkle baking soda over the affected area, before gently massaging it into the carpet fibres. Let the baking soda sit overnight, so there is plenty of time for the odor to be absorbed, before vacuuming in the morning.
Baking soda can also be used if your dog has an accident. Make sure you blot up as much of the liquid as possible beforehand though.
2. Always Clean Paws After a Walk
Muddy paws can ruin carpets and spread dirt across hard floors. To make cleaning easier, prepare a washing up bowl of warm water before a walk, then dip your dog’s paws as soon as you get home. This only takes a few seconds, but greatly reduces the amount of mud and grime your dog brings into the house.
Alternatively, you can buy a dedicated paw washer. These often have rubber “prongs” to give your pet’s paws a deeper clean without causing discomfort. Paw washers are also small, so you can use them before getting into the car at the end of a walk.
Paw cleaning isn’t just great for your home’s cleanliness. A quick wash can remove chemicals on your dog’s paws, which he might lick off. Washing can also dislodge small stones or rock salt stuck between toes.
To make things even easier, some pet parents teach their dog to wear boots. It often takes time for a dog to accept boots, but they can protect paws and make it much easier to keep your home clean.
3. Rubber Gloves Make It Easy to Remove Hair from Carpets and Sofas
If your dog sheds a lot, it can be difficult to keep sofas free from hair. Bathing is one solution, but frequent washing can dry your dog’s coat and skin. Many vacuum cleaners also struggle to remove hair that has become stuck to upholstery.
Rubber gloves are an easy answer. Pop on the gloves, get them slightly damp, then run your hand over the sofa. The opposite electromagnetic charge of the hair and gloves causes the hair fibres to stick. Once your gloves are covered, brush them off into the bin and carry on.
This trick also works on cushions or curtains. For carpets, a squeegee has a similar effect.
4. Keep Floors Clean with a Food Mat
Dogs often aren’t the tidiest eaters. If your pet tends to spill water and food all over the floor, a wipe-clean mat can be an easier alternative than regular mopping or scrubbing.
Mats are particularly useful when feeding your dog wet or raw food. These foods are more likely to leave potentially harmful bacteria behind if spilled on the floor. Using an anti-bacterial wipe on a mat can make your floor much more hygienic.
5. Consider Buying a Robotic Vacuum
A shedding dog can quickly cover your carpets in hair. This means that many pet owners resort to daily vacuuming just to maintain an acceptable level of hair.
If regular vacuuming is becoming too much of a chore, a robotic vacuum could help. While these aren’t as powerful as regular vacs, they can be scheduled to clean multiple times per day. This can go a long way to keeping hair under control between full vacuum sessions.
Make sure you desensitize your dog to the vacuum before scheduling it though. Your dog is likely to be terrified if the vacuum suddenly starts moving!
6. Beware Scented Room Sprays and Diffusers
Dogs have an extremely sensitive sense of smell – especially compared to humans. While using a reed diffuser can cover up unwanted smells, these could be overwhelming for your pet.
Essential oils can also be dangerous for dogs. Getting certain oils on their coat can cause health issues, such as unsteadiness or depression. Ingesting essential oils can also cause a stomach upset.
If you plan to use an essential oil diffuser, make sure the oil is out of your pet’s reach and only activated for short periods. You should also avoid oil diffusers if your pet has an existing breathing condition.
There are many advantages to owning a dog – but cleaning is one of the few downsides. Fortunately, there are plenty of ways to clean your home faster, so you can spend more time enjoying your dog.
The six hacks in this article can reduce the quantity of hair and mud in your home, but they are far from the only dog cleaning hacks. If you have any others, please let me know your favourites in the comments section below.