Ever heard the saying, “You can’t have dogs and a clean house, so you’d better choose?”
A bit drastic, yes, but most pet owners would agree there’s some truth in it. These dirty paws across your freshly-washed floor, the odd dustballs of hair behind every piece of furniture – while we love them dearly and wouldn’t be without them, our furry friends can really make their presence felt in the house, particularly in the winter when it’s cold and wet outside. Here are our tips for minimising the workload.
1. Clean little and often
Sorry to be so obvious with the first tip, but if you have pets in the house you really need to do a quick sweep of the floors every day.
If your dog or cat has a favourite chair or spot they live to spend most of their time in, that needs a quick swipe with the vacuum daily too. If you leave it, pet hair quickly mats up into a layer that’s hard to remove. A five-minute flick round every day will help minimise doggy smells, as well.
Empty cat litter trays regularly to help stop smells building up, and use a cat litter that helps absorb odours. Invest in a roller sticky brush which cleans upholstery and curtains very quickly and easily – at a pinch, you can also use Sellotape, wrapped around your hand sticky side out.
2. Clean the pet first!
There’s no point cleaning your house and then bringing a filthy dog in. Try to reduce the ‘damage’ as much as you can.
If you have a long-haired breed of dog, have him regularly bathed and clipped, every four to six weeks or so. The particularly bad areas for trapping dirt on long-haired breeds are the feet and under the tummy, both of which are like little furry sponges. Keeping your dog’s coat trimmed will help minimise the amount of dirt he can transport.
There are now several brands of towelling coat on the market, which fit your dog like a little dressing gown. Once he’s finished his muddy walk, pop his coat on to help dry him off.
Keep an old towel by the back door for rubbing wet paws. You can also buy ‘sponge towels’, which live rolled up in a neat, clean plastic tube in your car. Before you load your dog back up, dry him off with the sponge, squeeze out the dirty water and put the towel away again to keep your car clear. You’ll be amazed how much water actually comes off!
You can also get ‘waterless shampoo’, a sweet smelling liquid which requires no water to active it. Just rub your dog with it, towel off the excess and voila! A dog that smells of flowers instead of fox poo.
4. Plan ahead
If you have time to make preparations for your pet, then a room with external access and a hard floor is ideal, whether it’s the kitchen or utility room.
Bring your dog in, over a ‘dirt trapper’ door mat, dry him off and confine him to that one room until he’s dry enough to come into the rest of the house. Train dogs (and even cats!) to learn where they’re allowed – the majority of pets will quickly accept that one room, chair or door is out of bounds.
5. If in doubt, cheat
Sometimes, in the battle between pets and cleaning, pets just win. In which case, light a couple of scented candles (some companies even make specific candles for hiding pet smells), chuck a washable throw over the sofa and cuddle your pets – after all, they’re worth it.
Images courtesy of Pixabay0