Guest Article by Tyler Evans
It’s a good thing dogs are cute and endlessly lovable – otherwise, there’s no way we’d put up with the messes they cause in our homes. From muddy paws on the carpet to drool on the walls, the havoc dogs wreak in our homes is second only to the marks they leave on our hearts. However, owning a dog doesn’t have to mean giving up on a clean home. You can have your dog and a clean home when you stock up on the right budget-friendly supplies.
The right cleaning products are a godsend when your dog tracks mud into the house or uses your carpeted floor as a toilet. A quality cleaner not only removes the stain so your surfaces look good as new, it also breaks down odor-causing bacteria found in saliva, feces, and urine. However, a clean home shouldn’t come at the sake of your pet’s health (or your own), so take care to choose non-toxic cleaning supplies. Minor pet messes, like muddy paws on the carpet, can be cleaned up with inexpensive natural products like baking soda and vinegar. However, when you need more cleaning power, turn to pet-safe solutions like these cleaners recommended by Rover. When buying cleaners, include a hard surface cleaner, an enzymatic cleaner for carpeting and soft surfaces, and a laundry detergent for washing your pet’s toys.
Don’t wipe up your dog’s drool with a dish towel. If you’re going to respond to pet messes quickly, you need to have the right tools on hand. Owners of slobbery breeds like Great Danes and St. Bernards swear by Magic Erasers to clean dried drool off of hard surfaces like walls, floors, and cabinets. For wet messes and soft surfaces, skip disposable paper towels and instead opt for reusable microfiber cloths. You’ll pay more up front, but it’s more frugal and eco-friendly in the long run.
You’ll also want a scrubber (The New York Times recommends a simple toothbrush) for working deep stains out of soft surfaces and a vacuum designed for pet hair to keep your carpets clean. If anyone in your family has allergies, buy a vacuum with a HEPA filter to remove pet dander along with the fur.
Cleaning your house is only half the battle. If you’re ever going to get ahead of the mess, you need to clean your dog too. Thankfully, you don’t need groomer-quality tools if mess prevention is your goal. You can achieve results with a few inexpensive supplies, including a brush, dog shampoo, and towels for drying off after baths and cleaning dirty paws before coming indoors.
When it comes to keeping a clean home with dogs, prevention is your first line of defense. Place towels at the front door so you can wipe down muddy paws and drooling mouths before letting dogs indoors, and use throw blankets or slip covers to protect furniture if you can’t bear to disallow dogs from the couch. When replacing carpeting with hard floors isn’t in the budget, place washable area rugs to protect carpeting (Apartment Therapy recommends some great ones) or use baby gates to keep dogs off the carpets entirely. If you own a drooler, try a placemat under food and water dishes and a bandana around your pooch’s neck to catch slobber before it hits the ground.
The truth is, we’d never part with our dogs, no matter how big of a mess they make. Nonetheless, life is nicer when your dogs are happy and your home is clean. If you’ve been struggling to keep up with pet messes at home, give these solutions a shot.