For most dog moms, keeping a clean house with pets is a challenge we’d begrudgingly file under “difficult but doable.” (…though if you’ve ever had to scrub doggy diarrhea out of carpet, “doable” probably feels like a generous choice of words).
Having lived with numerous furry creatures over the years, I’ve picked up some tips and tricks for pup-proofing any living space. Here’s my pet-friendly approach to keeping home feeling fresh, clean and company-ready. (As for the diarrhea.. unfortunately you’re on your own with that one).
1. Breathe Easy
Fun fact: one of the major sources of contamination and germs in your home is something you can’t see, touch, or spritz with bleach. And if you’re reading this at home, you’re sitting in the middle of it right now!
I’m talking about the air. (Pause for dramatic effect).
The gross news: air is full of a whole lotta of nasty. The good news: an air purifier can remove up to 99.97% of it. For pet owners, a big chunk of that 99.97% is loose fur and pet dander – the same gunk that causes allergies and dust bunnies.
Bottom line: air purifiers are a great way to keep home clean with pets. You’ll notice a difference, and your guests with allergies will, too. If you’re a first time buyer, I suggest giving this one a try. With a range just over 500 sq ft, this mini but mighty machine is ideal for apartments or smaller homes with open floorplans.
I recommend placing the unit in a space where your pet likes to linger – like the living room. If you plan on using the air purifier in a smaller space (like a bedroom or office), look for a unit that keeps quiet. This air purifier is so silent, its decibel rating is actually lower than the sound you make when you breathe!
2. Meet Your Holy Grail Stain Solution
Full disclosure: I’m about to share an affiliate link. Also full disclosure: I didn’t know what love was until I met this stain solution.
Now let me be clear: I had no intention of falling in love with a stain solution. It was a free gift with purchase, and I didn’t even crack the bottle until I dribbled some ramen broth on my favorite hoodie and needed a spot treatment, stat! But once I realized what this humble potion was capable of, I was amazed. And I definitely called my mom to tell her about it.
Here’s the thing: it does all the things it says it does. It’s that simple. Dried blood that’s been there for a week? Make it disappear. Muddy paw prints? Gone. All the other weird stains of questionable origin that dogs leave on light colored furniture, but we won’t get into because I’ve already used the word diarrhea too many times in this blog post? Gone, gone, GONE!
While we’re on the topic of must have cleaning supplies, here are a few others pet owners should always keep on hand:
- Groomer’s Stone
- Odor Eliminating Floor Cleaner
- Odor Eliminator for Carpet
- Self Cleaning Broom (no more pet fur blobs!)
3. The Designated Drop Zone
Growing up, my parents would only offer scraps or treats to our childhood dog on the kitchen rug. It may seem stupidly simple, but this tiny change can make a big difference: limiting the places where your dog eats makes the ensuing mess (think: greasy bacon crumps escaping slobbery chops) instantly easier to manage.
4. Protect Furniture & Bedding
Laying a sheet or blanket over your furniture is a good start – but it’s not going to protect the fabric underneath from wet messes. (I know you know what I mean..)
Invest in a waterproof blanket (like this one) to keep unwanted moisture (and all the other yucky stuff) off of your dog’s favorite hang out spot. When lounge time is over, your upholstery will be spotless and fresh underneath!
5. Pet-Friendly Furniture
One of the biggest (and probably most expensive) furniture purchases you’ll make is your couch or living room seating. That makes it even more painful when we see these items trashed by our pets.
Staying ahead of the mess starts before the furniture gets delivered.
You know your pet best. So when you’re shopping for big ticket items (like a dog friendly couch), try to identify what your specific challenges will be. For example: if your dog is gentle on furniture but sheds like it’s going out of style, avoid materials that fur will cling to (sorry, velvet chaise). If dirty paws are perpetually an issue, I wouldn’t suggest a fabric sofa unless it has cushion covers that can be easily removed and washed as needed.
My dog is pretty tame, but she has talons that could rival Cardi B (and refuses to let me trim them). For that reason, Ikea’s Morabo sectional is the perfect pet-friendly couch for my home. The dark beige leather is super tough and resistant to scratching. She jumps on and off the couch all day, and there isn’t a single scratch mark to be seen. It’s also super easy to wipe clean.
(My only complaint is that the hidden velcro strips that hold the cushions down are FUR MAGNETS).
Looking for more pet-friendly cleaning tips? Check out this old blog post from the AS archives!