Top 5 Dog Housekeeping Hacks

by Kris Phillips

I feel the same way about cleaning the house as I do about working out- I’m gonna hate every minute of it, there will probably be crying, whining, and maybe a fit or two- but if you don’t do it things go down hill quickly!

Keeping big dogs in a small space has it’s own set of challenges. And keeping that space from looking and smelling like a kennel is sometimes easier said than done.

I can list easily a 100 things I’d rather be doing than cleaning, but it’s a necessary evil so why not make it as easy as possible. With that in mind I’m sharing my top 5 absolute must-haves for keeping up with the hounds.

  1. Magic Eraser/ Magic Scrubber- There are a few brands on the marked but basically I’m talking about that weird little white spongy thing. If your dog has a favorite spot to lay, that also happens to be against a wall, right by the doorway is Swota’s favorite, you’ll start to see grime build up on the wall from the oils in their coat. These little sponges do an AMAZING job of getting the grime off without damaging the paint.
  2. Baking Soda- It’s an awesome natural cleaning product but I especially love it for the carpets. About 20 minutes before I vacuum, or at the beginning of my house-cleaning derby, I sprinkle the carpets and dog beds with baking soda. I try not to get it on the dogs, or their toys, but on the off chance they do come in contact with it, not the end of the world. The baking soda absorbs pet odors and also loosens the hair that’s worked into the carpet. I have no idea how the second part works, only that it does.
    • Why strait baking soda instead of a store bought scented carpet powder (I’m trying hard not to name names here)?
      • Reason 1) Artificial fragrances- I’m not a fan.  Many artificial fragrances are listed as carcinogens, and we face enough of those on a daily basis, why invite them into your home. Plus, they can damage sensitive lungs. If you really want to scent a room I recommend picking up an essential oil spray.
      • Reason 2) Cost efficiency- Especially if you buy in bulk you’ll pay the same amount for a years worth of plain baking soda that you would pay for just a couple boxes of the fragranced kind. Which by the way, is pretty much baking soda with a couple other ingredients mixed in.
  3. Invest in a good quality vacuum. Especially if you have long-haired, high-shed dogs finding the right vacuum can be trial by fire-no seriously. I’ve actually had vacuums start smoking from a dog hair jam. It’s hard to know which one to pick so start with the “pet” models. Look for one with a large canister. And one that at least claims to never lose suction. Washable filters are also a key point. Houses with dogs have more hair & dirt to contend with so being able to wash instead of replace those filters will pay off in the long run. The one pictured about is the Hoover Windtunnel 2 Rewind Pet. Overall I’d say it does a decent job for the price. I picked it up on Black Friday after our previous vacuum burned out, and didn’t do a ton of research, it was more of an impulse/need a replacement now kinda buy. The canister is not a large as it appears, there’s a large internal chamber so I can vacuum about 1/3 of the room before it needs to be emptied.
  4. A Carpet Cleaner. Because accidents happen. And even if they don’t there’s still muddy boots and paws and general doggy dirtiness to contend with. So at least a semi-annual deep down carpet cleaning is in order. But why buy instead of rent? Because the rentals are about $50 a day, which means you HAVE to finish the whole house in ONE DAY! Even if it’s a small space that could be exhausting. Our Bissel ProHeat was around $120 (also a Black Friday find), so in just two rentals I’ve paid for my own. Plus, no need to wrestle it in and out of the car. And when one of the dogs eats something that doesn’t agree with them- life is so much better with a carpet cleaning to make it like it never happened.
  5. Enzyme Cleaning Solution- I buy it by the gallon and then also keep it in a spray bottle. There are a few out on the market but my favorite in Natures Miracle. It’s great for cleaning up messes on a spot by spot basis. The only thing I don’t love about this product is the fragrance they add to it. But, it’s not something I use often, only when one of the dogs has an accident in the house and I don’t have time or energy to break out the carpet cleaner. Which, fortunately, is rare.

I LOVE my dirty, smelly dogs. But I also like having a normal, clean house with as little effort as possible. And these 5 housekeeping hacks keep my place from smelling like a kennel. Leaving me more time for the doggy things I actually WANT to be doing.

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