Adopting Bitsy was one of the best decisions of my life. She adds a ton of excitement, joy, and adventure to every day. Bitsy also adds quite a bit of mess! Prior to Bitsy moving in I had the ultimate bachelor pad and only had to worry about cleaning up after myself. Now that I have my furry roommate I have to be on top of keeping my home clean. I’m not always the most successful at it, but she these tips have helped me and I hope they can help you, too.
1.) Hair of the Dog
Dog hair is one of the biggest cleanliness challenges for dog owners. Some dogs don’t shed as much as others but if you have a “double-coated” breed of dog such as a Siberian Husky or Akitas, they shed their soft undercoats twice a year, leaving huge furballs around your home.
A way to cut down on this a little bit is to brush your dog regularly, aim for a few times a week. If you are able to brush your dog outside it will cut down on your post-brushing clean up session. Of course, your dog is going to shed regardless so you want to make sure you have your preferred clean up tools on hand. Some people like the old fashioned and ever reliable dustpan and broom method, while others prefer a handheld vacuum. I have hardwood floors so I’m a Swiffer guy myself. I just got new Swiffer from Target and was probably a little more excited about it than I should have been. (But it just gets everything so clean!)
Fur balls laying around the living room are easy to spot, but make sure to pay attention to your air filters. If you check your air filters every two to three weeks you can determine how much pressure you are putting on them and how often they need to be changed. If you keep your filters clean your heating and cooling system won’t have to work as hard and you can save money as well.
2.) Get Moving!
Exercising keeps me and Bitsy happy and energized! If I know I’m going to be out of the house for any length of time, I make sure I get in a nice workout with Bitsy beforehand. A tired dog is much less likely to get into mischief and mess up the house than one who is bored and desperately craving some stimulation. It’s also helpful to keep chew toys easily accessible for your dog to play with when you’re not home. I just ordered a few new toys for Bitsy from http://www.petsmart.com and she is loving them.
3.) Stop in the Name of (Puppy) Love
A way to cut down on mess inside of your home is to stop dirt and mud at the door before it even enters your home. Keep a towel and a small container of room temperature water by the door to wipe down muddy paws before your dog comes into the house. You can place mats inside and outside of your doors and train your dog to wait on the mat.
4.) Splish Splash Taking a Bath
You don’t want to bathe your dog too often- this can strip pups of the natural oils in their skin which can lead to increased dryness. I usually bathe Bitsy about once every three weeks unless she has gotten particularly rowdy and dirty. Bitsy and I are partial to Burt’s Bees Waterless Dog Shampoo – the apple extract and honey keep fur shiny. Castille soap in lavender or peppermint scent also works well and is helpful in the prevention of fleas.
5.) Toy Time!
Some toys can be cleaned and disinfected while others will eventually need to be tossed.
– Toys with dangling parts and stuffed animal eyes can be choking hazards.
– Toys that have been heavily chewed or have missing parts.
– Toys that your dog is eating. With the exception of treat toys, your dog should not be eating his toys. If you catch your dog in the act or notice the toy is much smaller than it initially was, throw it out.
– Plastic and rubber toys can be cleaned by hand with soap and water or go in your dishwasher for cleaning. If you are using a dishwasher you can simply run them through the hot cycle with no detergent; the heat and water pressure should kill germs and remove dirt and grime.
– Rope toys can be a breeding ground for bacteria, so sanitizing them is best. You can wet the toy and microwave it for a full minute, just be careful when removing the item because it can be quite hot.
– For stuffed animals, you can throw them in the washing machine when they are dirty, but skip the dryer because most stuffed animals won’t make it through the drying process intact. (I say this from experience.)
6.) Kicking Up Dust!
When we think about messes, it’s usually about the messes on the floor, but our fur friends also increase the amount of dust in our homes. Dusting is one of my least favorite household chores, but I try to give everything a quick dusting once or twice a week.
7.) Take a Deep Breath and Relax!
Pets can be a lot of work and keeping the house clean isn’t always an easy task, but Bitsy makes life so fun that the pros always outweigh the cons. Even if your home is ultimately a little bit messier, make sure to appreciate all the ways your pet enhances your world.
I hope you found these tips helpful. Any of you dog lovers have other tips for keeping your pad clean when sharing it with our animals? Comment below!