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Do you often feel like you’re in a constant battle with dog hair, dander, and stains? As a pet owner, do you worry about what your home smells like to guests? You’re not alone. Many pet owners think it’s impossible to have dogs and a clean house at the same time. However, all it takes to keep your pet-loving home smelling and looking fresh is a little bit of creativity and some preventative measures. And you don’t have to spend a fortune, either!
1. Clean Your Pets Regularly
Dogs are notorious for bounding on furniture and rolling around on the carpet. Although they may appear clean, our pet’s skin and fur begin to harbor yeast and bacteria over time. This can quickly contribute to grime and odors in the home. Canine Journal recommends bathing your dog at least once every three months, and more frequently for pets that spend a lot of time outdoors. Wrinkly pets may need more attention to prevent bacteria from growing in the folds of their skin.
After your pet has been outside, stop dirt and pollen at the door by setting up a little cleaning area. A laundry room is a perfect place for this, but your main entrance way will also do. Arm your cleaning station with a heavy-duty doormat, dog towels, wipes, and a spray bottle filled with water. That way, you can easily clean their paws before they track dirt and allergens through your house.
2. Change Your Air Filter
Vacuuming and using lint rollers are effective ways to remove built-up pet dander from your home. However, an air purifier with a HEPA filter will effectively suck dander out of the air before it can land on your furniture and carpets. It’s extremely important to change your air filter on a regular basis—something 25 percent of Americans don’t do, according to a Filter Buy national survey. This task is particularly important when you have pets. People who do change their filters find many unpleasant things that contribute to allergies and odors. For example, of the people who changed their air filters within the last two years, 89 percent discovered dust and 40 percent found pet dander—not to mention the 18 percent who uncovered insects. A clogged air filter can wear out your HVAC system, reduce its efficacy at removing airborne allergens, and encourage the growth of bacteria in the home—so it’s an important area to address in order to maintain a clean house.
3. Deodorize with Baking Soda
Did you know that basic household pantry items can fight odors just as well as expensive cleaning services and products? Vinegar, baking soda, and lemon juice are some of the best products for neutralizing smells and freshening the home. The Bark recommends spraying a solution of 50/50 vinegar and water onto stains and allowing it to soak. Give the area a good scrub, then sprinkle with baking soda. You can leave the powder on your carpet until it dries and vacuum it up the following day.
4. Pick Up Pet Hair with Rubber Gloves
No matter how much you vacuum, pet hair tends to stick to carpets and upholstery like glue. Try dampening a cloth or a pair of rubber gloves and rubbing the area. The water will help collect and clump the fur together so you can remove it much more easily. To keep pet hair off your furniture, cover their favorite napping spots with a washable sheet. Additionally, brushing your dog regularly will prevent them from shedding so much in the first place.
5. Tackle Saliva Stains with Vinegar
When left to dry, dog saliva turns into stubborn spots on everything from windows to couch cushions. But, it’s hard to follow your pet around all day wiping up their drool. Again, vinegar is an excellent tool for the job since it cuts through the mineral buildup that makes your dog’s drool so difficult to remove. Create a mix of three-parts hot water, one-part vinegar, and a few drops of dish soap. Apply this to the saliva stain with a cloth until it’s fully removed.
As much as we love our dogs, we need to feel comfortable and clean in our homes. Excessive pet hair, dander, and bacteria can worsen allergies, while hidden odors can make you wary of inviting people over. Use these tips to create a happy, healthy home for your family and your beloved dog.
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