Tips to de-dog your home!
Our Holidays4Dogs carers are all chosen, not only for their dog care experience but also for their attention to cleanliness, particularly between dog visits, ensuring the house and garden are clean, hygienic and ready for the next dog stay.
Carpets and hard flooring.
A powerful vacuum designed specifically for dog hair can be a god-send if you keep dogs, especially if you have more than one dog, or dogs with a penchant for moulting almost all year round; (as my Labrador does – thank you Jasper!). Always be wary of using powder fresheners on the carpet; some vacuum cleaners don’t always remove all of the deposits and there is the potential for this to cause irritation to paws, eyes or noses. If you suspect fleas, always dispose of the contents of the vacuum bag when you have finished.
For hard floors a safe floor cleaning product such as Pet Guard Hard Floor Cleaner by the London Dog Company or the Pawsafe range of cleaning products, including floor cleaner. Adding a little lavender, grapefruit or mint oil to the water also helps eliminate odours.
Prevention is the key when it comes to keeping floors clean. Have a handy stock of towels to soak up the excess moisture from wet or muddy paws; micro fibre towels are the best solution for this since they can be washed frequently and dry out rapidly. Washable dirt trapper door mats can be a godsend when there are mudding paws coming in and out! Keeping on top of grooming too; brushing your dogs regularly will cut down on the amount of dog hair on carpets quite significantly.
If your dog is allowed on the sofa on a regular basis you could use a cover or throw which can then be put into the washing machine once a week. If you need to remove pet hair from the upholstery a rubber squeegee can be helpful as it pulls away even shorter dog hairs which are woven deep into the fabric. There are many products on the market specifically for use on stains caused by pets and if your dog is a regular couch potato it’s a good idea to have one of these safe products handy.
For your dogs own bed try to choose one that can easily be put into the washing machine. There are many lovely beds on the market but before deciding on one, check that it has removable and washable covers as this will definitely prolong the life of the bedding and make regular cleaning much easier. Wicker baskets always look pleasing to the eye, but they trap hair and dirt easily and are much more difficult to disinfect properly. Dog beds can be very expensive, but old sleeping bags and other bedding do just as well and will certainly be appreciated by Fido; however, better to avoid knitted fabrics as these tend to collect dog hair which even washing won’t remove. Collect a good stock of dog bedding so you can wash and replace easily and regularly to help minimise the general doggy aroma!
As with carpet fresheners, avoid using normal household spray fresheners on spots the dog frequents, and never spray these around when the dog or other pets are in the same room.
Dog toys can quickly become very dog eared and smelly, so sort through the toys regularly, not least because this is a good time to check they are still safe and have no loose stuffing, seams or jagged edges. Soft toys can be put in the washing machine and rubber or plastic toys can be soaked in a bucket with a mild solution of disinfectant, rinsed thoroughly and left to dry outdoors. It’s a good tip not to have too many toys out at once, keep just a few out and put them away in a basket when not being used. Rotate them on a weekly or fortnightly basis to keep them interesting and fresh to the dog.
In the Garden.
The obvious issue here is to keep on top of the doggy dooh! You may even like to consider cordoning off an area which can be used solely for the dog’s ablutions. Always pick up deposits straight away where possible! This is especially important if your dogs spend a lot of time in the garden and avoids nasty unpleasant accidents by them (or you) stepping in it and walking it into the house. Certainly, get into the habit of picking up first thing in the morning and last thing in the evening. You can purchase special dog toilets, which although I am sad to say a dog will not be able to use in the usual sense can nevertheless be sunk into the earth and filled with a liquid which dissolves the waste rapidly.
Clean pets are healthy pets and not every visitor will be impressed by overwhelming smells from household animals! Keeping a clean house when you keep pets isn’t necessarily harder; it just may take a little more planning, the right products and a little extra time, but certainly something to bear in mind if you are very house proud and considering getting a dog!