It’s that time of year again. The days are getting longer and the weather is getting warmer. That means it’s time for spring cleaning! If you’re a pet parent, this can be a daunting task. But don’t worry, we’ve got you covered. In this blog post, we will discuss some tips and hacks for spring cleaning when you have a dog.
1: Get the floors clean
A good vacuum cleaner will make life a lot easier when you have a dog. There are even particular models that boast better-than-average abilities to get the dog fur out of your shag carpet. But if you have carpet stains you need to tackle, you’ll need a different approach.
Depending on the severity of the stains, spot cleaning with a pet-safe cleaning solution like Simple Green may be effective. On the other hand, for true spring cleaning, it makes sense to go all in, so you may want to consider using a carpet cleaning machine to get every inch. There are industrial versions available to rent from most big box hardware stores, or depending on how frequently you anticipate needing one, you may want to consider purchasing a machine.
2: Keep those paws clean!
You know the saying… April showers bring muddy paw prints into the house! At least that’s how the saying goes at my house. Dirty carpet and flooring is one of those areas where prevention is key. To that end, there are a couple of products we recommend checking out.
A Soggy Doggy doormat has absorbent chenille ‘noodles’ that soak up the water and muck your dog tracks in before it hits your floor. It’s also machine-washable, dries quickly, and has non-slip backing so it won’t slide around under your pup’s feet.
And speaking of feet, if you need a more intense tactic to get the mud off your dog’s paws, consider a paw washer like the Penn Plax Dog Paw Cleaner. You fill the cup about halfway with water, then slip your dog’s paw inside. (Did we mention you’ll need a cooperative dog to use this product? Keep that in mind.) Rotate the cup to work the silicone bristles between the toes, then remove their paw, pat dry, and repeat.
3: Clean the dog hair off furniture
Another common issue when it comes to cleaning up after your dog is dealing with all the hair they leave behind. One easy way to deal with this is by using a lint roller, which works great for spot cleaning. To tackle larger areas, most vacuum cleaners come with a special attachment for pet hair. If you loose yours (been there!) you can typically order replacement accessories from the manufacturer website or from Amazon. There are also tools like the Uproot Lint Cleaner you can buy specifically for getting dog hair out of carpet and upholstery – and as a bonus they can also aid in removing dog hair from clothes, and rugs
4: Keep the fur off the furniture in the first place
No, we aren’t suggesting that you relegate Fido and Fluffy to the floor. We aren’t monsters! But it’s easier to clean the hair off the sofa when the hair doesn’t get to the sofa in the first place.
Sofa slipcovers may have gotten a bad rap over the years, but they are practical, widely available, and you can even get an extra set to switch them out when you are ready for a change. If you’re one of the millions of people worldwide who has a couch from Ikea, there are companies that exist solely to make your furniture more stylish (and in this instance, more pet-friendly). If Ikea isn’t your style, you can find some One-Size-Fits-Most options on Amazon, as well as big-box retailers like Target and Walmart.
A smaller alternative to slipcovers, you can offer your pup a dedicate spot on the couch with a dog blanket. Technically any blanket can be a dog blanket, but there are versions with a pillow backing for your dog to snuggle up against to get extra cozy. Of course, blankets will still collect pet fur, but they are much easier to clean, especially when you’re armed with a few special techniques.
You can also take this a step further and mat train your dog. By training your dog to go to his mat on command, you have the option to set the mat on the couch or on the floor, depending on the situation. This is a great strategy if your dog is welcome on your couch sometimes, but you also want to be able to communicate “nope, not right now” in a way your dog understands.
5: Keep the fur out of the drains
Gross, right? But another common problem that pet parents face is fur clogging up the drains. This happens because dog hair is so lightweight that it floats in the water and then gets stuck in the drain pipe. Just like human hair, when too much of it goes down the drain, you’ll eventually end up having to pull it back out. If you’ve ever snaked a drain, you know it’s not a pleasant task, and something you’ll want to avoid if you can.
Regular brushing will keep all the loose fur from coming off at once during bath time, and if you have a breed with an undercoat, a specialized de-shedding tool like the Furminator will be your best friend. Of course, even ‘non-shedding’ breeds will shed some during bathtime, so it’s crucial to protect your drains. You can purchase a drain cover to do the job, or even go the DIY route and use a baby wipe as a filter.
6: Neutralize the dog smell
One of the biggest challenges when cleaning up after your dog is dealing with the smell. Let’s be real – sometimes our dogs can be stinky. It can be a real challenge to get rid of that odor. As a pet parent, you may be so used to it, you may not even notice the animal smell, but your visitors will.
Your first thought to combat this issue may be to use an air freshener or diffuser, but while these products may mask the odor, but they won’t eliminate it. (And bear in mind that many commercial air fresheners will contain chemicals you may not want around your pup, and if not diluted properly essential oils can be dangerous, even toxic to your pets.)
To get to to the root of the dog smell, it’s best to start at the ground up – literally. The good news is, a lot of the steps we just covered will contribute to a fresher smelling home. To take it a bit further, steam clean the carpet; wash all the linens, including bedding, curtains, and throw pillow covers; get an air purifier to remove dander from the air; vacuum and spot clean the sofa with a pet-safe solution like Simple Green. We know, that’s a lot of tasks! But dog smells hide in lots of tricky places, so it pays to be thorough.
In truly extreme cases, an ozone generator machine can be used to remove odors. This is the same treatment that hotels use when someone has been smoking in a non-smoking room. However this is a big undertaking, and you and your pets will have to leave the premises during the treatment, so we strongly recommend that you seek professional services if you go this route.
7: Acknowledge reality
You know you invited an animal to live in your house, right? Life with pets is messy, and we have to take the bad with the good. A home with dogs may never be as spotlessly clean as a home without dogs, but the love and joy they bring to our lives outweighs the spot cleaning that sometimes comes with territory.
By following these simple tips, you can make spring cleaning a breeze. So get started today and see how much of a difference it makes!
Do you have any spring cleaning tips we should know about?