Dogs - we love them, but we don't love their messes. Keeping a house clean is hard enough with just people, and adding a dog to the mix doesn't make things easier. Here are some ideas for having a clean house along with a happy dog in the family.
Dogs that live inside the house need frequent baths in order to control odor and to eliminate some of the shedding. Plan a bath monthly or more often if necessary, depending on the dog.
Another way to cut down on dog related cleaning is to brush and/or vacuum your dog's coat frequently. Brushing the dog outside is a great idea if weather permits. Special rubber attachments for the vacuum help make collecting hair easier, as the rubber attracts the hair.
Does your dog prefer a certain piece of furniture? If the dog is allowed on it, use a washable slipcover. When washing it, use hot water to kill allergens. If your dog is allowed on a bed, put a separate sheet over the area it lays on. Use hot water for any bedding it touches. Wash items that have dog hair on them separately to keep hair from migrating to the other items.
A rubber or latex glove, wiped over a surface, will collect shed hair well as the material attracts hair and causes it to cling.
Old blankets and towels are great bedding for dogs and are much easier to wash than the overstuffed dog beds sold in pet stores.
Door mats are a must for both people and dogs. Dogs can even be trained to wipe their feet when they enter the house!
Place mats under animal food dishes and water bowls to keep food spills and water drips easier to clean.
Be sure to clean any urine accidents thoroughly as the scent will attract the dog and may cause it to have a repeat accident on the same area. Blot first, then rinse with a mild soap such as dishwashing liquid. Next, sprinkle with baking soda and allow to absorb any remaining moisture, then vacuum.
Clean up vomit by removing as much of the solid bits as possible then treating the area with an enzymatic cleaner.
If you're choosing new flooring and plan to have an indoor dog for years, consider hard surfaces, which are easier to clean and de-hair. Hair shed from dogs can be difficult to remove from carpet once it works its way down into the fibers. Try spritzing on a mixture of equal parts fabric softener and water on carpet or upholstery and then rubbing with a latex glove to remove embedded hair.
Leather furniture can be a good choice for dog owners, as hair doesn't stick to it as easily and is easy to clean with a damp cloth. Fabric upholstery will benefit from being aired out by placing them on a sheet outside for several hours. Slip covers are easier to clean by putting them in your washer once a week.