Animal House: Tips To Help Pet Owners Keep Their Homes Clean

Animal House

At Urbaneer we like to say that “Spring blooms fresh beginnings”. There is something about the warmth of the sun and the buds on the trees that inspires us to make plans for the upcoming months, whether it’s dreaming of summer getaways or starting a search for a new home.

Although not as fun, there is another activity that comes with the season, and that is Spring Cleaning. Let’s face it; unless you’re fortunate enough to have a professional cleaning squad on speed-dial, housekeeping is a constant battle, especially with pets around. I love having a clean home, but there is a furry force working against me, also known as my border collie, Logan. Much like with children, my obsession with cleanliness around the house relaxed somewhat after I brought Logan home. But as someone that enjoys white walls and dog-hair-free furniture, I had to develop an easy plan to maintain a clean home.

Cleaning challenges vary depending on the breed and personality of a dog, but all pet owners put up with fur, mud, paw prints, and drool to a certain extent. At times, it seems almost impossible to maintain a clean home and enjoy the company of your four-legged friend at the same time, but if you embrace a few simple tips, you and your pup can both enjoy a tidy and happy home.

Here are my top Tips To Help Pet Owners Keep Their Homes Clean:



Give Your Dog Sufficient Exercise

You’ve heard this before, right? Exercising your dog is great for his health and it’s also a good way to spend quality time together.  A bored dog can be quite destructive, but a tired dog will be much less likely to get into mischief. Just like us humans, dogs need to keep busy, so be sure that your pup gets lots exercise outdoors. Toronto has many off-leash areas for dogs. Here are My Top Toronto Off-Leash Dog Parks. While indoors, keep chew toys around and easily accessible to your dog to play with while you are not home. It’s better to come home to a jumble of toys in your living room then a chewed up chair or a sofa!



Keep Helpful Cleaning Tools On Hand

We can’t always break into a full cleaning mode that’s why it’s so helpful to keep a few cleaning tools nearby for those quick clean-up jobs. My favourite go-to is the Swiffer Sweeper to keep the fur balls at bay, and the Swiffer WetJet to quickly mop up paw prints and those pesky drool spots off the floor. The Swiffer cloths attract and trap all that dust, dirt and hair and are perfect for quick tidy ups between vacuuming. Just five minutes per day in high traffic areas can really make a difference!



Invest In a Quality Vacuum Cleaner

Unless you own a dog that doesn’t shed, you know that whether it's long-hair or short-hair, getting rid of it is a never-ending quest. There is nothing like sitting back after a through vacuuming session and seeing dog hair in a shape of a wild west tumbleweed roll across your living room. Dog hair is not only a matter of housekeeping, but also a matter of allergies and overall air quality. There is no such thing as a completely non-shedding dog. Like humans, all dogs shed at least a little hair at one time or another which adds to the normal amount of dust that accumulates around the home.  Dogs also produce dander and carry pollen transmitters from outdoors that fall off and deposit themselves all over the house. The thicker the coat, the more of this stuff they can carry. Vacuuming regularly and investing in a quality vacuum cleaner will improve the quality of air indoors and make your place feel fresh and clean. The Dyson Animal is a great option for homes with pets. It includes additional cleaning tools like a tangle-free turbine tool to remove hair from carpets and upholstery, a stiff bristle brush to remove mud and dried-in dirt, and my personal favourite – a mess-free groom tool for medium and long haired dogs. It removes hair directly from your pup before it gets shed around the home.



Protect Your Floors

If you love the look of hardwood floors throughout your space, you know that maintaining clean floors with a pup in the house can be a challenge. The biggest issue is scratch marks. While big dogs will scratch and gouge more than the little guy, trimming nails is helpful for dogs of all sizes. If the damage is already done, you can prolong the life of a scratched hardwood floor with a filler marker matching the floor stain to mask the damage. Scratches are mostly caused by running, so unless you can train a dog not to run at the sound of a door bell or a treat bag opening, you will have to deal with some damage. One great way to protect the floors is by putting down area rugs and runners in high traffic areas. This will also protect your pet from any injuries caused by zooming around corners. Beyond scratches, muddy paws, dog hair and house-training accidents wreak havoc on floors. To keep floors in ship shape, it’s best to develop a cleaning routine using a gentle and pet-friendly cleaning solution to prevent layers of dust and dirt from building up. But what about the bigger messes? There are many cleaning products out there that take care of the icky messes and hairy situations, but if you like a simple, nontoxic solution that’s effective on stains and odours white vinegar often does the trick. First, wipe up and blot the mess with paper towels, whether it’s on a rug or flooring. Then, mix three parts water to one part white vinegar and you’re ready to clean. On wood floors or tile, simply wipe up, use the solution and mop. If the stain is on a rug, wipe the stain, saturate the spot with the solution and blot, blot, blot.



Keep Your Dog Off The Furniture (This Could Be Tricky!)

Cleaning up pet hair off your couch is not a fun job. What’s less fun? Sitting on a couch that smells like a dog bed, especially while you’re entertaining guests. What’s the solution? The best way to train your dog to stay off the couch is to never allow him on it in the first place. It’s a learned behaviour and if not corrected, he will believe that the sofa is an acceptable place for him to take naps. While the couch is off-limits, make sure your pup has his own, comfortable and safe place to snooze, like a dog bed. You can easily find one that is the right size for your fur baby at any pet store. Pick up two or three depending on the size of your home so your dog can chill out and still keep you company, whether it’s in the bedroom, living room or the kitchen. Remember that your dog’s bedding tends to attract a buildup of dirt and grime so choose a bed with a removable fabric cover that’s easy to launder. Vacuum the bed regularly to remove hair, dirt, and other debris. Then, follow up with a lint roller to pull away any hair the vacuum may have left behind.



A Clean Dog Will Help You Keep A Clean Home

Over-bathing your dog can cause dry skin, which results in itching and flaking.  How frequently you should bathe your dog will vary depending on a variety of different conditions including what activities your dog has been up to, how smelly he gets, and if you have any family members with pet allergies.  Generally speaking, you should really only bathe your dog if he needs it. But you can keep your pup smelling fresh by giving him a quick dry bath. Brush out his coat first to loosen dead hair, dirt, and debris. Wipe him down with a towel spritzed with a solution of half apple cider vinegar and half water. Follow up by sprinkling baking soda on him and rubbing it in, which will neutralize the smell of the vinegar. Let it sit for a minute or two and then brush it off.

While dogs can definitely be messy at times, the joy that they bring us definitely surpasses the negative aspects of dog ownership. Although dog ownership comes with challenges and requires some flexibility on our part, don’t worry, you can still be a proud “neat freak” and a dog owner. With the help of these tips you will be able to tackle the messes quickly and easily and still have time left over for a good walk or a fun game of fetch. And if you’re thinking of moving and want to make sure your new place is pet-friendly check out Buying A Condo Your Dog Will Love for some great tips on buying a condo with your dog. And when it’s time to move, be sure to follow these 8 Simple Rules To Moving With Dogs.

Are you on the hunt for that perfect place to share with your pooch? Do you have questions or topic ideas about caring for dogs in the city? Contact us!

And please know we're here to help!



~ Monika

Guest Writer:  Monika MacMillan, Sales Representative
Bosley Real Estate Ltd., Brokerage – (416) 530-1100

Monika’s Animal House

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