Budget-Savvy, Earth-Friendly Housekeeping Tips for Dog Owners

It may seem like muddy paws and hairy furniture go hand-in-hand with dog ownership. You can actually keep your home clean and enjoy your pooch, and it doesn’t mean you need to invest tons of time, money or energy in housekeeping. The following tips are designed to allow you and Fido to spend more time playing and less time cleaning and still keep your home looking sharp.

Hairy situation. Most dogs seem to generate more than their fair share of fur. If your pooch sheds, a bagless, quality vacuum cleaner is a first step toward keeping up with dog hair tumbleweeds. Bagless versions are kinder to the environment, and you’ll want one that offers attachments to make cleaning furniture, chair molding, and window coverings easier. Even in homes where dogs aren’t allowed on furniture, sometimes homeowners struggle with dog hair clinging to upholstery.

One idea is to try keeping a rubber glove close by. You can throw it on in a pinch to do quick cleanups. Does your dog lounge on the sofa with you? Try lining it with old towels. They are quick and easy to collect for surprise guests, and they collect hair and dander nicely. You can toss them in the laundry regularly, which makes keeping your furniture clean a breeze.

What’s that smell? Dogs are a delight to our hearts and lives, but they often are a source of less than delightful odors. Their fur, saliva, dander, and other bodily secretions can leave our abodes funky, but thankfully there are natural cleaning products available to counteract those smells. Look for cleansers that include enzymatic action, since they will break down odors at the deepest level.

If you have a pet parent who smokes, it can also help to add an air purifier to reduce the amount of toxic fumes in your home, which can affect you and your canine companion. Cigarette smoke, wood-burning stoves and other emissions can put your family and pets in danger of secondhand smoke that could increase your risk of lung cancer and other respiratory diseases. Take a look at a review guide to find an efficient appliance within your budget, offering features that match your needs.

Natural doesn’t mean non-toxic. Pet owners need to be forewarned that some cleansers that have been described as “natural” are not necessarily pet-safe. Nourishing Joy points out some cleaning products, particularly those with essential oils, could easily be mistaken for being safe for your dog. One suggestion is to look for “green” cleansers that specifically say they are nontoxic and biodegradable. Be especially careful of products containing tea tree oil. The Environmental Working Group (EWG) is an excellent place to find safe products of all kinds – including cleaning products.

Easy, safe and on hand. Much of your cleaning can be accomplished with three simple household ingredients: water, vinegar and baking soda. Mix half each portions of vinegar and water in a spray bottle for cleaning countertops, sinks and most other hard surfaces. Baking soda helps with scouring and lifting dirt and debris, and it also offers natural deodorizing qualities. If your dog’s bowls get grungy, LoveToKnow recommends lemon juice to lift food stains easily and naturally, and it is a safe choice for your pooch.

Wipe those paws! Some dogs seem to naturally gravitate toward mud. If your pooch has a knack for finding the best, most muddy puddles, you might be tempted to use disposable wipes or paper towels for keeping up with his feet. However, you can simply create a paw washing station by your door, either right inside the mudroom or on a covered porch. Set up a long, low plastic storage container for your dog to stand in and add water for paw cleaning. Once the chore is complete, if you have trouble bending down to dump the container you can install a drainage nozzle to empty the bulk of the water. Wipe Fido’s paws clean with an old rag or towel, and you have a smart, inexpensive and eco-friendly solution!

You don’t need to break your budget or your back cleaning, even if you’re a dog owner. These tips will make keeping up with all your dog “offers” without feeling like it’s a burden, financially or otherwise. Spend less time and money on housekeeping and more time enjoying your furry friend.

Featured image courtesy of Pexels.

Guest author, Suzie Wilson, is an interior designer with more than 20 years experience. What started as a hobby (and often, a favor to friends) turned into a passion for creating soothing spaces in homes of every size and style. While her goal always includes making homes look beautiful, her true focus is on fashioning them into serene, stress-free environments that inspire tranquility in all who enter. The Ultimate Guide to Prepping Your Home for an Open House is filled with tips, tricks and other advice based on Suzie’s years of experience in interior home design that will set you up for success. Suzie is the founder and creative director of Happier Home and can be reached at info@happierhome.net.

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