It’s difficult to imagine our lives without the furry friends we take into our families. They’re a constant source of unconditional love and companionship, and they’re always glad to see us at the end of the day. Studies have shown that dog owners tend to be happier than non-pet owners, and are in better physical and mental health. But there’s a trade-off: Dogs keep their owners busy trying to keep pace with the mess and maintain a beautiful home that smells as nice as it looks.
Dogs shed (most of them anyway), vomit, go to the bathroom on the carpet, chew on furniture, scratch the hardwood and generally create mayhem. There aren’t many shortcuts when it comes to cleaning up doggie messes, but there are some steps you can take to make the work a little easier.
Keep Rover clean
Dogs get dirty without even trying. Their fur is a haven for ticks, fleas, mites and a host of microbes. They dig holes in your yard and roll in things that are unpleasant to think about not to mention clean. It’s in your best interest, as well as your pet’s, to keep him washed (but use shampoo sparingly), trimmed and well-brushed. Set aside a space where you can dry your puppy and let him relax while his fur is drying to keep the essence of wet dog under control.
If dog hair is a fact of life in your house, you probably appreciate the value of a quality, durable vacuum cleaner with plenty of attachments. Dog hair accumulates in clumps on the furniture, in the corners, on the carpeting and in places you’d never expect to find it. Make sure yours has plenty of suction strength and effective brush motion that can extract hair that’s too difficult to pick up with the vacuum. An effective filter (preferably a HEPA filter) is important for keeping indoor pollutants and allergens out of your indoor air space, and don’t forget to clean your filter on a regular basis to maintain its effectiveness.
Clutter makes it difficult to create a clean and orderly living space. It can be an excess of dog toys, an unkempt dog bed (or two) or leashes and collars strewn about. For starters, you can reduce the chaos by creating organized pet stations around the home to store pet supplies (leashes, harnesses, poop bags) which can be conveniently placed in a tote bag hooked by the door. Further minimize clutter by purchasing a storage bin for dog toys, and consider moving your dog’s bed to a less visible spot.
If you find that even after organizing your dog’s items, you still feel cramped for space or feel you’re in the midst of constant clutter, consider that it may be time to assess your own belongings to determine what you absolutely need, what you may be able to toss or donate, and what you may want to move to an off-site storage facility. Just be sure to budget accordingly: the average cost of a storage unit in Seattle, Washington, over the past six months runs about $125. Once you’ve gotten your house in order, you’ll be able to breathe a well-deserved sigh of relief.
Definition of a bad day: Your boss criticizes you in front of co-workers, the evening commute takes twice as long as usual and when you get home there’s a smelly pile of dog waste waiting for you on the living room carpet. Dog waste not only leaves behind a nasty smell, but it also leaves behind a stain that can be difficult to extract from some carpeting. Enzyme-based cleaning solutions generally act fast and do a good job of eliminating odors, and are well worth the price at approximately $15 for a one-gallon jug.
Get a mess-resistant dog bed
It’s generally considered a bad idea to allow your dog to sleep in your bed at night, especially if you’re trying to maintain a beautiful home. Furniture isn’t a good alternative, which brings us to dog beds. They come in all sizes and many different materials, but many of the soft, fluffy dog beds tend to accumulate hair and smells that are really hard to get rid of. They look comfy, but look for a water-resistant and easy-to-clean variety that prevents the build-up of allergens instead. A little soap and water and a good wipe down and you’re all set.
Air it out
Unwholesome indoor air quality affects your family in many ways. It can create or aggravate breathing issues, zap everyone’s energy level and it can even settle into clothing. Just opening the doors and windows and letting fresh air in for 15 minutes or so every day can alleviate much of the lingering scent your dog leaves behind just by hanging around.
Dog owners are happy to take the bad with the good when it comes to their pets, even if the bad is sometimes really bad. You can mitigate the bad by keeping Fido clean, your house uncluttered, and resolve to attack messes as they occur.
Content Provided by Tamara Gilmore of PupJobs.com