Guest post written by Cindy Aldridge
Dog owners love their pets. But pet messes? Not so much. Fortunately, there’s plenty of budget-friendly advice for keeping your home clean while enjoying having a pet.
Eliminate Dander with Regular Cleaning
No matter how often you bathe your dog, dander still lingers. The microscopic skin and hair particles tend to infiltrate your home, irritating your sinuses and creating a mess. Fortunately, wet dusting with water or an all-purpose (pet-friendly) cleaner is usually enough to remove dander from surfaces, Animal Planet notes.
Regularly washing furniture covers, blankets, and rugs is another helpful step for reducing dander. Carpets can be a challenge, however, and may require vacuuming with heavy-duty filtration. High Efficiency Particulate Arresting (HEPA) filters are available for vacuums and help remove allergens from both the carpet and air.
Cleaning is also important when your house is on the market. Eliminating traces of your pet (and decluttering their toys!) can help get rid of traces of your furry companion, which can often be a major turn-off for buyers who aren’t particularly fond of animals.
Living in a home with pets can mean hair everywhere. Lint rollers (you can buy two rollers for less than $5) are handy for removing fur from your clothing and upholstery. But often, getting pet hair out of the carpet requires specific tools. Carpet rakes, for example, are one solution to scraping hair up. Rubber squeegees can also do the job, with a bit of elbow grease.
Another alternative is to mix a fabric softener and water solution to help loosen the hair. Then, you can vacuum it out of carpet fibers more easily. Fabric softener is also ideal for eliminating odors from your pup’s favorite nap spot. Dryer sheets are handy for swiping over wood surfaces and baseboards—the hair clings to the surface for swift cleanup.
While Harvard Health confirms that rabies is the most dangerous germ dog slobber can transmit, it’s also rare. Still, dog saliva carries plenty of bacteria—and those drool stains on the floor don’t make for a clean home, either.
At the same time, Dogster notes that many ingredients in household cleaners aren’t safe for dogs. Ingredients like ammonia (Windex), chlorine (bleach cleaners), and glycol ethers (carpet cleaners) shouldn’t sit near pets—especially those who are tempted to taste test.
Use safer cleaning products when possible, such as vinegar for cleaning glass and steam cleaning for wood and linoleum. Apple cider vinegar is also safe for your dog to ingest—and it even helps with tummy troubles, allergies, and joint health.
But if you can’t avoid heavy-duty cleaning products, consider having someone else remove your pet from the area while you clean up.
One of the most efficient ways to keep your home clean is to bathe your dog often. After all, the more often you wash and brush your pup, the less hair, dander, and odors they leave behind. But as the American Kennel Club explains, how often you need to—or should—bathe your dog depends on their breed, coat length, and lifestyle.
To manage dander, the AKC’s expert recommends weekly baths. However, you should research your pet’s breed requirements, as too many—or too few—baths can be detrimental to their health. Some dogs require more frequent but gentle bathing, such as dogs with less hair and sensitive skin.
For dogs with longer or thicker coats, regular brushing is also vital. Brushing every few days stimulates your dog’s skin, removes dead cells, and distributes their natural oils. Plus, most pups enjoy the bonding experience.
If your dog still exudes an odor, consider an air freshener to clear things up. But be cautious of typical household deodorizers and even candles as they can be harmful to your pet’s respiratory system.
For families with allergies, busy lifestyles, and more, sometimes bringing in a professional is the way to go. A pro cleaning service can help maintain a clean home, even if you only schedule deep cleaning once per month. The average cost of professional cleaning assistance is $165—not bad to keep your home pet-friendly and in top shape.
Whatever cleaning methods you choose, caring for a pet-friendly home can be a challenge. Of course, when you compare the work involved with your dog’s love and companionship, it’s no contest.
Look for more advice on caring for your pet at the Mabel the Rescue Dog blog!