Dogs are lovable companions that bring so much joy to our lives, but this doesn’t stop them from making a mess of our homes. Every dog owner is all too familiar with the act of prying stubborn dog hair off upholstery and scrubbing stains out of the carpet. Not only that, but dander, saliva, and pet-related bacteria can exacerbate allergies and even make us sick. Here are some simple and affordable ways to keep your house clean in the face of these common pet messes.
Do a Deep Clean
Once in a while, NBC News points out that it may be worth it to hire a professional to give your home a good deep clean. This will make your regular cleaning routine much easier and can help prevent tough stains and grime from building up over time. Monthly professional cleanings can even save your furniture and floors from developing pervasive pet-related odors. Whether you’re trying to get the deposit back for your rental apartment or you want to avoid replacing your carpet in a few years, these cleanings are well worth the price.
Wash Your Dog Often
Keeping your dog clean is tackling the problem at the source. If your dog suffers from allergies, bathing them regularly will also help them feel better since pet fur tends to harbor all kinds of allergens, such as dust and pollen. Cesar’s Way recommends washing your dog whenever he’s stinky, but no more than once a week.
While you’re at it, right before bathing is a good time to give him a once-over for fleas. Pull hair aside and look carefully at your dog’s skin, and if you discover evidence of those little buggers, treat your pup with flea medication. Be sure to check the directions, as these products usually require a dry pet for application. If fleas are taking over your home, chances are you’ll need an exterminator to visit. On average, homeowners pay between $88 to $182 for the service; be sure to look for a professional who offers a guarantee.
If your dog doesn’t enjoy bath time, you don’t have to throw in the towel. Fortunately, you can “sweet talk” your dog by providing some tasty treats. There are many treats available that can help train your dog, whether it’s keeping them from jumping on certain pieces of furniture or, you guessed it, settling down for a bath. There are a variety of flavors among the many different products available, so do some research before committing to one.
Tackle Pet Hair with Moisture
As you know, pet hair can be difficult to remove with a vacuum alone. Fortunately, hair sticks to moisture—use this to your advantage! Once you’ve given your floors and furniture a once-over with a powerful vacuum cleaner, tackle problem areas with a damp microfiber cloth, sponge, squeegee, or mop. You can even use damp rubber gloves to rub pet hair off of upholstery.
Use an Air Purifier to Remove Airborne Allergens
Pet dander can be a huge problem for family members with allergies. While regularly bathing your dog will reduce the amount of dander they shed, this won’t solve the problem completely. Dander is easily airborne which makes it very difficult to remove from our homes. Some dander particles are invisible to the naked eye! Consider investing in an air purifier with a HEPA filter to remove these particles from your air. If your home has an HVAC system, be sure to clean your air ducts regularly to prevent the build-up of dander.
Use the Right Products to Neutralize Odors
When it comes to carpet stains and lingering odors, make sure you’re using the right products. Common household items—like vinegar, dish soap, baking soda, or peroxide—can help remove urine from carpets, but don’t eliminate odors completely. It’s crucial to use an enzyme-based cleaner to break down the odor-causing bacteria in pet urine. You can find enzymatic cleaners at most pet stores or online.
With the right budget-friendly tools and know-how, it really is possible to keep your home clean when you have a dog and stick to your budget at the same time. As with any kind of mess, the best way to combat stains and odors is to prevent them in the first place. Keep your dog clean and lay down old towels in areas where your dog likes to lay around or drool. Taking action to prevent mess will make your cleaning sessions a lot easier!