5 Spring Cleaning Hacks for Households With Dogs
Having a dog is a way of life. But while you may have been looking for love and companionship, the extra mess that dogs of all shapes and sizes can bring along with them is hardly a bonus.
Here are some tips and cleaning hacks to help get your dog-shared spaces up to snuff as we head out of the winter chill and into the warmer seasons ahead.
1. Be Prepared
It’s always helpful to start by taking stock of your situation and planning ahead. While the mess that your dog can create is special at any time of the year — just ask Beethoven — the winter is an especially intense time to try to keep our houses from devolving into a giant mess of hairballs, mud, slobber, and that incredibly pungent wet dog smell.
That’s why it can help to be prepared.
The first thing you’re going to want to do is make a list, check it twice, and then head out to your local supermarket or pet supply store in order to make sure you’ve got everything on hand before the warmer weather arrives.
This should include grooming tools to reduce shedding, cleaning sprays and appliances, and durable chew toys (to distract Fido’s destructive tendencies away from your furniture).
Note: If you’re looking for other must-have supplies to help with your doggies hygiene, check out this article!
The next thing you want to do is have a plan of action, and that’s what we’ll spend the rest of this article going over. It doesn’t take too much work to find a comprehensive spring cleaning checklist, but those typically won’t cover some of the more critical elements specific to cleaning up after your dog.
With that in mind, here are some actionable tips and hacks that you can add to your spring cleaning chores in order to help refresh your abode after a winter of cohabitation with a canine.
2. Neaten Up
It’s worth taking the time to gather up your pet’s toys, bedding, and other gear into one place, disposing of any older, broken, or worn-out items in the process. It can also be smart to create pet stations for things like eating, drinking, and sleeping. As an added benefit, bringing structure and routine like this to a dog’s life can often bring them a welcome sense of security.
Of course, hunting around the house, banging your head on the table, or pulling your back as you shift around the furniture in an attempt to find all of your pup’s belongings isn’t ideal.
Instead, you may want to consider taking some time while the snow is still flying to train your dog to clean up after itself. While it may take some time to see the fruits of your labor, it really can be an excellent way to solve the problem for the long haul.
3. Clean the Air
Just because dogs have a better sense of smell than humans doesn’t mean we can’t still smell them too, and after several months cooped up in the same space, man oh man, can we smell them! Of course, a few months of dog smell is hardly something you’re going to be able to root out of the house overnight.
Here are a few ideas for tackling those foul odors in both the short and long term.
The first step in the battle is to get an air purifier, as it can do wonders in helping to remove the pet dander out of the air, especially after months of keeping the windows closed. Just make sure you get a good machine that can get the job done.
Many other things can also help eliminate those smells at the source. It can be very helpful to have a diffuser and some essential oils on hand as you begin that spring purge. Lavender essential oil, in particular, is a popular natural air freshener that can help you combat the stank without filling your home with chemicals in the process.
4. Clean Their Space Too
While they may not be as picky as we are, keeping a dog’s habitat clean is an important part of how we care for both our pups and ourselves. A dog’s kennel or sleeping space can harbor all sorts of germs and bacteria, all of which can potentially be transferred to other parts of the house.
In addition, when uncleaned, their spaces can become filled with fur as they shed. They can then pick this back up whenever they lay down and spread the furry wealth throughout your house.
While it’s easy to address things like furballs with a quick vacuum, the bacteria and smell can be quite a bit harder to deal with, especially when it comes to fabric on our dog’s beds. Luckily, this hack is quick, easy, and cheap, and it gets the job done.
All you need to do is pour a healthy dose of baking soda onto your dog's bed and let it sit for about 15 minutes. Then come through with that vacuum once again, suck it all up, and your pet’s space should be both looking and smelling grand in no time.
5. Remove Those Stains
If you catch your dog peeing in the house, the best bet is to clean it up on the spot. Whether its a rug, a couch, or a bed, get everything you can into the wash immediately. Then blot the remaining pee up, and spray it down with a vinegar water mix or other cleaning spray. Next, cover the area with baking soda for several hours and then vacuum it up.
As we go about cleaning up from a long winter, though, you may come across an old pee stain that’s already dried up. If that’s the case, don’t despair.
All you need to do is create a special, pet-friendly cleaner like the formula from this article by Tuft & Needle in order to take care of the issue.
Here's the Recipe
In a spray bottle, combine the following:
- A cup of hydrogen peroxide.
- 3 tablespoons of baking soda.
- A few drops of liquid detergent or dish soap.
- (Optional) A few drops of your lavender essential oils.
Once combined, swirl it a few times and spray the area generously. Then let it dry before vacuuming it up. Easy as pie!
Getting Into That Spring Cleaning Spirit
It’s important to address the smells and stains of both your dog's personal space as well as the rest of your abode. If you can get ahead of the curve with your pet spring cleaning, chances are you’re going to be able to have your house in tip-top shape in no time.
As a final tip, while it’s easy to start spraying all and sundry with a variety of different cleaning solutions, the options provided in this article are specifically tailored to help you avoid any strong cleaners that can be harmful to yourself or your pet.
Remember, our houses are already filled with things that are toxic to our dogs. Let’s not add to that list if we don’t have to.
Let us know in the comments below, do you have any spring cleaning tips for dog owners that you would like us to add to the list?