Dogs are family. It’s just that they shed a whole lot more than our human family. Dogs bring us so much love and light in our lives, but they also require a little extra cleaning at home. Read on for tips on how to maintain a picture-perfect apartment, even when you’ve got a four-legged friend or two.
In addition to basic care for your dog — flea control, regular vet visits — there are a few habits you can implement at home to help keep your apartment clean. Here are 7 helpful habits to work into your routine:
Keep washable mats at each door: You might have a welcome mat outside the front door, but consider placing one just inside the door as well. This simple addition can help tamp down dirt and mud that dogs might track in. Remember to add mats both inside and outside any additional doors, as well. And remember to choose a washable mat!
Groom and bathe your dog regularly: Frequent bathing and grooming is one of the best ways to limit dog hair and dander inside your home. Try to brush your dog every day (preferably outside) to loosen and remove any dirt or shedding fur. Another great habit is to wipe your dog’s paws after a walk or trip to the dog park. Keep scrolling for one of our favorite products to tackle the job!
Clean up accidents ASAP: Accidents happen, and even though it can be frustrating and you might just want to ignore it for a little bit, you’ll be a lot better off to stop what you’re doing and clean things up. The longer dog urine sits, the more likely it is to permanently stain (and stink!). If it’s a, um, solid situation, remove any residue with a dull knife. Then, blot fresh stains with a cloth and apply lukewarm water mixed with a drop of dish soap. Keep alternating dry blotting with the soapy water solution until the stain is gone. You can also try ingredients like baking soda and hydrogen peroxide to help lift stains — just do a small test first for colorfastness.
Wash all bedding regularly: This means human bedding and pet bedding! Regular washing helps mitigate any lingering odors and accidents you may have missed.
Keep your dog active – before he comes in the house: This one is simple — a tired dog simply doesn’t get into as much trouble inside. Some of our properties like Bella Ridge have on-site dog parks to make it easy on you!
Have old towels handy for rainy days: New Orleans weather can be unpredictable, but you can pretty much count on rain. Keep old towels in a bin in the pantry so they’re at arm’s reach to quickly dry off a wet dog. You can also use the towels to cover up rugs or carpet so your wet dog can get from A to B without ruining anything!
Avoid micro-suede and micro-fiber furniture: This furniture is more affordable, but it’s also a magnet for pet hair. If you’re able to afford a leather couch or chair, you’ll be rewarded with an easy-to-wipe-down surface that will last for years. Of course, you could also try (key word: try!) to not let your dog up on the furniture.
A lot of helpful cleaning products are probably already inside your kitchen. Take a look at a few of our favorite products for a clean and happy home for you and your dog.
Baking Soda: This grocery store staple is an affordable and effective way to remove odors. Sprinkle it on carpets before vacuuming, or add it to a spray bottle with water and a drop of essential oil, then spray in the air or on curtains and upholstery.
Hydrogen Peroxide: Try pouring it on pet accidents (remember to test for colorfastness first) to help eliminate tough stains.
Grooming Wipes: You can buy special wipes just for dogs, but good ol’ baby wipes will work, too. Keep a box by the front door, and wipe down your dog’s paws after every outing.
Stain-resistant dog beds: Invest in a high-quality dog bed from brands like Crypton. Not only are the beds extremely durable and easy to wash, they also feature anti-microbial stain protection and a resistant fabric barrier that prevents germs from penetrating into the cushion.
Roomba: These are expensive vacuums, no doubt. But they’re one of the most effective ways to win the war against dog fur. The vacuums run automatically, taking the burden completely off you. They also learn to get to know every nook and cranny of your home over time for a deeper clean than you ever thought possible.
For even more pet tips, check out our Living With Pets section on the blog.